Shred It

  • Spaghetti Squash Marinara

  • Carrot Apple Muffins

  • Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Okay, confession time.  I do not own a big food processor that shreds, slices, dices, and doubles as a hair dryer.  It’s not a storage issue; it’s more of an energy thing.  If I am chopping, slicing, dicing, and shredding by hand I am using more of my body’s energy and less of the Earth’s. When it comes to shredding things I use simple tools like my hands, my chef’s knife, and a box grater.

They say a cook’s best tools are her hands and many whole, cooked foods can easily be shredded with the fingers. It’s really the easiest way to shred meats, i.e. pulled pork, chicken breast, etc. Here’s how they did it at the barbecue cooking school that my husband and I attended a couple of years ago.

pullingpork

Spaghetti Squash Marinara

A simple kitchen fork in the hand also works well for shredding some things like the spaghetti squash for this Spaghetti Squash Marinara dish from one of our CGH employees:

CareyB

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large spaghetti squash
  •  5 fresh tomatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
  • ¾ cup onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon basil, oregano, black pepper and garlic powder

Squash:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Cut squash in half; drizzle with some olive oil and place face down on foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes 350F oven. Let cool and then shred the squash pulp out of the shell with a fork. (Did you know that you can also cook a whole spaghetti squash in your slow cooker?  Click here for directions.)

Marinara:

While squash is cooking sauté onion and garlic in large pan until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 60 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Pour desired amount of sauce over squash to serve.  The employee who submitted this recipe sometime adds beans (as she did in this picture) or chicken for protein to make this a complete meal.

This recipe makes extra marinara sauce. Freeze or refrigerate for another time.

Quick Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

A chef’s knife is one tool you should not be afraid to spend a little extra money on. A good one will last you forever. When you shop for a knife go to a kitchen store that sells several brands.  Pick up each knife and pay attention to how it feels in your hand. Make sure the grip and weight feel comfortable. This is my favorite chef’s knife (J. A. Henckels brand) which I have owned for many years.  I wash it by hand and sharpen it each time I use it.

knife

I really prefer a knife for shredding things like cabbage and I also use it to shred Brussels sprouts.  Slice the sprout in half so you have a nice flat surface on the bottom and you can work your knife down the length of the sprout.

slicedsprout shreddedbrussels

The shredded sprouts were used for this quick Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Scallions recipe from Epicurious.com. (Hint: I’m watching my saturated fat so I chose to saute in a few tablespoons of vegetable broth instead of the butter.)

Carrot Apple Muffins

Another kitchen tool powered entirely by elbow grease is the classic box grater.  Most have 4 different sides that can be used for grating, shredding, and slicing.  I have to confess that I rarely use the grating or slicing sides of the box.  Most of the time I am just using the shredding blade but I like this tool because the shape of the grater makes it stable on a flat surface and the shredded ingredients stay contained inside (mostly!)  I always rest it on a paper towel or flexible cutting board so that I can easily transfer the shredded ingredients to my bowl or pan.  Here I’m using it to shred carrots for these one bowl Carrot Apple Muffins from The Minimalist Baker.

boxgrater

That’s enough of this shred thread.  Next week it’s on to “Stuff It”!

Thanks for reading.  I’d love to answer your questions.

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