Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

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Zoodles are noodles made out of zucchini, nothing more.  Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, the zucchini is cut into noodles.  Whenever I make zoodles, I usually dress them in a pesto or top them with marinara. This pesto has a lovely mix of basil, kale, and spinach, and because this recipe was is Fall- and Halloween-inspired, pumpkin seeds were thrown into the mix.   The end result is really delicious.

After tossing the zoodles with pumpkin kale pesto, throw in some sliced grape tomatoes for more texture and sweetness. When served with my Pink Peppercorn vegan “Goat Cheese,” it is even more satiating and scrumptious.

For a quick, raw, and satisfying meal, try this dish. You will be happy you did!

 

Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

Servings:  4

Time:  20 minutes

Diet:  V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, NF, CFNF, R

 

Ingredients

Zoodles:

4 medium zucchini

 

Pumpkin Kale Pesto:

1 cup basil leaves

¼ cup kale, stems removed

2 Tbsp spinach

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

4 Tbsp filtered water

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1 shake or pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Other Ingredients:

16 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

4 orange bell peppers, optional for Halloween

 

Directions

Zoodles:

1. Make zoodles using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. When using a julienne peeler, carefully peel the zucchini as you would a carrot, making long “noodles”. When using a spiralizer to make zoodles, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

 

Pistachio Kale Pesto:

1. Place all of the Pumpkin Kale Pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender, and pulse until fully pureed and sauce-like in consistency.

 

Bell Pepper Jack-o’-lanterns: (optional)

1. Carve faces in your peppers. To do this, cut a round section on the top of the pepper. Discard the seeds and scrape away the insides. Being very careful, begin to carve the jack-o’-lantern face. When complete, set aside.

 

Assemble:

1. Toss the zoodles with enough pesto to coat, and

a)    place onto a plate. Add about 8 grape tomato halves to the zoodles, and if you have it, a slice of Pink Peppercorn Vegan “Goat Cheese”. Serve immediately.

b)    Toss in the sliced tomatoes and stuff each bell pepper with zoodles and tomatoes, replacing the top of the pepper once filled.

 

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Halloween 2009 and candy-making!

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I love Fall, especially watching the leaves turn in my sister’s neighborhood.  I know, we live in Southern California and palm fronds don’t turn color, but where my sister lives there are tall deciduous maple trees.  Whenever around them, I take a moment to appreciate their splendor.  Not only do I enjoy watching the seasons change, I like feeling and breathing in the cooler air, and most of all, Halloween…it brings on so much excitement and anticipation!

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If my college buddies lived in the area and vice versa, I’m sure I would’ve gone to an exciting Halloween event.  Since they live in Northern California now, I spent the holiday with my family and Peyman.  At one point, three out of six of my sisters and I lived in Los Angeles.  Now it’s just Riva and me, and her growing family.  She now has 3 kids.  We are super close and I treat all 3 of them as if they were my own, the older two being twins.  Since the twins’ premature stages in life, I’ve always been there to help care for them.  Since there is a certain survival rate for premature babies, I made myself available to help Riva and Scott with their babies so they could survive and flourish.  They have survived and are growing so fast and so smart.  This year, like every year, we went to the shops at the Hollywood Riviera in Redondo Beach to trick or treat, then we trick or treated around their neighborhood and they passed out candy at home to other children.  It was fun.  I finished my night at home watching a movie with Peyman, while chomping on Halloween candy.  I can feel the candy (mostly chocolate) taking a toll on me.  I can see it on my face and feel it when I step into my pants.  As of tomorrow, I need to go on a very lowfat diet for about 2 weeks.

It’s going to be tough since I made a ton of chocolate in class today!!!

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Going into class today, I thought I’d have a lot of fun making chocolate confections.  I did have a lot of fun, but at the same time, it was a huge challenge.  In order for one to be a good chocolatier, one must be a good planner, a multi-tasker, and the temperature in the room should be controlled.

I tortured myself again by getting only 4 hours of sleep last night.  My eyes felt heavy throughout the day, but I was determined to get my chocolate truffles perfectly round and my other chocolates to look sexy and gorgeous.  I think I could have done better if I had a bit more time and if the weather and temperature in class worked with me.  To start, my chocolate fillings were not cooperating.  I tried cutting my milk chocolate squares but they kept cracking on me- they were too cold while other students’ were the perfect temperature.  My dark chocolate truffle was sensitive to my touch, as they kept melting in my hand.  I had to work hard and in the cold walk-in refrigerator to roll them up into perfect balls.  That set me back all day.  To catch up, I didn’t clean as much as I should’ve so my station looked like a gloppy mess.  I had chocolate all over me!

Although I was a mess and I had a rough start, I was pleased with the end result.

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I also learned something about myself.  I work best with things that are not so temperamental, be it a person or chocolate.  Although I love the taste and texture and all the benefits I get from chocolate, I don’t like working with it all on it’s own.  Chocolate is so sensitive – there’s such a slim window of time that you can dip your chocolate.  If you go outside the window, you get what is called “bloomed” chocolate, where you see white streaks…and those streaks are a real pain in the ass.

I appreciate that I learned how to make chocolate, but I don’t see myself making chocolates for a living…I don’t have the patience or right body temperature for chocolate-making.  The only types of chocolates I could see myself making in the future are caramel marshmallow chocolates.  There’s a chocolate store in Beverly Hills, I forgot what it’s called… it’s on Canon and Little Santa Monica Blvd, next to Il Tremezzio…. they have the best caramel marshmallow chocolate candies…I love, love, love them.  For an extra special occasion, I’d put in the effort to make those.  Also, one day soon I’d like to try to make rose truffles, with white chocolate… my favorite.  I wonder if I can make them better than they do in Santa Cruz, at Chocolate. I’m sure I can make them more appealing to the eye, but I’m not sure if I can flavor them as dreamy as they do.  I’d like to try!

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Oh yeah, we made marshmallows too.  This one is a peppermint marshmallow.

Oh yeah, we made marshmallows too. This one is a peppermint marshmallow. Almost looks like a smurf...

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