As previously mentioned in my Grain Free Peach Muffins post, I purchased a huge zucchini for $1 at a local farm in the ‘country’ of Pennsylvania. (Truthfully, if you live anywhere outside of Philadelphia, people assume it’s the countryside. I digress.) This wonderful $1 zucchini was, of course, destined to be ‘spiralized’ and enjoyed ASAP. To keep things interesting, I decided these zucchini noodles would be topped with homemade dairy free pesto and shredded chicken.
As a quick side note, I purchased a whole roast chicken from Whole Foods a few days ago, shredded it, and have been slowly picking away at it. (This is a great idea for quick, prepared meals). As if my dinner couldn’t get easier, all I had to do was plop some pre-shredded chicken onto my zoodles and I would be finished. I was already envisioning a comfy night on the couch with a heaping bowl of pesto zoodles.
I began with the homemade dairy free pesto. In my trusty food processor, I combined basil from my mom’s basil plant (thanks mom!), chopped pecans, olive oil, and garlic cloves. You can purchase pesto at the store if you’d like, but homemade is definitely something inexplicably wonderful.
This was my first time making homemade pesto and I was really happy with the results. Some recipes call for pine nuts but apparently there’s a shortage so they’re more expensive. I thought the pesto tasted great with the pecans and probably won’t use pine nuts when I make it again.
Some recipes also call for parmesan cheese, but you still get the classic pesto taste without it. You can add it if you’d like, but I wouldn’t say it’s necessary.
This pesto recipe is great for other things, as well. Put it on toast, enjoy with veggies, or mix into a salad dressing.
As for the zucchini noodles, I recently purchased the Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer (best. decision. ever.) and spiralized at least 4 servings of noodles from my one zucchini. I saved half of the zoodles for leftovers and prepared the remaining half. I poured a little olive oil in a pan, heated it up on medium heat, and put in the zoodles for about three minutes. This just helps warm them up without over cooking them. If you were to put them in boiling water, they’d fall apart and disintegrate.
Add in the pesto and the chicken, mix, and enjoy.
This is a very quick and healthy dinner idea, plus it’s incredibly satisfying. Whole Foods has pre-spiralized zucchini noodles and yellow squash noodles if you’re in a time crunch, but I highly recommend spiralizing your own because 1) you’ll save money and 2) it’s really simple.
- 1 large zucchini*
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (for drizzling into pan)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (subjective to personal taste)
- 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground sea salt
- 2 cup roasted chicken, shredded
- In a food processor, combine the ingredients for the pesto and pulse.
- Using a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini to form noodles.
- In a pan, drizzle in olive oil and warm on medium heat. Place in the zucchini noodles and warm for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Mix the pesto and the chicken in the pan.
- Serve & Enjoy.