It’s good to shake up our eating habits now and then. For us that means meat takes a back seat and the veggies reign. When the word vegan is mentioned, the carnivores in my life shiver. And I get why. Those who were brought up eating meat and vegetables could easily cut back on the veggies. For me it’s not a difficult transition as I was raised with more vegetables on my plate than meat. It’s been well documented that eating more veggies than meat is essential for a healthy body and mind. I won’t bore you with the pollutant ramifications of a meat-led diet. According to The Spruce, veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Vegan refers to either a person who follows this way of eating or to the diet itself.
Often, Mr. S and I have gone a few meat-free days in a row. It’s something we’ve been doing for a number of years. So when we have friends over with dietary restrictions, I am happy to oblige. It gives me a chance to be creative and think outside of the food box. Catering to friends who are vegetarian is easy peasy as you can still use dairy (I LOVE cheese!) but vegan does require some thought. My girlfriend, Christie, was heading our way from NB for the weekend with her adult kids and I suggested coming here for dinner. Christie said her son would be with her (her daughter would spend the evening with her boyfriend) and that Conor was vegan. No problem, I texted back. The best laid plans went amuck; Christie’s note to me and my tardy response meant we didn’t hook up but all wasn’t lost. I went ahead and made this amazing vegan dish. Next visit, Christie and Conor!
Serves 2 to 4
2 medium-sized zucchini
2 to 3 avocados, peeled and pit removed
handful fresh cilantro or basil (I used cilantro, stems and all)
lemon juice plus zest
2 cloves garlic
3 to 4 green onions
oven roasted tomatoes
If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a potato peeler and make zucchini ribbons, stack on top of each other and cut lengthways to resemble spaghetti. Use paper towel to remove any liquid or dampness and set aside. In a food prcoessor, add avocados (start with 2), basil, one tablespoon lemon juice, zest, garlic and green onions. Pulse to combine and slowly add olive oil to desired consistency. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and adjust ingredients according to taste. I ended up using two tablespoons lemon juice and a bit more cilantro.
In a frying pan heat a tiny splash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini noodles and stir until heated through. Then add avocado cream and toss until well coated. Remove from heat. Add noodles to bowls and top with roasted tomaotes.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Invest in a vegetable spiralizer like the one shown here; you don’t need to spend a lot to get results. The one I bought came with three different cutting blades (slice, shred and curl). They’re easy to use and easy to clean up. The avocado sauce was creamy and zucchini noodles were al dente…fondly enough, I did not miss the cheese. Besides the obvious nutritional goodness, dinner was on the table in under 30 minutes. Enjoy!