Inspiralized Zucchini Noodles with Mint Pesto

A low glycemic alternative to pasta with a vegan’s take on pesto.

Once summer hits in British Columbia, farmers’ markets are in full swing. There is bountiful produce to enjoy, especially if you grow your own veggies or herbs. This recipe makes use of several market goodies: zucchini, tomatoes, mint, basil and garlic. Zucchini noodles are a low glycemic alternative to pasta and, for pesto-lovers, I have created a vegan, mint version high in flavour and healthy fats. Mint can help aid digestion and may even lower cholesterol. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment or sharing your versions with me @phruitfuldish.

Mint growing in garden.JPG
Mint growing in my parents’ garden.

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • cherry tomatoes
  • spiralizer (or sharp knife)

Mint Pesto

How to:

  1. If using a spiralizer, cut both ends of zucchini off and get to work! Otherwise, cut zucchini into thin slices.
  2. Wrap zucchini in paper towel to absorb excess liquid.
  3. Use a food processor to combine basil, mint, walnuts, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice until a smooth paste is formed.
  4. Combine zucchini with pesto and mix well. I added spoonfuls of pesto slowly until I reached the ratio I wanted, which resulted in half the pesto leftover.
  5. Add veggies, like tomatoes, or a high-protein source, such as beans or legumes, if you’d like to make this a meal. Enjoy your minty zoodles!
Pesto Zoodles
Zucchini Noodles with Mint Pesto

PCOS Powers:

  • zucchini = low glycemic alternative to pasta, anti-inflammatory, high in potassium which can help reduce blood pressure, fiber which can help lower cholesterol and polyphenols which may beneficially affect thyroid, adrenal and insulin regulation
  • walnuts = no cholesterol, high in unsaturated fats which help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, help prevent cardiovascular disease
  • mint = aids indigestion, may help manage cholesterol
  • extra virgin olive oilanti-inflammatory, can manage cholesterol levels, studies show 1-2 tbsp a day can lower risk of certain types of cancers
  • garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow
PIN FOR LATER:

Zucchini Noodles with Mint Pesto (Vegan, Low-Glycemic)

My Matcha Life

Garlic Turmeric Hummus

An anti-inflammatory snack for dipping or spreading.

I designed this high-protein hummus specifically for fighting inflammation and disease. Garlic has been shown to help lower inflammation, boost immune functioning and kill cancer cells (it is most potent when eaten raw!). Turmeric, a well-researched spice, is responsible for the bright yellow color. It has been shown to help prevent diabetes and treat depression (one study demonstrated turmeric is as effective as Prozac). Leave a comment letting me know how you cook with garlic or turmeric!

Garlic Turmeric Hummus
Garlic Turmeric Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 10-15 peeled garlic cloves, roasted or raw
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • water
Garlic Turmeric Hummus
Garlic Turmeric Hummus

How to:

  1. Optional: Roast whole garlic bulbs in oven for 30 min at 400°F (see directions). Alternatively, if your garlic is already peeled then throw the peeled cloves in the oven. This method will only take 15-20 min.
  2. Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth (add water to help with blending and scrape down sides when food processor gets stuck).
  3. Sprinkle with herb of choice and serve.

PCOS Powers:

  • garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow
  • extra virgin olive oil = anti-inflammatory, studies show 1-2 tbsp a day can lower risk of certain types of cancers
  • rosemary = anti-inflammatory, has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells
  • turmeric = anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood glucose levels, anti-depressant, black pepper increases bioavailability
  • cumin = has been shown to lower blood glucose and insulin levels

Mighty Mason Jar Salads

Lunch on-the-go doesn’t get much easier (or healthier).

These small but mighty mason jar salads are an easy lunch or snack idea you can prepare at home before your busy week begins. Each jar packs in 13 grams of protein and 13 grams of fibre. With endless opportunity for ingredient substitutions, I am interested in hearing what you all come up with! Be sure to check out the PCOS Powers listed at the end of this post (there are a lot!).

Mason Jar Salads
Mason Jar Salads

Ingredients (makes 5 mason jars):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups corn, frozen or canned
  • 1 can kidney beans (I plan to add more next time)
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tbsp seeds (pumpkin, hemp, flax, sesame, etc)
  • greens (spinach, kale, etc), organic if possible
  • veggies (beets, carrots, etc)
Mason Jar Salads
Mason Jar Salads

How to:

  1. Cook 1 cup of dry quinoa.
  2. Rinse and measure out your corn and beans.
  3. Once quinoa has cooled, begin layering your salad by adding 1 tbsp of olive oil into each jar, then evenly distribute the beans, corn, quinoa, & seeds (really pack it down to fit everything in).
  4. Finally, distribute greens and veggies (I had spiralized beets sitting in the fridge so I threw those in but you can get creative!).
  5. Store in fridge up to 5 days. When ready to eat, remove from fridge 30 min before eating (this will allow olive oil to liquefy again), shake jar, pour salad into a bowl and dig in!
Mason Jar Salads
Mason Jar Salads

PCOS Powers:

  • spinach = high in calcium which helps alkalize acidity caused by inflammation and impaired glucose tolerance, high in magnesium which some women with PCOS are deficient in
  • kale = anti-inflammatory, high in fiber, & high in calcium which is important for egg maturation and follicle development
  • kidney beans = high in fiber which helps prevent heart disease, good source of iron and magnesium
  • quinoa = high in fiber, gluten-free, helps manage insulin resistance and high blood pressure
  • flax seeds = contain lignans which may increase sex hormone-binding globulin and therefore lower blood testosterone levels, may reduce blood pressure
  • beets = anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood pressure, shown to reduce cancerous tumors in various animal models
  • extra virgin olive oil = anti-inflammatory, studies show 1-2 tbsp a day can lower risk of certain types of cancers
  • low glycemic = helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and energy
Mason Jar Salads
Mason Jar Salads

What plant-based lunches do you make? Share your ideas with me in the comments below and have a great week! 🙂