Courgetti! Who would have thought that the humble courgette (or zucchini) could be spiralised into spaghetti noodles? Courgettes have come a long way from my childhood memory of soggy slices in ratatouille!
Courgette noodles are delicious pan-fried with a little coconut oil, garlic and pepper, but I love them in this plant-based lemon pesto. This pesto contains spinach, pine nuts, avocado, lemon and optional protein powder (soya bean or pea work well). I have also supplemented it with spirulina superfood powder to boost the nutritional content. (It also adds a lovely vibrant green colour!)
This dish makes a super light supper or delicious lunch. It is fresh and fragrant from the basil and there is a delicious contrast of flavours between the sweet nectarine, creamy pesto sauce and creamy cool cheese. The pumpkin seed garnish provides a satisfying (and nutritional) crunch.
It is suitable for vegans (using vegan mozzarella), vegetarians, those on low carb diets and for the health conscious.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wholemeal wheat-based spaghetti (especially to fuel work-out/ active days), but courgette spaghetti is a super way to reduce your carbs and increase your vegetable intake. You can always mix it up too, and use half regular spaghetti and half courgette-noodles. The beauty of it all is that you hardly notice the difference in taste, but you will (long-term) on your waistline and health!
Preparation: 20 mins
- 100g fresh basil
- 30g fresh spinach
- 30g pine nuts
- 70ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 plump cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 11/2 tbsp protein powder (soya bean or pea work well)
- 1 tsp spirulina (you can substitute for wheatgrass if you prefer)
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and cut into rough chunks
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 large courgettes
- 2 ripe nectarines, sliced into wedges
- Handful of pumpkin seeds
- Twist of black pepper
- Optional: One ball of mozzarella (vegan if preferred)
- Place all pesto sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor and whizz to form a creamy pesto sauce.
- Spiralise your courgettes. If you do not have a spiraliser, you can make courgette peelings using a vegetable peeler and slice these finely into noodle-like strips.
- The courgetti can be eaten raw; in which case blot the excess moisture away using kitchen roll. Alternatively, you can pan-fry your courgette for 3 mins in a frying pan on a high heat.
- Stir in the pesto to your courgetti spaghetti.
- Assemble onto two plates. Scatter wedges of nectarine on top and a handful of pumpkin seeds. Roughly tear up the mozzarella and scatter on top. Enjoy!
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- Top with other nuts and seeds eg. pistachio kernals, ground flaxseed, or chia. A recent discovery of mine is goldenberry and chia power blend (the goldenberry compliments the lemon), which adds protein, fibre, omegas and calcium.
- Use peaches instead of nectarines.
- Pine nuts can be substituted for raw cashews or 40g tofu.