In just 10 minutes, you can have a rich, filling and healthy bowl full of Sun-Dried Tomato + Basil Pesto Zoodles. This simple dish is Whole30, Dairy Free, Paleo + Vegetarian friendly!
Every once in awhile I get a craving for a pasta-like dish. While some might think it's impossible to satisfy that craving in a Paleo lifestyle, I would really beg to differ. There are plenty of alternatives to a traditional noodle that can be made with different veggies. For instance, spaghetti squash. I really love baked spaghetti squash, especially when it's paired with a homemade meat sauce, but if I'm really hungry or lazy then I don't usually want to wait for it to cook. Spaghetti squash is a pretty hands-off meal. You just slice it, scoop out the seeds and then bake it in the oven. What makes it feel like a lot of work is the fact that it can take 35-45 minutes for the squash to cook. When that doesn't sound appealing to me, that's when I look to spiralize some veggies myself.
You can spiralize pretty much any vegetable - seriously! Carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, squash, cucumber... and one of my personal favorites, zucchini. Zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) might be the greatest idea on the planet. Using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer, they take just 10 minutes to spiralize. Then, you can toss them all in one pan and make a full meal without a sink full of dishes. I like to toss mine in a pan with just a few tablespoons of water and then throw a lid on it to help steam them. It takes about 5 minutes to get them the way I like them, which involves them being almost fully softened. Minimal crunch is how I like it! Once they are cooked, I just add my sauce directly into the pan. Just like I do with this recipe for Sun Dried Tomato
+ Basil Pesto Zoodles.
Now, if you've ever heard my ramblings of why I think tomatoes are the most disgusting addition to any meal, in any form, you're probably confused about why I am willingly adding some to this dish. Well you know what, I'M CONFUSED TOO. Sun-dried tomatoes have a nice little balance between acidity and sweetness. So to me, they don't really taste like tomatoes (thank god!) I actually like to eat them on their own as a snack. I've even taken them with me on backpacking trips as part of my food stash. Instead of eating them alone this time though, I paired them with the zucchini noodles.
Since I don't really like red sauce (because tomatoes) the star of this dish is really the pesto. I've always been a pesto lover and now that I know how easy it is to make, it make a frequent appearance in our house. This particular dish uses my 5 minute dairy-free pesto. What's not to love about a sauce that tastes bomb and is ready to go in less than 5 minutes? Pairing the zucchini noodles with the sun-dried tomatoes and pesto is a beautiful enough dish on it's own, but you can also toss some chicken or salmon into this dish whenever you want some protein. Plan for this recipe for a weeknight dinner that will give you all the flavor and satisfaction without all the time or effort. You won't regret the 10 minutes!
- 4-5 lg zucchini
- 1 cup dairy free pesto *more or less to taste
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + addtl to taste
- 1 lb baked chicken *OPTIONAL