Half-assed Meals With Jena: Zucchini Pesto Pasta With Pine Nuts


My friend Jena Gambacinni (of ChiCityFashion) is the best. She’s been down with OPP since day one. She’s made it to every event I’ve hosted. She let me practice my coaching program on her. And she’s always sending me new ideas for world plant domination. She’s not even 100% veg – she’s just a supportive pal that’s down with getting plants in her pants.

Whenever she sends me a photo of one her plant-based feasts, I always want the recipe. And she’ll always tell me there isn’t one and that she’s not that good in the kitchen. I disagree. She is. You don’t have to have elaborate recipes to be good in the kitchen. Some of the best meals I’ve ever made have been the result of throwing a whole bunch of things in a bowl and then covering those things with tahini. I love cooking that way. There’s less pressure to get the recipe exactly right, and it allows you to find your own style. And Jena’s got great style, in and out of the kitchen.

So this week we’re launching a new series together called Half-Assed Meals With Jena. Jena’s recipes don’t use a lot of specific measurements and there aren’t super-detailed instructions. Just simple dinners that you can throw together fast.






Here’s Jena:
When I cook at home I try to make things as healthy as possible (because I most definitely don’t watch what I eat when I go out to a restaurant…which is 4-5 times a week). More importantly, everything I make needs to be easy and this recipe is by far the easiest, healthiest (and quickest!) recipe I’ve made to date. You’ll need this gadget or something similar to make it. I got mine as a birthday gift and love it! Welcome to the epitome of Half-Assed Meals With Jena. Soooo what do you think?

{ Zucchi-etti Pesto }

by Jena Gambacinni
serves 1-2 (depending how hungry you are)

1 zucchini, spiraled
1 package of mushrooms, sliced
1 package of cherry tomatoes
Pine nuts (however many your little heart desires)
1 container of veggie pesto (or use One Part Plant’s recipe)

1. Make zucchini look like spaghetti (I used the Veggetti). Use the whole zucchini.
2. Cut the mushrooms however you want them to look and add them to a pan on medium/high with a bit of oil, salt and pepper.
3. Once the mushrooms are 3/4 of the way done cooking, add the zucchini and toss with pesto (turn the heat down to medium). Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
4. Take everything out of the pan, add some cherry tomatoes and pine nuts and you’re done!

Big bags of pine nuts can be a little pricey. You can find smaller packages of them in the “international” food aisle of most grocery stores. This pesto also tastes great without them!

Want more Jena? Of course you do! Head over to her website and get more.
photo: Heather Talbert

What’s your best half-assed meal? Share it in the comments!
Remember you don’t have to have elaborate recipes to be a whiz in the kitchen.

Posted In: Recipes | Tags: , , , ,


  1. Jourdan Fairchild
    June 26, 2014

    Well this is a genius idea for a series! My fave OPP-approved meal is shaved squash salad with mint, pine nuts, avocado—plus whatever else I find in the fridge.

  2. Ramzi Dreessen
    June 27, 2014

    I definitely approve

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    [...] light meant for great selfies, and my cooking skills are pretty average (although I do have a great half-assed meal recipe for zucchini pesto pasta). BUT I figure most other people dig pizza, don’t live in an Elle Decor home and [...]

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    [...] a recipe that’s not only completely dairy, gluten and sugar-free but definitely fits in the Half-Assed Meals category that I love so much — there’s two ingredients and it could not be easier to [...]

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