Recently, I had the occasion to review Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci. For those on a gluten fee diet, there is comfort in knowing that the entire cookbook is written without the use of any flours, so it is chockfull of naturally gluten free recipes.
I really expected to love this book. I am a huge Spiralizer fan and have bought seven Spiralizers from Amazon, the first for myself and the other six as gifts. I am not a reader of the author’s blog and, in fact, did not know about it. My Spiralizer usage and experimentation comes from trying to spiralize every fruit and vegetable I can think of and use the results in my day-to-day cooking.
There are a few inspired recipes in Inspiralized, such as the Butternut Chips used in nachos and the Sweet Potato Waffles, but for the most part, the recipes are more about making vegetable-laden meals, salads, and sides with vegetables in interesting shapes. I think Inspiralized may be great for the new cook, one who needs an interesting dinner or salad idea, or someone who needs to follow recipes to the letter. But for the experienced cook, I think the book is more about technique. I liked the concept of ricing vegetables, and I hadn’t yet thought of spiralizing broccoli stems (although the author states that the vegetable should ideally be 1-1/2 inch in diameter and the stems of the organic broccoli I buy or grow typically aren’t that thick.) There are many cool things that can be done with dehydrated, spiralized vegetables and fruits, and I would have liked to have seen some of these. Also, combining spiralizing with fermenting would have been an interesting topic, such as making the ideal carrot matchsticks for kimchi.
I don’t quite get the recipes for making faux rolls and muffins--bread-like products. Spiralizing a white potato seems to me not a whole lot different than using a gluten free non-grain like quinoa, which would be a lot better for you. On the other hand, the presentation may wow dinner guests. In recipes like these, this seemed more like a diet cookbook, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m of the belief that high quality butter and cream are not only good for you but increase satiety and go wonderfully with spiralized vegetables and fruits.
A final point is that the author recommends cooking her spiralized vegetables far longer than I do. I’m not sure how they don’t become mushy and lose their integrity.
I received a copy of this cookbook from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair review.