One of the problems with not ever lifting a weight for the first four decades of my life is the resulting scrawniness and lack of muscle. For the past year or so since my last show, I’ve been working hard to build some much needed muscle and fill out a little bit. To build any significant amount of muscle, you need to eat quite a bit and along with muscle comes some fat gains with it. Yeah, just a fact of life. Sigh.
Lately I’ve been excited to see the results of my hard work so I’ve changed up my eating a little so that I can drop a few pounds and see how my muscle building experiment went. Since patience isn’t one of my virtues, I’ve kept my protein and fats pretty much where they were and dropped carbs in order to lower my calories. This requires me to get a little creative in the kitchen.
Thankfully I love playing around with food so I met this challenge head on and still have some great tasting meals. Last night I made a low carb pasta using zucchini noodles instead of real pasta. I also had a major crop of basil ready to go in my backyard so I
squealed with excitement picked some fresh basil to make a pesto sauce.
Low Carb Zucchini Pasta with Pesto
- 1 small zucchini (100g)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil (15g)
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach (20g)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Use a spiralizer or food processor to shred your zucchini into “noodles”. Microwave for about 2 minutes until softened. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet, and pulse until smooth. Toss the zucchini noodles in the pesto and enjoy.
Makes one serving at approximately 146 calories – 2g protein, 3g carbs, 14g fat.
If you haven’t tried zucchini noodles, you’re missing out. I use them all the time even when not dieting. They make great zeggs, zoats, and pasta when mixed with regular pasta noodles. This pesto is easy to make and you can mix it up with different flavors.
Use cilantro instead of basil. Lime juice instead of lemon. Kale instead of spinach. It’s pretty versatile and can be changed without any effort at all. The Kid even dipped her cucumbers and tomatoes in it instead of salad dressing. Enjoy and let me know how you use your zucchini noodles.