For those of you that read my last post, you may remember that I was patiently waiting for my Progressive spiralizer to be delivered by Yuppiechef. Because I had already bought all my ingredients for the weekend, I decided to go ahead anyway and make my dish without a noodle maker. I ended up using all types of slicers and dicers and graters to replicate a similar texture in my cabbage, carrots & baby marrows. It was impossible to get the exact same result, but it got me experimenting which is always fun, and I still ended up with a beautiful, tasty, textured dish regardless. But now that I’ve used my new toy, there’s no going back.
For my latest vegetable noodle recipe, I was armed and ready to spiralize the sh*t out of any available vegetables, and thankfully that week Woolworths had some massive zucchinis on sale, which were the perfect size. For those of you that are spiralizer virgins, the thicker and longer the carrot or zucchini, the better. Oh, stop it with your dirty mind! While you are getting the hang of it, you should also buy a few more vegetables than the recipe requires, as there is definitely more trial and error and technique involved than you’d think.
To test out my spiralizer, the dish I decided to make is inspired by a combination of a basil & cashew pesto (taste.com.au), which I usually make as a topping for steak and hash browns, and a prawn & zucchini noodles dish I found on diethood.com. And then just because I absolutely LOVE pine nuts (and because I found them for R30 a bag at Food Lover’s Market), I added this to the shopping cart too.
Pine nuts conjure up so many good memories for me. They are usually so expensive and hard to find now, but back in the good old days, they were easy pickings. Well, kind of. Many a fine day was spent as a family trawling Silver Mines Forest and pine tree clusters in Camps Bay for as many pine cones as we could possibly collect. We would come home with hessian bags filled to the brim and my dad would immediately get to work in the garage, removing each and every seemingly impenetrable pine kernel from each pine cone and using a brick or a nutcracker to apply just the right amount of pressure to release the tiny delicate pine nut from it’s shell without obliterating it. We would all take turns helping, but we would either lose interest quite quickly as kids do, or if that didn’t send us on our way, my dad would soon be shooing us away for our lack of skill and patience. Later that day we would absolutely gorge ourselves on all these delectable, slightly sweet, salty & creamy little pieces of heaven. So you can imagine my excitement when I got them so cheap for this dish.
The real bonus with this dish is that it’s like having a bowl of moreish pasta, but instead you’re eating low carb, nutritious vegetables. The difference is so slight that your mouth and your brain won’t even know the difference. Pine nuts are also a healthy addition to this meal. Apart from their beautiful flavour, they are also known to trigger the release of a hormone that suppresses the appetite so can assist with weight loss. They also help boost energy due to their high magnesium content. But wait. There’s more. They also contain anti-aging antioxidants, so get snacking ladies cos they sound like the perfect in-between-meals treat. And what you don’t gobble up at work, sprinkle over the top of this dish for dinner. But be sure to get them from Food Lovers where they are more affordable.
I hope you enjoy this tasty combination of plump prawns & soft zucchini noodles, swimming in a yummy, crunchy, doubly nutty basil pesto.
Cashew Basil Pesto recipe:
- 1 full cup of basil leaves (stalk removed)
- 1 garlic clove (quartered and crushed)
- ½ cup roasted cashew nuts (roughly chopped into large pieces)
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup olive oil
- Ina Paarman Pasta Spice (to taste)
- Use a food processor or hand blender to break down and combine all the ingredients above except the spice. When everything is sufficiently mixed together, transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside.
- Add the Ina Paarman Pasta spice to taste. It brings all the flavours together so nicely.
Prawn, Pine Nut & Zucchini Noodles recipe:
- knob butter
- olive oil
- sufficient deveined, deshelled, defrosted prawns for two servings (patted dry with some paper towel to avoid the hot oil splattering when combined with water)
- 2-3 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 4 large zucchinis (spiralized)
- freshly ground salt & pepper
- handful of pine nuts
- Ina Paarman Pasta Spice (to taste)
- Heat up half of your butter and olive oil mixture on high in a large pan.
- Season your prawns with salt & pepper, then sear on high heat to give them a nice golden and charred exterior. Then turn the heat down to medium. After a few minutes, when they are cooked through and white, remove them from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Always cut open one of your largest prawns to ensure it has cooked all the way through
- In the same pan, still on medium heat, fry your garlic with the rest of the butter for a few minutes, then add your zucchini noodles.
- Cook until tender while constantly tossing the mixture
- Add the prawns and pesto mixture, combine and heat through
- Divide mixture into 2 bowls and sprinkle with pine nuts and some extra Ina Paarman Pasta Spice
- Serve and enjoy!
If you like what you see, and you’d like to give it a go, I would definitely recommend you buy the Progressive Vegetable Noodle Maker from Yuppiechef like I did, at the affordable price of R159. There are more expensive spiralizers out there but there is no need when this one gets the job done just fine. It also has a second blade for shaving vegetables including cucumber into long, wide sheets like parpadelle (broad sheets of fettuccine pasta). It pops open for easy manual cleaning of the blade and is dishwasher safe too. Check out the link below to order.