Pesto Zoodle Spinach Salad
In the waning days of summer when my taste-buds have not yet shifted to squashes and soups, I am beating the hot and humid ass days with cold salads. It's an easy way to get lots of veggies in, and frankly is more appealing that all green salads all the time. I know I roll my eyes at people who say things like 'I feel like a rabbit eating salad' but really, I get it. It can literally be laborious to chew that long. Enter: Zoodles.
I recently overheard someone talking about how they didn't know how to prepare zoodles and I was happy to politely share that I think I had figured out the secret! Salt. If you're a salt free person god bless you... but I love salt. I try to limit it but it makes food worth eating.
Cooking zoodles can make them limp really quick and without warning you have smashed zucchini mush. Likewise, going raw can be great but you will be chewing as much as a salad and you'll also get a much stronger zucchini flavor that you may not like.
Here is the trick to great zoodles: Make the zoodles, toss them with a tablespoon or so of salt, and let them sit for about 20 minutes. The salt will get the moisture out and break down the fiber of the vegetable just a bit, but it will still retain some it's bite. It's a perfect happy medium. Then you can choose to put hot sauce on them, make a cold salad with them, or do whatever your heart desires.
This salad is just a mix of zoodles, vegan pesto, some fresh tomato, and spinach.
Ingredients for the pesto:
- 1 handful packed basil leafs (about 2/3 packed cup)
- 1 Tbs white miso paste
- 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup water
Put everything in a blender and pulse until well incorporated.
The miso has a nice mild 'nutty/cheesy' flavor and works perfect in this pesto. Once the pesto is made toss with zucchini noodles, halved grape tomatoes and spinach.
- Whole pesto recipe
- 3 small or 2 large zucchinis spiralized and salted
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 lemon to squeeze on top
Nutritional information: Servings 5, serving size a little more than 1 cup. Calories 61, Fat 1, Fiber 3.9, Protein 5.7 g, Fiber 3.9 g
As the final days of summer approach I look forward to getting into the fall mindset... but not quite yet! Enjoy the warm weather, stand in the sun, and if you live in a place like where I do that you will soon be in the throws of winter APPRECIATE EVERY LAST DAY!