Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kale-Basil Pesto {Gluten Free, Vegan}

This is a vegan twist on our Fresh Basil Pesto with the addition of some nutrient packed, flavorful and earthy kale.  Who doesn't love pesto?  Our boys were licking their plates and asking for more.  Tonight we poured it over some tasty radiatori shaped quinoa pasta with chicken (sub in some more veggies if eating vegan/vegetarian) and broccoli.  We've also enjoyed it as a topping for our gluten free pizzas with chicken and grilled mushrooms sprinkled on top.  Enjoy!

Recipe: Makes about 1.5 - 2 cups of pesto; enough for pasta for 6-8 servings or two pizzas
2 cups basil leaves, about two handfuls
4-5 cups of kale leaves (stems removed and discarded)
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic (optional)
2 teaspoons salt 

1. Add basil, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt to food processor and pulse for 30 seconds scraping down the sides as needed.
2. Add in the kale leaves 2 cups at a time and pulse until smooth.
Serving Ideas: cut defrosted chicken breast into strips and coat with pesto and bake in a 425'F oven for 15 minutes or until 160'F internal temp. Put on sandwiches, toss with pasta or use as a delicious pizza sauce topped with chicken and mushrooms.

*Edited to Add: We also love using raw cashews and lime juice as a substitute for the pine nuts and lemon juice.  Give it a try!

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