In our house, we love putting pesto sauce on roasted chicken and pasta for a great dinner or snack. Fresh pesto truly makes average things taste amazing. Traditional pesto sauces include a good handful of parmesan cheese. Although parmesan does truly make the most insanely delicious pesto, you can have a delicious pesto even without the parmesan. Here is what I came with, which Sarah enjoys on things like roasted chicken breast, sliced cucumber, and rice pasta.
This is so good when served fresh but I think it acquires an even better flavor after sitting in the fridge over a night or two. It keeps well in the fridge and it is handy for throwing together quick dinners. Try adding some walnuts or hazelnuts and experiment to make this even more delicious on your own.
Pine nuts are healthy and they contain heart healthy monounsaturated fat, are high in vitamin C, are great source of iron. Pine nuts may even suppress your appetite which we all need help with at times… Pine nuts contain Pinolenic acid which causes the triggering of hunger suppressants (cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1). These are just to name a few of the many healthy attributes of pine nuts.
Put all of the following ingredients into a blender or vitamix and blend until smooth and evenly colored. Now add it to your choice of meats, vegetables or pasta!
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil (packed and most stems removed)
3/4 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1/4-1/2 tsp of salt (adjust as you like)
juice squeezed from 1/4 of a lemon
(Do not squeeze lemon directly over mixture… Accidental lemon seeds in the pesto can make it taste bitter)
I found this super easy and delicious recipe on The New York Times Wine & Dining page.
A couple quick tips: For those following a Cleanse Diet, you can simply omit the parmesan from the recipe and it still tastes fantastic. You can also leave out the prosciutto and it will still have great flavor as well. It is quick to put together with very few ingredients and no cooking. For some additional protein and a great compliment – try adding some crumbled roasted Hazelnuts on top.
My favorite cookbook is “The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.” This book is chalk full of tasty whole foods recipes and teaches you the importance of eating a heavily plant based diet. There is no understating the phrase “food is medicine.” The recipes are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, guilt free and finally – not flavor free!! For those of us with allergies, food sensitivities, diabetes or numerous other health ailments; this book is a blessing. The other insanely cool part about this book is the way they so clearly and concisely break down the foods and the how and why each food benefits your health.
Make just a few of these recipes and you quickly come to realize that the authors (Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre) took the time to build, test and refine the recipes by having their children and friends test each revision. The result is a collection of completely “eatable” meals! I think it is an especially interesting and impressive feat in that recipes in this genre are typically mundane or flavorless.