Courgette Cannelloni with Pesto

I’ll admit, between the morning of Christmas Eve and the evening of Boxing Day, I indulged in quite a meat feast, well I say feast, I just mean I ate significantly more red meat that week than I usually would. My auntie’s puff pastry home-made sausage rolls and my mum’s honey glazed gammon, which included trimmings of pigs in blanket, were just irresistibly yummy.

Whilst there is no need to embark on a detox diet to rid your body of toxins - move over green juice diet we have a liver, kidneys and skin to do this - I did feel like I needed to give my body a bit of a rest from the red meat overload and I’m certain I exceeded the recommended weekly limit in those 3 days, so I decided to have a completely meat-free week the following week. I searched for ideas and stumbled on oodles of meat-free recipes, which I will share with you throughout the year (one of my health goals is to draw more inspiration from plant-based menus/recipes), but for now I thought I’d post about my courgette cannelloni with pesto, which was adapted from a recipe by nutritionist and chef, AKA ‘The Medicinal Chef’, Dale Pinnock.

If you like tomato-based dishes, you’ll love this! It ticks all the boxes regarding flavour, ease appeal and health, and it also offers an alternative for vegetarians and those who are wheat/gluten free or just prefer not to eat pasta – for me I’m just a curious foodie and recipe tester who loves tomatoes and has developed a relatively recent liking for home-made pesto and courgettes!

What I Did

*Slice the courgettes (1cm thick) and griddle them on a hot griddle pan with a drop of oil until golden

*For the sauce, saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the pine nuts and fry for a further couple of minutes.  Add the passata and some basil and simmer for 15 minutes

*While the sauce is simmering, place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarse. 

*Place a dollop of pesto in the centre of the courgette strip and roll, and then place in the oven for a few minutes

*Once the sauce is heated through, pour into a pasta bowl (of course it doesn't have to be a pasta bowl) and place the courgette cannelloni on top. Sprinkle some additional parmesan over your deliciously created dish.