Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto


Zoodles are noodles made out of zucchini, nothing more.  Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, the zucchini is cut into noodles.  Whenever I make zoodles, I usually dress them in a pesto or top them with marinara. This pesto has a lovely mix of basil, kale, and spinach, and because this recipe was is Fall- and Halloween-inspired, pumpkin seeds were thrown into the mix.   The end result is really delicious.

After tossing the zoodles with pumpkin kale pesto, throw in some sliced grape tomatoes for more texture and sweetness. When served with my Pink Peppercorn vegan “Goat Cheese,” it is even more satiating and scrumptious.

For a quick, raw, and satisfying meal, try this dish. You will be happy you did!


Zoodle Brains with Pumpkin Kale Pesto

Servings:  4

Time:  20 minutes

Diet:  V, GF, GFV, DF, SF, SRF, NF, CFNF, R




4 medium zucchini


Pumpkin Kale Pesto:

1 cup basil leaves

¼ cup kale, stems removed

2 Tbsp spinach

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

4 Tbsp filtered water

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

1 shake or pinch of cayenne pepper


Other Ingredients:

16 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

4 orange bell peppers, optional for Halloween




1. Make zoodles using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. When using a julienne peeler, carefully peel the zucchini as you would a carrot, making long “noodles”. When using a spiralizer to make zoodles, follow the manufacturer’s directions.


Pistachio Kale Pesto:

1. Place all of the Pumpkin Kale Pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender, and pulse until fully pureed and sauce-like in consistency.


Bell Pepper Jack-o’-lanterns: (optional)

1. Carve faces in your peppers. To do this, cut a round section on the top of the pepper. Discard the seeds and scrape away the insides. Being very careful, begin to carve the jack-o’-lantern face. When complete, set aside.



1. Toss the zoodles with enough pesto to coat, and

a)    place onto a plate. Add about 8 grape tomato halves to the zoodles, and if you have it, a slice of Pink Peppercorn Vegan “Goat Cheese”. Serve immediately.

b)    Toss in the sliced tomatoes and stuff each bell pepper with zoodles and tomatoes, replacing the top of the pepper once filled.


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Quinoa Stuffing

_MG_2207When Jasmine and I first discussed putting together a Thanksgiving feast to share with you all, the first thing she said was, “I have a quinoa stuffing and mushroom rice recipe!”  She made this stuffing last year for her family and everyone enjoyed it.  I’m not surprised since I know she’s a great cook!

Interestingly, as we were cooking away in the kitchen, Jasmine’s aunt stopped by, tasted the stuffing and said, “this tastes like fried rice!”  Since I like to use quinoa as a rice substitute, I thought maybe the quinoa just reminded her aunt of rice.  Finally, when I tasted the stuffing myself, I actually agreed with her aunt.  However, this dish has a holiday flair with the dried fruit, sweet potato, herbs, and pecans.  It is delicious!

My husband doesn’t typically like quinoa, but with all of the different flavors in this quinoa stuffing, he really enjoyed it!  This oil-free, high protein, and nutrient-dense stuffing is sure to please!

Jasmine and I created a bountiful feast for our readers to enjoy, which consists of 13 deliciously tantalizing recipes!  We’re referring to this collection of recipes as our Sweet Eclectic Thanksgiving celebration.  We hope you add this dish, as well as many of our other recipes, to your holiday tables!


Photo Credit: Jasmine Briones

Please make sure to tag us on Instagram: @yvonne_deliciously_vegan  @sweetsimplevegan Twitter: @yvonnemrod  @sweetsimpleveg 

and hashtag #SweetEclecticThanksgiving #MyEclecticKitchen if you recreate any of our recipes!  We would love to see your photos and Thanksgiving feasts!

Quinoa Stuffing
Servings: 4-6
Time: 40 mins
Diet: V, GF, SF, SRF
By: Jasmine Briones / Sweet Simple Vegan

4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups quinoa
1 bay leaf
2 cups diced sweet potato
2 small zucchinis, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 stalks celery
1 medium white onion, diced
¼ cup diced dried apricots
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
¼ cup toasted pecans
sea salt, as needed
freshly ground black pepper, as needed

In a medium saucepot bring 1¼ cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Add the quinoa and bay leaf, salt, pepper and stir. Set to low heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat (do not lift lid!) and allow the quinoa to steam for 10 minutes.

Heat ¼ cup vegetable broth in a pan over low heat. Add in the celery, white onion, garlic and sage. When fragrant, add in the sweet potato and zucchinis and cook covered for 5 minutes. Then remove cover and cook until slightly browned. If necessary, add more broth, but you want it to cook until almost dry (but avoid burning!).

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the quinoa with the veggie mixture together and the last ½ cup of vegetable broth. Place into an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Add in the green onions, apricots, cranberries, pecans, parsley and lemon. Toss to combine.

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