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A Clean Green Dinner You Can Make For Less Than $15

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This fresh avocado kale pesto is a simple weeknight fix I love whipping up for friends and family.

What I love about this meal is that most people have these staple ingredients on hand, the cost averages out to be about $15 for two servings, which is a steal here in NYC, and everything can be found at Whole Foods Market! You’ll love cooking smarter, not harder, with this recipe.

Lauren Volo for mindbodygreen

The pesto is full of nutrients, and not excess oil like most pesto in a jar. And the zoodles are so fun to prepare you can make them for date night or family dinner with your little ones! Enjoy and itadakimasu (that’s Japanese for bon appétit)!

Avocado Kale Pesto + Zucchini Noodles

Serves 2

Lauren Volo for mindbodygreen


  • 2 large zucchini, spiralized into zucchini noodles “zoodles” or thinly shaved with a veggie peeler (or 2 cups cooked pasta, such as 365 Everyday Value fettuccine or spaghetti)
  • 3/4 cups lacinato or curly kale leaves, torn, hard stems removed
  • 1/4 cup whole, raw almonds
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt or 1 teaspoon of Tamari reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 ripe Hass avocado
  • 1/2 package Wildwood organic baked tofu (“savory” flavor), cut into ¾” cubes
  • Optional: Parmesan cheese, crushed raw almonds, hemp seeds
Lauren Volo for mindbodygreen


  1. Cook your choice of zucchini noodles or pasta. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender, add the kale, almonds, garlic, salt or soy sauce, and lemon juice. Pulse or blend until coarsely chopped. Stream in the extra virgin olive oil and process until a smooth paste forms.
  3. In a separate bowl, smash the avocado with a fork until smooth. Fold the pesto into the avocado until smooth.
  4. In a large sauté pan, over medium-low heat, toss the pesto with the cooked pasta or sautéed zucchini noodles, until well coated. Add in your cubed tofu, heat through, plate up into two serving bowls. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese, crushed raw almonds, or hemp seeds.
Candice Kumai author page.
Candice Kumai

Candice Kumai, quoted by Elle Magazine as “the golden girl of the wellness world”, is a classically trained chef, wellness journalist and best-selling author of Clean Green Eats, Clean Green Drinks, Pretty Delicious, Cook Yourself Sexy and Cook Yourself Thin. She is a regular contributor on E! News and The Dr. Oz Show and has appeared as a regular judge on Iron Chef America and Beat Bobby Flay. She contributes to lifestyle publications such as Cosmopolitan, Shape, Yoga Journal, Men’s Health, Clean Eating and Prevention and volunteers at dozens of charitable organizations. She is a Top Chef alumni, and is obsessed with avocados, yoga, bar method, coconut and her cat, Sisi. She lives in New York City.