I have a black thumb that dates back many years. I learned in high school that you can over feed a Chia Pet. (FYI – their hair slides off) I killed a cactus in college when I forgot to move it off the radiator in winter. I killed a bamboo plant when I forgot to water it for 6 months. Planting things in my backyard has not been a success either, unless you count the mint that spread from the pot and grew out of control. I can occasionally handle pots of basil, but I never know when to trim the leaves back, and I either get overly aggressive or wait too long to harvest. I’m such a lousy gardener that I don’t even know when to start prepping plants for the season. (Is that what you call it? Prepping plants? I mean the little seedling thingies that our neighbors have in eggs crates.) But I am so excited about this recipe for Thai Basil Pesto that I may try to grow my own Thai basil this year. Not familiar with Thai basil? It is very different from standard every day basil – it has an almost licorice-like flavor to it, a hint of heat and isn’t sweet like its Italian cousin. Mix it with a hint of lime, cilantro and fish sauce for a crazy good sauce to coat pretty much anything. I love this sauce with zoodles, also known as zucchini noodles for the uninitiated.
I try to avoid most food trends, but I fell in love with the idea of spiralizing. I love my kitchen gadgets, so a tool that will turn veggies into noodles was a no brainer. Zucchini noodles are my favorite, but carrot and apples noodles are also popular in my house. Spiralizing takes just minutes and the veggies cook quickly without the need to boil a pot of water. I use the Paderno spiralizer, but my trusty old julienne slicer makes zoodles with just a little more effort. The julienne slicer is great for slicing veggie super thin and I used it for the carrots in this recipe. It takes less than a minute to make beautiful strands of veggies to mix in with the zoodles. I use it all of the time to add color to my salads. Combine a quick cooking veggie with a no-cook sauce? You have a dinner that can be thrown together very quickly.
So maybe zoodles aren’t your thing. I get it. Replacing noodles with zucchini is kind of a stretch. Luckily, this is delicious over hot rice stick noodles or rice. Sometimes I add shrimp or tofu and that only adds a couple of minutes to the prep time. Super easy, right?
Note: Make this Whole30 compliant by substituting coconut aminos for soy sauce. Skip the fish sauce if you are vegan.
|Thai Basil Pesto Zoodles|| |
- 2 handfuls Thai basil
- 1 handful fresh mint
- 1 handful cilantro
- zest of ½ lime
- juice of ½ a lime
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating pan
- 4 zucchini, spiral cut
- 2 carrots, julienned
- ½ red pepper, julienned
- Finely chop the basil, mint and cilantro and add to a mixing bowl.
- Add lime, fish sauce, soy and oil, mixing well.
- Coat a large pan with vegetable oil and heat until the oil glistens.
- Add veggies and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the zucchini becomes tender.
- Drain any remaining liquid from the pan.
- Add the pesto to the pan and toss until the zoodles are coated.
- Serve hot.
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