Veggie Noodles with Cashew-Cilantro Pesto

Even though I have many Paleo cookbooks and can find hundreds of Paleo recipes available online, I couldn’t resist this Paleo Recipes magazine at the grocery store checkout.  The yummy Avocados Topped 8 Ways on the cover was irresistible, the pictures gorgeous and the recipes easy.  There are also a few pages explaining the Paleo diet with some helpful strategies.

Each weekend I look at my calendar for the upcoming week to figure out when I’ll be eating at home and come up with some dinner ideas as well as lunches for work.  Then I hit the grocery store and usually do a sort of weekly cookup, either making meals ahead to warm up or prepping by chopping veggies and cooking meat.  Lunches are generally mason jar salads.  Thumbing through the magazine I decided to make this Veggie Noodles with Cashew-Cilantro Pesto for a light Sunday dinner and 3 lunches for the week.  It was a very good decision.  The ribbons of vegetables added a lot of visual interest and almost made me think I was eating pasta with pesto like the old days.

As usual I deviated a bit from the recipe and also thought these tips might be helpful:

  • The grocery store was out of napa or savoy cabbage, so I picked up a bag of pre-shredded “Superfood Blend” with brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale instead.  I think the variety made this dish even better than just adding cabbage.
  • I couldn’t find an English (seedless) cucumber so just used a regular one and peeled it down to the seeds.
  • I was a little short on lime juice so ended up using half lime juice and half orange juice.  I’m sure lemon could have worked too.  (The beauty of most of these recipes is they adapt easily when you need to make substitutions).
  • Using disposable gloves when you are seeding and chopping the jalapeno pepper is great for keeping the juice off your fingers.
  • I keep ginger root pieces in the freezer and just take a piece out to thaw and grate when needed.  You could also peel and grate it when you bring it home and store the grated ginger root in the freezer ready to go.
  • I had peeled and deveined, but not cooked, wild caught shrimp in the freezer, which I thawed, dried thoroughly with paper towels and cooked over low heat in a little olive oil.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled
  • 1 medium daikon (large Asian radish shaped like a fat white carrot), peeled
  • 2 cups thinly sliced napa or savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 16 oz cooked shrimp

Directions

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, cut carrots, cucumber and daikon lengthwise into long, thin ribbons.  In an extra large bowl combine vegetable ribbons, cabbage blend and salt.  Let stand while preparing pesto.
  2. For pesto, in a food processor or blender (I used a food processor) combine next eight ingredients (through garlic); add about 3/4 of the cilantro. Cover and blend or process until smooth.
  3. Add pesto and shrimp to vegetable mixture, toss gently to coat.  Chop the remaining cilantro and add on top.

I am grateful each day for wellness, happiness and the opportunity to share with you.

Save