Zucchini Pasta with Walnut Pesto

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This recipe was actually created based on default. With a lot of my recipes and initially when I first started cooking I would substitute items in the ingredient list if I had forgotten to pick them up at the supermarket. In the beginning this worked against me, having no knowledge of food and cooking I had the tendency to substitute or choose to ignore essential ingredient items – almond meal for baking powder anyone?? I would then spend quite some time staring at the picture in the magazine and then my own creation bamboozled to why it looked so different.

Now I find substitution a great technique for coming up with new recipes when you get tired of the same old versions. This recipe is extremely easy to make and is great for a weekly dinner as it only takes about 10 minutes (tops) to make. It is also a great gluten free option or when the body is feeling a bit sluggish or needing a break from heavy carbohydrates. Super star ingredients include:

Coriander (Cilantro) is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C. Some of the health benefits include its anti-inflammatory capabilities and the reduction of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). It is also a great relief from stomach indigestion problems and helps reduce nausea. It has quite a strong flavor (so if it is not for you replace with basil leaves or parsley).

Zucchini is a great source of vitamins C and A, potassium, fibre and folate. It is also low in kilojoules so feel to fill your bowl to the top.

Garlic is one of the most powerful immune system enhancers out there and has been used for years for its natural antibiotic, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. This gem is enriched with antioxidants and has been shown to promote the well-being of the heart and immune systems and helps maintain healthy blood circulation. The smell “breath” we most often associate garlic with is due to the sulphur compound of allicin which is produced when garlic is chopped, chewed or bruised and has been shown to assist the body to inhibit germs to grow and reproduce making it a fantastic ingredient to add to dishes when the body is feeling less than perfect.

Ingredients:

Serves 4 – 6

  • 2 zucchinis

Walnut Pesto

  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 3 medijool dates

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients listed in the pesto into a food processor and pulse to combine. The consistency should be quite thick, however not thick enough to use as a spread. If too thick add more almond milk or if too thin add more walnuts.
  • Using your mandolin slice zucchini into pasta pieces.  If using a knife slice zucchini vertically in half then slice thinly. Once completed stack zucchini slices on top of each and slice once more vertically.
  • Steam zucchini or serve raw (I don’t mind either way however some people may prefer to have the zucchini slightly cooked). Tip –  Zucchini has quite a large water content so if cooking make sure your pesto is slightly thicker.
  • Combine and serve with a handful of chopped walnuts and salt and pepper.
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