Roses are red, violets are blue. Pesto is green but not this one! Boost up on beta carotene, vitamin C and lycopene with this power pasta made from vegetables! Check off 50% of your daily vegetable target easily with a serving of this red pesto zoodles. Plus, you get to save the earth by going meat free 🙂
You can go two ways with this meal. Either have this raw or heat the tomatoes and red bell pepper to enhance the availability of lycopene for absorption. Tomatoes are particularly rich in lycopene, an antioxidant which was found to decrease the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
For an extra protein and fibre boost, add in some lentils or beans to the sauce. Canned, reduced sodium lentils or beans make great choices too. Non-vegetarians can add on a side of grilled skinless chicken or fish. Both protein and fibre rich foods increase the satiety effect of the meal, making you feel fuller for longer!
Really Rad Red Pesto Zoodles
Serves: 2 Time: 20 mins
- 1 large zucchini, sliced for ‘noodles’ using a vegetable spiraliser (alternatively shred using a peeler for ‘fettucine’ type noodles)
- 12 cherry tomatoes (reserve 2 to cut in quarters for plating)
- 1 small red capsicum, roughly chopped
- 100g baked cashew nuts (reserve ~1 tbsp, crushed for plating)
- 1 handful basil chopped (reserve ~1tbsp for plating)
- 1 small clove garlic
- Seasonings (to taste, optional): Pinch of salt and pepper
- Create zucchini spirals with a vegetable spiraliser, set aside.
- Dry fry cherry tomatoes and red capsicum in a non-stick pan for about 7 minutes or until vegetables start to soften.
- Add cherry tomatoes, red capsicum, cashew nuts, garlic and basil in a food processor or blender, blend or pulse till smooth (timing will vary if you prefer a chunkier sauce).
- Serve zucchini noodles on a plate, add pesto sauce and toss through thoroughly.
- Serve on a plate and garnish with remaining crushed cashew nuts, basil and tomatoes.
- Red pesto sauce matches well with wholemeal pasta too
- Prepare pesto sauce in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for later use (2-4 days). The sauce freezes well if you prefer longer storage (up to 6 months!)
- If you prefer a little bit of heat, add in some fresh chilli
- This sauce also makes a great dip for vegetable sticks or wholemeal crackers
Per serving: 250 calories; 16 g fat; 12 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein
Carbohydrate Servings: 1