I’ve been craving green food lately, which led me to grab a big bunch of green kale while shopping. I went searching food sites to see if there was something besides kale chips, which I’ve had and love, but I wanted something a bit more substantial – like a meal.
I found inspiration while perusing kale recipes at 101 Cookbooks, and what I came up with is a creamy, lemony, green pesto, loosely based on the winter pasta recipe.
Kale must be a super food, because it’s packed with vitamins and minerals. And I love that both the lemon and kale are alkaline-producing foods, helping us to lower acidity and inflammation in our body. Here’s one chart I found that can help you find more alkaline foods. Not all food I eat is alkaline, but I try to find a happy balance of acid and alkaline foods on a daily basis.
You can add the pesto to brown rice or quinoa pasta, soups and roasted vegetables, or even baked fish or chicken. Next on my list is mixing the pesto with quinoa and rice for a tasty green risotto.
To make this a diary-free pesto, replace the Parmesan cheese with about 1/4 cup of pine nuts plus a 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Or, try this dairy-free pesto using basil and walnuts.
Kale PestoTo make this a diary-free pesto, replace the Parmesan cheese with about 1/4 cup of pine nuts plus a 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Or, try this dairy-free pesto using basil and walnuts.
- 1 medium bunch of kale leaves, stalk removed (about 6 large stalks or 8 oz)
- 2 medium shallots, peeled (or green onions work too)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (or use 1/4 cup of pine nuts and 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt to make it dairy-free)
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or even a bit more if you like)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- Add about 4 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a steady low boil. Alternatively, you can set up a steamer to steam the kale.
- Add the garlic, shallots, and kale to the boiling water for just a minute or two, and then remove them using a slotted spoon or tongs.
- If you’re making pasta to go along with the pesto, leave the water boiling and add the pasta now.
- Place the garlic, kale, shallots, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender, and process until creamy and very well blended.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. I usually add more lemon juice instead of salt. Up to you though.
- Now you’re ready to use the pesto, or you can store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.