Gluten Free Zucchini Noodles

Gluten Free Zucchini Noodles

My husband thinks I’ve gone right off the deep end. First, the blowtorch, then the mandolin and now a Spiralizer – a fancy little gadget that turns your run of the mill zucchini into gorgeous curly long noodles. To provide some context, prior to these 3 gadgets and giving up gluten, I had a $30 hand blender and $15 eggbeaters, just like the ones my grandmother had, in fact they might be my grandmother’s eggbeaters. I don’t own a food processor. It’s all chop chop around here. So, my husband looked at this latest contraption and said … “So this giant thing (it isn’t that giant) makes zucchini noodles?” Deep sigh. Long pause. “Yes” I say. I don’t have the heart to tell him I’m just gearing up for a $600 blender.

spiralized2

I’m sure the Spiralizer does other things too, though I have no idea what or if it even matters. Making zucchini noodles has been on my list for ages, but the idea of julienning  enough zucchini, by hand, for a bowl of pasta never mind four bowls of pasta, always sent me running. But I tell you, this thing is genius. With supervision, younger kids can manage it. In less time than it takes to boil up a pot of water  my 3 and 6 year old children made enough noodles for dinner and that included a lesson on safety and issues of sharing and taking turns. Go figure, they ate it! Even my 3 year-old tucked in and he currently refuses vegetables of any kind. So, you know what? We’ll find a spot for my Spiralizer. As far as I’m concerned its $40 well spent.

spiderman

There are many ways to prepare pesto, including Laura’s Kale Pesto. Here’s a lovely springtime version that I learned at a gluten free cooking class I recently attended with Chef Mary Hulbert.  I learned a few tricks from Chef Mary, but my favourite dish from the evening by far was her  Lemon Herb Pesto over Zucchini Noodles. I heard somewhere (god help me, I have no idea where) that things that grow together go together. Well what could be better than young zucchini and herbs in June? As I’ve mentioned, it takes minutes to prepare with a Spiralizer, a few more by hand or with a potato peeler and you don’t have to turn on the stove, so if it ever decides to warm up out there, you might want to try this recipe on for size.

 

Gluten Free Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

  • Zucchini's come in so many different sizes, I have to leave it up to you to figure out if you'll need 1 or 4. I used 2 medium zucchinis to feed 4. Try to use the freshest zucchini possible for firmness.
  • For the Pesto
  • ½ cup camelina oil or olive oil
  • 4 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 TBSP hemp seeds plus extra for garnish
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • 2 ½ cups fresh herbs (heavy on the basil)
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Makes 4 - 6 servings

Method

Spiralize or julienne zucchini, set aside in a bowl

In a food processor or hand blender, mix together oil and lemon juice until creamy.

Add chopped garlic and hemp seeds and mix for 10-15 seconds more.

Add fresh herbs and and greens and pulse until just combined. Add salt to taste

Toss over zucchini noodles and garnish with hemp seeds

zucchini

The aha moment  for me in this recipe is the hemp. I’ve said this before, but  it is worth repeating. I am so focused on removing ingredients from my diet that I forget about all the wonderful ingredients that I should be adding to recipes to increase flavor, add texture and most importantly bump up the nutritional profile. Sweet Potato Chronicles contributor, Kathy Magilton wrote about Hemp a while back and it really should be a go to ingredient.

Chef Mary’s recipe suggests cilantro, which I must say, I would leave out, but fresh spinach, kale or arugula and a handful of mixed herbs along with a wack of basil, is just lovely. No matter your pesto preference, try a little hemp either as your garnish or in lieu of, or in addition to your nut and see what you think. If you use hemp rather than nuts, you can add this pesto to a child’s school lunch and not be breaking the no nut policy which is a huge bonus for me. As a final note, Chef Mary is a big fan of the Three Farmers Camelina oil which we used in the class and devoured greedily, so for what its worth, it has my approval.

 

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