Published 11:29 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fancy a zoodle pizza? A zucchini noodle topping is the gateway ribbon to ginger coconut soup, Japanese sweet potato noodles with two sauces, polenta and garlic hemp sauce and carmelized noodles. Chris Anca, creator of “Tales of a Kitchen,” leads the way with “Nourishing Noodles: Spiralize Nearly 100 Plant-based Recipes for Zoodles, Ribbons and Vegetable Spirals.”

It’s easy, colorful, adventurous and most importantly, delicious and healthy to create dishes that look so amazing and have so much texture. I don’t have a spiralizer, but I’m starting with my knife skills and mandolin and getting carrots and cucumbers into quick and flavorful dishes that go Asian, Italian and to all parts of the globe.

Of course you think of salads for this technique, but Anca has drawn my attention to smoothie bowls, which have vegetable and fruit liquids topped with bits of granola, oats, blood orange, berries, nuts, etc. It’s breakfast art. Once you see the recipes and photos, you may be inspired to improvise with what you have in your kitchen (or garden). I love this book and could eat from one page each day. Just think how healthy I’d be at the end, even though that’s where desserts are, like sweet potato brownies.

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One tip I got was for coconut bacon, shavings that are crispy and sweet that vegetarians go for. Here’s another:

Dressing for Cucumber and Sprouts Thai Noodle Salad

1 tablespoon tamari

Juice and pulp of one half lime

1 tablespoon coconut nectar

one half teaspoon grated ginger

one fourth tablespoon cold-pressed sesame oil

one half teaspoon chia seeds

1 pinch chili flakes

Great tamales; customer service

Texas Tamale Co. is billed as The Mexican Deli with Texas sampler mail orders that bring the flavor to your door. I received a gift card a couple of years ago that I carried with me every time I hit Houston, which was typically for a big holiday meal. But I kept track of that card.

When I arrived at the little restaurant on Fountainview, I scanned the menu imagining all the barbacoa/taco combos I could get. Then, the card would not scan. I scaled back my luncheon order and workers, who even tried wrapping the card in a plastic grocery card for a better scan, asked me to call the company.

I’m not a mail-order kind of woman, but I am a tamale woman. Diana in customer service has my thanks for friendly, efficient service in getting tamales to my door. They came in little cloth bags that I’m sure Pinterest fans could turn into amazing things. And, those tamales were worth the wait.