Today I’d like to share a dish that is perfect for hot summer evenings.
The heat and humidity in Toronto is outrageous this week. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in St. John’s Newfoundland (where there is close to zero humidity and fresh ocean breezes all summer long), but I am a huge heat wimp. I am one of those people who states the obvious constantly (I’m so hot!), while dramatically wiping sweat of my forehead every 2 minutes. Last night I went to a Jays game with my fam (we lost, but it was an awesome game) and I spent the first three innings grumbling and chugging water. Wow, I’m a pain. I’d like to take a moment to thank my friends and family who love grumpy hot weather Jill, despite my relentless and redundant complaining.
Eating and drinking things that cool me down in this weather cheers me up considerably. Making food that does not require heating things also makes me happy.
Enter raw food.
For those of you unfamiliar, when people talk about raw food they are generally talking about food that hasn’t been heated above a specific temperature (usually 115 degrees, but this is debated within the raw food community). For an explanation of the nutritional science behind raw food, check out this page on Gena’s site. For a list of the benefits of eating raw, check out this post. I like eating raw food. It’s vegan, super healthy, fun to make and really, really delicious. But I am nowhere near a raw foodist- too much commitment, too little chocolate.
However to calm myself down in these times of soaring temperatures, I decided to uncook myself a big bowl of raw pasta.
Now, because I am a huge food geek I actually own a tool that transforms regular vegetables into noodles. It’s called a Spiralizer, and it looks like this:
To create your veggie noodles, simply place veggie of choice in the spiralizer and turn the handle.
In no time you will get a giant bowl of noodles like this:
I use zucchini almost exclusively, because I love how the noodles are sort of soft. But they are not for everyone. My little sister admitted recently that she hates raw zucchini, and described it as “mealy and disgusting”. To each their own, but I am a HUGE fan. I can’t get enough.
Anyways, I used my spiralizer for this recipe. If you don’t have one of your own, do not despair- you can use a mandolin or a regular knife to chop some noodles of your own.
Raw Zucchini Noodles with Pine Nut Pesto and Walnut Parmesan
– 1 zucchini, spiralized or cut into noodles per person
Pine Nut Pesto with Sundried Tomatoes
-2 C herbs of choice (I used a combination of basil and parsley)
-1/3 C pine nuts (toasted, or raw)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1-2 cloves garlic (to taste)
-1/4 C olive oil
-5 sundried tomatoes, soaked in water (oil packed will also work)
1/2 C walnuts
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1. Make your noodles, set aside
2. Combine walnuts, nutritional yeast and salt in your blender or food processor. Blend/process until mixture resembles parmesan cheese.
3. Toss all the pesto ingredients except the oil into a food processor. Process and add the oil slowly as you do, scraping the sides of your processor down until everything is well combined like so:
(ARG! I hate the lighting in my kitchen)
4. Add a heaping scoop of pesto to a bowl of noodles
5. Mix well, and top with freshly chopped cherry tomatoes and walnut parmesan.
A great way to beat the heat. Enjoy.