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Cooking with Love

Food Gadgets

Brooke Hagerty

(2/2015) Kitchen gadgets! There are a million of them out there and I am sure that you, like me, have tried more than your fair share of them. Personally, I love kitchen gadgets and rarely can I resist picking up the latest one in the "As Seen on TV" section at the local dollar store. They come in all shapes and sizes, all price ranges, from the sublime to the ridiculous to the "WOW, why didn't I think of that?". Kitchen gadgets have been around for centuries and some of those oldies but goodies are still around today. The hand held egg beater was first invented in 1873 and remained the same until about 40 years later when the electric egg beater was invented. The egg beater is one gadget I don't have but I think I might like the original non-electric version prior to the newest model.

The oddest piece of history of kitchen gadgets is the story of the can opener. Louis Appert’s invention of vacuum-sealed glass bottles won the prize of 12,000 francs offered by Napoleon to the man who could devise a way of provisioning his armies. That was in 1795. In 1812, the year of Napoleon’s retreat with remains of his butchered, frostbitten army from Moscow, an English patent was taken out for Appert’s process. Tinplate was substituted for glass bottles, and the first cannery was established in England. Soon the canning process reached America. It was 50 years before anyone invented a satisfactory gadget to open these cans. Even then, when the first came on the market in 1860, they were dangerous weapons, with a spike and a heavy handle. Until that time, the only instructions for opening these cans was "cut around the top near the outer edge with a chisel and hammer." Even with the new can openers, brute force — and a thick cloth to cover the hand holding the can in case the wicked implement slipped — were required. (from Hilde G. Lee of Daily Progress)

Today's inventions continue to entice and enthrall many consumers. In my personal arsenal, my two favorites are the Veggetti and the Nutri- Bullet. I use both about two or three times a week.

First my newest gadget, the Veggetti. Obviously this is not the best name but I does give you an idea of what it does, it turns vegetables into "spaghetti like" noodles. The Whole idea is to lighten your carbohydrate and gluten intake and of course to reduce calories. According to the packaging it can reduce your calorie intake of pasta from 800 to 60 and your carbohydrate intake from 160 grams to 8 grams. Eight ounces of plain noodles versus 8 ounces of zucchini is 433 to 41 so factoring in the average store bought spaghetti sauce this seems about right. As far as carbohydrates, according to my IPAD and Google eight ounces of spaghetti noodles have 66 grams of carbs versus the eight of zucchini. So, a little difference there but I think we can all agree that zucchini is better for you than traditional pasta. I'm not saying pasta is bad but vegetables are definitely a better call on a daily basis.

Recently I used my Veggetti to make "Pasta Puttanesca". This super easy recipe took about 30 minutes to complete from start to finish. I used squash and zucchini to get some color variation and then added broccoli and shrimp for extra iron and protein.



  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons capers (do not rinse)
  • 1 small can anchovies in oil (preserve oil) - small diced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • EVOO

Ingredients - SHRIMP & BROCCOLI

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 pound but fresh broccoli
  • EVOO - to coat bottom of pan
  • White wine
  • Ingredients - "PASTA"
  • 2 each medium size squash and zucchini


In large sauté pan heat EVOO and add onions and garlic for three minutes. Add anchovies until well incorporated, approximately five minutes. Add tomato paste and stir in for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, bring to boil and set to medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes.


In a medium sauté pan heat EVOO, toss in broccoli and stir to coat for five minutes. Add moisture with white wine, just enough to cover bottom of pan. Add shrimp and toss until shrimp is bright pink about 5 minutes. (be sure no to overcook shrimp as it will tighten up)


Follow package directions on Veggetti. Be sure to first cut off the ends of squash and zucchini

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER - toss "pasta" with sauce and top with shrimp and broccoli. If you like you can top with fresh Parmesan cheese.

My Nutri-Bullet has quickly become my breakfast go to, providing a quick breakfast with easy clean up! When you purchase this item it comes with great recipes filled with calorie counts and nutritional values. When I purchased mine on line it was also a BOGO (buy one get one) so I had an instant birthday gift for my bestie! The new NutriBullet RX also has a hot option. I do not have this but a friend does and really enjoys it. I digress, back to breakfast! My favorite breakfast drink contains the following; cantaloupe, banana, spinach, blueberries, unsweetened almond milk and either chia meal or hemp meal (sometimes both). Usually about a handful of each of the fruits and veggies, a tablespoon of the meals and the almond milk just to the line indicator on the container. IMPORTANT - do not add liquid over the line as it will overflow and burn out your motor.

The great thing about the "Bullet" is that you can mix and match with so many combinations. The sky is the limit with only your imagination to stop your creativity!

Kitchen Gadgets will continue to amaze me for a long time to come I am sure. The key with the "As Seen on TV" items is not too take them to seriously as they are not high dollar investments. Some of my other favorites are the Bacon Bowl, the Tortilla Bowl and the Finger Slicer! Pick your favorites and have a great time!!!

As always, should you have a question, an idea for an article or are in need of my personal chef/catering services please contact me at Be sure to check out my website,

Until next month, Happy Eating!

Read other articles by Brooke Hagerty