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Meatless Monday: Raw Zucchini Pesto Pasta

Welcome to my first edition of #meatlessmonday! I saw this Tweet this morning, from Chris at Blog Well Done. He was looking for people to join in, so I figured, why not?

My first entry in Meatless Monday is Raw Zucchini Pesto Pasta. Yes, it's raw, and the pasta is julienned zucchini. We use one of these, from Zyliss, to make easy julienne strips. It works great, it's quick to use, and you don't have to drag out some contraption, then clean it. We also have one of these, from Joyce Chen. It works alright for soft veggies, but not for anything like butternut squash or beets. It just mangles them. So...that was $30 down the drain.

Anyway, this was a quick dinner to get on the table. Some zucchini, tomatoes, basil, get the idea. And it's versatile--you can add whatever you like, you don't necessarily need to use what I used here. Also, with summer in full swing, and gardens bursting with zucchini, this is a great way to use some of that up! And if you can't wrap your head around zucchini being pasta, you have two options. You can think of it as a cold salad, or you can lightly sauté the zucchini, then toss with the rest of the ingredients.

And remember, organic is best when enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables, if you can swing it.  You don't really want to be putting all of those chemicals in your body, do you?  And damn, they're hard to wash off.  Getting organic foods is easier than ever in the summer time, because farmer's markets are also in full swing.


Basic recipe:

Raw Zucchini Pesto Pasta

This one has parmesan, it was made before we decided to eat vegan. But feel free to use it on yours!  You can also find raw milk parm, if that's something you want.

3-4 zucchini, washed and julienned
2-3 tomatoes
a handful of basil, sliced thinly (stack leaves, roll them up, and slice thinly across for ribbons)
pesto, to taste
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
olive oil, for drizzling over

Toss all ingredients in a bowl.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.  Eat right away.


And here's a quickie--a bonus recipe.  Well, it's not even a recipe, really.  But it's one of my favorite lunches.

A whole wheat pita, toasted in the oven.  Slather on your favorite hummus, then your favorite veggies.  Here, I've used tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and avocado.  Lots of fresh cracked pepper over the top, and you're done.  So good!


Last order of business.  Some of you may be wondering how my husband and I are doing with our new way of eating.  Some of may not be, so you can skip to the end now, hehe.

We're doing great!  We have more energy, have lost a few pounds, and just look and feel better, in general.  My husband's blood sugar: he's been testing, and at first, without his meds, his levels were anywhere from 140 to 220.  With his meds, they were still  up and down like that.

Last week, he took a reading and was at 88.  And he hasn't taken his meds since we started eating 100% raw and vegetarian, then eventually raw and vegan.  Do I recommend that everyone try this?  Hell, no, I'm no doctor.  But this is what's worked for him. 

So when people ask me if I miss meats and dairy, my answer is no.  First, because I really don't!  And second, because I can see how healthy and happy it's made my husband.  And to make him go it alone in this journey would be selfish.  For me, anyway.  

I'm not going to get all preachy on you, but I do want to let you all know the changes we've seen.  Also, I'm amazed how satisfied I feel eating raw and vegan foods!  I never in a million years would have thought that eating this way would leave me feeling full and happy, but it does!  And everything tastes so good and clean.  It's almost like meat and dairy were clouding everything else over.  I know this isn't for everyone, and yeah, meat still looks good.  Damn good!  The smell of meat on a grill still gives me a little jolt of "aaaaahhhh."  But I know I feel better without it.  So for me, it makes sense to skip it.

Again, thanks for coming along on this journey with me!  

And don't forget to enter my giveaway!

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Reader Comments (23)

I can totally do this - it looks beautiful & tasty! I know you'll forgive me a few shreds of fresh Parmesan, right? ;-)

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRJ Flamingo

A great use for all that summer zucchini

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkat

OH! A new blog! I haven't been here for THAT long?
Very well done Elle. Congrats!
Now that i made you a compliment, will you let me sneak in some pork into meatless monday? shhhhh..

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzenchef

This look really delicious!!Gloria

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGloria Baker

My blog is but I cannot write before! gloria

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGloria Baker

This is so delicious, I love it. I am thrilled to see your version, I'll try it this weekend!

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey

That looks so beautiful, I cannot wait for the tomatoes and zucchinis to be ripe here.

I am very proud of you on your eating adventure! Hearing you tweet and blog about your new lifestyle is inspiration for me and I am sure many others. I love to hear how you are doing, thanks for sharing.

My grocery bill would be a lot less if we ate less meat & fish. How do you do it with the kids? Do you make them something special or do they eat with you?

Thank you for bringing us on your journey!

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Renee, thank you! And yeah, that's parm on there--I made this before we cut dairy out. But that's the one cheese that's hard to let go of. It just fits w/ this dish! It was a raw milk one, though.

Kat--yes! Soon we'll all have an abundance of zucchini.

Thanks, ZC! Yes, you can sneak some pork in, but keep it on your side of the table.

Gloria and Kelsey--thank you so much!

Kristen, thank you so much! We have noticed our grocery bill is less. The kids eat some of the things we do, but I also keep they're old standards on hand. They have, however, given up dairy. They're having a but of a tougher time with that, but getting used to it.

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

This is beautiful! Looks so summery! :)

Thank you, Jenn!

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Congratulations on your new blog! It looks even more fantastic! Great recipe!

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCris

Thank you so much, Cris!

July 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

This looks so beautiful Elle. I swore that I already commented on this post! I am bookmarking this for when I am inundated with zucchini during the winter!!!

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

You are such an inspiration!!! Thank you for the awesome recipes!

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

Hey Elle, Love that you are trying the raw/vegan thing. I have also been looking into it and taking advantage of all the fresh produce around. I recently made raw "alfredo". It was so good and I could not believe I did not miss the cheese.

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentererika

Perfect meal for summer...or anytime!

July 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

Judy, Bethany, Erika, and Maria--thank you all for your comments!

July 22, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

Congratulations...that is wonderful news! My sister has been following a vegan diet for years now and I must say that of the two of us she is most certainly the thinner!

July 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaura [What I Like]

So funny you also posted meatlessmonday using zucchini. Ooops i did not quote it in my blog. Believe it or not, I have been thinking which julienne peeler I should get. And you have pointed me to the right direction. I don't want to buy the wrong kitchen gadget, and Zyliss is from Switzerland, I should support Swiss pdt being in Switzerland. I am also trying to eat less meat if I can.

The pesto pasta looks so fresh and delicious!

July 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkitchenbelle

I've seen the julienned zucchini before and it looks so good!

I just saw that you are eating Vegan, you may already visit this blog, but in case you haven't seen it, its Celine @

She is Vegan and makes/bakes such wonderful things!

July 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenn@slim-shoppin

Laura--thank you!

Janet, that peeler works great, even on harder veggies like carrots--we julienne them into our salads all the time. :)

Thank you, Belle and Jenn! Will be checking out that blog shortly. :)

July 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

I have wanted to try to make a raw zucchini pasta for awhile. Have you noticed the spiralizers out in blogworld? You can use them to make near perfect zucchini noodles. Of course, it is another gadget that no one really needs, it looks like you did pretty well with your tool.

July 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKaterina

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