Happy New Year, my goodfoodies! I wish for you the most delicious and nourishing year yet, in 2018.
I just posted the link to an article on my social media pages that name-checked cilantro and all of its health benefits. In addition to loving up your liver, it's a brilliant support to help move heavy metals out from the INSIDE of your cells, and taking it all the way out of your body. I love when foods are that nourishing, that not only do they impart vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, they also do some heavy lifting!
I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you a recipe I share with my clients. It's a template for any kind of greens you have on hand, helping to increase the intake of these delicious vegetables (read up on why you should eat your greens here!). It's a flavour booster that can easily re-invent leftovers into something delicious and new. I always have frozen ice cubes of pesto in the freezer at the ready. You can also choose to freeze them in portioned bags like Melanie at Full Bloom Herbals does it. (Thank you Melanie!)
This recipe calls to use whatever nut or seed you have on hand. It goes without saying that properly activating your seeds/nuts before eating them will increase your ability to digest them, and provide you with a better variety of nutrients too. Activate/sprout/soak if you can! (Or purchase ones already sprouted.) In my cilantro pesto, I find a combo of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds is divine.
As for the greens, you can mix and match or use up what you have in your fridge already. If you're looking to use some cilantro, I love the combo of one bunch of cilantro (properly washed! - it's grown in sand and can often impart a grittiness if not washed properly first) with a bunch of arugula. When trying new combos for the greens, think a cup of leafies like spinach or kale, and 1 cup of aromatic herb like basil or mint; do a whole 2 cups of spinach if that’s what you have on hand. I love using sorrel as one of my greens, this perennial grows readily in the garden, and can be found in the early days of spring.
2/3 cup of nuts or seeds
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 cups of greens
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup of good quality olive oil (I love the olive oil at Blue Door)
- In a blender or food processor, pulse your nuts and/or seeds in order to mince.
- Add the remainder of your ingredients except the olive oil to the blender or food processor and pulse again to roughly combine.
- Mix in the olive oil by hand at the end, or drizzle it in bit by bit with the food processor. Store in a glass jar in the fridge and plan to use up in 5 days. Alternately, freeze all leftovers in to an ice cube tray for 3 days, and then pop out in to labelled freezer bags for easy retrieval.
This is my most favourite flavour upgrade. You could add some sundried tomatoes to the end product as well to add a tomato flavour. Toss in a handful of edible flower petals if it is deep summer and your garden is plentiful. Play with the flavours and ingredients! Keep it dairy free when you make it, and consider only adding something like a good quality Romano or Parmesan at the time of meal assembly. It offers you more versatility with an extra big batch.
How to use this pesto: use a cube of pesto tossed in to a few handfuls of shredded cabbage, carrots and mushrooms and cook up in a pan; use it to toss with roasted spaghetti squash strands, along with bacon and a bit of creme fraiche; toss in a cube or two with some roasted veggies (tomato, corn and peppers) to make a kind of pesto-ish side salad; toss some pesto in with a pound of ground meat and some minced mushrooms for an easy and flavourful dinner idea, wrapped in lettuce leaves; use some pesto with some shredded leftover chicken, add in some chili powder and use that on top of greens with a delicious homemade caesar dressing. Add a few cubes in with your leftover gravy, thinned with more meat stock and some shredded meat and voila, Soupe Pistou! What way would you use this pesto? Comment below!
Now go play with your food! And may your 2018 be your most delicious year yet.