I got home from exercising after work one night last week and the cheesy aroma of toasties hit me as I walked in the door. “Hi”, hubby said. “Want toasties for dinner?” Whilst I was rapt he’d been proactive, thanks, but no thanks, I didn’t want toasties. I’m trying to avoid bread and starchy carbs at the moment. Why? Oh, you know…. I had a bloody good holiday and ate (and drank) with reckless abandon. I refuse to weigh myself so I have no idea of the damage: I gauge my weight by the fit of my clothes. Unfortunately my jeans and I to have momentarily parted being friends and, hell, a new skirt I got at the start of the December is saying “yeah nah, you can’t wear me!” Holy moly, it staggers me how quick I can do damage to my waistline. Anyhow, somewhat predictably, I’m on that post New Year’s health regime (and I’m motivated, so long may that continue) so no toasties weren’t really on my dinner cards. With a rumbling tummy I rummaged in the fridge, fighting off cravings for bread or pasta. Then, out of nowhere, healthy, creative and delicious inspiration struck! I love it when that happens. This zoodle with avo pesto cream and haloumi dish was the result of that inspiration and cured me good and proper of my pasta and cheese cravings. Conveniently I was aided by having a perfectly ripe avo on hand that needed devouring and I’d made a batch of basil pesto I’d made a few days previously. FYI My stock standard pesto recipe is here by the way, noting the recipe is actually is for coriander pesto, but to make basil pesto just replace the calling for coriander with basil, easy as!
I posted a photo of this dish on my blog’s Facebook page and it got a bit of interest. In fact, by the time I woke up the next morning, my UK foodie Aunty, Angie, had been to Tescos, made the recipe and eaten it and sent me a message of the finished dish with claims of “Delicious! We loved it and we’ll be making this again!” Cool! Since then two of my colleagues have made it for dinner and they’ve given me raving feedback. Lastly, I’ve also made it again and this time I served it up to my vege-dodging husband. He declared it “beautiful and delicious” (he’s not known for his compliments, so this is a revelation).
I know the recipe is on Facebook, but experience has taught me it’s not easy to re-find recipes I post there, so here it is, blogged, you know, all proper like.
This delicious dish is carb free, sugar free and packed full of good fats stuff like Vitamin C (the zucchini), good fats (avocado) and much more.
- 3 zucchini, spiralised
- 1 carrot, spiralised
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 red capsicum, sliced
- 1 200g (approx) packet of haloumi (I use Waimata chilli haloumi - 190g)
- More olive oil
- Optional: 1 cup chopped smoked chicken, or shredded cooked chicken, or diced cooked bacon.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 c pesto - my recipe is here
- 3 tablespoon cottage cheese
- 1 heaped tablespoon cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Warm your oven to the lowest heat possible - i.e. 50 degrees (this is just to keep the zoodles warm).
- Place all ingredients in a food processor/blender and blitz until smooth (I used my Nutribullet). Add seasoning to taste. Stir. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add zucchini noodles and seasoning to pan. Stir until noodles are tender (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a plate and keep warm in an oven (low heat).
- In the same frying pan that was used to cook the zoodles, add the sliced capsicum and fry until lightly browned. Set that aside too.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat (I used the same frying pan as the one I used to cook the zoodles in, I just wiped it out with some paper towels to clean it first). When the oil is hot, add the slices of haloumi and cook for approx two minutes without stirring, until the bottom of the haloumi is well-browned. Turn the haloumi slices with a fish slice, and brown them on the other sides. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Set aside.
- Heat avo and pesto cream for approximately one minute in the microwave (you just want to warm it through, not have it piping hot).
- Divide zoodles between two large plates.
- Spoon avo pesto cream over zoodles.
- Add cooked meat (if using), capsicum and finally, the haloumi slices.