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Sweet and spicy chickpeas with avocado pesto zoodles

Guess what guys? Pasta got a makeover and it's healthy, delicious and perfectly nutritious. We've actually been fans of zoodles for a long time around here. I mean, it is 2016 and the idea of creating noodles out of vegetables is so 2012, right?! But these creamy avocado pesto zoodles are fresh, new and perfect for a fast, easy and effortless meal.

The dressing comes together really quickly and, teamed with the zoodles, packs in tons of garlic and basil flavour, thus mimicking a creamy pesto-like sauce. The other star of this recipe? The sweet and spicy roasted chickpeas. The perfect amount of sweetness with a subtle fiery kick. Even if you're not a fan of very spicy foods you should still enjoy these as these are not overly spicy - think intensity of flavour rather than heat.

This dish would be perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal, taking only 30 minutes in total! It's definitely one to serve to vegan or gluten free friends. And if you're cooking for one? Save leftovers for lunch the next day or store unused chickpeas in a jar for snacking.

For the zoodles you will need:

  • 4 medium sized courgettes
  • A handful of fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the chickpeas you will need:

  • 1 400g can chickpeas - or you can soak your own!
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Drain the chick peas and rinse thoroughly with tap water.

2) In a large frying pan, heat all the other chick pea ingredients over a very low heat: coconut oil, maple syrup, and spices. Stir this mixture until liquid and slightly warmed.

3) Add the chick peas to the pan and stir until thoroughly coated. Transfer to a lined baking tray and pour any excess spice mixture on top.

4) Place in the oven for around 25 minutes, until brown and slightly crispy. You will need to shake the tray once or twice to ensure they are cooking evenly.

5) Whilst the chick peas are roasting, it's time to prepare your zoodles! Blend together the coconut aminos, avocado, coconut cream and basil until a smooth mixture forms. Here you have your 'zoodle sauce!'

6) Using a spiralizer or julienne peeler, create 'noodles' from your courgette. Due to the high water content they will reduce a lot in size when cooking.

7) Heat the coconut oil in a large pan and add the crushed garlic. Fry for a minute or two until it begins to brown, then add the zoodles. Cook for a further two or three minutes until the zoodles are tender.

8) Stir in the creamy avocado sauce mix and stir well to ensure all the noodles are well coated.

9) Serve alongside the chickpeas and sides of your choice. Enjoy!

 

Firinna Beattie Author

Science student and Instagram food sensation

Firinna is a science student and food blogger best known for her Instagram account @nourishingfir , where she is often found photographing and sharing delicious healthy recipes!

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