If you don’t own a spiralizer, you need to do yourself and favor and add it to your kitchen tools. With this magical creation, you can conjure up wonderful gluten-free pasta recipes such as this one, add some twist to your salads, it could help to get your kids to eat more veggies, and generally gives you an opportunity to eat vegetables in ways that you maybe haven’t tried before.
Zucchini is one of the most popular vegetables to spiralize and turn into what’s being called zoodles (zucchini noodles), and when you try this recipe, you’ll understand exactly why. But it doesn’t stop there! Bell peppers, apples, potatoes and sweet potatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, onions, squash, and carrots all come out beautifully when spiralized. If you enjoy trying out new things in the kitchen, I’m willing to bet that this will be a hit!
A lot of spiralized veg can be eaten raw, as the base or topping to a raw meal or in salads, and then things like potatoes would need to be cooked (deep fried spiralized potatoes for example are great, because they fry in a flash so they aren’t wallowing in all that oil for the longest time). Zoodles can also be eaten raw, but this warm recipe is delicious, and it’s really quick to cook, so you’re preserving most of nutrients in the vegetable.
Apart from the zoodles, my other favorite part of this recipe is the delicious, creamy pesto that you top it off with, and you should keep this particular pesto recipe in mind for using it in many other ways – you can mix it into dips, drizzle it over your savory breakfast, bake it into bread (or just spread it onto a warm piece of crusty bread or bruschetta or crackers), mix it into a salad dressing, toss other cooked veggies with it (especially for vegans, this is a tasty alternative to butter), and (my favorite) garnish a soup.
To make it more fluffy and creamier, you can a dollop Greek yogurt, I love the sour taste is gives.
If you’re having friends or family around for a day of relaxing and catching up, give them all a taste-bud treat with your zoodle creation. Everything can be prepared in advance, and when you’re ready to serve your guests it will only take a few minutes to saute the greens, warm up the zoodles, top it with the pesto, give it a stir and present it with a flourish.
If someone’s never tried zoodles before, this meal even becomes an interesting topic of conversation! And if green is one of your favorite colors, you will love this meal – it just looks so pretty when you serve it!
Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado Pesto
- 3 medium zucchini spiralized
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves or any other fresh greens available beet greens or chard will do just fine
- 1 ripe avocado peeled and pitted
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts toasted and crushed in a pestle
- 1/2 small bunch dill
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Crushed mixed nuts to garnish (I used almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts)
- Heat the olive oil into a cast-iron skillet and the onions.
- Sautee until translucent, then add the spinach.
- Saute over low heat until all the liquid evaporates.
- Add the zucchini noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn of the heat and set aside.
- Add the avocado, crushed nuts, basil, garlic, lemon juice and salt into the food processor and pulse to obtain a creamy pesto.
- Transfer the pesto into the zucchini skillet, season with freshly ground black pepper and mix to combine.
- Serve warm, garnished with crushed toasted nuts.