Pesto noodles are a very comforting and flavorful dish. When you are trying to live a healthier life style it is daunting to think you have to give up something you love. Most diets fail because of the negative outlook of giving up or doing without. You positively do NOT have to suffer! You can have your pesto noodles and eat them too! Just make a few simple changes. I made this recipe Vegan so there is no cheese. If you are vegetarian or pescatarian or none of those things, you can use half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese in the place of the soaked cashews in this recipe, but I highly recommend you try the cashews some time!
Making vegan cheeses and creamy sauces is actually pretty easy! Cashew cream is made from soaking raw cashews at least 4-6 hours or more in water or a broth if you want to infuse a flavor. The cashews swell and soften. You can use them in any recipe that calls for soft cheese or sour cream or Greek yogurt. They make a heavenly Alfredo!! I actually used some roasted unsalted cashews for this recipe and it lent it a warm toasty flavor!! Put your cashews in to soak before you leave for work and they will be ready to use when you get home.
When you are ready to get started, get out your Ninja or other food processor and toss in your washed cilantro stems and all, the meat of one avocado, two peeled garlic cloves, half a cup of toasted walnut pieces, the juice of one lime (roughly 3-4 tablespoons) or you can use bottled juice, and a quarter cup of olive oil. Then season it with salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne – more if you like spicy, and roasted garlic powder. I prefer using roasted garlic powder over regular garlic powder because it has the sweetness of roasted garlic. If you do not have roasted garlic powder, use regular garlic powder instead. Process your pesto smooth and set it aside to allow the flavors to blend.
Get out your Spirooli or other spiral vegetable slicer, you can even use a an old school vegetable peeler, and spiralize a couple of ripe zucchini squash. You can even include a yellow Summer squash to add some color and flavor variation. In short order you will have a pile of fresh zoodles. A quick toss in a hot wok or big pan with a splash of olive oil is all that is needed to heat these noodles through.
Plate your zoodles and top them with a generous helping of pesto and garnish with fresh red pepper slices. So fresh and tasty and so quick and easy to prepare! Serve it with a leafy green salad and a glass of something light and fresh like Pinot Grigio or a sweet white Moscato.
- ½ C soaked raw cashews
- 1½ C Cilantro
- 1 Avocado
- ½ Walnuts
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 3-4 T Lime juice
- ¼ C Olive Oil
- Sea Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
- ½ Roasted Garlic Powder
- 1 Red Bell pepper, sliced
- Soak your cashews in water in advance for 4-6 hours.
- Add cilantro, avocado, walnuts, soaked cashews, lime juice, salt, pepper, roasted garlic powder, cayenne and sea salt to your processor and process to a smooth consistency.
- Spiral slice zucchini noodles and stir fry them to heat them through only.
- Top zoodles with pesto and garnish with red pepper slices!