Aug 302015

Summer produce is at it’s absolute best right now. I think you would have to actually try hard to make something bad when you’re working with such great produce. This meal was the result of a trip to the farmers market, a random assortment of veggies that ended up in my kitchen, and then magically turned into something incredibly tasty. Not only were the zucchini/squash noodles, tomatoes, and corn insanely fresh, I would also happily bathe in this avocado pesto. It was actually shocking there was any left after all of the taste testing, I mean “quality control” I was doing while I made it.
I was looking for an excuse to use my awesome new spiralizer and vitamix (I swear I didn’t get married just for the appliances…) and making veggie noodles and a sauce seemed like the perfect option. This sauce is sort of a mix, or should I say beautiful union, between pesto and guacamole, made with garlic, basil, lemon juice, jalapeno, and avocado. You could call it pestamole. Or maybe guacapesto. Whatever you call it, it was the perfect topping for raw summer squash noodles and plenty of fresh toppings.
Nutrition Highlights: Summer squash (zucchini and yellow squash) make the perfect low cal low carb base (only about 20 cal per cup) for a veggie noodle bowl. No problem if you don’t have a fancy spiralizer, you can just use a vegetable peeler or box grater for a similar effect with a little more elbow grease. The sauce, which is vegan and gluten free, has healthy fat from avocado and vitamin/mineral packed basil (especially vitamin K which helps keep the blood clot properly). You can top this summer bowl with any thing you like, but I kept this version vegetarian, adding some leftover grilled corn for healthy carbs, chickpeas for fiber/protein, spicy sunflower seeds for protein/fat, and some heirloom tomatoes. Because it’s August and there should be heirloom tomatoes in EVERYTHING. You could top this bowl with some grilled chicken or shrimp, grated parmesan, or any other vegetables you have. The possibilities are endless!
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Summer “Noodle” Bowls with Spicy Avocado Pesto
makes 3-4 servings
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For the avocado pesto:
1 ripe avocado
Juice from 1-2 lemons
2 small or 1 large garlic clove
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 jalapeno, seeded (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water (more as needed to thin sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the noodle bowls:
3-4 summer squash (yellow squash or zucchini work well)
Toppings that I used: toasted sunflower seeds, chickpeas, heirloom tomatoes, grilled corn
Other topping ideas: grilled portobello mushrooms/eggplant/peppers, grilled shrimp or chicken, fresh mozzarella or shave parmesan, quinoa or farro, the list is endless!

How to make it:
1. To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine until smooth. Add additional water as needed to thin the sauce slightly. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add extra lemon or garlic if it needs an extra punch!
2. Prepare your “noodles” by using your spiralizer or box grater to noodleize (yes, that’s the techinical term) the squash.
3. Prepare your toppings. I toasted my sunflower seeds in a small frying pan with a spray of olive oil, sprinkle of chili powder, and salt to add a little extra pizzaz but already toasted/salted seeds are fine too! This is the perfect “clean out your fridge dish”, so top the bowl with any leftovers you have. Grilled corn and tomatoes are a great sweet compliment to the spicy, herbal, smooth pesto.
4. Toss the noodles in the sauce and top with rows of toppings. Enjoy this bowl of summa goodness while it’s hot (outside, not in the bowl).
I mean does it get any better than that?

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