Basil Pesto Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Basil Pesto Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Basil Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes (Vegan/Gluten free)

These basil pesto zoodles with roasted tomatoes are the perfect throw together meal that makes the best leftovers – or rollovers as Sarah B from My New Roots calls them!

I’ve eaten them 3 times this week already and have to confess, I’m actually eating some for lunch as I type this post!

They’re delicious warm or chilled, keep well in the fridge, and while they’re a meal in themselves you can easily bulk them up with extra vegetables and/or protein.

I like to use a mix of zucchini noodles aka “zoodles” and black bean noodles as they mix together to form the perfect texture. The black bean noodles also add a protein element, and zoodles are a great way of increasing your vegetable servings!

If you don’t have a vegetable spiraliser you can also use a potato peeler to create zucchini ribbons, or buy them ready made from the vegetable section of your supermarket.

Basil Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes 

Zucchini or courgette depending on what side of the world you’re on, are a great pasta replacement becasue they have a high water and fibre content, yet are very low in carbs.

This means zoodles are nice and filling, but you don’t get all those extra simple carb calories that you would with regular pasta, and is the reason why zucchini and zoodles feature a lot in my 10 Day Sugar Cleanse program

Being a green vegetable also means you get a healthy dose of phytonutrients in your “pasta” which is always a win in my book!

If you’re feeling super lazy you can buy your basil pesto, BUT, it’s so easy to make and homemade pesto is much cheaper, you’re in control of the ingredients so can choose a good quality oil, and it means less plastic packaging to “recycle”.

I promise, once you’ve made your own pesto once you’ll never look back!

Pesto is also traditionally made with parmesan but it’s very easy to create a plant based version that tastes just the same, if not better. All you need is some nutritional yeast and a bit of lemon juice, and you’ll create that delicious parmesan flavour.

Basil Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes

When you make these Basil Pesto Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or Facebook. Enjoy!

Basil Pesto Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes

Serves: 2-4
Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 5 minutes

Basil Pesto
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 cup cashews
1 clove garlic
3/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Zoodles/Noodles
2-4 zucchini (approx 1 zucchini per person)
1 packet black bean noodles (optional)

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
1 packet cherry tomatoes
pink salt & black pepper

 

To make the basil pesto:
Wash the basil and spinach leaves well, drain and place in a food processor with the garlic and salt. Pulse/blend until they resemble coarse crumbs.

Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine but be careful not to over blend. You ‘re aiming for a pesto which should be chunky, rather than a smooth sauce.

Store the pesto in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days (can also be frozen for up to 3 months).

To roast the cherry tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 200ºC fan bake. Wash the tomatoes well, cut in half and place cut side up on a lined oven tray. Sprinkle with pink salt and black pepper.

Roast in the centre of the oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until they start to colour. Remove from oven and set aside.

To make the zoodles:
Wash the zucchini well, cut off the ends and use a spiraliser to turn them into noodles.

Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil.

Add the zoodles and cook a couple of minutes until they just begin to soft but still retain their bright green colour. Drain immediately.

If using black bean noodles as well, add them to the pan of boiling water next, simmer 2 minutes until soft, then drain well.

 To serve:
Place your zoodles/noodle in a large mixing bowl and add a generous helping of basil pesto. Toss together until well combined, then add the roasted cherry tomatoes.

Serve in large bowls and eat warm. Any leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and eaten cold or gently warmed the next day.

 

Basil Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes

Caramelised Sweet Potatoes With Crispy Chickpeas & A Creamy Cashew Sauce

Caramelised Sweet Potatoes With Crispy Chickpeas & A Creamy Cashew Sauce

Caramelised Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chicpeas and a Creamy Cashew Sauce

 

For the past couple of months I’ve been following a fully plant based (vegan), whole foods diet. This wasn’t too much of a change for me as I already avoided most processed and animal foods such as dairy and meat. But I did still have some fish, chicken and eggs in my diet.

Surprisingly, removing those three items hasn’t been that hard, especially when I’m cooking for myself. The hardest part is eating out, but I’ve realised I just need to be a bit more clever about where I choose to go.

What it has done is inspire me to get more creative with my lunches and dinners. This has been a nice change as I definitely fall into the routine of cooking the same thing over and over!

 

Caramelised Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chicpeas and a Creamy Cashew Sauce

 

The idea for this recipe came to me one evening as I was eating dinner. It was as usual some kind of protein (I think it may have been falafel), with a medley of roasted vegetables including whole roasted sweet potatoes.

I’ve roasted whole sweet potatoes many times, and have even used them in a number of dessert recipes like these super fudgey sweet potato chocolate brownies and this sweet potato chocolate mousse.

But something interesting happens when you continue roasting a sweet potato past the 1 hour mark.

As they continue to cook, their insides slowly start to caramelise and their texture turns an amazing silky smooth. As they continue to cook, a liquid starts to ooze out which is their natural sugars caramelising and escaping due to the heat.

So, as I was eating my dinner and mulling over how delicious these 2 hour baked sweet potatoes were, I was also thinking they were almost too filling! Especially with everything else on my plate.

If only there was a way to make them a complete meal on their own…

 

Caramelised Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chicpeas and a Creamy Cashew Sauce

 

And that my friends, is how these caramelised sweet potatoes with crisy chickpeas and creamy cashew sauce came about.

Chickpeas crisp up beautifully after just 15 minutes in the oven and provide a nice contrast in texture to the silky smooth sweet potatoes. The creamy cashew sauce is flavoured with nutritional yeast and lemon juice, which gives it a delicious “cheesey” flavour. And to finish, simply sprinkle over some freshly chopped parsley and hemp seeds.

These stuffed sweet potatoes can be eaten hot or cold, on their own or with a big green side salad. They reheat well, can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days and make the best leftover lunches!

I hope you enjoy these caramelised sweet potatoes with crispy chickpeas and creamy cashew sauce, and if you make them be sure to come back and tell me what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Caramelised Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chicpeas and a Creamy Cashew Sauce

 CARAMELISED SWEET POTATOES WITH CRISPY CHICkPEAS & A CREAMY CASHEW SAUCE

Serves: 2 to 4 (depending on the size of the sweet potatoes)
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 2 hours

4 large sweet potatoes of any colour

Crispy Chickpeas
1 can chickpeas
2 tsp avocado, macadamia or coconut oil
1 tsp curry powder
pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Creamy Cashew Sauce
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of pink Himalayan salt

Garnish
1 handful fresh parsley
2 Tbsp hemp seeds

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake.

Wash any dirt off the sweet potatoes, place on a baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 2 hours. After an hour or so they may start to ooze liquid which is just the liquid sugars coming out and a sign they’re beginning to caramelised inside.

Drain the chickpeas, rinse and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Transfer the chickpeas to a small bowl and toss with oil, curry powder and salt. Place the chickpeas on a baking tray and set aside until 15 minutes before the sweet potatoes are ready.

Make the creamy cashew sauce by placing all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

When the sweet potatoes have been in the oven for 1 hour 45 minutes, place the chickpeas in the oven to cook for 15 minutes.

To serve: place the sweet potatoes on a serving plate and cut open lengthways. Place a couple of spoonfuls of crispy chickpeas into each sweet potato, drizzle with the creamy cashew sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley and hemp seeds.

Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

 

Caramelised Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chicpeas and a Creamy Cashew Sauce

 Caramelised Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chicpeas and a Creamy Cashew Sauce