Just when you thought zoodles couldn’t get any bigger in the wellness world (seriously, good luck logging into Pinterest without seeing at least a dozen recipes pop up on your feed), the spiralizing queen herself, Ali Maffucci, has figured out a way to take them mainstream: The brains behind Inspiralized.com has just announced a new partnership with—ready for it?—Houlihan’s.
Starting February 2 and running for a limited time, you’ll be able to order one of three spiralized dishes dreamed up by Maffucci at all locations of the national chain. Think a Thai “Noodle” Salad, a Sweet Potato, Corn & Bacon Mexicalo Flatbread, and a Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna, all featuring the beloved veggie noodles in place of their grain counterparts.
So why Houlihan’s? “The vice president of marketing at Houlihan’s reached out to me and told me she had been following my blog, and that she had started spiralizing and loved it,” Maffucci says. “I was able to visit their corporate headquarters and work directly with their chefs to create the menu together.”
Plus, Houlihan’s brings back memories for Maffucci, a Jersey girl. “I hadn’t been there since I was living with my parents, though, and I was shocked when I went to the website. It’s not just a chain anymore. The messaging is all about cooking from scratch and offering trendy food that’s also healthy, all while appealing to the mass consumer. It’s a powerful message, and that’s what convinced me to do the collaboration.”
The move by Houlihan’s falls in line with a larger trend we’ve been seeing with chains (going healthy: so hot right now), but don’t expect to see watered-down versions of your favorite Inspiralized dishes on the menu; Maffucci assures us that the three meals she developed are the real deal. “We stayed completely true to the Inspiralized brand and the foods I actually eat and promote,” Maffucci says.
The three dishes offer “something for every mood,” she says, noting that they’re all packed with veggies and low in carbs and sugar. And, added bonus, “I think they’ll all be really popular on Instagram,” Maffucci says with a laugh. (But seriously, #zoodlemasterpiece.) Consider your Pinterest board warned. —Alison Feller