Pesto Zoodles

Pesto Zoodles

The smell of fresh basil wafting past is too much to resist in this very hot weather we’ve been having. The smell to me is just intoxicating and although it’s not my own I am eating it’s still so delicious! πŸ™‚ For some reason, basil is one thing which I cannot appear to keep alive – whether on the windowsill, at the allotment, or on the herb table at home. Seriously! Any basil growing tips would be very welcome! That’s not to say I can’t get it from the market – bundles of bright green leaves all wrapped up just waiting to be devoured. I can never resist just pulling a leaf off and munching on it straightaway – it’s one of those things which calls out to be eaten! Like mint – now mint I can grow! Mint is everywhere and I’m having fun steaming vegetables and potatoes with fresh mint as well as putting it in salads – it just gives a lovely summery vibe! Oh, and I drink it of course – fresh mint leaves, rinsed then made into a refreshing tea – pure and simple! πŸ™‚

Pesto Zoodle Salad (all fresh from the allotment)!

Back to basil. Sure it’s great with freshly picked tomatoes (we’ve got loads of different varieties growing at home and on the allotment, all just starting to ripen now), maybe throw in some mozzarella if that’s your thing with a drizzle of olive oil. Chopped basil is a great addition to a quick ratatouille, use basil to infuse some olive oil to give a lovely fresh flavour, throw a handful on a pizza, stuff some in a sandwich, or even try basil with strawberries (maybe in a dessert)!Β  That said, I most often use basil to make a delicious pesto, which I have used here to coat these courgette spirals!

Fresh from the allotment – courgettes

Pesto is traditionally made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic, but it is so easy to tailor it to your requirements. Of course, you need fresh basil to get that gorgeous taste, but everything else can be changed or substituted. I made this version oil free, using a drop of milk (coconut) to get the consistency right, and I didn’t add any garlic this time. The pine nuts can be changed for any mild tasting nuts (obviously if you use peanuts the taste will change), I used ground almonds this time, but walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews work equally well and all are probably a cheaper option than pine nuts. The cheese doesn’t necessarily need to be added but will give a more savoury taste – any strong hard cheese will suffice but I used nutritional yeast which works equally as well (and gives you a healthy dose of Vitamin B12).

If you have a spiraliser, then it’s easy to turn your courgettes/zucchiniΒ  into noodles… well, in theory! I had to get some help to make mine – tip, electric machines are not always the best option! A hand held pencil-sharpener type works perfectly! πŸ˜€

Look at those lovely long noodles!

I’m taking these over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week. Come on over and join us if you’re not already a visitor there! Angie is looking for new co-hosts (there aren’t any co-hosts this week)! and there’s more details over there as well as loads of new recipes to try and people to meet! πŸ™‚

Let’s cook! πŸ™‚ Oh, and please if you haven’t already, subscribe to get all the latest recipes straight to your inbox! πŸ˜€ …and if you think you’re already subscribed, please resubscribe as during the move to self hosted, my weekly email list was deleted!

Have you actually looked around my new website? There are tips, tricks and helpful advice, as well as loads of recipes which can be searched for by ingredient! Have a look at chickpea recipes, or salads to get some inspiration for your next meal! There is also a list of product recalls (in the UK), product reviews, printable food diaries and links to all our social media accounts! Come and find, follow, like and share! πŸ˜€

The recipe…

5 from 1 vote
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Pesto Zoodles

Vegetable spaghetti covered in a fresh pesto sauce.

Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Time 10 minutes
Serves 4 servings
Created by: Laurena @LifeDietHealth

Gather

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds plus extra for decoration
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast plus extra for decoration
  • splash of milk (we used unsweetened carton coconut)
  • 3 medium courgettes
  • 3 or 4 cherry tomatoes halved

Prepare

  1. Put the basil, almonds, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper in a blender with a splash of milk, Blend until you have a smooth creamy consistency - add more milk as necessary.

  2. Spiralise your courgettes (alternatively cut into long strips or grate).

  3. Mix the pesto sauce into the noodles and ensure everything is equally covered. Put in a bowl and toss the tomatoes on top. 

  4. If desired, mix equal amounts of ground almonds and nutritional yeast and rub together with your fingertips until combined. Sprinkle over the noodles just before serving. Add extra black pepper if desired.

  5. Enjoy!

Tips & Storage

  • This is best made and served immediately.
  • Can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days although the noodles will start to lose their shape (tip, add leftovers to a buddha bowl)!
  • Customise the pesto to your liking - add garlic, change the nuts, add a few chilli flakes, use oil instead of milk.
  • If you want a more saucy noodle, double the amount of pesto.
  • Make the pesto and use to add to your regular salads - pesto will keep in the fridge covered for up to three days (check the date on your milk if using).

23 Comments

  • Eva 18th July 2018 at 11:24

    Hi Laurena, I have the ‘pencil sharpener’ spiralizer but it’s in a box in a warehouse somewhere in the West Country at the moment lol. I grew up with basil just being an aromatic plant in the garden, not really used in cooking (Mum tends to use it in salads though). I love it in most things now, of course- not heard of eating it with strawberries though. My north Italian father in law doesn’t like basil (nor garlic or fresh tomatoes!). Mmm, I’ve not had fresh mint tea for ages… I’m struggling with the ‘regular’ tea here in Germany, I really miss my British brews haha: I’ve heard there’s now a Yorkshire Tea Biscuit Tea, yum. Back to the zoodles: mine always turned out soggy if I cooked them but not really that palatable if left raw- I must’ve been doing something wrongπŸ˜„

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 18th July 2018 at 12:10

      A spiraliser in a box- oh no!!! If you use very firm courgettes they should be delicious… You could always try massaging some olive oil into them before adding a sauce. They do tend to go soggy when cooked though. What about carrots? beetroot? butternut squash noodles- did you try those?

      An Italian who doesn’t like tomatoes, garlic or basil… Oh my! That doesn’t make cooking complicated! Go find some basil and try it with strawberries… Granita, cheesecake, ice-cream or mousse… Yummy!

      Yorkshire Tea Biscuit Brew?… Apparently it tastes like digestives! Didn’t you take any tea with you (I’ll ask a friend and see what she recommends).

      Oh, guess what?! No operation! Postponed until after the Summer holidays!

      Reply
  • Pesto Zoodles β€” Life Diet Health | My Meals are on Wheels 18th July 2018 at 11:45

    […] via Pesto Zoodles β€” Life Diet Health […]

    Reply
  • Eva 18th July 2018 at 12:53

    On no about the op, I bet you were looking forward to it being over and done with- hope you’re not in too much pain😯
    Yes, I meant to say I sometimes use the spiralizer to make carrot ‘ribbons’ which are lovely in a salad. I’ve heard of fresh mint in desserts but basil is a new one for me- I bet it’s a taste sensation😊
    Lol, father in law is in his happy place with buttered pasta and cheese or bread and cheese…he doesn’t even like proper Italian filter coffee lol.
    I need this Biscuit Brew in my life haha. I did bring over some posh Fortnum & Mason teas but I’ve used them up now, I naively thought I may find some PG Tips of Tetley like I do in Spain and CyprusπŸ˜„

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 18th July 2018 at 14:20

      Everything had been planned around the op, so I’m suddenly finding myself with nothing (and everything)! to do! It only hurts if I walk too much… or sit still too long! Lol! Oh well, at least I get to do a bit more in the school summer holidays!
      Ooo.. now you’ve got me thinking! How about a strawberry, mint AND basil cheesecake! πŸ˜›
      Maybe your f-i-l has lived in UK too long! Does he at least like pizza!? πŸ˜›
      Oops to the tea – can’t someone send you some! I used to always get marmite sent to me πŸ˜€

      Reply
  • Loretta 18th July 2018 at 13:41

    My same sentiments regarding basil – there’s nothing quite like it! Love zoodles too, and at this time of year, they are all over waiting to be devoured. Your dish above looks gorgeous.

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 18th July 2018 at 14:28

      Thank you Loretta πŸ™‚ Lovely to see you over here! Ooo, pesto zoodles on your lovely porch, that’d be wonderful! What else do you use basil in?

      Reply
  • Eva 18th July 2018 at 14:39

    I feel for you re your knee: my mum slipped on some ice back in March and is still suffering now (she was on her way to work at the only school in the borough that was closed due to the snow!)
    I think there are many Italians who have been in the UK for decades who are still very much Italian lol- my f-I-L coming from the north of the country is used to butter (no olive oil), gouda-type cheese, potatoes and cabbage: influences from nearby Austria and Switzerland, I guess. Oh yes, he defo loves pizza…but it has to be a four cheese pizza (it’s lucky he’s naturally skinny!) 😝
    Hubbie should be going back home for work soon so I’m hoping he can bring back a stash of tea lol (even a supermarket brand will do!) I like marmite but I don’t crave it anymore. Also, it makes me eat more toast haha. Have you tried Nigella’s (or whoever inspired her) marmite and (vegan) butter spaghetti? 😊

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 18th July 2018 at 14:49

      Marmite and (vegan) butter spaghetti??? You shouldn’t have written that bit last – that’s the only bit I can remember!!!

      Reply
  • Eva 18th July 2018 at 14:57

    Haha, maybe you could add your own twist to it in another blog post lol. I meant to say previously the basil and mint cheesecake sounds ‘interesting’, if not aromatic! I also meant to say “only school that wasn’t closed” duh.

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 18th July 2018 at 16:07

      Hmmm… so shall I play with a basil, mint and strawberry cheesecake, or, shall I play with a coconut, mint and chocolate cake as I’d planned! πŸ˜› I hope your Mum is okay – knees are funny things! Oh, and I’m going to check out the marmite pasta!

      Reply
    • Eva 18th July 2018 at 22:49

      Mmm, stick with what you had planned☺Let me know what you think of the Marmite pasta, I’m sure you’ll love it x

      Reply
  • Eva 18th July 2018 at 23:02

    Me again: forgot to mention Nigella also did a marmite spread (butter and marmite blended up in a food processor, hardly a recipe lol) for her children and their friends when they were little (I love her first tv show Nigella Bites- before she became a caricature of herself lol). It looks like peanut butter but isn’t, of course.

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 19th July 2018 at 11:07

      oh… and apparently you have to buy tea here and take it with you, so hopefully your hubby will be over soon and he’ll get you a big stash!!!

      Reply
  • Angie | Fiesta Friday 22nd July 2018 at 16:33

    Excellent! I grow tons of basil and zucchini, too. This year I’m growing round zucchinis, though. I wonder how that would work in a spiralizer, hmm… I hope the squash bugs will leave my zucchinis alone this year.

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 23rd July 2018 at 11:14

      Thanks Angie. Squash bugs? What?! I don’t think we have those here! Isn’t there some way to get rid of them? Round courgettes… Ooo, perfect for stuffing! At least if you spiralised them you’d have short zoodles πŸ˜‚ some of ours were so long!!!

      Reply
  • The Girl Next Door 23rd July 2018 at 05:09

    I love the sound of this! πŸ™‚
    I don’t have a spiraliser, though – they’re super expensive here in India, where I live. I have to look for alternatives.
    Also, what’s the purpose of using nutritional yeast here? Is there anything else I can substitute it with?

    Reply
    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth
      Laurena@LifeDietHealth 23rd July 2018 at 11:19

      Thank you! You can slice the courgettes to get the same effect – it will take a while but if you search ‘making julienne vegetables’ you should find some tips to make it quicker. The nutritional yeast is used instead of cheese to make this dish vegan – grated hard cheese (like parmesan) can be used instead. I hope that’s helpful! Let me know if you make it.

      Reply
  • Of Goats and Greens 25th July 2018 at 11:59

    A hand held pencil sharpener for making zoodles? Who’d a thought???

    Reply
  • Of Goats and Greens 25th July 2018 at 12:02

    Me again — forgot to mention this sounds really good and tasty. I’d probably go use the cheese instead of the nutritional yeast – what a pretty presentation you gave us!

    Reply

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