Friday, March 20, 2015

Zucchini Squash "Spaghetti" with nut-free Pesto

raw vegetable "pasta"

I know it seems like I only eat treats, but I do occasionally invent a yummy dish that I just have to share.  Earlier this week my husband and I entertained some friends, and the zucchini dish I invented on the fly was so good, I just had to recreate it for lunch today (ok, and dinner.  And maybe lunch tomorrow, too).  I tweaked the recipe slightly for an even more filling, flavorful version and what I came up with was really quite good and best of all: easy.

By the way, do you love pesto but can't have pine nuts or dairy?  Yeah, me too.  Try this recipe for what is essentially a really good pesto-hummus hybrid chock full of fresh organic basil, and you won't feel so sad.  Plus veggie "pasta" beats regular pasta anytime!  (Don't believe me?  Compare how your body feels after a hearty veggie dish versus a giant plate of pasta.  I dare you.)

Another little side note: everyone knows basil smells amazing, but did you know it is ridiculously good for you?  (Well so is garlic, zucchini, squash, lemon, beans--hey!  This whole dish!)  Anyways, back to basil.  My family is part Italian so naturally I grew up eating vast amounts of basil--we even had a guinea pig named Basil.  But I digress.  Basil contains tons of inflammatory properties and healthy phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. 1  It has been used for its healing properties in many cultures for ages, and can be worked into a variety of dishes in many flavorful ways.  Try this recipe and you'll be hooked on my "pesto"--I promise!

Raw Zucchini Squash with nut-free Pesto
serves 4-6


half spaghetti squash, baked*
1 large zucchini squash, shredded
half to full avocado
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 a lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 cup fresh basil

*cut a spaghetti squash in half, place the squash in a 1/2" of water and bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a fork easily inserts into the skin.


1.  Once the squash has cooled, take a fork and create noodle-like shreds.
2.  Toss the zucchini and squash together and set aside while you puree the "sauce."
3.  In a food processor, puree the avocado, garlic, lemon juice, spices and garbanzo beans.
4.  Toss the "noodles" in the sauce and serve with a garnish of lemon.  Yum!

(1) Nordqvist, Joseph.  Medical News Today,  September 8, 2012.  Available at: Accessed March 20, 2015.

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