Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Pesto Zucchini Noodles made and plated by the private class I taught. 

Friday I had a private class I taught that requested healthier menu items or alternatives for their wellness program.  I am by no means a health food pro, I try to eat healthy at home and find alternatives to some of the "unhealthier" food favorites that I have.  A few examples being zucchini chips, eggplant chips or croutons, sweet potato fries.  I wanted to try and give them more alternatives to some of their favorite side dishes and give them the tools they would need to make these things their own at home. 

A while back I had made Garlic-Soy Zucchini Noodles at home and I thought trying to do something like this would be perfect.  I mean who doesn't like pasta, I think that we have all seen by my last few posts that I have been on a noodle kick.  I didn't want to go with the soy route, just because of the salt content so I was trying to come up with different flavors to toss the zucchini in. 

I decided to go with a pesto.  Something simple to make, but so flavorful.  I up the amount of crushed red pepper flakes in mine just because I like just a little kick in it.  But I love basil and try and find ways to incorporate it into a lot of dishes.  Toss in a few cherry tomatoes and your set.  I think next time I might even roast the tomatoes, just so they can release just a little bit of their yummy juices.  But for now, here it is and enjoy!

Pesto Zucchini Noodles

4 zucchini
2 cups basil leaves, packed
1 cup flat-leaf parsley,
1 1/2 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 cloves garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cherry tomatoes, (fresh or roasted)

1.  Using a mandolin or knife, cut your zucchini into thin noodles.  Place in a bowl and set aside.
2.  Combine the basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and olive oil in a food processer and pulse until blended.  Add in more olive oil if needed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Add pesto to the zucchini noodles and toss to coat.  Top with cherry tomato and additional grated parmesan cheese if desired.

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