Monday, April 20, 2009

Vegan Lemon Basil Pesto On Raw Zucchini Spaghetti

Making zucchini spaghetti on a Benriner spiral vegetable slicer.

Vegan lemon basil pesto served as a dip.

This pesto recipe makes a wonderful, light sauce that can be used as a topping for many dishes or it can be served as a dip. It is almost raw except for the nutritional yeast. But wait, before my raw foodist friends decide to delete this from the recipe, know that it has many nutritional benefits and should be a food staple for those on a vegan diet.

The Benefits Of Nutritional Yeast
For example, 2 heaping tablespoons of nutritional yeast is like taking a vitamin pill! It is a complete protein and is especially high in the B-complex vitamins. Each serving gives you the following in grams and % of your total daily requirement:

• 3.9 g of fiber or 16% of your daily requirement
• 8.34 g of protein, 17%
• 9.6 mg B1 (Thiamin) , 800%
• 9.6 mg B2 (Riboflavin), 738%—difficult to get from a raw vegan diet
• 56 mg B3 (Niacin), 350%
• 1.04 g B5 (Pantothenic acid), 21%
• 9.6 mg B6, 565%
• 240 mcg folic acid, 60%—especially needed during pregnancy
• 8 mcg B12, 333%—impossible to get from a raw vegan diet
• 320 mg potassium, 9%
• 174.4 mg phosphorus, 25%
• 20.8 mg magnesium, 5%
• .77 mg iron, 4%
• .094 mg manganese, 5%
• .128 mg copper, 14%
• 22.4 mcg selenium, 41%
• 3.2 mg zinc, 29%—difficult to get from a raw vegan diet

Its natural nutty and cheesy flavor makes it a perfect substitute for the parmesan usually used in pesto recipes. If you eat cheese, please feel free to substitute back the parmesan and delete the nutritional yeast but before you do that, give it a try. I bet you won’t notice the difference. You can use nutritional yeast in any recipe that calls for parmesan. It is also a healthy topping for popcorn!

Using A Spiral Vegetable Slicer To Make Raw Spaghetti
It seems like every week I’m telling you about another kitchen toy used in raw cooking. To make what looks like “spaghetti” out of zucchini squash (to be used in our lemon basil pesto recipe), you will need a spiral vegetable slicer. The one I LOVE is the Benriner spiral vegetable slicer from Japan. We started out with a less expensive Saladacco spiral slicer but didn’t have much luck with it. Some people do get this one to work so I wouldn’t rule it out.


Vegan Lemon Basil Pesto With Raw Zucchini Spaghetti [4 servings]
2 cups packed fresh basil
2 medium cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
2 heaping tablespoons Red Star nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
4 medium zucchini

Run the garlic through the chute of the food processor. Add the basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and oil and process until smooth. Add pine nuts and nutritional yeast and process being careful not to over process the nuts. Set the pesto aside. Peel 4 medium zucchini, and put through a spiral vegetable slicer. Place the zucchini “spaghetti” on paper towels to dry. Put dried zucchini strands in a serving bowl, mix together with vegan lemon basil pesto and serve.

Per serving: 210.4 calories, 19 g fat, 2.4 g saturated fat, zero g cholesterol, 5.6 g protein, 11.5 g carbohydrates, 3.2 grams of fiber.

Lemon basil pesto may also be served as a dip or over cooked pasta.


BFreedom said...

Going to try this tonight, looks good.

KootenayBorn said...

I've been looking for a spiral slicer thingy. They were selling for 91$ at the store in town?! Its the same one you have. Then I find them online for 50 with shipping, 39 before..

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

The Benriner slicer is my favorite by a long shot. Some of the others I've tried turn your zucchini into mush!
I noticed today that Amazon sells it for $39.99 plus shipping in the U.S. I think I may have paid a bit more a few years ago so it's good to see the price is coming down.
I hope you enjoy yours when you get it!

KootenayBorn said...

So delicious! We didnt buy the spiral slicer yet but I just did ribbons. So yummy though, Our first raw (ish) meal for dinner, ever id say!!

Vera Marcia Glass said...

I love your blog.
Thanks for sharing your recipes.