Get Your Daily Veggies by Hiding Them in Pesto
I am sure that if all of the cookbooks filled with recipes detailing how to hide healthy foods in seemingly innocuous dishes had existed when I was growing up my mom would have been eternally grateful. I may not be a picky little kid anymore (or at least not as bad), but even as a grown adult I find it difficult to force myself to go for the good stuff when there’s so much deliciously unhealthy food out there.
It might not be possible to fool yourself – trust me, I’ve tried – but at least you can find more exciting ways to sneak some greens into your repertoire without having to default to the salad bowl. Like this pesto recipe that hides lots of leafy green spinach in plain site.
Using the term “pesto” is taking quite a few liberties, considering the amount of ingredient swaps from the traditional basil-based paste, but “spinach sauce” just didn’t sound that appealing.
It’s even unintentionally vegan: the first time I decided to try it out I realized too late in the game that I didn’t have any parmesan, but after tasting it I realized that it wasn’t really necessary. If you want to add parmesan into your spinach pesto to enhance that umami edge, by all means go for it, but even this die-hard cheese-lover didn’t miss it.
Spinach Pesto Recipe
Makes approximately 1 cup
• 3oz baby spinach
• 2 large or 3 small cloves of garlic
• 1/2 lemon
• 1/2 c shelled walnuts
• Pinch of salt
• 1/2 tsp chile flakes
• 4 tbsp olive oil
1. Wash the spinach and pat dry.
2. Loosely pack the spinach leaves into your food processor.
3. Peel and mince your garlic cloves. (While stronger food processors should handle garlic cloves efficiently, this helps avoid any extra-garlicky chunks.) Toss in the food processor on top of the spinach.
4. Juice half a lemon and add to spinach and garlic.
5. Add walnuts, generous pinch of salt, chile flakes, and olive oil and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure everything gets incorporated.
Tip: If you’re having a hard time getting everything to blend smoothly or you would like a thinner pesto, slowly add extra olive oil and blend until desired consistency is achieved.
Serving Suggestions: Slather on a homemade pizza, toss with roasted potatoes or cold pasta salad, use as a spread on a sandwich.
Readers – How do you “sneak” your vegetables into your daily diet?
photos: Heather for we heart this
Heather is a midwesterner living in Los Angeles and enjoys concocting weird flavor combinations and exploring delicious ethnic foods. She blogs at foodforfunandpleasure and knows her way around the spice cabinet like nobody’s business.