Marta Pate

Big Ugly Grow Appalachia

At this year’s healthy cooking workshops we’ve had a mix of presentations from neighbors and gardeners.  Today’s blog is from Marta Pate, one of our Big Ugly Creek gardeners who shares the joys of creative preparing with a food processing device that we also provided for interested workshop attendees.

I’ve become “inSpiralized”: I received a spiralizer from my sister, and discovered quickly that it was much more than a fancy gadget to turn zucchini into veggie noodles. I’ve spiralized broccoli stems, apples, pears, daikon radishes, turnips, beets, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, anything I could get my hands on. Letting my imagination run rampant as I ran things through my new “toy”, I created “voodle” soup: a veggie soup with many different kinds of veggies, salads, stir-fries, desserts, even breakfasts! Now, I use it more than my food processor to prepare quick and easy healthy meals.

Fruits and veggies you can spiralize (these are just a few): apples, beets, broccoli, butternut squash (neck, not the hollow bulb), large carrot (“horse carrot”), kohlrabi, large parsnip (think “horse carrot” size), pears, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, taro root, turnips, white potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, anything that is firm, not hollow, and has at least a 2” diameter.

Should you want to explore to get ideas on what you have in your garden that you can spiralize and how to fix it, here are some helpful websites:




To get you started, here are a couple of recipes that I came up with:

Zucchini-Summer Stir-fry

Serves 4

Low sodium, low cholesterol, heart healthy; can be main dish or side (the walnuts provide protein)


  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 4 medium summer squash
  • 1 jar pesto sauce
  • 1 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ c walnuts


  • Spiralize zucchini and summer squash on spiralizer blade of choice.
  • Heat skillet and add a small amount of olive oil.
  • Add spiralized squash and tomatoes, and heat until hot but still firm.
  • Add pesto and walnuts, give a final toss, and serve.


Apple-Pear Crumble

Heart healthy, low sugar, low cholesterol, low fat

Serves 8-10


  • 5 medium apples – spiralized on the 2nd largest setting
  • 4 medium pears – spiralized on the 2nd largest setting
  • ¼ c dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • ½ c orange juice
  • zest, 1 orange
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • optional: ½ c walnuts

For the crumble:

  • ½ envelope muffin mix
  • ½ c rolled oats
  • 2 T Margarine (room temp – not melted)



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with spray oil.
  • Place spiralized apples & pears in a large bowl and top with cinnamon, sugar, orange juice, zest, cornstarch, and walnuts.
  • Spread out in baking dish.
  • Mix muffin mix, with margarine until it resembles corn meal; add the rolled oats and stir.
  • Sprinkle crumble mixture on top of apple/pear mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly.