Courgette Linguine With Cashew Pesto and Marinated Mushroom and Broccoli

by Susan Smith in , , ,


Although at Primal Plate we’re more than happy to occasionally have our grain-free, refined sugar-free cake and to eat it too, there comes a time (usually after a second slice of said cake) that I begin to pull back from borderline over-indulgence to something altogether more healthy and savoury. 

Sugar is sugar, and although raw honey, coconut palm sugar and pure maple syrup are much healthier options than refined sugar, they are still sugar. Even fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit, is unhealthy when eaten to excess. I know that because I used to make myself what I thought was a healthy multiple-fruit smoothie, which oftentimes boasted more than my ‘five-a-day’ in just one potent glass full. During this time I developed an inflammatory skin condition, which my doctor initially diagnosed as shingles. In fact it was a severe case of atopic eczema, which became infected. Within two weeks of switching to a low-carb Primal diet, which meant I stopped drinking excessive amounts of fructose in my breakfast smoothie, the rash disappeared for good.

The occasional sweet treat probably doesn't do much harm, but eating too much sugar (this applies to virtually everyone who eats a processed, high-carb Western diet and doesn’t do significant amounts of exercise) can have harmful effects on metabolism and is pro-inflammatory. Inflammation can lead directly to the development of all sorts of diseases throughout the body including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer and undoubtedly it was sugar-linked inflammation that caused my erstwhile eczema. 

So, after developing and testing last week’s recipe for Tiger Nut Victoria Sandwich, which involved baking and eating two cakes within three days, I came across a recipe in Paul Gayler’s book Pure Vegetarian that is the perfect antidote to sugar overdose. 

My adaptation of Courgette Linguine With Cashew Pesto and Marinated Mushroom and Broccoli is a refreshing, vegan plateful of gorgeous colour and outstanding texture. Classic, Asian-style flavours come together in perfect harmony for one of the healthiest, zingiest, freshest-tasting meals ever! With virtually no cooking involved, it is also surprisingly simple to make. 

Try this almost raw ‘detox’ recipe if you don’t cook / won’t cook, if you need an instant energy boost or if you simply want to make amends for some recent foodie indiscretion. Good to look at, good to eat and oh so good for you, it really is health food at its best. 

Courgette Linguine With Cashew Pesto and Marinated Mushroom and Broccoli (V) (Serves 4)

Ingredients - for the cashew pesto

50g raw organic cashews

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated

100ml extra-virgin olive oil

25g fresh coriander

15g fresh mint leaves

15g fresh basil leaves

Juice of 1 lime

Sea salt

 

Instructions

Place the cashews in a blender and blitz until broken down. 

Add the ginger, chilli, oil and herbs and blend until pureed.

Add lime juice, then season with sea salt to taste (I used ½ teaspoon) and briefly whizz again to incorporate.

Cover and set aside.

 

Ingredients - for the marinated vegetables

200g organic chestnut mushrooms, cleaned (I just wipe them over with a damp paper towel)

100ml organic extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)

1 organic spring onion, very finely chopped

2cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated

100g organic broccoli, cut into small florets (without stalk)

50ml fresh lime juice (approx. 1 large or 2 small limes)

4 crispy and firm organic courgettes

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Slice the mushrooms very thinly, place in a large bowl and add the oil, soy sauce, onion and ginger. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes (no longer than this or they create too much juice)

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for about 2 to 3 minutes until it turns bright green but is still crunchy in texture. Quickly remove and add to the mushrooms along with the lime juice and season to taste.

Cut the ends off the courgettes, then using a kitchen mandolin, spiralizer, vegetable peeler or sharp knife, slice as thinly as possible lengthways into long strips or ‘linguine’. 

Toss with the mushrooms and broccoli, adjust the seasoning and serve with a dollop of cashew pesto on top. 

 

Carbohydrate 13g Protein 8g - per serving

 A Spirilizer makes perfectly thin and even courgette 'linguine'

A Spirilizer makes perfectly thin and even courgette 'linguine'