Recipe: Basil and Spinach Pesto over Zucchini “Noodles”

I made a refreshing and light salad for lunch today that I call basil and spinach pesto over zucchini. It’s low carb because you use zucchini instead of pasta. It can also be raw and vegan. It’s a great way to use up garden produce which tends to be prolific about now: tomatoes and zucchini.

I bought a basil plant at Trader Joe’s for about $4 and repotted it to a larger pot. It has been the best basil plant ever. Despite my efforts to kill it by neglect and through our move and travels, it has survived. Just when I think it’s finally dead, I water it and it continues to bounce back. I looked for a way to use it and found this amazing recipe.

Even if you don’t love spinach I think you’ll like this. Of course you can substitute just about anything and use all basil and no spinach. I’ve even thought of blending the tomatoes right into the sauce but I like the color and taste of leaving them in chunks.

My recipe below is adapted from the recipe found here: http://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/main-dishes/basil-and-kale-pesto-salad/.

basil-salad

Pesto

  • 4-5 cups spinach
  • 1 cup packed, chopped, fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (Braggs)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (I used walnuts)

Blend in a blender or food processor.

Make the base and if you’d rather you can just use any type of pasta you like (spaghetti, fettuccine, bow tie, etc).

  • 4 zucchini, skin on, sliced thin. I used the food processor – you can read the original recipe if you want to make noodles. You could cook the zucchini or not (I didn’t.). Yellow or green, but I like the look of yellow.
  • chopped tomatoes
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese

Stir the pesto over the zucchini, add the tomatoes and top with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.

 

One thing about eating more vegetables, grains and fruits that I’ve noticed, you don’t really feel full in the same way you do when you eat meat or processed foods. Instead it’s a lighter, satisfied feeling. I’ve decided to eat more like food like this to both lose weight and to eat healthier. However, I can’t stand boring and so I always look for more flavorful dishes and this one fits.

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