Have you noticed that I haven’t blogged about much cooked food this summer? It’s been so hot and my garden’s doing so well that I’ve just naturally gravitated to more raw foods.
Today’s post is another for the raw foods archive. It’s easy and fun to turn zucchini into pasta (and I’ll tell you how in a moment), but first let’s talk about this amazing avocado dressing, a recipe that appears in the newly published Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook: A Seasonal, Vegetarian Cookbook (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) by Leslie Cerier.
Leslie contacted me a few months ago and asked if I’d like to review her new book. One of her previous works, Going Wild in the Kitchen, is one of my all-time favorite vegetarian cookbooks, so I was thrilled to take a look at her new book on gluten-free cooking (which also happens to be vegetarian).
Leslie is quite busy woman. She’s a chef, educator, environmentalist, photographer, and recipe developer, and she’s known as “The Organic Gourmet”. She cooks and teaches all over the United States and specializes in whole foods and organic cuisine; she is also a national authority on gluten-free cooking and baking. In addition to Going Wild in the Kitchen, she is author of Sea Vegetable Celebration, Taste Life! Organic Recipes, and The Quick and Easy Organic Gourmet.
Leslie doesn’t have to eat a gluten-free diet, but she’s been cooking gluten-free for over 20 years. She does so because gluten-free grains are incredibly nutritious and because she is a curious and creative person in the kitchen. I am much the same way: I don’t eat gluten-free 100% of the time, but I do try to do so as much as possible, and it’s by choice, not necessity.
Leslie’s focus on local, seasonal, and organic food is something else that really resonates with me. There are so many recipes in the book that I can’t wait to try, including the Blueberry Coconut Breakfast Shake, the Shiitake Kale Lasagne with Marinated Dried Tomatoes and Chevre, and the Amaranth and Corn Flatbread.
But back to this dressing, this raw vegan dressing made with avocado, the first recipe I made from the book. It’s very summery and is meant to be made with garlic scapes, but garlic can easily be substituted. Leslie recommends it over salads, grains and pasta, but here I’ve used it over zucchini noodles.
It’s kind of amazing, but when you use a vegetable spiralizer, you can turn one large zucchini into a whole plate of strands that bear a striking resemblance to pasta! When topped with some of the avocado dressing, this makes an incredibly healthy and flavorful appetizer, snack or light meal.
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can prepare the zucchini using the julienne blade of a mandoline (be careful!) or you can use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips (a spiralizer really makes it very easy, though…it’s an inexpensive tool I use all the time so I highly recommend you purchase one).
Avocado Dressing with Garlic Scapes (or Garlic)
Makes about 1 1/3 cups; more than enough to use over zucchini pasta for 2 people.
*2/3 cup water
*1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
*1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1/2 cup mashed avocado (I used 1 whole avocado)
*3/4 cup fresh basil leaves (I used a mixture of basil and cilantro)
*4 garlic scapes (or garlic cloves; if using regular garlic, I recommend starting with 2 cloves and adding more to taste)
*3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired.
2. To serve over zucchini pasta, spoon a few tablespoons over spiralized zucchini and mix well. Add more dressing and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Excerpted from Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook: A Seasonal, Vegetarian Cookbook (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series)
with permission from New Harbinger Publications.
This post is linked to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.