Sometimes a girl just wants her pasta! For those days when you crave a big bowl of linguine, but don’t want to carb load, try this delicious and seriously addictive paleo version: Zucchini Noodles (“zoodles”) with Avocado Pesto Sauce. It’s all the taste without the guilt!
Zucchini noodles (or “zoodles” as I like to call them) are a perfect alternative to pasta in terms of mimicking the taste and texture. I’m totally in love with my spiralizer, to begin with and I love finding healthier alternatives for classic comfort foods! Spiralizing vegetables is just plain fun, plus it’s a great way to add a different texture to your salads and other dishes. Carrots, beets, jicama, radishes, zucchini are all perfect for consumption in spiral form! Spiralizers are fairly cheap ($30-40 USD) and can be bought at the local health food or kitchen appliance store. If you don’t want to make that investment, you can easily make “zoodles” with a mandoline as well.
A word about the humble zucchini. zucchini are very low in calories (~17-20 calories per 100 grams) and a great source of Vitamin C and Folate. They also contain two phytonutrients called Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These two fellas promote healthy eyesight and reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. One cup of zucchini gets you 43% of your recommended daily intake of these phytonutrients. Not bad for a garden veggie eh?
Ingredients (4-5 servings)
- 4 medium-sized zucchini
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup of fresh basil
- 1/2 cup of walnuts or pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (optional for topping)
- 8 cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 small yellow onion (sliced)
- Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, fresh coriander or basil and chilli flakes to taste
- Make spiral noodles with the zucchini. If you are going to leave the skin on, make sure they are washed super thoroughly! Set noodles aside in a bowl.
- In a blender, add pitted avocados, lemon juice, basil, walnuts/pine nuts and garlic (4 cloves). Blend for 30-60 seconds until you have a smooth sauce and set aside.
- Add olive oil and garlic in a large wok until garlic starts to turn translucent.
- Toss in the cherry tomatoes and onions. Cook for 2 minutes.
- This dish can be served as cold noodles or warm. If you want them warm, then toss in the noodles and the avocado pesto for a couple of minutes. Alternatively, you can mix the sauce, noodles and tomatoes in a large bowl and serve cold.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with chilli flakes, fresh coriander and hemp seeds (optional).
And there you have it! You can make zoodles with marinara or a cream sauce as well. How do you like your zoodles?