How many of you as a kid faced the parent stand-off with the side of your plate covered with greens? Your plate had the fork mark indents in it as you tried to push them to side, tuck them under the plate or try to hide it in your napkin. Ya, that wasn’t me lol, my mom didn’t play when it came to food. Her motto was "waste not want not" and she didn’t care if I sat there until “kingdom come” my behind was not moving until my plate was clean. As I got older, I didn’t mind eating veggies, but I think it was because I thought I was grown and didn’t have to listen to her anymore (wink wink). One of my favorite greens is spinach, wasn’t a fan as a kid but now love them in eggs, smoothies, pasta sauces, salads and my pesto’s!
I put pesto on anything...as part of my marinades on chicken, shrimp and pasta salads to name a few. When it comes to pesto I encourage you to play with your food guys. Mix and match your greens by using parsley, basil, spinach or kale, go nutty with nuts. You can try cashews, pine nuts (these bad boys are great but damn expensive) almonds and add your oil of choice.
Now all great pesto’s have cheese, so in keeping with the spirit of tradition I used nutritional yeast as a dairy free substitute. Love this stuff for its health benefits as its filled with protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You can purchase this yeast in your local grocery store, or bulk food store. Ok enough chatter, check out this super easy do it yourself pesto below.
Quick tip: You will find fortified nutritional yeast in store – synthetic vitamins were added during processing to increase its nutritional value.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Yields: Approximately 3 cups
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 coarsely chopped cashews
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients until your pesto is a creamy smooth texture. If you like it a bit more course blend less to preserve some texture.