Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Pesto Sauce with a Twist

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

I have wanted to share this recipe with you all for a while now. Two things happened that provoked me to finally share it. First off the basil in my garden is ready to rock. And secondly I was stoked to find organic, gluten-free penne pasta at Costco. The brand they carry at my Costco is truRoots and check out this ingredient list: brown rice flour, corn flour, quinoa flour, and amaranth flour. All organic! I have been missing pasta soooo much since going gluten free several months ago. Discovering this package of penne pasta at Costco made me giddy! And I wanted to enjoy them in various special ways…not just with a traditional marinara sauce. Pesto sauce is a fun alternative to marinara…plus you can make it in mere minutes!

Most of you know I adore kale and am always looking for new, interesting way to prepare it (however a simple raw kale salad remains my favorite way to enjoy kale!). This pesto sauce uses kale in it! And no pine nuts. Don’t get me wrong…I love pine nuts. Love them! But man, those little dudes are pricey! Plus they are not really a staple in our diet so it is hit or miss if I will actually have them on hand when I crave pesto. However the ingredients in this Pesto Sauce with a Twist are almost always readily available in my kitchen/garden. 🙂


1/2 cup walnuts

1 – 2 cloves garlic

1 large bunch of kale, de-stemmed

generous handful of fresh basil leaves

3/4 cups olive oil

juice from 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

1 + tablespoons of water (if needed to thin out sauce)


Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse until desired constistancy. Add water as needed.



Tasty Tuesday: Raw Vegan Spinach Dip

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

I am almost always looking for new ideas of what do with greens…as much as I love green smoothies and kale salads, a little variety is definitely nice when it comes to eating healthy. I am in the home stretch right now of a two week cleanse where I learned some great new recipes and ideas for incorporating greens into our meals. One of my favorite new snacks is this raw, vegan, spinach dip**. It is a super duper quick snack, taking less than 5 minutes to prepare. Basically you throw the following ingredients in a food processor for a few minutes and voila, delicious and nutritious spinach dip!


3 cups of fresh spinach

1 large avocado, pitted

juice from one lemon

1 clove of garlic

small sliver (approx. 1/8 teaspoon) of fresh peeled ginger*

sprinkle of curry*, cumin*, and salt

dash of cayenne pepper*

* these are intense flavors, especially when used in raw foods…a little goes a long way!


Mix all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Serve immediately with raw veggies or flaxseed crackers.



**recipe shared courtesy “The Conscious Cleanse” **

Tasty Tuesday: Kale Smoothie

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

I confess, I am a bit obsessed with kale and finding new, exciting (and tasty) ways to include in my family’s diet. My kids are so used to me putting kale into their food, my 5 year old even asked me if I put kale into his pancakes the other day. Although I assured him there was no kale in his pancakes, he didn’t believe me. “Why are they a funny color then?” he inquired. They were admittedly kind of a funny color but kale was not the culprit this time; the pancakes had blueberries in them. I did however serve the blueberry pancakes with a kale smoothie. 😉

We are on vacation right now which makes eating the way I prefer to eat a challenge…in other words I suck at being vegan right now. Although we did travel with our blender (a true sign of a blender addict) so smoothies have my redemption! Plus they are a cool and refreshing treat during the hot summer weather. This kale smoothies has been a particular recent favorite of mine:


1.5 cups coconut milk

1/4 cup frozen mango

1/4 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 frozen banana (fresh is fine too, I just prefer it frozen)

1 date, pitted (optional, but I tend to include it, especially if I am giving some to the kids)

2 tablespoons hemp seed

3-4 de-stemmed pieces of kale


Blend on high for at least two minutes or until kale is completely blended smooth (you don’t want little chunks of kale in your smoothie). This recipe makes enough to share!

Two quick tips for awesome smoothies:

1. Green smoothies tend to blend best when liquid is on the bottom and greens are on the to, so put your liquid (milk, milk alternative, water, etc) in first and your greens in last.

2. If you have bananas that are about to spoil, peel them, half them, throw them in a plastic baggie, and pop them in the freezer. Then when you want to add a banana to a smoothie, you have a sweet frozen banana ready to go! (extra ripe means extra sweet!).

What do you like to include in your smoothies? Any favorites you want to share? Would love to hear what others are blended up these days! 🙂


Tasty Tuesday: Awesome Kale Salad

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

I was surprised when I realized I have not shared this Awesome Kale Salad Recipe with you all. It’s my very favorite salad…in fact I eat it pretty much every day. (I think I have mentioned my kale obsession before 😉 ) This salad in particular is full of yummy green goodness that your body will thank you for! Kale is a super-food that you definitely want to eat on a regular basis. Eating it raw keeps all the nutrients intact so you experience optimum health benefits. This salad literally takes less than 10 minutes to throw together and is a hearty enough salad to be a meal all on its own. The cayenne pepper gives it a bit of a kick as well as provides important health benefits. Actually each ingredient of this salad is chock full of pure goodness for your body…combined together this salad is simply awesome for you!


One bunch of Kale, washed, de-stemmed, and torn into bite size pieces (I just use my hands to tear it away from the stem and into bit size pieces)

1 avocado, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

2-3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2-3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (without shells)

sprinkle of sea salt or himalayan pink salt

sprinkle of olive oil, to taste

juice of half a lemon

tiny dash of cayenne pepper


Place Kale in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Massage the salt into the kale with hands. This helps soften it and improves the flavor. I usually do this first and then chop all remaining ingredients to give it extra time to absorb the salt. Add remaining ingredients and gently toss. This recipe is enough for two servings, but the salad is best eaten fresh so half the recipe as needed.

The more greens you eat, the more your body will to start to crave greens! So be good to your body and GO GREEN today!


Tasty Tuesday: Penne Pasta with Veggies and Pine Nuts

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

For some reason I have about 5 lbs of pine nuts in my pantry. Not sure why I keep buying pine nuts when I clearly don’t need anymore…especially since those little nuts are pricey! They are however oh-so-delicious! In fact they inspired tonight’s dinner. It was one of the dinners where I attempt to use the random remaining veggies in the fridge before they spoil. I like the challenge of creating a dish with whatever I have on hand. Tonight’s creation was rather YUMMY so I thought I would share it with you all! 🙂


12 oz penne pasta

olive oil

3 or more cloves garlic, sliced

1 red or orange pepper, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bit size pieces

1 head of broccoli, chopped

1/3 cup or more of pine nuts

salt and pepper to taste


Boil penne pasta according to directions. Set aside. Toast pine nuts on stove top (Or use your preferred method. If toasting in a skillet on stove top, watch closely because they go from being perfectly toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds). Set aside. Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic for 2 minutes. Add pepper and zucchini. Saute a few minutes. Add kale and broccoli. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes or until broccoli is bright green. Pour veggies over penne pasta and add extra olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serve with a nice green salad on the side and enjoy!

I also added some roasted asparagus to our penne pasta simply because we had some, but it would be equally delicious without. Basically you could use whatever assortment of veggies you have on hand. Also if you are gluten-free you could easily adapt this recipe by using quinoa or rice noodles. What I love about a pasta dish like this is you can initially serve it warm and then eat it later as a cold dish. The leftovers make for a nice lunch the following day. Or a late night snack while blogging. 😉