Every time I pull it out I feel like I’ve fallen victim to an infomercial. From the design right down to the packaging, a spiralizer screams cheesy infomercial to me.
Aesthetics aside, it’s a tool I use often in the kitchen, especially during summer when it’s much to hot to be using a stove. From beets to sweet potatoes to zucchini, the spiralizer comes in handy, and the best part? It saves me time. A lot of time.
Zucchini makes an excellent pasta-like alternative. The flavour is mild and complements pretty much any topping or sauce you put with it. Whether it’s creamy or zesty, I’ve yet to find a topping that hasn’t worked for me.
What I like about this recipe is how quickly and easily it is to put together. And it’s so good for you, yet you don’t feel like it’s something you’re eating because it’s ‘healthy’. With that said, here’s the healthful reasons why you want to make this dish a staple in your diet.
I love zucchini because it’s rich in antioxidants. Most of which are in the skin, so if your using organic, leave the skin on. The skin has a high amount of carotenoids (a form of antioxidants) which we need for great eye health.
Walnuts are like brain food. They’re one of the best sources (next to flaxseeds) of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are essential, meaning it’s something our bodies can’t make so it must come from our food choices. Omega-3 is necessary for good brain health and mental function. It's also key in reducing inflammation in the body. Walnuts are really helpful for skin health and keeping our moods happy and stable due to their concentration of biotin, vitamin B6 and folic acid.
This recipe is also a great way to sneak some raw veggies into your day. It’s super easy to get cooked food into your day. Raw food goodness can be more of a challenge. This recipe takes care of that. The health-promoting enzymes in raw food are needed for good digestion along with the many chemical reactions that go on in the body.
Reactions that happen not just in our digestive system but in all our systems - circulatory, nervous, lymphatic, etc. Many enzymes are heat sensitive and can get destroyed by high temperatures of roasting, baking, etc. Adding raw foods to balance out your meal is always gonna be beneficial.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and I hope it inspires you to create many pasta-like dishes. I’d love to hear how this turned out for you in the comments below.
Zucchini Noodles + Sundried Tomato Pesto
2 medium sized zucchinis, spiralized* and set aside
1/3 cup walnuts, soaked overnight (or for a few hours minimum), rinsed and drained
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes**
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp. ground Himalayan rock salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
fresh tomato, sliced
fresh herbs (parsley and basil are really good with this dish)
- Using a food processor, pulse walnuts, sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until all ingredients have broken down nicely.
- With the processor on low speed, add olive oil in a steady stream. Place speed on high and continue to process for about 1 minute, until well blended.
- Add pesto to zucchini and toss. Stir in chickpeas if desired.
- Top with fresh tomatoes, avocado or fresh herbs and serve.
* If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a julienne peeler. Some brands are better than others. The brand I have I do not recommend. I’ve heard the Zyliss julienne peeler works as it should. :)
** If you’re using oil packed sundried tomatoes, drain out the oil before using in the recipe.
*** I prefer freshly dressed zucchini, so if using this recipe as lunches to take to work, I’d store the pesto and zucchini separately and then toss together as needed.