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 @dr.dylancutler.
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
spiralizer (or sharp knife)
If using a spiralizer, cut both ends of zucchini off and get to work! Otherwise, cut zucchini into thin slices.
Wrap zucchini in paper towel to absorb excess liquid.
Use a food processor to combine basil, mint, walnuts, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice until a smooth paste is formed.
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.
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!
zucchini = anti-inflammatory, high in potassium (can help reduce blood pressure), high in fiber (can help lower cholesterol), low glycemic, and a source of polyphenols (may beneficially affect thyroid, adrenal, and insulin regulation)
Spaghetti squash is the perfect winter vegetable for PCOS fighters. Unlike many other squash varieties, spaghetti squash is low on the glycemic index and high in fiber. Both of these properties allow spaghetti squash to help stabilize blood sugar levels. It is also high in beta-carotene which may increase chances of conceiving by protecting the ovaries from free radicals (damage from free radicals interferes with progesterone production)¹. Additionally, one study found that people with the highest levels of carotenoids were least likely to develop diabetes or insulin resistance². This recipe will fill two squash boats, and may provide leftovers for the next day.
1 large spaghetti squash
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 cup of corn, frozen or canned
1-2 onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of spinach
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger
basil to garnish
Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
Cut squash in half length-wise with a large, sharp knife (carefully, please!) This was tricky (I have seen a few recipes cook the entire squash first before cutting which I may try next time).
Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
Brush inner flesh with olive oil.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the cut side down .
Cook in oven for 35 minutes (any longer will make the squash soggy).
Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic. Set aside.
Prepare and rinse other ingredients (beans, corn, spinach, basil).
Once 35 minutes is up, carefully pull baking sheet out of the oven (I found that the pan was surprisingly heavy and tippy).
Flip over squash and let cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet.
Stir in beans, corn, and spices.
Once squash is cool enough to touch, scrape out the inside flesh with a fork (should look like stringy spaghetti!).
Finally add the squash and spinach to the skillet.
Scoop veggie mixture into the squash bowls and serve.
garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow
ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
onion = promotes liver detoxification, improves digestion & is high in chromium which helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels
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
The 3 primary ingredients are all nutritional powerhouses and PCOS-fighters.
Determining whether a meal is healthy can be complicated depending who you ask. In this case, however, there isn’t much to debate. The primary ingredients of this soup (cauliflower, kale and avocado) are all nutritional powerhouses and PCOS-fighters. By pureeing vegetables like cauliflower you can achieve a creamy soup without dairy or flour. In addition, unlike many soups this recipe is very low in sodium. Roasting the cauliflower, garlic and onion first helps achieve a richer flavor (and makes your home smell really good!).
1 cauliflower head, broken into florets
1/2 medium onion, chopped into large chunks
4 whole garlic cloves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (& extra to drizzle as garnish)
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
4 cups water (approx.)
A few handfuls of kale torn into chunks, organic if possible