While “vegans make the best(o) pesto” may be a debatable statement, I’m so passionate about the batch of pesto that I just whipped up that I may have to declare the title of this post a fact.
If you can’t tell, this is a VERY serious post about pesto.
Okay, maybe not super serious, but you get the point. When it comes to pesto, I mean business!
First things first, how are you guys? Is it nice summer weather where y’all live? I always think it’s so cool that blogging brings people from around the world together. Pretty neat!
So I feel like everyone has been really excited about zoodles and all those other veggie noodles lately, and I will be the first to say that I am NOT a fan of replacing my carbs with veggies.
(BTW, zoodle= zucchini noodle)
Yeah, it’s great for weight loss, but I like to cook for taste and not for health. (That being said, “good taste” to me does mean a lot of meals consisting of only vegetables because vegetables are the absolute greatest thing on this earth, I don’t want you guys to think me saying that I cook for taste means that I deep fry every meal.)
BUT! I was not a fan of replacing spaghetti with boiled zucchini.
So the “zoodle maker” I have isn’t actually called a zoodle maker, it’s called the Veggetti, as I’m sure many of you have seen on TV. My dad (hey dad!) bought it for me because he thought I’d like it, and boy does he know me well. There was a hefty month where I was obsessed with Veggetti-ing potatoes and making potato pancakes, YUM.
When I first got my Veggetti, I tried out the classic zoodles and marinara sauce, and it was just too watery and didn’t really work out too well. I was really turned off from the whole zoodle idea after my first try. I love my Veggetti for cucumber salads and stuff, but never really used it for an actual veggie pasta dish.
Yesterday, I was driving from my apartment to my parents’ house, and I realized that I was really in the mood for pesto but I wasn’t in the mood for a big ole bowl of pasta. Somehow I remembered that I had my Veggetti, and decided to give the whole zoodle idea another whirl.
Thank GOODNESS I had that random car thought because something about these zoodles goes better with this pesto than regular pasta would, and let me just make this clear, I am not someone who can eat raw plain veggies and be satisfied. I need my food to be filling, nutritious, and jam packed with flavor. So this whole zoodle preference is GROUND BREAKING. This is something special right here.
I was at just the right place to make this recipe too, because my parents have an AMAZING garden. It’s such a treat to visit, especially because the only plants that my boyfriend Jon and I are able to grow in our tiny apartment is basil and mint, and even that is limited because of the amount of sunlight that (doesn’t) make its way into our apartment.
So this is just a single serve recipe for one zucchnini-zoodle serving size, so if you want to make more, just multiply the recipe by however many zucchinis you’re using.
Single serve recipes are the way to go for me, are any of you the same way? I don’t have a family yet, so besides me, the only other person I usually cook for is Jon, so I always like to do my recipes single serve style and double it if I’m cooking for him too.
ANYWHO, here’s what ya need for the pesto:
1/2 cup packed basil
1 peeled, crushed garlic clove
1 handful of nuts of your choice
1/4-1/8 C olive oil
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
Pretty much like all of my recipes, throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have your desired consistency!
As for making the zoodles themself, veggetti-up a zucchini, boil your zoodles for 3-ish minutes and you’re good to go.
Alright, so let’s talk nuts in this recipe. I didn’t have pine nuts (which I love) so I used half a handful of walnuts and half a handful of almonds. I also would highly recommend pecans, because adding pecans to any recipe is almost always a superb idea. The different types of nuts really give this pesto some depth. I recommend experimenting with some other different types of nuts! I wonder what pistachios would be like?
As for the oil, I’m not afraid of some good ole olive oil so I used 1/4 of a cup, but you can use 1/8 or whatever your pesto-loving-heart desires!
The nutritional yeast gives the pesto a nice cheesy flavor. I REALLY love using nutritional yeast, do you guys use it a lot in cooking? I pretty much swear by it.
Considering the lack of dairy parmesan cheese in this recipe, this pesto is sooo cheesy with all the nuts and nutritional yeast. You can’t really go wrong with a good cheesy pesto! (Actually, you can’t really go wrong with a good cheesy anything. If I were to ever go on a reality show like the Bachelor where they have your name in the corner of the screen then under it lists your profession, I’d like to believe that my profession would be listed as “professional cheese veganizer” because I love sneaking my vegan cheese tips into anything and everything that I make.)
Also, check out my baby Sammy! He really wanted some zoodles and pesto, which he obviously got after this photo was taken.
I topped my pesto zoodles with some cherry tomatoes from the garden because who doesn’t love a fresh tomato?! WAY WAY WAY better than any store bought tomato I’ve ever had.
I would also just like to throw it out there that this recipe is SO easy to make. I can’t stress that enough. And the flavors are so complimentary and vibrant, so you’re not compromising flavor for time. This recipe is pretty much the total package.
Come to think of it, pesto is practically the greatest thing on this earth. Can we all just take a moment to give it up for pesto? 3 CHEERS FOR YOU, DEAR PESTO!