A delicious and creamy sauce over zucchini noodles (zoodles). Light but filling.
I had seen a recipe on the blog, Eat The Gains, about a creamy Sun dried tomato sauce and pasta, and thought it would be perfect for my Christmas “Red and Green” meal. Yes, the coloring of the food, was factor in my decision making. I accomplished that too with last year’s Christmas meal (recipe here: http://healthyfoodbliss.com/balsamic-chicken-and-kale).
Here’s a preview of the meal all mixed up and ready to devour.
The bed of zucchini noodles added plenty of green, and the red of the tomatoes, the burst of color I was seeking. Putting all the ingredients together was plenty colorful (and a little messy) but when it was all said and done, the sauce had more of a tan coloring, because of the blended cashews used in the sauce. Nonetheless, I was satisfied with the appearance and even more so, with the flavor.
This is the perfect dish to make in a pinch, because it was so simple and quick. I love easy meals. The longest part was waiting on my husband to return from the grocery store with my fresh basil because I had forgotten that ingredient. Note: don’t make this recipe without fresh basil, it is a must for the sweetness it adds.
I did make a bit of a mess with this recipe since I had the cutting board, zucchini zoodle maker and food processor to use during the prep. I opted for the food processor instead of my blender because I thought I would get a better grind of the cashews and a thorough mixing of the ingredients. A tough blender might work, but I found the food processor to be ideal. Although as it first starts going, some of the juice poured out, but once it begins mixing and thinking, everything was fine.
One quick note before we get into the recipe specifics. This meal is so perfect because it can easily accommodate different types of eaters. If you leave the chicken as an option to be added, those who like it can take it and those who prefer the vegan alternative still have a tasty meal to enjoy. This meal is totally gluten free and so full of flavor, I doubt even your most avid unhealthy eater, won’t complain.
Here’s my version of the recipe. I made quite a few modifications (additions and deletions) from the inspiration recipe.
Cashew, basil & sun dried tomato sauce over zucchini noodles
- 1 c soaked cashews (I soaked for three hours in a bowl of tap water. Drain the water before adding cashews to food processor)
- 1.5 c sun dried tomatoes (I buy the ones jarred in oil. They taste much better than dried ones)
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 TBSP chopped garlic
- 1 c fresh basil (for me I used one entire plant)
- 2 c gluten free chicken broth (use water if you want a vegan alternative)
The inspiration recipe used some lemon juice in the mix. I tried too with 1/4 of a fresh lemon and found it gave the sauce a little tart flavor. Not evident in every bite, but here and there. I prefer the sauce without, but you can try and see what you like.
- In your handy dandy food processor add all ingredients except the zucchini. Then mix up until ground into a thick and creamy sauce. Yes, it is that simple!
- In whatever method you have, turn three large zucchinis into zoodles (zucchini noodles). Sauté the zoodles just until tender. Do not over cook or they will become soggy and that is not what you want. Mine still retain a little crispiness. It took me on an electric stove with medium heat just about two minutes with regular stirring. Immediately remove from heat and place them in your bowls or plates for serving.
- Lightly warm your sauce on the stove over low heat and with continual stirring, so as not to sear to the pan. You don’t want to burn or waste your precious sauce. Just get it warmed up and ready to serve. Immediately remove the sauce and place over the bed of zoodles you have prepared.
- Top with grilled chicken breast, preferably chopped, if you like. Or omit for vegan option. It is yummy either way.