Whole30 Zoodles with Fresh Basil Pesto
For the #SeptemberWhole30 we'll be tackling all kinds of Whole30 meal time obstacles. We've recently written about some of our favorite ways to stay on plan, like prepping ahead of time, batch cooking proteins, batch cooking veggies, and keeping Whole30 noms on hand at all times. That's all well and good when you're just cooking for yourself, but if you stay in for 30 days, it gets lonely. I wouldn't call myself a social butterfly, but I made the mistake of "just staying in" too much during a previous Whole30, so this time around, I'm being diligent in staying social, while also on plan.
A couple weeks ago, a friend called and invited us to get together with her for dinner and I took it as the perfect opportunity to flex my willpower muscle and turn our little gathering into practice for my Whole30. I volunteered to make our "noodles" because I had just gotten a huge shipment of big, ripe, zucchini and summer squash from Melissa's Produce. She volunteered to grab chicken thighs from the store along with some ingredients for a quick pesto sauce. What resulted that evening was one of the most delicious meals any of us had all summer long.
Here's how to make it
- First, marinade chicken thighs in Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette, or olive oil plus your choice of Whole30 compliant seasonings and herbs. We used about 5 small thighs for three of us.
- Next, while chicken is marinating, using a spiralizer, or a julienne slicer, make your zucchini noodles and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. I used three large squash for this platter.
- After making your zoodles, grab your food processor or blender and combine 2 handfuls of fresh basil with a handful of nuts (pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts,) a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a few cloves of garlic, and a little olive oil. Blend well until all is combined to form a thick pesto. You can thin this down with warm water until you get a consistency that will coat your zoodles easily.
- Finally, on a stovetop skillet, fry your marinated chicken thighs in ghee or avocado oil, until slightly crispy on the outside and cooked through inside. While chicken is cooking, toss zoodles with pesto and pile onto a large plate.
- When chicken is finished cooking, slice and top zoodles. Place some kitchen tongs on the platter and let everyone serve up their dish of deliciousness.