I've tried quite a few alternative, gluten-free pastas, my favorite being Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta, which is a corn and quinoa blend. I also like Mrs. Leepers Rice Vegetable Twists, which is a blend of brown rice flour, spinach and beets. However these days, in an attempt to radically cut down on my grain consumption (which is a huge deal for me--ask anyone who knows me) and heal my very leaky gut, I've had to find alternatives to my pasta fix.
Enter Zucchini Noodles.
Now, I was never a big fan of zucchini, but when I came across this idea, I thought "You know, I think I could really get into this!" No spiralizer needed (although I may invest in one to get the kids interested)--all you need is a vegetable peeler.
I will add as a sidenote, that these noodles are a Godsend for anyone following a Paleo diet, GAPS, SCD, low-FODMAP or plain-ol' gluten-free diet.
1 large zucchini
1 c. basil leaves
Handful (1/4 c.) walnuts (pine nuts can also be used, walnuts are milder)
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic
Wash zucchini & remove stem end. Peel away the outer green skin but leave a little for texture. Continue peeling the zucchini lengthwise, peeling all around the zucchini & making sure the peels are not too thick. When you get to the seeded part you are done.
Place peels in a steamer and steam for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from steamer and place in a bowl. Season very lightly with onion powder and salt. Drizzle with olive oil and mix gently with your hands (the noodles are very tender!)
Place the basil leaves in a food processor and process. Add garlic and walnuts and pulse until blended. Add lemon juice and pulse a couple more times, then with the motor running drizzle in the olive oil until it is a smooth consistency (will be the equivalent of about 2 - 4 Tbsp.). Remove the lid, add salt, stir and taste. Add the avocado, replace the lid and pulse until combined. Taste and season with more salt if necessary.
Add a dollop of the pesto to the noodles and mix gently until coated.