Zucchini has my nomination for vegetable of the season – if you’ve been following my recent recipes, you’ll see that I’ve used it in everything from taco lettuce wraps to double chocolate zucchini oat muffins. And because it’s so easy to cook with and has the lightest flavor, it really does work in anything. For this healthy dinner of zucchini spaghetti with red pepper pesto, you need a spiralizer (which is easily available online on Amazon, Flipkart, etc. if not in a kitchen store near you).
I used red bell peppers to make a creamy pesto with a secret ingredient: tofu. While I enjoy tofu in most forms, the garlic-roasted red pepper flavor is powerful so there’s a good chance that tofu-haters won’t notice you’ve snuck it in there. Still, if you prefer to you can replace the tofu with a handful of soaked cashews or almonds in this recipe. Another easy option is to double the recipe and use one red bell pepper and one yellow bell pepper for a different flavor. If you’re serving this as a one-dish meal with no other sides or appetizers, toss some cooked whole-wheat spaghetti in along with the zucchini spaghetti to make it more filling. This vegan zucchini spaghetti with red pepper pesto makes the perfect summer dinner – you can find this, other healthy vegan recipes and lots of home inspiration in the latest June-July issue of Better Homes & Gardens. If you try the recipe out, I’d love to hear what you think – leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Instagram @theindiaedition.
- 1 large zucchini (approximately 125g)
- 6-8 almonds, crushed
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 50g tofu
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes or paprika, to taste
- 3-4 basil leaves or herb of your choice to garnish
- Cut the zucchini into long spaghetti-like strips using a spiralizer and set aside.
- Slice the red bell pepper into two, removing the seeds and stem. Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
- Once baked, remove the skin of the bell pepper. To make the pesto sauce, puree the peeled bell pepper along with the garlic, tofu, olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper flakes or paprika.
- In a large pan on medium heat, add the oil, crushed garlic cloves and crushed almonds. Cook until fragrant and browned. Remove from the pan and set aside to use as a garnish later.
- Add the spiralized zucchini and the pesto sauce to the pan. Add 1-2 tbsp of water as needed and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve immediately, garnishing with the toasted almonds and garlic and herbs as desired.