Sometimes it can be a real trick to get your kids to eat their vegetables. There are a lot of ways to hide veggies in “normal” food (“normal” = not made of vegetables, at least according to my husband and 13-year-old son). Usually those sneaky tactics involve shredding up veggies so they’re so small as to be undetectable to all but the most highly trained eyes (like my husband’s). I’ve known the trick of hiding shredded zucchini and carrots in things like breads and muffins since I was a kid myself. My mom was honest about the zucchini lurking inside the muffin she gave me, and I bravely gave it a try. And I figured out that it actually tasted really good! I’ve been a fan of adding bonus vegetables to food ever since.
My husband and 13-year-old son, however, are flat-out convinced that vegetables are pure poison and they’ll drop dead of nutrition overload if they accidentally eat one.
Zoodles are big right now as a way for parents to get their kids to eat more vegetables, or even for people who are trying to cut down on carbs. (Zoodles are noodles made out of zucchini and/or other squash instead of pasta, for the as-yet uninitiated). And from what I hear, many kids love this spaghetti replacement and will happily eat zucchini noodles in lieu of spaghetti. But I have to confess that I’ve not yet tried replacing pasta noodles with zucchini noodles. I keep meaning to, I really do. But it seems like such a hassle to julienne that much zucchini for my family of six!
So when the opportunity came up for me to try out the Priority Chef Dual Vegetable and Julienne Peeler, it seemed like a great way to finally try out Zoodles for dinner (although as it turns out I still haven’t made Zoodles). Also, this peeler is only $7.95 on Amazon (at the time of this posting), which is quite a deal for a product that does as much as this one says it does, so I was really curious to test it out and see how it performed.
This product is called The Priority Chef Dual Vegetable and Julienne Peeler (note the emphasis on “dual” there), but it’s actually a lot more than a two-trick tool. Yes, it’s a regular vegetable peeler (albeit a very sharp one that peels going both directions). And, as mentioned in its name, it’s also a julienne slicer. And those were the two functions I thought I was getting. But as it turns out, this handy little tool does it all – peeling, slicing, cutting juliennes, grating, shredding, shaving… vegetables, fruits, cheeses, even chocolate and fancy garnishes. (It should be noted that I haven’t tried using it for all of these various things – I couldn’t make a fancy garnish to save my life – but it’s worked great on everything I’ve tried it on so far).
This is also a very pretty kitchen tool – it’s not plain and utilitarian like other products in the same price range. It has a brushed metal finish, which I prefer over the stainless steel style that gets scratched and smudged and dull pretty quickly. The blades on this peeler are super sharp – probably sharper than I should be allowed to play with, given my natural clumsiness and inherent ability to injure myself on things like paper. And my own fingernails. And air. (You get the idea). The good news is that no bloggers were injured in the creation of this review. Yet. (I’m still writing, so there’s still that possibility… and now I feel like I’ve jinxed myself).
The vegetable peeler, as mentioned, works going both directions. You want to be careful doing that, though, given how sharp the blades are. I did test out the up-and-down peeling function – very carefully – for review purposes, but discovered I prefer to peel my veggies going away from my fingers only. It’s probably not a problem for most people, but I feel like I’m going to lose a fingertip if I peel a vegetable going up toward that hand that’s holding it. The julienne part is also very sharp, as evidenced by the fact that I had no trouble at all dragging this tool across the vegetable to create the julienned strips. However, I did not try this on carrots, the hardest vegetable to julienne in my opinion, as my 9-year-old son decided (the day of this review) that carrots are toys. (He used a glue stick to glue eyes, mouths, and clothes on all of our carrots. I don’t know why. Autism is like that sometimes.)
So I went with a backup plan to try out the Chef Dual Vegetable and Julienne Peeler – a quick and easy Sautéed Julienned Veggies blend.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 6 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 2 medium zucchini (julienned)
- 1 medium yellow squash (julienned)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add garlic, onions, and red bell pepper and heat for about five minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add zucchini and squash (and salt and pepper if desired) and cook 5-10 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender (to your preference).
I actually prefer my veggies sautéed down to almost mush, due to a broken tooth that makes it painful to eat more al dente style vegetables, so I put a lid on the skillet after adding the zucchini and squash and let them cook for about 20 minutes, with frequent stirring. If you too prefer to overcook your vegetables, be aware that you’ll end up with something resembling sautéed julienned vegetable soup if you don’t drain off the excess liquid when you’re done cooking. But for what it’s worth, I’ve been sitting here munching on my delicious sautéed julienned veggie mush the entire time I’ve been typing up this review.
The peeler worked beautifully cutting the zucchini and squash into julienned strips – it was by far the fastest I’ve ever sliced up veggies, either julienned or just regular slices. I also did test the Priority Chef peeler as both a julienne slicer and a regular slicer in my recipe (I julienned one zucchini and sliced the other one; normally you’d use julienned strips only).
The ebook that comes with the Dual Julienne & Vegetable Peeler is a great bonus. This isn’t just an instruction guide with helpful hints on how to use this peeler to its best advantage (although it’s those things too), but also a full-fledged recipe book. Usually when a kitchen implement comes with a recipe book, that means five recipes, maybe ten if you’re lucky. This ebook comes with over fifty recipes! 10 Less Than 30 Minute Meals; 10 Recipes For Kids; 31 Main Dish Recipes; and 4 Dessert recipes. Do note, however, that the recipes aren’t just vegetarian/low-carb/healthy recipes, since this peeler can be used for multiple types of food and not just veggies. I’m especially looking forward to trying out the Potato-Stuffed Peppers and the Vegetable Lasagna recipes.
That being said, there are several “hidden veggie” style recipes (including one for Hidden Zucchini Choco Chip Cookies), and I can’t tell you how tempted I am to cook up some of these recipes and just “forget” to mention that there are veggies in them. Okay, I’m not just tempted; I fully intend to do it. The “Meatless Meatloaf Muffin” recipe sound both intriguing and delicious for a sneaky-veggie dinner. And it will *probably* work on my 13-year-old veggie hater… my 38-year-old veggie hater is much more suspicious when it comes to his food, though. And he also has decades more practice at locating and disposing of anything in his meal that even faintly resembles a vegetable.
The Priority Chef Dual Vegetable and Julienne Peeler is available on Amazon for $7.95 at time of posting (Prime eligible). It also comes with a 100% money back guarantee.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.