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Gluten-Free Zucchini Pesto Chicken
Here’s a way to use up the abundance of summer zucchini. When shaved thin, raw zucchini becomes marvelously tender, a tasty substitute for traditional pasta. Peppery arugula adds punch to this pesto sauce. If tolerated, walnuts or pine nuts can replace hemp seeds in the pesto.
4 medium zucchini, scrubbed
1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups shredded cooked gluten-free rotisserie chicken
2 cups packed arugula
½ cup packed fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
⅓ cup hemp seeds
½ cup grated Parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano or dairy-free cheese replacement
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Shave zucchini flesh into very thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler or mandoline. Discard fibrous core. Place zucchini ribbons in a large bowl, along with tomatoes and chicken.
2. To make pesto, place arugula, basil, garlic and hemp seeds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely minced. Add cheese, lemon juice and salt; process until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil through the feed tube and blend until fully combined.
3. Place pesto in the bowl with vegetables and chicken and toss to coat. Let mixture sit 30 minutes to meld flavors before serving.
Each serving contains 591 calories, 45g total fat, 10g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 154mg cholesterol, 1017mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g sugars, 39g protein, 5Est GL.
Matthew Kadey, RD, (muffintinmania.com) is a dietitian and author of The Muffin Tin Chef.