Sweet Pea & Pearl Onion Pesto Smothered Zucchini Noodles

sweetpeapearlonions

I have such a special treat for you today. Since I am in the final stretch of writing my manuscript (!!!), I’ve asked Julie from the Alkaline Sisters to take over this week. She’s created a gorgeous spring recipe for all of you who really need a bite of brightness (I figure that is anyone who has survived the polar vortex, am I right?). I’ve been a fan of Julie’s site for a long time now, but we met in person for the first time last summer and the serendipitous sparks flew! We’ve been online pals ever since. She is an expert on achieving alkalinity, and I’ve asked her to give us the low-down on this very topic. After curing her own health issues with an alkaline diet, she is sharing her inspiring journey and culinary creations on her beautiful blog. She also has a book in the works and I know it is going to be absolutely amazing! Can’t wait.

I will be back very soon, but in the meantime let’s all sit back and learn something from this very wise woman. Thank you Julie, for sharing your knowledge with us! What a blessing.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I’m so pleased that I could support Sarah by sharing a recipe with you today as she nears completion of her book.  I can only imagine the juggling that is happening as she cares for her wee babe in between wielding her heavy camera and cooking up some tasty business to style and photograph, not to mention the writing required to explain the recipe.  Lord knows I understand the process since I just recently handed my cook book manuscript in to my publisher, phew!

When we had lunch last summer we realized that we were both working with the same publisher, what are the chances of that?  We’ve both been feverishly working away on our cook books but I certainly didn’t give birth to a newborn baby as I worked thru the chapters of my book!  I swear Sarah has somehow acquired super powers as she’s hardly missed a beat here on the blog!  She’s managed to continually inspire you and I with a fabulous new recipe pretty much every week since she started the book, save for popping out a beautiful baby boy!  That’s more than I can attribute to since I took a bit of a hiatus from my blog to work on my book while caring for my family of 4, trying to stay sane and enjoy the journey.

So here I am, happily giving her a bit of relief so she can wrap up the final details of her book. Now she can focus, take good care of her precious family, knowing that you are inspired for yet another week. So lets do this:)

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With Spring making it’s way here I can’t wait to begin tasting the seasonal flavours that I have missed since last year.  Sweet green peas always make me think of brighter sunnier days and the bursting greens of budding trees.  I may be jumping the gun on the spring pea season here, just a little, hehe but you’ll be glad I did if you are a fan of sweet peas!  I’m cheating with frozen peas so please forgive me for my enthusiasm with the lead up to my favourite time of year.  Because my horoscope is Aries, I come by it honestly:)

This tasty dish is a little bit raw and a little bit cooked, keeping as many nutrients in tact as possible. It’s kind of a nice combo for this in between time of year. And guess what? It’s alkalizing too….well of course!   This Alkaline Sister here is happy to inspire you with a recipe that will help you balance your alkalinity.  (If you are keen for a wee bit more information about the alkaline lifestyle read on below the recipe.) This is a quick and easy recipe to pull together, even for lunch.

The pea pesto is made with a generous portion of peas that are action packed with phytonutrients that provide us with key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Peas also contain an impressive amount of health promoting omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA as well as omega-6 fats called linolenic acids.  One cup has about 30 milligrams of omega-3 and 130 milligrams of omega-6.  As for protein and fibre, green peas pack about 8-10 grams per cup.  These two macronutrients keep your blood sugar levels well regulated since they support the break down of the natural sugars and carbohydrates as they pass through your digestive track.

Once thought of as being a starchy vegetable peas are proving to be much more than that. They are effective in lowering our risk of chronic health issues related to inflammation.  And studies show that inflammation is at the root of most health issues, so eat your peas!  While you’re at it, eat your zucchini and some onions too!  All of these alkalizing vegetables in this recipe provide the body with beneficial cancer-preventive nutrients.  You can’t go wrong here so give this recipe a whirl and see how you like it.

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Thank you kindly Sarah, for trusting me to share a nourishing alkaline recipe with your treasured readers that you take such good care of.  It’s been an honour and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my alkaline message with your loyal followers.

Here’s an extra special mini lesson on alkalinity and how it can be of benefit to your healthy lifestyle:

The most alkaline foods are green and of high water content as in cucumber, celery, broccoli, and greens like kale, chard, romaine etc. Lemons & limes are also highly alkaline once metabolized even though they are acidic outside the body before you ingest them.  This chart shows the degree of alkalinity of many foods to give you a better idea.  On this chart you’ll also notice the list of foods that are acidic and their scores that you can pay attention to with regard to the ratio that you include in your daily meals. Pretty much any food that is a concentrated food with low water content, is highly processed or contains sugar–including fruit, is acidic to the body and should be consumed in approximately a 20-30% daily proportion.  If you are seriously ill this ratio will be more like 0-5%.  Please remember to always consult a medical professional when considering a drastic lifestyle change.

Choosing alkaline foods in a 70 to 80% ratio with the balance of acidic foods allows you to still enjoy some of the wholesome foods you are accustomed to. A visual measurement for each meal or over the period of the day is all that is necessary to maintain a balanced intake of alkaline foods.  No weighing or counting of calories is necessary. And guess what?  By following a highly alkaline lifestyle you’ll discover that a bonus side effect is weight loss or a return to your natural body weight.

You may already be very conscientious with your healthy lifestyle but with a bit of tweaking in the alkaline department you might find you have even more energy, fewer colds and any nagging symptoms slowly dissipate.

To increase your alkaline foods intake it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…a,b,c…
1. add a green smoothie to your morning or a green juice

2. add a big salad to your lunch or make it your lunch

3. add a salad and steamed veggies to your dinner

And we all know that we need to….
a. drink more water— 3-4 litres of filtered, hopefully alkaline water each day- to flush acids and hydrate the body

b. exercise to flush your lymph, blood and tissues of acidic matter

c. stay on top of your stress levels and find ways to deal with negative thoughts- meditation, yoga etc. (stress causes acids to form within the body)

By slowly adapting your lifestyle and following these basics along with doing a seasonal detox you will keep disease at bay and the cold and flu bugs will leave you for good!

Six years ago, with a dramatic shift to this alkaline lifestyle, I resolved the excruciating pain that I was experiencing from a seriously herniated disc that stopped me in my tracks from living my life. This lifestyle shift resulted in a welcome side effect of easily and quickly dropping 40lbs of post baby excess weight that I was struggling with.

Our modern diet is often overly acidic even if we consider it to be healthy thus many of us suffer from a myriad of illnesses that are directly related to an overly acidic body.  But the good news is….. that you can turn your health around by flooding the body with alkalinity.

A green smoothie cheers to your good, alkaline health :)
Julie the Alkaline Sister

65 comments

  1. Pingback: Spring: What’s In Season | Sauce LA | Angeleno, Inc
  2. Maski

    wow, that looks and sounds delish! I can already feel and smell the springtime in the air, can’t wait to try this dish to taste it too

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  4. Charity

    So, I feel like I’m a little late to the party, but I have a question. I don’t really care for raw zucchini. Do you think it would hold up to the recipe if I steamed it a bit?

  5. Jenny @ BAKE

    what a beautiful fresh dish! it’s been really interesting to read the other comments on this post, and to learn more about the alkaline diet. No matter where you stand on the diet, nearly everyone could benefit from eating a few more vegetables and this looks like a delicious way to do so!

  6. ZONDERZOOI

    Wow your website looks really nice, especially the photography from all the food, well done. I think I’m going to make this recipe soon, it looks really delicious.

  7. Sophie

    Hi there! Absolutely love the look of this. I didn’t have a julienne peeler or a spiralizer so did a bit of research and came up with a great idea for those without these tools. Take your usual box grater, lay it on its side and run the courgettes along it length ways, avoiding the middle seedy section. Perfect!

    Am a keen reader and always love your new posts! Sophie x

    http://www.theparttimevegan.me

  8. Lillian

    This looks delicious and springy. I would like to try it! Can’t wait. I was wondering what tool you use to create the zucchini spaghetti. I have been looking around and don’t really know what to look for but I really want to start trying foods like this. Thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe and the mini alkaline lesson.

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  10. Jillian L

    This looks fantastic!! As fresh peas are starting to pop up, I wonder if I could use the peas for the ‘garnish’ and then the pods for the pesto? Any idea if this would work? I love fresh peas, but hate wasting the pods, so I was hoping this would be a great recipe to minimize my food waste.

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  12. Molly

    Thank you for this recipe, which looks delicious. I’ve enjoyed the discussion in the comments and I have some information to add. While I agree that the claims about an alkaline diet solving all ills are unsupported, there is some evidence that an alkaline diet can inhibit cancer metastasis. Dr. Robert Gillies is an eminent cancer researcher who is investigating the causes and effects of an acidic tumor environment; such an environment promotes tumor growth and metastasis. His group has shown that oral bicarbonate can inhibit metastasis of some tumors in mice (as far as I know, there have not been studies in humans). Here is a reference to a paper in a top cancer journal (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/69/6/2260). The NIH is funding his research (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8513139&icde=19406040&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC). I have heard him speak and he commented that he takes Tums every day. So there may be benefits of an alkaline diet; certainly, we can all benefit from eating more vegetables. By the way, I know a number of cancer biologists who have completely eliminated sugar from their diets.

  13. Elena

    Dear Sarah, I am Italian – therefore I have to ask you why you never cook/eat whole-grain pasta and rice. I understand that whole-grain food is better thank white rice and pasta, but…why don’t you ever use it? I think your pesto would be great with whole-grain spaghetti, and that wholewheat grain is great as well…I’d like to understand better this! Thank you
    Elena

  14. Rachel

    Hi Sarah, I’ve just watched your Ted X video where you show us how to make almond milk. It’s something that I’ve wanted to try for ages but your excitement and enthusiasm has really encouraged me to start doing it. Just wanted to say thank you!

  15. Megan

    Thank you both Sarah and Julie, another lovely recipe and another interesting perspective to continue. The Alkaline diet is something I’ve been interested in learning more about for a wee while now. Keep up the good work ladies!

  16. Joana

    I’ve tried this recipe yesterday for dinner and it’s delicious! Thanks.
    Good luck Sarah, we are all waiting for your book!
    Love,
    Joana

  17. juice

    Tangina mo Jose Luis Bernardo gago ka ang yabang mo na porket nakakuha ka na ng kobe 9 akala mo hari ka na ng mundo! Hayup ka! Akala mo popogi ka sa sapatos mo pero kahit may suot ka pang maganda ang pangit at tabachoy ka pa rin! Walang papatol na babae sayo mukha kang baboy! Tangina mo!

  18. eme

    I work in environmental education, and yesterday morning while testing the pH of an urban marsh with a class of 5th graders, there was lots of talk about the acidity of things. We had a chart showing pure water as having a neutral pH and several acidic foods on the left side with baking soda as the only edible on the alkaline side of our chart. The kids wanted to know if there were other foods on the alkaline side, or if all our foods were acidic. I came home to see this blog post last night, and now we totally have some more information. Thanks for sharing this unique perspective.

  19. Kathy K

    I believe that Sarah’s intention was to share a healthy recipe from someone whom she admires, while she focuses on making her deadline. Sarah’s ‘followers’ are intelligent enough to make healthy food choices. In my opinion, this is a beautiful, nourishing recipe; isn’t that what we should be focusing on?

    • Karen

      There’s a “print recipe” link right above the recipe box. It will open the recipe – and just the recipe – on the page, and you can copy or print it from there. Hope that helps. :)

  20. Paula

    I really like your site, Sarah, but I didn’t really like this post. It speaks with a certain dogamtism that I really find problematic in so-called “health blogs”, and I always enjoyed you blog for being different. Besides, zucchini are not in season at all. Neither are peas.

  21. East Van Bee

    “you don’t catch a cold, you cause a cold”

    No. Cold symptoms are caused by an infectious virus that is transmitted via contaminated humans, surfaces or aerosols, in other words, you catch it.

      • East Van Bee

        Terrain theory has long been disregarded by science and medicine, and is only believed in by a fringe element of germ theory denailists

  22. Vanessa

    Thank you so much for this insight into eating alkaline foods. I recently discovered that I am suffering two food intolerances, I can’t have lactose and fructose. Respecting this since about three months now, I feel better than ever and I just discovered that I obviously was eating like you recommend. I haven’t been sick all winter, which has never happened before. I will for sure check out your blog! And Sarah: Good luck with your book.

    Greetings from Germany!

  23. Katie @ Whole Nourishment

    Julie, thank you for a delicious spring-inspired recipe and the little alkaline lesson. Really informative. And I love the pea, lemon, mint combination! Sarah, good luck finishing up your manuscript. I absolutely cannot wait for your cookbook, as I have loved every single one of the recipes I have tried on your site!

  24. Miranda

    I normally love this blog, but this recipe is ridiculous. There is nothing in this that would actually stick to one’s ribs.

  25. Renee

    Dear Sarah,
    This appears to be a very tasty recipe and the recommendations for achieving a more alkiline diet useful. However, I went on the website of the Alkiline Sisters and found many references to Robert Young and his products. It made me a little suspicious as I had heard of him but could not quite remember what the issue was. So I went on Wiki and found that he has been arrested in January 2014 and is on trial pleading not guilty to charges of theft and practicing medecine without a licence.
    I believe that we should all use our good judgment and beware of diets that are too restrictive. I personally think that this is the case with the alkiline diet.
    Good luck with your book. Looking forward to have it in my hands!

    • Plasmodium

      Yes I have to agree with Renee here. I kept subscribing to My New Roots because I am a vegetarian and the recipes are extremely interesting. However, I have noticed there are a lot of rather “interesting” health claims that don’t really have any evidence base beyond those who are promoting it.

      This alkaline diet idea is certainly one of the more wacky things I’ve read in my life! The body has extremely tight regulation of body pH, and therefore your diet has no influence on it. The statement “If you are experiencing any symptoms of ill health you are suffering from over acidification of your blood and tissues.” is incorrect and almost certainly dangerous. This is hardly justified, even in the presence of a “please see your doctor” kind of statement earlier on.

      Unsubstantiated dietary and even health advice like this could lead people to alter their nutrient intakes. This may lead to nutrient deficiencies and real health problems. I beg you to present your excellent recipes but please refrain from presenting strange and unscientific theories as this advice may have real consequences for people.

      • Sarah Britton

        To Renee and Plasmodium,
        Thank you for your sincere feedback on this article, I really appreciate your take.
        As you can see from my own past recipes, I do not follow to the alkaline diet speicifically, but I do know that it has worked for many people – people whom I respect that are trained in the field of nutrition. I realize that this isn’t for everyone, and although Julie is coming from a passionate place, she has had her life turned around by eating this way, and I feel that it’s good to bring another perspective in once and a while.
        Again, thank you for bringing your thoughts to the table.
        All my best,
        Sarah B

      • Julie the Alkaline Sister

        Rene & Plasmodium, Thank you both for your thoughts. It is of course true that the body regulates the pH very tightly and it must in order to keep us alive. However, when we continually tax it’s resources (by over consuming highly acidic foods) that help to maintain this tight pH range with the necessary alkaline minerals, we are draining our own mineral reserves to do so. If we just provide the body with the minerals from greater consumption of alkaline foods the body does not need to beg, borrow and steal these minerals from our bones, tissues and organs there by leaving us weak in those areas. Studies show that this is the leading factor in osteoporosis. With plenty of minerals from alkaline foods our body will have enough alkaline reserves to maintain a healthy balanced body. This is the intention of the alkaline diet, to increase our green vegetable consumption in a balanced ratio to all the other wonderful healthy foods that are still very welcome in this healthy lifestyle. If one is ill, the lifestyle is meant to be more strict as a means to restore balance. I am grateful for this lifestyle especially the very limited and strict portion when I began as it has drastically improved my health and healed my body to where I feel healthier than I ever have in my life. It may not be for everyone but can be incredibly effective for those that embrace it.
        As for Dr Young although he has been targeted for his beliefs by some, he has helped hundreds of thousands of people. I happen to be one that found his protocol useful and I feel the need to share and also help those that might resonate with this lifestyle. Of course not everyone will find it useful or agree with the theories but there are many other options to consider for improving ones health and that’s what makes this nutrition world a wonderful smorgasbord from which to choose :)

      • Bean

        While I appreciate the blogger’s viewpoint, I think that consuming an “alkaline” diet may help sustain health for other reasons like increased vegetable intake because the only pH in the body that food can affect is the pH of the urine. The stomach acid makes all food very acidic, and once those foods leave the stomach and go into the intestines, pancreatic secretions neutralizes the acid, rendering all food in the intestine alkaline. The pH blood levels are regulated by our respiration with some help from our kidneys and other very complex processes. Recent research also shows that while high dietary protein (an “acidic” food) increases urinary calcium output, that calcium is coming from the diet, not from the bones, which raises doubts about “acidic” food and their ability to “rob” calcium and other minerals from the body. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21976719. And animal protein may actually contribute to bone health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9925137?dopt=Abstract All this not to prove anyone wrong and I’m plant-based myself, but just came here to clear up a few facts and agree that nutrition is extremely complex. I am happy for anyone who has adjusted their diet and found wellness. But no one way of eating is right for all.

  26. Supal {chevrons and éclairs}

    This recipe is definitely being added to the files. When I lived in Scotland for grad school, I fell in love with peas. Always served alongside fish and chips! Since then, I’ve enjoyed them back home in America, but no one in my family enjoys them! Hoping to convert them with this recipe :) x

  27. Teri

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try this recipe. This is very interesting information. I will read up on the subject. I had my kids in my 40′s and have never lost the baby fat ;) even with breast feeding. I do not see how to get on the Alkaline Sisters email list. Teri

  28. Heather @ The Soulful Spoon

    I’m such a fan of BOTH of you, and both of you are huge inspirations to me as a writer for women, health blogger, professional health writer and editor, and a holistic health junkie:) I’m also training to be a holistic health coach and soak up this kind of information with a sponge. What a beautiful recipe!:) I just adore green peas:) They were always a favorite of mine. Since switching to a highly alkaline diet, I can’t even tell you how much my health and mood have improved. THANK YOU BOTH for being a voice in the world for health. I love keeping up with you, and thanks for the chart of the alkaline foods! I have that saved on my computer somewhere from some time ago, but always love a good refresher to glance it over every now and then. Have a lovely week!:)<3

    • Karen

      Many (most?) followers of alkaline diets eschew fermentation as too acidic a process. I certainly wouldn’t argue what worked for the author in her own life, but, as food science is ever changing, with different studies showing this or that, depending on the day, I prefer a balance. I do like many aspects of the alkaline diet, but I also believe that kimchi is good for your gut.

    • Julie the Alkaline Sister

      Carly
      Fermented foods have a long history and have been used effectively for thousands of years. It’s my belief that they played a role that was used in moderation with pure, naturally fermented ingredients. In todays world full of thousands of foods that are full of processed fermented vinegars and the like the consumption is far beyond what was ever found to be beneficial back in the day. A healthy alkaline balanced body can handle fermented foods in small amounts and can be beneficial. However, in my honest opinion many folks are over consuming fermented foods. What I have seen (thru my own study and that of others) and understand is the presence of yeast, fungus and mould in live blood analysis. A very ill person usually has all of these organisms present in a very unhealthy balance. When a strict alkaline diet free from all fermented foods is embraced I have seen the presence of these organism diminish and the health of the person return, tenfold. My thought is that fermented foods in moderation for a healthy body is fine but if you are not well it can be beneficial to avoid them until you are balanced and free from symptoms once again.

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