We are struggling with some major food allergies in the family right now. I have to admit I’ve always been a bit skeptical of those with food sensitivities but I am learning that they are very real and can be devastating to your emotional and physical well-being. We are still trying to pinpoint what’s causing the problems but it looks like we have one that is lactose intolerant and one that is allergic to eggs. As I am navigating a new way of cooking for my family I may be sharing more allergy free dishes and you may see some more meat based recipes here on the blog. While I prefer to follow a more plant based diet for myself, my husband and son are definite carnivores. I have shied away from posting everything that I cook and posting primarily Vegan and Vegetarian dishes but I realize that I’ve limited myself and I’m not truly representing the way that I cook in my kitchen. When cooking I avoid processed foods and eat with the seasons but my family would never be happy following a Vegan diet. My boys are happiest eating pepperoni pizza and cheeseburgers but these days both of those items are on the allergy list. As we navigate this new reality of eating it will be a lot of trial and error to find a new way of eating that will keep us healthy and happy and I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride.
I am a huge fan of herbs in my cooking. They add a brightness and freshness to all my favorite dishes. Now that Summer is winding down it’s easy to grab huge bunches of basil at the Farmers market for a steal. Prepping a huge batch of this pesto and storing it in the freezer will make for some super easy meals well into the Fall. For added health, taste and texture I added some lacinto kale and cashews to a traditional pesto recipe. I also added a little sherry vinegar for some added acid and flavor.
For other quick meal ideas, stir it into scrambled eggs or slather it on top of rustic bread and top with avocado slices. Tell me, what are some of your favorite ways to use pesto?
- ½ bunch of lacinto kale, about ½ pound, stalks removed and roughly chopped
- 1 large bunch of basil, stems removed (about 2 ounces)
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts, divided in half
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces of your favorite pasta
- parmesan cheese for serving
- Add the kale, basil, ¼ cup of the pine nuts, cashews, sherry vinegar, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and juice and salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Stir a few tablespoons of the pesto into the pasta and thin with the reserved pasta cooking liquid until the pesto coats the pasta well. To serve sprinkle with the rest of the pine nuts and a shaving of parmesan cheese.