5-ingredient vegan walnut pesto over zucchini noodles (vegan, gluten free, paleo)

vegan pesto pasta with zucchini noodles

Yep, it’s been waaay too long since I posted, but there’s a good reason for that.

If you saw my last post, you’ll know that I started on something new earlier this year. The name change of this online space was just the first hint of that! Since enrolling in my health coach training program, I’ve become even more excited by the possibilities for transformation that I can bring to my clients…and to you!

This online space will take a little catching up to what’s been happening “behind the scenes” since March. For now, I’m content not to rush it. In the end, it will mean better content for you and a space that feels authentically me.

Now about this recipe…

We’re in the thick of a heat wave and my enthusiasm for cooking over a hot stove in a house that lacks central air is way down. I’m not complaining though!

Instead, I’m using it as an opportunity to experiment with a summer meal plan and easy to prepare, refreshing recipes, like this vegan walnut pesto over zucchini noodles.

Here’s what I love about this dish:

  • It’s quick to prepare (the zucchini noodles take less time than cooked noodles!)
  • The vegan walnut pesto adds a boost of plant-based protein
  • You can serve the zucchini noodles warm or cold. Serve cold for a crunchier noodles. Pour warm water over them, then drain, for softer, warm noodles.
  • The zucchini noodles are an easy way to cut out carbs
  • It’s fun to make
  • You don’t need a stove

If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a cheese grate or slice the zucchini into long strips. This takes longer and isn’t as fun. However, it’s what I did the very first time I tried this since I didn’t want to buy a kitchen gadget without knowing if I’d like the results.

I found my first spiralizer at Whole Foods for only $5. More recently, I upgraded to a bigger spiralizer from Target (but you can find it a little cheaper here on Amazon *affiliate link)because it’s bigger and has three noodle shape/size options.

While I love this vegan walnut pesto for a cold supper option, my traditional pasta sauce also works well with these noodles, or even mix the two together!

*BONUS TIP: If you aren’t sure how you’ll feel about these zucchini noodles, and especially if you’re serving them to children for the first time, you can mix these in with spaghetti noodles. It’s what I do for my kids! Simply cook the noodles according to package directions and then add the zucchini noodles to the water just before you’re ready to drain the pasta. (BTW, I love the brown rice spaghetti noodles from Aldi)*

Five-ingredient vegan walnut pesto with zucchini noodles
Prep Time
15 mins
 

A quick and easy that's perfect for hot summer days...or when you want to shake things up for pasta night.

Course: Main Course
Keyword: vegan summer recipe, vegan walnut pesto, zucchini noodles
Servings: 2 adults
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups of basil
  • 1/2 cups of walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • dashes of freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp nutritional yeast optional
  • 1-2 medium small zucchini
Instructions
For the zucchini noodles
  1. Thoroughly wash the zucchini and cut off the top (the end that attaches to the stalk). Place in spiralizer and turn to form noodles. For crunchier noodles, leave cold. For softer noodles that will feel closer to spaghetti, heat water in a kettle, pour over noodles and soak for 1-2 minutes. Drain, then portion into bowls or onto plates.

For the vegan walnut pesto
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix on high until everything is thoroughly combined. Spoon onto noodles of choice (I recommend zucchini!) and stir until noodles are coated. Personally, for my own bowl, I like to mix in the pasta by hand. Store any extras in an air-tight jar in the freezer.
Recipe Notes

*See post for additional tips and serving ideas

raw granola (vegan, no sugar, raw)

vegan raw granola

(Printable version of this recipe are near the end of the post. This post contains affiliate links which help fund this blog but at no cost to you.)

Word on the street is that most people who visit recipe blogs want the goods up front and without the life stories. I get it. I often do that too. #guiltyascharged So I’m making a slight change in posting format to get you to the recipe faster.

However, I know there are a few of you who also enjoy learning more about the blogger behind the recipes. If that’s you, then you’ll definitely want to join my VIP newletter list where I share more about life plus give you insider tips, content and recipes. You also can find me on Instagram here.

 

Now for that granola…

This raw granola is incredibly easy to make and comes together in minutes. It can be made gluten free, if needed, simply by using gluten free oats. The best part? It satisfies your craving for something sweet, because of the dates, but without any added sugar.

You’ll notice in the recipe below that I use date paste which is just a blend of softened dates that I buy from a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern market in our area. You can find the specific brand I use here. I like to have a softened form of dates ready to go as they blend more readily, but you can make your own I’ve included the how to below and in the printable version for your convenience.

Here’s how to make the raw granola:

  • Add 3/4 cups of date paste, 1 cup of pecans and 1 cup of whole rolled oats (organic is best) to a food processor (this one is my favorite) or high speed blender (like this one).
  • Blend on high speed until the mixture becomes just crumbly. Be careful not to over-mix or the pecans will release their oils. Refer to the picture for the texture you are going for.
  • That’s it! All done.

 

While you certainly can eat it as is and straight from the jar (and I absolutely adore these tulip jars by Weck!) which I occasionally do, I think it’s best when combined with other foods, like fruit – here’s the recipe for my favorite apple crisp – or vegan, unsweetened yogurt or sprinkled over oatmeal. The raw granola can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks.

And here’s the printable version of the recipe:

Raw Granola
Total Time
3 mins
 

This raw granola is added sugar free and so easy to make it comes together in minutes.

Servings: 2 cups
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup date paste*
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup whole rolled oats, gluten free if needed, organic is best
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until it becomes crumbly. Don't overmix or the pecans will release their oils. Can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Recipe Notes

*If you can't find date paste, you can make your own by soaking 3/4 cup of Medjool dates in warm water for 1-2 hours and then blending until smooth. In this case, it's best to buy Medjool dates with the pits still in them and simply remove the pits just before using. See post on why I prefer using date paste.

*See post for suggested uses.