green with envy zucchini noodles with basil pesto
Summer has just begun and the sun is shining outside… who wants to be inside slaving over a hot stove? Time to shut up shop. Time to let the oven go into hibernation. Time to let the baking grind to a halt and go for a more fresh approach to meal time ….more fresh as in more raw vegetables and loads more salads to cleanse away the Winter buildup of way too many coffees, and chocolate, and all the other yummies that we needed so badly to comfort and console us through all the bleakness of Winter. And yes we did have a bleak Winter this year in Melbourne!
Costata Romanesco zucchinis and basil have already begun infiltrating the farmers markets…..how exciting! And how convenient! These two are perfect for upping your dose of salads and raw food. It’s time to get out the spiralizer * and switch into zoodle mode. Zoodles(zucchini noodles) have taken the world by storm. They are all the rage. These noodles contain no flour – they are 100% raw zucchini. How did this humble little guy reach stardom overnight? All credit must go to the spiraliser without which Mr. Zucchini would struggle for sure. These days more and more people are switching to grain-free and raw food options to lighten the load on their liver and digestion and this is where zoodles come into their own. With a twist of a wrist or the crank of a handle (depending on which kind of spiraliser is used), freshly made grain-free, raw zoodle goodness can be ready in minutes!! Minute zoodles anybody? Coming right up…..
What I love about Green With Envy Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto is that it makes for a good transitional meal. With Winter and Spring behind but barely into Summer – we are pretty much done with the heavy roasts but might not be quite ready to plunge into too much raw and crunchy. This is where the rawness of the zoodles, tempered with a dairy-free pesto based on lightly toasted pinenuts wins hands down. This is gently cleansing, nourishing, in-between-season food at its best! You can be “greening” your insides while enjoying every mouthful along the way.
At home we eat our zoodles and pesto with a good sprinkling of home-made parmesan cheese – a dairy-free version. Vegan Parmesan Cheese is simple to make and quite addictive. There is a satisfying “aged” cheesiness about Vegan Parmesan Cheese and that’s entirely due to the helpful input of nutritional yeast flakes. Nutritional yeast flakes are a deactivated yeast made from molasses and contain high amounts of the B vitamins – they should not be confused with brewer’s yeast or Torula yeast.
If you are watching your FODMAPs then this meal combo is a good choice …..but do go easy on the Vegan Parmesan Cheese as it does contain almond meal. According to the Monash University low FODMAP diet App 24 g (that’s about ¼ of a cup) of almond meal is about the limit that can be tolerated by most individuals with IBS. The pesto is FODMAPs friendly…..sorry….no garlic allowed….dear dear…I think I will have lost my Italian friends with my take on their famous pasta and pesto!
* The spiralizer is an inexpensive kitchen hand tool that transforms raw crunchy vegetables and fruit into thin pasta-like curling strands – it is simple to use and will make any meal look as pretty as a picture and more nutritious than ever.
GREEN WITH ENVY ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH BASIL PESTO
4 – 6 small black jack zucchinis, spiralized
100g pine nuts, lightly toasted
20g chives, roughly chopped
80ml unrefined cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch basil leaves
2 pinches of pink himalayan crystal salt
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
60g pine nuts, lightly toasted
60g almond meal
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
¼ tsp pink himalayan crystal salt
unrefined cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
To make the parmesan cheese place all ingredients in a small food processor and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
To make the pesto place the pine nuts and chives in a food processor and process until the nuts become small pieces not completely smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until just combined. Set aside.
Combine zoodles and pesto in a large serving bowl. Divide amongst four plates and serve with tomatoes, olives, parmesan, lemon, cracked black pepper and unrefined cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.