Sunday, August 23, 2015

Oodles of Zoodles with Avocado Basil Pesto and Farmer's Market Tomatoes

Are you in on the spiralizer craze?  With enough machines and gadgets in my kitchen, this is one craze I was going to let pass me by.  Who needs to clog up even more valuable counter space with another big gadget?

But after a spontaneous substitution of Zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) in place of pasta at a local restaurant, I'm unquestionably hooked.  Losing the pasta carbs and adding even more vegetables to my veggie dish was good enough, but the glorious texture of the par-cooked zucchini noodles pushed me over the edge.  I totally get the craze and I simply MUST have a spiralizer!

As timing often works when it needs to, days later OXO sent an offer to to try their new Hand-Held Spiralizer .  Hmmm... hand-held??  Not cluttered counter space?  And does the same job as one of those bulky spiralizer machines bringing glorious spiralized zucchini (and beets... would those be Boodles?  and carrots... Coodles?) with the twist of a hand?  If I didn't know better, I'd say OXO had read my mind.

Seriously only a few inches tall and with an equally small circumference (but perfectly sized for even large zucchini!), the OXO Hand-Held Spiralizer fits in my gadget drawer yet spiralizes like a workhorse.  Add to it the fact that the spiralizer is BPA-free AND dishwasher safe, and I think I just may have a new favorite gadget.

But would my family like spiralized foods as much as I do?  In a word... yes.  Well, except for the "Boodles" (beet noodles).  Apparently I am the only one with a taste for beets no matter the shape (I promise that recipe including beets, balsamic, goat cheese and sugared walnuts is coming for beet lovers like me!), so today we bring you a new family favorite... Zoodles with Avocado Basil Pesto and ripe summer tomatoes, a bowl of fabulousness bringing together many of our all time favorite ingredients (avocado anyone??  ;).

I'll admit it took a bit of convincing, but when a carb-loving kid hesitantly takes a bite of a dish filled with only vegetables, turns your directions and utters, "Glorious... simply glorious.", a mom can't help but smile.

Thanks also to OXO for making me smile and reading my mind to making my spiralizing dreams come true with the twist of a hand (and not clutter on my counter).  I see twirly carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, beets etc,. etc., etc., in my future!

Zoodles with Avocado Basil Pesto and Summer Farmer's Market Tomatoes
Filled with oodles of veggies, the spiralized and blanched zucchini brings a glorious texture to this dish that makes it irresistible.  Avocado lends a creamy touch and basil, lemon and tomatoes make it sing.
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2-3 zucchini
1 carrot
salt to taste
chopped tomatoes (we love quartered cherry or grape tomatoes)

Avocado Basil Pesto
1/2 avocado
1 large handful basil
1 Tbs hemp seed
1 Tbs lemon juice (I usually don't measure... just a good splash!)
3 Tbs good quality olive oil (more if desired)
pinch salt (more if desired)

Using your OXO Hand-Held Spiralizer (or your model), spiralize the carrot.  Set aside.  Then spiralize the zucchini.

Place a medium saucepan on the stove and add about 3/4 cup of water.  Bring to a simmer and add the carrot.  Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the zucchini.  (You may want to add another 1/2 cup or so of water depending on how much zucchini you have and if your water has evaporated).

Allow to simmer about 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and drain into a colander over the sink.

Prepare Avocado Basil Pesto - place all ingredients (avocado through pinch of salt) into a blender (I used my Blendtec Twister jar) and pulse a few times.  Scrape the side of the bowl if necessary and repeat until desired consistency (may blend to perfect smoothness, or alternatively blend leaving small bits of basil.  Personal preference).

Place spiralized veggies into a bowl and toss with some of the pesto - I use about 3 Tbs pesto to 2 medium sized zucchini, feel free to adjust more or less as desired.

Add the quartered tomatoes and toss lightly.  Garnish with a whole basil leaf and serve with freshly ground pepper and salt if desired.  

We found we used about 1 zucchini per person, but know that that will vary depending on size of zucchini used.  The pesto makes about 1/2 cup of pesto.

Liv Life Note:  We received an OXO Hand-Held Spiralizer from OXO to try.  This post is not sponsored other than the item, and my review is heartfelt.  Thank you OXO!


  1. What stunningly delicious and oh so healthy food. :-) I love this!

    1. Thanks Krista!! You'll be on your way to growing zucchini soon I bet. Happy almost spring!

  2. Uhhh! I might try this one then. I've only tried the regular big ones because my mom has everything there has ever been invented and whatever has to be invented yet in her kitchen. I myself have a kitchen smaller than most peoples closets though so I always have consider eeeevery new kitchen gadget purchase 5 times before deciding. This sounds like the perfect solution!! Thanks for reviewing!

    1. Love the small size of this gadget... it's become one of my most reached for things in my kitchen!

  3. Yum, sounds wonderful. I didn't believe zucchini noodles could be so awesome either till I tried them and was sold!!

    1. It was such a surprise, but I absolutely adored them at first bite!

  4. Love the avocado "twist" (get it?)! I make something similar with just zucchini noodles BUT I use oven dried cherry tomatoes! Delish! Thanks for the new pesto recipe, Kim.

    1. Haha!!! Love that!! Dried tomatoes... brilliant!!


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