Raw Zoodle Pasta Salad with Avocado Pesto
It has been HOT lately, and while it’s sometimes worth it to use the oven (got to have my sweet potato fries! 😉 ), it’s also so nice to keep things raw and not start sweatin’ in the kitchen. Plus, there is so much local summer squash in abundance and I’ve got basil comin’ out of my ears right now, they’re just begging to be turned into noodles smothered in a rich and creamy pesto sauce!
Cold pasta salads are always a summer time favorite, but are typically make with processed, refined pasta. There are some awesome alternatives like spiralized veggies (love me some spaghetti squash too!) so you can switch out of that routine and into this one!
Why do I love them?
- They’re super fun! Every time I turn that veggie through my spiralizer, I can’t help but giggle!
- They’re versatile. They can be eaten raw, cooked, made into spaghetti with tomato sauce, with pesto, mixed with other veggies and made into a pasta salad like I have here… you name it!
- It’s easy to make. Once you have a spiralizer, you’re set! Then it’s time to get your veggies and experiment away.
- They’re full of nutrients! Need I say more?
- You can eat mounds of them, be super satisfied, yet not weighed down and feeling bleh…
It’s crazy not to eat these! Don’t be crazy. 🙂
- Vegetables to spiralize - zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, carrots, and beets
- Chopped veggies of choice - bell pepper, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, etc.
- Greens - kale, spinach, collard greens, arugula, etc.
- Lemon Juice
- Nutritional yeast
- Garlic cloves
- Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Dulse or kelp flakes
- Chopped basil and hemp seeds for garnish
- Optional powder boosts to try - spirulina, hemp seeds or other nuts/seeds like pumpkin, or fresh herbs like parsley
- Spiralize your choice of vegetables. For this salad, I did one very large zucchini with a little carrot and beet thrown in, with the thin blade. Place in a large bowl.
- For the avocado pesto: avocado is your base, so this will be the majority of what you blend. Add your desired amounts of the other ingredients based on the flavor you're going for. I like my basil flavor mild, so I only use a small handful, but I like it extra tart, so I throw about ½ a lemon into my Vitamix. (Don't like basil? Leave out! Still delicious! 😉 )
- Start with small amounts of these ingredients and blend to the consistency you like. Leave your sauce a little chunky, or blend until smooth and creamy (my preference!).
- Taste. Is there enough basil? Do you want more lemon or garlic? How's the salt? Adjust to your liking.
- Toss your noodles with your other veggies and avocado pesto until everything is well coated.
*These are the veggies I use for my noodles, but others can easily be used. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, even jicama are a few others you can play with.
There’s texture from the noodles, but that sauce is so creamy and delicious on there! It’s bright, clean, and refreshing. 🙂 Enjoy!