Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kale Pesto

This recipe is a healthier version of the pesto sauce my mom used to make for me growing up. I left out the parmesan cheese (could have subbed in some nutritional yeast, but I'm all out ) and added some kale, duh! I also swapped the white flour spaghetti for some raw zucchini noodles, making this version completely vegan and gluten free yay* 

For the pesto:

1 Cup fresh basil, packed
1/2 Cup pine nuts (I chose pine nuts because I was feeling traditional, you could also use walnuts, pumpkin seeds or another type of nut)
1 large kale leaf
2 cloves of fresh garlic
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp Flax oil (or olive oil or sub another oil)

Place the first 6 ingredients into a food processor and process until the leaves are no longer whole. Scrape down the sides and continue to process while you drizzle in the oil. This should make it creamier looking. 

To make "pesto pasta"::
1 Zucchini, sliced into "noodles" aka thin strips (can use vegetable peeler) **see note
1 Cup broccoli florets

I scooped out about half the mixture from the food processor and mixed it into the zucchini and broccoli and then left it to marinate in the fridge. 
**note: don't forget to drain the excess liquid from the sliced zucchini. I did this by pressing it into a fine mesh strainer. Alternatively, you can jus squeeze it in-between your hands over the sink.

What to do with the remaining kale pesto? Kale salad? I added about 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to the sauce to thin it out into a dressing and massaged it into 3 large kale leaves, sliced thin. Stuck that in the fridge to marinate too. The lemon and salt softened the veggies over night and the flavor of the basil really melded with the greens. So delicious I actually forgot to photograph the dishes on their own. The next evening I was feeling nalstalgic so I decided to cook up some gluten-free brown rice pasta and topped it with the leftover salads. 

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