Spinach Pesto Pasta With Pollock

I’m having to get creative here, folks.  Getting rid of dairy, egg, rice, chicken, and all the other major allergens was N-O-T-H-I-N-G compared to the challenge of cooking fructose-free!

I mean, how to you cook without tomatos, onion and garlic?!

So, looking for a dinner idea the other night, I came up with something that sounds bizarre and looked kind of weird, but got the ‘thumbs up’ from both the Geek and Mr. Charm!

Ready?  Here goes: spinach and zucchini pesto, pan-fried pollock, and rice noodles, with sauteed zucchini.

THERE’S a combination I never would have come up with if I didn’t have so many restrictions!

It’s really easy, though, so give it a shot – you might be pleasantly surprised!

Here’s what I did:

For the pesto, I tossed one zucchini, washed and chopped into large chunks and a few handfuls of spinach (enough to fill the bowl) in the food processor.  Then I added some salt and pepper, and drizzled a little olive oil on top and let ‘er rip!

Spinach and zucchini in the food processor bowl.

I had to add a bit more oil to get everything blended well.  Just keep an eye on it and scrape down the sides every so often.

Finished pesto!

This would be AWESOME with some fresh basil added, but that’s not yet on our diet so I didn’t.  Also, I imagine this could be made ahead of time and frozen.

The pollock was the frozen type.  I just thawed out two fillets, and pan-fried them in some olive oil with salt and pepper.

Probably would be better with butter, but still good in just oil.

After they were cooked, I flaked them up on a plate.

Flaked pollock.

The rice noodles are just like regular spaghetti noodles; I followed the instructions on the package, which said to cook for 5-7 minutes.  The Geek requested I cook them longer next time.  He said they were a little ‘tough’, though that could be a regular condition of rice noodles.  I’m sure you could use any kind of safe spaghetti-style noodle in your diet for this.

On a whim, I peeled another zucchini and sliced it fairly thin, then tossed it into the same pan the fish had cooked in and sauteed the slices.

To serve, I put some noodles on a plate, scooped a couple TBS of pesto on the noodles, added half the flaked fish and half the sauteed zucchini, and voila!  Dinner is served!

The finished product!

We had to microwave the plates before eating them; the pesto wasn’t hot, and the rice noodle package says to rinse the noodles in cold water after cooking, so the whole dish just wasn’t hot enough for my boys.  They requested a little warming, and 45 seconds in the microwave satisfied their desire for a ‘hot dinner’.

All in all, it came out pretty good.  It’s fairly versatile, too; you could substitute chicken for the fish, add basil to the pesto, and add any other veggies you would like to the saute pan.

Necessity is the mother of invention!  I’m glad it’s working out well for our dinner table (sometimes!).


(serves 2)

– 2 zucchini
– baby spinach leaves
– 2 pollock fillets
– safe spaghetti noodles
– salt
– pepper
– safe oil (still using olive oil here!)

  1. Wash and chop one zucchini into chunks.
  2. Add the zucchini and enough spinach to fill the bowl to a food processor.
  3. Toss in salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle a bit of olive oil into the bowl.  (Add fresh basil if it’s allowed in your diet.)
  4. Process, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl, until pureed.  Add oil if necessary.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan; salt and pepper the pollock and pan-fry until done.
  6. Flake the fish into bite sized pieces on a separate dish.
  7. Peel and slice the other zucchini, add to the same pan the fish was cooked in.  Saute until done.
  8. Cook the noodles as per the package instructions.
  9. To serve, put noodles on a plate, half the pesto, half the fish, and half the zucchini.  If needed, warm a bit in the microwave before serving.
  10. Enjoy a “St. Patrick’s Day Green” meal!


Have you come up with an unusual but delicious dinner out of necessity? 

This post has been shared with Allergy Free WednesdaysWhole Foods WednesdaysFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways, and Real Food Wednesdays.

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2 Responses to Spinach Pesto Pasta With Pollock

  1. Rebecca says:

    Did you get a new food processor?

    • Mama says:

      Yes, I did! Actually, the Geek decided he wanted one because he hates hitting his knuckles when he grates carrots and potatos for me. 🙂 If you want a new kitchen gadget, give your gadget-fascinated husband a few kitchen jobs that would be easier with your desired gadget – you’ll have it the next day!

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