To say that Ali Maffucci loves vegetables would be an understatement.
The 27-year-old Jersey City resident and founder of Inspiralized says that at any given time, her fridge is packed with at least 30 different vegetables and fruits, Tupperware filled with vegetable noodles, and packages of greens. (Um, can we move in?)
“There are so many reasons why I love spiralizing veggies,” says Maffucci, about her culinary craft. “I love the way it’s changed my outlook on eating, my body, and most importantly, my life. I never get bored of veggies now, because they’re so versatile.”
Her passion isn’t exactly a surprise. Since quitting her job to blog about making noodles out of vegetables, Maffucci’s written her first (and bestselling) cookbook, and taught tens of thousands of people that spiralizing is an easy (and delish) way to put a fresh spin on veggies.
We got her to open up her fridge—and open up about how she creates the recipes you’re so used to double tapping on Instagram.
How did you decide on the recipes featured in your book? My publisher wanted a variety of recipes and diets represented—Italian, Asian, a certain number of zucchini recipes, Paleo, vegan, etc.
Having all of those guidelines helped me brainstorm and try out recipes as I dreamed them up. Everything is designed for normal people—there are no fancy cooking skills required, because I don’t have them.
You have a ton of veggies in your fridge. How do you use them all up? Yes, my fridge is pretty much just fruits, vegetables, and condiments. I cook every day for my blog!
The bigger drawer on the bottom is what I call my spiralize drawer, and in the summer, it’s even more full.
I love that you have an entire drawer for spiralizing. What are the best vegetables for spiraling? Definitely zucchini; at any given point, I have at least five in my fridge. Turnips are very easy to spiralize, too. I eat very seasonally, but zucchini is an exception to the rule.
How do you eat it? If you want a quick meal, you can take canned tuna, throw it over zucchini noodles with a jar of tomato sauce, and you have dinner in five minutes.
And you end up eating a whole zucchini which is great. How much prep do you do ahead of time? I usually prep by spiralizing four to six veggies on Sundays or Mondays. Sometimes I’ll cook the meat ahead of time, or rinse the beans and put them in Tupperware. I usually try to make my own almond milk, too.
Where do you go food shopping—and do you only buy organic? I definitely always buy the dirty dozen items organic. All of my condiments are always organic, too. I usually get them at Whole Foods or on Fresh Direct.
There’s also a gourmet grocery store in my building where I get my meat and fish, and during the summer, I buy almost all of my produce from the farmers market.
A grocery store in your building—how convenient! You have some wine bottles on that top shelf. Do you indulge in a glass at the end of a long day? Unless I have plans to go out to meet friends, I don’t really drink during the week. I give myself the weekend to fully indulge.
I do make sure to have some sort of indulgent snack once a day, whether it’s popcorn or dark chocolate. But wine and dessert are things that make me so happy. If I didn’t have them I’d be a nasty person. —Molly Gallagher
For more information, visit www.inspiralized.com and check out Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals
(Photos: Ali Maffucci)