Food La La: Turning zucchini into pasta

May. 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

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BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Since becoming a vegan, I’ve realized people are curious and will ask tons of questions. I’m very happy to share what I’ve learned.

One of the questions I’m asked most often is where do I get my protein from if I don’t eat meat? Many vegetables, nuts and grains contain tons of protein — some even more than meat.

I also find myself learning more about nutrition by reading food labels. I think it’s very important, whether you are vegan or not, to know what you are putting into your body. I used to think as long as something tasted good, it’s better to not know how it’s made. But I realized ignorance is one of the most dangerous things and prevents us from learning and improving ourselves.

Ignorance may be bliss, but having the necessary knowledge and awareness to make educated decisions is extremely powerful.

My new hobby is coming up with vegan alternatives for all my favorite dishes. This week I was craving pesto, so I followed a basic recipe and substituted parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast and miso paste. Using nutritional yeast gives pesto a cheese-like flavor, while the miso gives it a deep flavor similar to the parmesan. I also added spinach for more nutrients.

I was going to make a pasta dish, but thought it would be fun to use my new spiralizer and make noodles out of zucchini. I tried making noodles out of carrots, but they didn’t turn out as well and I almost gave myself carpel tunnel syndrome. I would recommend sticking with zucchini unless you have really strong wrists!

I ended up shredding the carrots instead and adding tons of vegetables before mixing them all together with the pesto. This is a very refreshing dish and is easy to make since there is no cooking involved.

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VEGAN PESTO

Ingredients:
» 1 cups packed fresh basil leaves
» 1 cup packed fresh spinach
» 2 cloves garlic
» 1/4 cup pine nuts
» 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
» Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
» 1 tablespoon white miso
» 1 tablespoon nutritional Yeast

Directions:
Combine basil, spinach, garlic, miso, nutritional Yeast and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. 

Slowly add in oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.

Season with salt and pepper.

ZUCCHINI NOODLE SALAD

Ingredients:
» 1 Zucchini
» 1 Carrot, shredded
» 1 cup Broccoli, chopped
» 1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
» 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
» Sunflower seeds

Directions:
Using a spiralizer, make zuchinni noodles. Cut up carrots, broccoli and kale.

Mix vegetables and noodles with pesto (from recipe above) in a mixing bowl. Add sun-dried tomatoes.

Plate salad and sprinkle sunflower seeds on top.
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Lindsey Muraoka blogs about all things vegetarian for the Pulse. Follow her on Twitter or email her at foodlalablog@gmail.com.

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