Ali Maffucci, founder of Inspiralized.com—a website chock-full of spiralizer recipes—and the Inspiralizer, can credit her career to one very influential person: her mom. “My mother is a type 1 diabetic, and four years ago she was trying out veganism to help with her diet,” Ali says. “She had me over for dinner one night and made me this raw vegan noodle dish with an Asian sesame salad dressing and I was blown away by the consistency of the noodles. When I found out they were zucchini, I asked to borrow her spiralizer that night.”
The next evening, Ali put the culinary tool to work: making dinner—a tomato basil shrimp dish—for her husband. When he agreed that it tasted exactly like spaghetti, she knew she was onto something. “I’m Italian American and love pasta, but my mind started spinning with healthy recipe ideas.”
For the next two months, Ali combed the web to see what else was out there using this genius device. When she found only about 200 posts with the hashtag #spiralizer, she quit her job in corporate America and snapped up the URL Inspiralized.com. She wrote her first blog post that night.
Fast-forward to today and the spiralizer—in Ali’s case, the Inspiralizer, her own rendition of the culinary tool—is a household term. (In fact, there are now close to 100,000 posts using the #spiralizer hashtag.)
Up next, Ali’s expanding her online presence with the launch of a secondary site called Alissandra B, which offers a peek into her life and interests beyond Inspiralized.com. “I’ve found that part of the reason people connect with a brand is because of the person behind it,” she says. “I want Alissandra B. to be a place where people can come to be inspired by more than just recipes, but my business and entrepreneurial side.” And Ali has a lot to share, including the pending arrival of a baby boy. “The site has gotten a great response so far. I’m excited to see where it goes.”
On the foods that she loves to spiralize. “I have a drawer in my fridge that I call the ‘spiralize drawer,’ and it has all the veggies I work with the most. In the summer, that’s zucchini—the really big ones you can get at the farmers' market—and bell peppers. In the winter, I love working with celery root, turnips and sweet potatoes.”
On her most crowd-pleasing recipe. “My Turkey Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles is a long-time favorite and a recipe I included in my first cookbook, Inspiralized. It’s just a classic Italian dish—a meaty ragù over pasta—but I made it healthier by putting chopped veggies into the sauce and using ground turkey instead of ground beef.”
On the hardest part of being her own boss. “Prioritizing. Between Alissandra B and Inspiralized, I have so much I want to do that it can be hard to decide what’s most important. But I love this advice from entrepreneur Marie Forleo: ‘Don’t prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities.’”
On what she does to decompress. “Exercise is my lifeline. I recently lost 30 pounds, and to motivate myself, I started a secondary Instagram account called @getinspiralized for the sole purpose of tracking my workouts. I took a picture of myself every day because I wanted to see the progress that my body was making, and it really helped me lose that initial weight. Spinning is my favorite workout, but my 2017 resolution was to do yoga once a week. Every Saturday, I go with my husband and sister. It’s become a peaceful thing I do for myself to start the weekend and end the week.”
On how to dress a (growing) baby bump. “Being pregnant definitely gives you a lot more body confidence because you’re so proud of what your body is doing and can forgive yourself for things more. Still, I really resisted buying maternity clothes when I was at 13 or 14 weeks and barely bumping because I wanted to hold out. The truth is, if you feel uncomfortable in what you’re wearing—even if it’s just from bloating—let yourself splurge. A few essentials, like a pair of maternity jeans or a nice long shirt, will instantly help you feel better in your own skin.”
Check out some of Ali's hand-picked favorites on Pinterest.
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