When I hear someone say comfort food my mind instantly pictures a big plate of pasta! I’m a sucker for simple Italian dishes, they always hit the spot after a long day. I love pesto sauce but it can be super high in fat and contains a lot of dairy. This avocado basil pesto sauce substitutes avocado for cheese- I’m all about those healthy fats!
I used veggie noodles for this dish to make it a little lighter- I hate heavy meals! These carrrot and squash noodles cook so quickly and make for a colorful plate of food.
Not only was it a pretty dish but it was very filling as well. I think the pine nuts and avocado contribute to how satiating the meal was. This recipe also freezes very well so if you don’t use it all in a day or two you can always save it for a later date.
This avocado basil pesto would go great with any traditional pasta. But it shouldn’t be limited to just pasta or veggie noodles because the pesto really elevates most foods you combine it with.
Grilled veggies, quinoa, and toast are all other foods that you can slather the avocado basil pesto on and feel totally satisfied after.
Ingredients For avocado basil pesto sauce…
-1/3 of an avocado
-1 cup basil leaves
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1/3 cup pine nuts
-1-2 tsp lemon juice
-5 cloves garlic
-S&P to taste For the veggie pasta…
-2 large carrots
-2 medium squash or zucchini
Begin by filling a large pot with water on the stove on high heat. In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients for the avocado basil pesto sauce. Blend until the pesto reaches a creamy even consistency. Set the pesto aside. Use a julienne peeler or spiralizer to make veggie noodles.If you use a julienne peeler your noodles will be the length of the carrot or zucchini/squash, but if you use a spiralizer you will need to cut your noodles into even lengths, ~6 inches. I usually stop julienne peeling my zucchini/squash when I reach the core- the seedy part tends to carry a lot of water and turns to mush while boiling. In your pot of boiling water add the zucchini/squash and carrot noodles and boil for ~4 minutes, drain the water and place hyena in a mixing bowl. Lastly combine the pesto and mix well until all of your veggie noodles have a light coating of pesto on them. Serve and enjoy!
Salads are my favorite meal, I know… to some I probably sound absolutely crazy for saying that. I made this lightly sweet and tasty apple cider vinaigrette that make my summer salads even better. In my opinion the dressing you choose can be a game changer. Eating salad doesn’t mean you have to use boring iceberg lettuce and some hydrogenated bottled concoction that grocery stores like to call dressing.
I love to pick a light and fluffy lettuce for my salad base and then I just top on whatever veggies, grain, and protein/fat that I might be craving. Sometimes When I’m feeling fancy I will roasted some veggies and put them on top to add a soft and warm element.
The best part about a salad is that there are no rules, you can make it however you like! In the salad pictured there is spring mix, carrots, red onion, and avocado; however, I will list a few more veggies that go great with this light and sweet vinaigrette.
Ingredients For the apple cider vinaigrette…
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-1 Tbsp honey
-2 tsp honey mustard
-2 Tbsp water
-4 cloves garlic (minced)
-S&P to taste For the salad…
-Frise lettuce, bib lettuce, butter lettuce, or spring mix
-red onion, carrot, radishes, cucumber, bell pepper, english peas, and/or corn
-avocado, tofu, or chicken
-quinoa, barley, farro, or even croutons Directions
In a mason jar (or container with a tight sealing lid) combine all salad dressing ingredients. Put lid on tightly and shake until the dressing is mixed to an even consistency. Set aside and build your salad to your liking. Last, top a few spoonfuls of the apple cider vinaigrette on the salad and toss. Enjoy!
-.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
-.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
For the Elderflower Spritz recipe I chose to use cava because it’s not quite as sweet as prosecco. Cava and champagne have a similar taste; however, cava is usually better priced and it never disappoints! I put my drink in a small wine glass but you can prepare this cocktail in a champagne flute or a casablanca champagne coupe. I used a standard 1.5 oz shot glass to measure out my lemon juice and St. Germain liqueur and poured them in the glass first. If you prefer a more floral flavor feel free to add 1 oz. of St. Germain. If you prefer more lemon then add 1 oz. of lemon juice. Top the drink off with cava and garnish with some lemon slices! Enjoy!
-4 cups brussels sprouts (halved or quartered)
-1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
-1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
-1 Tbsp sesame seeds
-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
-optional: red and orange bell pepper slices Directions
Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Then chop brussels sprouts and put in a baking dish. I like to spread mine out so they get more crispy. An optional ingredient would be to add slices of red and orange bell pepper- they add awesome flavor, color, and crunch! Lightly coat your brussels sprouts in vegetable oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss- if the brussels have some burnt edges then go ahead and toss in your chili garlic sauce and sweet chili sauce. If not then place them back in the oven for approximately 5 minutes. After tossing your brussels sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. This recipe serves about 4 people as a side! Enjoy!
-14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
-1/2 cup of sliced mushroom
-1/2 cups sliced red onion
-1/2 cup bell pepper
-1 tsp cayenne, cumin, & smoked paprika
-4 large cloves garlic (minced)
-S&P to taste
-olive oil Directions
Begin by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sized saucepan or skillet add olive oil. Once oil has reached medium to high heat add chopped onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes then add Galicia and sauté for 1 more minute. Add canned diced tomatoes to the veggie mix, cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes. With a large serving spoon make 3 or 4 small divets in the shakshuka mixture. Crack eggs and put in each divet. Place the entire pan into the oven for approximately 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Serve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! This dish makes great leftovers as well!