Posts tagged healthy recipes

Perfect pesto, perfect meal

Great news for the pesto lovers out there: it’s good for you!  According to FinQooArticles.com, it’s good for digestion, the immune system, gout, muscle pains, rheumatism, and the respiratory system, plus basil has been proven to be a cancer preventative herb and aid with diabetes.  That being said, it’s also absolutely scrumptious on pasta, pizza, bread, or as a marinade.

Pesto is pretty easy to make, and once it’s done all you have to do it add it to your meal: paired with pasta and chicken is my favorite.  For those of you who are running from class to the library and only have time to boil some pasta and add pesto sauce, there are some great mixes out there that you just have add olive oil to, like Sweet Basil Pesto Mix by Simply Organic, or Tastefully Simple’s Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto Mix.  You can look for these packaged dried mixed at your grocery store, usually in the pasta or sauce section.  

There are a ton of variations on pesto.  I find that using basil has the best flavor, but others use spinach or cilantro.  If you have the time to, try your hand at making your own pesto.  It’s healthier than buying it packaged, it’s so fresh and delicious, and REALLY easy to make.  Plus besides the fresh basil, and maybe a clove of garlic and pine nuts, you probably have everything else you’ll need.  Here’s the recipe I like to use:

You’ll need:

  • About 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil- probably about 3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped up
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts (You can substitute walnuts or almonds here, or you can make it without any nuts if you prefer)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (I like a little more pepper than salt)
  • A blender

Directions:

  1. Place everything (seriously, everything listed above) in the blender and pulse a few times then process until the mixture if fairly smooth.
  2. Some people like pesto at room temperature or cold, but I prefer it a little warm, so I put it in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes and stir with a whisk before serving.

And that’s all, folks.  I told you it was a simple recipe!  Like I said, my roommates and I usually enjoy pesto with pasta and chicken.  But for the healthier option, use it as a sauce over grilled chicken breast and serve with vegeatbles or salad.  

The Food Network has a ton of uses for pesto and an extensive collection of recipes.  This one’s my favorite for a spicy twist:

The Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis kicks it up with this spicy pesto

Here are some other great pesto recipes to check out:

A ton of variations on pesto from Cooks.com

The classic pesto from AllRecipes.com

For a visual aid, and a trick about storing pesto, watch this short video from Good House Keeping:

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