Monday, April 22, 2013

Simple Zucchini with Lemon Basil Pesto (Meatless Monday)

Sometimes all I want for dinner is a big bowl of veggies.  Do you ever feel that way? If you're like Nick, you might be making a face right now.....for him he could eat a big bowl of veggies, but only if it comes with two large slices of buttery bread.  Anyway, I actually made this recipe last summer, but never got to post it.  When we planned what to plant in our garden this year I went back to last year's recipes to see which ingredients I used most.  Basil and zucchini were my top two ingredients, therefore they are currently being planted in our garden (I'll be posting about this year's garden soon).  The pictures I took last year aren't amazing, but the recipe was, so I knew I had to post it anyway.  I will definitely be making this recipe all spring and summer long.  It was that good.

Simple Zucchini with Lemon Basil
Source: Clean Eating Magazine
Serves 4

2 tsp. Extra Virgin Oil (or use a garlic-infused oil if you'd like)
3 zucchini, halved and cut into 1-inch thick pieces
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp. toasted unsalted pine nuts
1/4th tsp. sea salt
1/4th tsp. fresh ground pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Brush a large baking sheet with 1 tsp. oil and spread zucchini in a single layer on sheet.  transfer to oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until just tender and beginning to brown.

2.  Meanwhile, in a blender (or Magic Bullet!), combine remaining 1 tsp. oil, lemon zest and juice, basil, nuts, salt and pepper.  Blend, stopping to scrape down sides of blender if necessary, until smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl, add zucchini and toss to coat.

** NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet this recipe needs zero modifications!

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/4th of recipe

Nutrition Highlights:  Under 100 calories (I think this 70 calorie estimated is slightly off, but either way I think the recipe is less than 100 calories per serving), low sodium, good source of vitamin A and excellent source of vitamin C.

This pesto would be delicious with whole wheat pasta, on a whole wheat pizza crust, or really on top of any of your favorite vegetables (I've had it with steamed broccoli and carrots once. Yes, random, but so tasty).  It's really just a great pesto recipe. Simple, and delicious. Want another idea?  Next week this pesto will be used on portobellos mushrooms.  

QUESTION:  What's your favorite way to use pesto??

So, this week has been rough.  Basically I'm having one of those "mindless eating" attacks every single day.  I find myself just leaning on food lately to heal; stress, loneliness, sadness, and anxiety (I've got a lot going on, and on top of that my laptop finally broke two days ago.  I am beyond sad about that).  I don't want to start recording my calories again, because that's just not fun and I don't think it's necessary, but instead I'm going to start journaling what I eat and how I feel when I do eat.  I'm going to try some of these mindful eating strategies.  I hope I can find a good journal at Barnes and Noble. This has just got to stop!   After all, bathing suit season is approaching, and I'm just feeling bloated.  Ugh.  

Anyway.......  have a great week everyone.  And as always, thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd


  1. This looks amazing, Gina!! I am traveling this week and I just want to eat "normal" - ugh.!

  2. I'm so sorry to hear you've been having a rough time over the past week, Gina - I know I do the exact same thing when I'm anxious or stressed or just so darn busy I can't see straight. I hope this week is much better for you. *Hugs*

    I usually put pesto over pasta or salad (yum!), but I've never tried it on summer squash. I'll definitely be trying that this summer :)

  3. you just combined 2 of my favorites. and i could easily just eat the pesto... with a spoon.. okay maybe lick the bowl clean too

  4. AWWW! Hope life gets sorted out soon Gina. Sending hugs!!!

  5. Love the simplicity of this dish! My hubby is a super good veggie eater, and rarely complains when I serve vegetarian meals, but I think he would revolt if all I served him was a bowl of veggies. Hope this week is much better than the last :-)

    1. Oh, you better believe Nick didn't eat this without some animal protein on top!! :) Actually, it was ont eh side. And bread of course, he can't live without it.

  6. I just bought a bunch of zucchini and I think I may need to try your recipe.

  7. Oh Gina- sorry for the rough week definitely explains the rough food. Sometimes we don't realize things are affecting us until we see the resulting eating. Do whatever you can to lower that stress/sleep etc. Funny, I made a lemon/zuch/pasta recipe EA had posted, such good combination. I reserve my nights left to myself for making a meal of roasted veggies.

    1. Yeah, thanks Lauren. It's so funny how many times I have to stop and ask myself "what would I tell a client?!". It makes me wonder how many times people say "What would Gina say?!" haha

  8. Wow! I just made this. I cannot believe how easy and delicious this is! I'm brand new to the whole restricted diet and and feel so relived I found your website. Thank you for sharing and will be making this again soon!