Natalie Norman

Fast and Easy Raw Vegan Meals: Walnut, Arugula and Basil Pesto

raw vegan walnut arugula basil pesto

Fast and Easy Raw Vegan Meals: Walnut, Arugula and Basil Pesto

When I teach raw foods, I emphasize that the vast majority of your raw vegan diet should be comprised of fast, easy, delicious and nutritious meals. This walnut, arugula, and basil pesto entree is no exception!

These simple noodles are made using an inexpensive spiral slicing tool, which I truly wish I could gift to every household worldwide.

pesto pasta maker

There’s just something about slicing up vegetables and fruits in new and unique ways that actually impacts the way they seem to taste. In this case, making long curly noodles gives you a wonderful basis for all that rich, creamy, garlicky pesto sauce to cling to, making every bite of this raw food meal out of this world.

For this recipe, you can opt to peel the zucchini first, which makes the noodles look even more like traditional pasta. However, if that’s not a concern for you, then you can spiral slice your noodles leaving the peel on. Your pasta will simply have a greener color, which I personally enjoy very much!

For the noodles in the photo, I did go ahead and peel the zucchini first. I saved the peel remnants and the leftover zucchini cores for use in my green smoothie the next day. Make use of as much as you can and keep the focus of your diet on getting the very most nutrition for your dollar.

The raw vegan pesto sauce in this dish is made with heart-healthy walnuts and garlic, paired with fresh greens and savory herbs to pack in big authentic Italian flavor with none of the guilt or unhealthy elements of traditional pasta meals. Enjoy to your heart’s content, literally!

garlic walnut

Raw nuts: To soak, or not to soak.

Most raw vegans advocate soaking nuts to get rid of pesky enzyme inhibitors which can supposedly create some digestive upset. But there are also some sources indicating that soaking nuts isn’t necessary. To be quite honest, in my opinion, a SMALL quantity of unsoaked raw nuts consumed every once in a blue moon are fine. Your choice. I rarely eat nuts aside from when I’m developing super yummy recipes for all of you, so it’s really a non-issue in my overall diet. I would not make a habit of eating unsoaked nuts regularly, though.

Now, on to the recipe! Get ready, because this is going to knock your socks off. Big time YUM!

Love always,

Natalie Norman


Fast and Easy Raw Vegan Meals: Walnut, Arugula and Basil Pesto

Yield: 1-2 servings


5 small zucchini (5 cups)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 packed cup raw basil leaves
3 cups of arugula
1/4 cup hemp seed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 large clove of garlic (or small, if you want it mellower)


Spiral slice zucchini. Set aside in colander. Blend remaining ingredients in a blender until a thick and slightly chunky pesto sauce is achieved. Toss with noodles. Enjoy!

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