Pesto is one of my favorite Italian sauces. I love the strong flavors of the basil, garlic and Parmesan cheese together! Had a craving for something healthy last night, so instead of eating my pesto with pasta I made zucchini "noodles". They are a great way to trick your mind, avoid the carbs and sneak in extra veggies!

Lately I've been doing almost all of my food shopping at Trader Joe's. It's close to home (I can walk there), inexpensive and they carry plenty of organic and gourmet items. Everything you see below was purchased at TJ's, minus the pasta noodles (for the boyfriend), Himalayan salts and black pepper.



Organic Basic Pesto & Zucchini Noodles Recipe
Recipe on SparkPeople.com

Ingredients
Pesto Sauce
  • 2.5 oz. Organic Basil (about 2 cups worth)
  • 1 juice of Organic Lemon
  • 1/3 cup Pine Nuts (the above are raw, but you can roast them)
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Olive Oil
  • 3-4 cloves Organic Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Pasta
  • Organic Pasta Noodles (1 serving per person)
  • Organic Zucchini (1 per person)








Directions


You will need a blender or food processor to make this recipe. I use a Magic Bullet Deluxe Blender Mixer, seriously the quickest clean up ever and you can store the remaining pesto in it for 5-7 days.

Pesto Sauce

  1. Tear the basil leaves off of the stems and pack them into the blender.
  2. Squeeze the juice out of one lemon (about 1 ounce) and pour over the leaves in blender.
  3. Peel, chop and add garlic.
  4. Add the pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse and then blend until smooth.
  5. Once blended add the Parmesan cheese to the mix and blend until mixed.

    NOTE: I add this after the other ingredients since it tends to soak up the lemon juice and oil, which makes it so you may need to add more.



Shot of lemon juice, anyone?








My trusty Magic Bullet. LOVE this thing!



Tangy, tasty pesto!

Zucchini "Noodles"

  1. Wash the zucchinis in cold water.
  2. Cut both ends off of a large zucchini. 
  3. Use a mandolin or peeler to "peel" off thin shreds of the zucchini from top to base.
  4. Once you shred down to the seeds, move along to the next side and keep peeling.
  5. You can discard the seeds, or slice them thinly as I've done here.
  6. Boil about 4 cups of water in a saucepan with a little salt.
  7. Add the zucchini "noodles" to the water and blanch for 3 minutes.
  8. Immediately drain by pouring the zucchini and hot water into a strainer. Drain any excess water and server immediately.
Zucchini "Noodles"!

Blanching zucchini!

Organic Basil Pesto & Zucchini Noodles!
The boyfriend's version.
Oh, and we threw some broccoli in there at the last minute too. Super mean, green, almost raw dinner!

These days I crave zucchini noodles over pasta, and shave off about 200 calories per dinner because of this simple switch. Try it and you'll find out that you're just as satisfied, but feel lighter after eating.

Enjoy!

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