August 7, 2014 at 1:00 am

Simply the Best

Zucchini pasta might just fool the haters

The avocado pesto in this Zucchini Pasta may need adjusting. (

Sometimes I can be pretty sneaky. It might shock those who donít know me well, but itís no surprise to my husband. Iím a pro at sneaking a new pair of shoes or clothes into the house. ďIíve had this foreverĒ is usually my reply when asked if Iím wearing something new. Heís not fooled one bit, though, and it has become quite the joke at the Lawson ranch.

One thing I canít fool my hubby on, though, is food; heís adamant about his dislikes. He can detect a whiff of mint or rosemary from 30 yards away, and his palate is on high alert for any squash that may be lurking about. But I was feeling feisty one day when I saw this recipe on Facebook for zucchini pasta with avocado pesto and decided that hey, whatís the worst that can happen? He wonít eat it ó but I will.

Here the zucchini is shaved into noodles with a julienne peeler. Like a potato peeler but with two blades, one straight-edge and one saw-tooth blade, it slices the veggie off in thin strips. The dish is light, delicious, super-healthy and perfect for warm summer afternoons. Toss with a fresh basil and avocado pesto, throw in some chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes and it makes for a truly mind-blowing meal.

Iím not foolish enough to try to pass off the squash as pasta noodles, but Iím thinking that the avocado pesto might just convince him to dig in. Still, Iíll keep a pasta pot simmering on the stove just in case.

Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Pesto

Recipe from

3 medium zucchini
2 cups fresh basil leaves
13 cup toasted pine nuts
1 small avocado
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon (juice and zest)
Sea salt to taste
1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas
Ĺ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped to garnish
Basil sprig for garnish

Slice off the top and bottom of the zucchini. Then, using julienne peeler, slice into thin, pasta-like strips and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, avocado, garlic, lemon juice and sea salt. Process until smooth, then taste and adjust any ingredients as necessary. Pesto comes out differently every time, and mine always needs adjustments ó donít be afraid to throw in more basil, garlic or salt. You can even add a little water if the sauce is too thick.

Add the zucchini noodles to a bowl and toss with the pesto. Then, add in the chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes and toss again. Transfer to serving plates and garnish each plate with a sprig of basil and additional tomatoes if desired. Serves 4.

Per serving: 353 calories; 24 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 61 percent calories from fat); 32 g carbohydrates; 6 g sugar; 0 mg cholesterol; 393 mg sodium; 10 g protein; 11 g fiber.