Vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, fibre — zucchinis packed with zing Chicken and pesto zoodles

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Greek philosopher Heraclitus accurately noted that in life, the only constant is change.

Change is all around us — every 24 hours our bacteria and cells change due to the circadian rhythm, every month female hormones change and every season our weather and produce change. Zucchinis or courgettes, depending on which part of the globe you are in, are now in season and according to some gardening books, the best time to pick them is on the day the female plant flowers.

Zucchinis are a low-carbohydrate vegetable which have beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A and C, potassium, folate and fibre. Potassium is important for regulating fluid and blood pressure. Most plant foods get their minerals from the soil in which they are grown, so foods that come from organic, biodynamic or permacultured soils tend to be superior in their mineral profile.

Zucchinis are delicious eaten both raw and cooked. They are a wonderful addition to smoothies, along with frozen berries for a creamy, nutritional boost.

A pawpaw grater from an Asian supermarket or a spiraliser is a useful investment for making spring and summer salads interesting.

This recipe — made using zucchini noodles ("zoodles") — is great for lunches and dinners. It’s gluten free and is also delicious the next day, so be sure to make plenty.

4 boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced

3 zucchinis, scrubbed, ends removed

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve

Optional

nutritional brewer’s yeast, to serve

chilli flakes, to serve

Pesto

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

½ cup pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped

1 cup basil/baby spinach leaves

2 garlic cloves

juice and zest of 1 organic lemon

4 Tbsp olive oil

mineral salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

To make the pesto

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a texture you like.

For the zoodles

Finely slice the zucchinis, using either a mandolin, spiraliser or pawpaw grater, and place in a large bowl.

For the chicken

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add olive oil then the chicken slices and cook for a few minutes on each side, until cooked. Add pesto to the pan and remove from the heat.

Add chicken and pesto mixture to the zucchini pasta and toss so the chicken heats the zucchini.

Serve in large bowls with fresh basil leaves, brewer’s yeast, chilli flakes and a drizzle of olive oil.

Deanna Copland

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