We all are kids at heart, no matter how old or mature we become. It’s that little part of us that enjoys walking on fresh snow, scuffing our feet through fallen leaves, and gets a thrill from bubble wrap.
Where does the rest of childhood go? It is swallowed up by a monster under the bed named Reality. This beast makes children in princess tiaras and Superman capes stifle their dreams and join the rat-race of the business world.
Well, that got sad quickly. I’m sorry, that is not my intention. If I wanted to make people sad, I would post pictures of forlorn puppies, instead of delicious recipes to detox the body.
…Now I’m thinking of abandoned puppies… Wait, don’t think about that. Think about this new dish made from one of my favorite kitchen toys:
There’s another trait that follows us from childhood, and since there is no accepted term for it, I call it ‘Candy Store Syndrome.’ Every adult has a fetish that makes him as excited as a child in a candy store.
For one of my Southern friends, it’s yarn. She enjoys crocheting, and I once asked her to make me a hat. She brought me to a small shop that was wall-to-wall with spools of yarn and thread. This was her Candyland. We ended up choosing a brown and purple ombre yarn, and I wore the hat all winter. (Thanks, Rachael!)
For a couple of my friend, their child-like paradise is a library or bookstore. Another family friend loves interior decorating and strolls through IKEA whenever she’s having a rough day.
Personally, I have two Candy Stores: The first is music stores. If the staff is tolerant, I can try out different pianos, cellos, xylophones, harps, or whatever isn’t hiding behind the glass counter (looking at you, wind instruments!)
However, I have a perfectly fine violin at home, so I never end up buying anything, unless it’s something boring like rosin or a tuner.
My other Candy Store is kitchen stores and departments. This is where I need to put an iron lock on my wallet. Look, unicorn salt and pepper shakers! (But you already have a set) A shark-shaped tea infuser! (You use teabags) Ice cream sandwich maker! (You will use that once and never again.) Pineapple corer! (You barely eat fresh pineapple) Banana slicer! (It takes about two seconds to slice it up with a regular knife.) Glass coffee maker! (You drink instant.) An Oreo milk dipper! (You are gluten-free! You don’t eat Oreos.)
Many gadgets are redundant and barely replace the classic knife, cutting board, and food processor. However, on my last visit to my personal Candyland, I picked up this trendy appliance: the spiralizer.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m half-Italian which means I have an innate affinity to spaghetti. Being gluten-free won’t damper that. Many brands are selling brown rice or quinoa pasta, and they taste pretty good. But noodles made out of zucchinis, carrots, and sweet potatoes? My first exposure to this product blew my mind. (Don’t judge me and I won’t judge your nail polish collection, shoes, dolphin figurines, stuffed animals, or taxidermy heads.)
The trick with creating a delectable dish with the spiralizer is focusing on the taste of the vegetable used, not on replacing the classic wheat-based spaghettis. That is why I chose a simple balsamic flavor to complement the sweet beet noodles.
Here’s another thing about adulthood: We eat more vegetables than kids. So enjoy this simple and nutrient-packed dish, and dream about whatever your Candyland may be.
Whatever you do, don’t think about sad puppies.
Balsamic Spiralized Beets
- 6 beets, peeled and spiralized
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, separate
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the beet “noodles” and pepper with the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Roast on a lined baking pan for 10-15 minutes til the noodles are al dente. Mix in the last tablespoon of vinegar and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Serve warm or cold.