Walnut Pesto Zucchini Pasta (Oil-Free, Vegan, Paleo)

 

 

The first week of college isn’t always the most exciting. I would have to use the word “stressful” –  the demands of Chemistry, biology, religion are all somewhat overwhelming, but I have come to find joy in learning, discovering and doing hard things. There is such a sweet reward that comes from hardwork. Lately I have also really come to understand the importance of balance. Balance of time with friends, family, school and recreation. Just like any kind of flavors, the balance of sweet, tart, salty and spicy is crucial to stimulate the receptors in our tongue so that we can appreciate the food. Taking out time on a Saturday morning is exactly the kind of balance I’m talking about. I always find the process of cutting, chopping and mixing therapeutic. Since I haven’t been able to really spend time cooking and creating for the past 18 months on my mission, it seemed like a rare opportunity.

This dish is simple. It is light, it is delicious and it is to die for.  The combination of the smoky toasted walnuts, the tart sun-dried tomatoes, crunchy zucchini and the creamy pesto is divine. Yes, divine.

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I love fresh herbs. I love its delicate scent. My sister and I tried to convince our parents to buy several herb plants to decorate our new apartment. It seemed like the genius idea to have access to fresh herbs. And yes, I didn’t ask for paintings, fairy lights, posters, flowers – I asked these for plants – herb plants to be exact. That is my kind of beauty. I get excited over spending time at a grocery store much more than I would over a shopping mall. Sadly, time ran out and we weren’t able to get all we needed to start up our little garden here.

A girl can dream right?

Adapted from Inspiralized

Ingredients: – Serves 2

  • 2 large zucchinis

Pesto:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (or your choice of herbs)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup walnuts + a handful more to mix through
  • 1.5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup leftover zucchini

Optional add-ins:

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful of Sun-dried tomatoes
  • fresh basil, mint

How to Make:

  1. Spiralize your zucchini into long, thin noodles. Place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the pesto into a blender, including a 1/2 cup of leftover zucchini heads. Puree/blend till smooth or to desired texture.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  5. Mix in extra nuts. You can toast them before tossing them through too.

NOTES:

Nuts Substitute: You can use your choice of nuts. We have tried this with pine nuts too. Use about 5 tbsp of pine nuts for the this portion of pesto and a handful more to mix through for extra crunch.

Love,

Zoe  &  Mia

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