A pesto recipe that’s smart, like you

Let’s talk food. Food for nerds. Rather… food for people who want to eat smart. This recipe isn’t the healthiest one you’ll ever save (although it does have some great power ingredients), and it doesn’t meet your daily requirements for… well… anything. But the reason I’m calling this green goodness smart is because it’s easy, inexpensive and it can top off so many nutritious foods. You know, the ones that do meet your daily protein, fiber or veggie goals. And of course, it’s pretty delicious.

Truly, the best thing about this pesto (really any homemade pesto), is that you can pipe it into an ice cube tray, freeze it and then bring it back for an encore appearance 2 weeks later.

basil pesto

Here are a few ideas to get you going:

My favorite way to enjoy pesto is on grilled salmon, chicken or pork chops. I’m not going to pretend that I enjoy any of these foods on their own. Adding pesto tricks me into thinking I actually like these things.

Pesto salmon or tuna salad sandwiches Mix tuna, mayo, onion and a spoonful of pesto to give your tuna/salmon salad sandwich some pizzazz. Not interested in all the extra calories from mayo? Try replacing half of the mayo with non-fat greek yogurt.

On corn-on-the-cobb in place of butter

Spread pesto on naan bread in place of tomato sauce to make a personal pizza. Sprinkle feta cheese and tomatoes or kalamata olives on top of the pesto, or any ingredients you have on hand. Grill or toast the “pizza” until the cheese melts.

Exchange the mayo for pesto on a BLT, or add some kick to a grilled cheese sandwich by spreading pesto on the inside of the bread slices.

 

pesto

Amazing Pesto with No Cheese
Makes 8 Servings; 1 Tablespoon

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
3 raw garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add walnuts and garlic to the food processor and pulse a few times until they are minced. Add the basil leaves and pulse until leaves are chopped, but not liquefied. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on until the basil mixture is the consistency of applesauce. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula, as needed. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper a little at a time until you’re satisfied with the taste. Serve right away, refrigerate and serve within 3 days, or pipe into an ice cube tray and freeze for up to 3 months.

Serving size: 1 tablespoon; Calories 89; Total Fat 9.4 g (Saturated Fat 1.1 g) Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 74 mg; Sugars 0.1g; Protein 1.5 g; Dietary Fiber .5g; Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 2%; Calcium 2%; Iron 2%

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1 Comment

  1. Crystal

    Yum!

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