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The New Noodle [Infographic]

Healthier Alternatives

If you have gluten intolerance or other special dietary restrictions, certain comfort foods might be out of the question. Fortunately, substitutions are aplenty. Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Dietitian Mary Zupke shares healthier substitutions whether you’re looking to cut back on carbs or indulge on a restricted diet.


Sweet Potato and Spinach Noodles

Recipes by Nancy Zawicki, MS, RD, LDN

Cooking Equipment

Vegetable spiralizer

Blender or food processor

Mixing bowl

Medium skillet

Measuring cups and spoons


2 Tbsp. olive oil

5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 cup cashews, roasted

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of nutmeg

2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup white onion, chopped

6 cups baby spinach

2 pounds sweet potato (peeled and spiralized)

Red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove garlic from heat with slotted spoon.

  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the cashews and garlic. Add 1/2 cup water, almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg; blend until smooth. Set aside.

  3. Add the cherry tomatoes to the same pan used for garlic on medium heat.

  4. Cook, without stirring, until the heat begins to blister the tomato skin, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes. Add spinach and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  5. In a large bowl, toss the spiralized sweet potato noodles with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  6. In a large skillet, cook the sweet potato noodles, stirring frequently, until tender. Add the spinach mixture and cashew cream; stir to coat and heat through, roughly 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately.

Vegetable and Barley Bowl

Cooking Equipment

Vegetable spiralizer

2 large sheet pans

Mixing bowl

Measuring spoons and cups

Measure mix and pour


3 large beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

5 large carrots, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces

1 pound of green beans, stems trimmed

3 Tbsp. olive oil

5 garlic cloves

3 rosemary sprigs

2 tsp. dried oregano

Kosher salt and pepper

1 English cucumber, spiralized

5 ounces tender lettuce (butter lettuce, Bibb or red leaf)

3 cups cooked pearl barley

4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup vinaigrette (1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the beets, carrots and beans with the oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Divide into two large sheet pans lined with parchment paper, and cook until easily pierced with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes.

  2. Spiralize cucumber and leave in long strand to top the salad.

  3. To serve: Layer the lettuce, barley, vegetables and cheese in large shallow bowls, dividing them equally. Top with spiralized cucumber.

  4. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Fresh “Pasta” Salad

Cooking Equipment

Vegetable spiralizer

Measure mix and pour


Garlic press

Kitchen shears

Cheese grater

Measuring spoons

2 qt. mixing bowl

Citrus press


3 zucchinis

1 tsp. kosher salt

Minced zest of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp. honey

Pepper to taste

1 cup fresh basil

1/3 cup grated Pecorino cheese

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 pine nuts or slivered almonds

1/3 cup vinaigrette (1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste)


  1. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles (zoodles), toss in a bowl with salt, and drain in a colander.

  2. Whisk together minced lemon zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic and 1 teaspoon honey. Add black pepper to taste.

  3. Rinse zoodles and dry by blotting with paper towels.

  4. In a bowl, toss together the zoodles, 1 cup torn fresh basil, 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese and 1/4 cup pine nuts with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

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Abdul Aziz Aadam, MD
Abdul Aziz Aadam, MD
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