Pasta and I had a love affair for some years. My children grew up on the stuff and it was always the go-to dish for me throughout my 20s and 30s. If pasta was on the menu, things were going to be alright in my world. I was never wild on meat, could take it or leave it really, but pasta and bread were on top of my list of stuff I would struggle without. Carb girl, me.
Fast forward and today I can’t wait to get my spiraliser out to make courgette pasta smothered in my home-made pesto – the more colourful courgettes the better too. Do I eat regular, gluten packed pasta today? Not if I can help it – on the rare occasions that I do, the effects are immediate. I am NOT gluten intolerant or allergic, yet I feel bloated, tired and edgy. Fresh veg wins hands down every time for me these days. The brilliant nutritionist of the moment, Amelia Freer (credited with Sam Smith’s recent weight loss), says in her excellent book Eat, Nourish, Glow that she eats 10-13 servings of fresh veg and fruit PER DAY! Only three of those servings are fruit by the way. The rest is pure veg in all varieties. She glows and is testament to what a great diet can do.
Cutting sugar, wheat or dairy out of one’s life is major and may seem daunting or even unnecessary – food fascism taken to a whole new level perhaps. But the truth is that when you change food habits your taste buds change too. The cravings will go. This vegan ‘courgetti’ recipe is one that I do at least once a week to satiate my pesto dependency 🙂 There are only good, organic ingredients in it so you can eat with ease… Enjoy! x
Green Swede Vegan Pesto and Pasta (serves 2)
2 large courgettes, spiralised or julienned
2 ripe tomatoes, cubed
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil (add more if too thick)
1 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/3 nutritional yeast
Salt + Pepper
1. Add all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and mix until you have a paste like consistency. If too thick add a splash of water. You don’t want it totally pureed and smooth, there should still be small ‘bits’ of pine nuts detectable. Add salt/pepper until you’ve got the perfect flavour. Put aside in a jar. There will be plenty of leftover pesto which you can eat another day. It lasts for about a week in the fridge.
2. Julienne the large courgette until you’ve got an impressive pile of ‘courgetti’. Put some water on the boil and when bubbling switch off. Add ‘courgetti’ and let soften for about one minute then drain. Pour into bowls and stir in the pesto. Serve with chopped tomatoes and perhaps some pine nuts sprinkled on top. Season to taste. Enjoy! x