I’m sitting inside with the fan blowing, staring out at my brand new patio.
It used to be all concrete and fallen leaves and storage, but we’ve spent a lot of time converting it into a beautiful space for grilling and relaxing. We dug up patio stones and planted grass, and have containers full of kale, parley, peas, beans, cilantro, lemon, lavender, and flowers.
It’s really amazing how much happier I feel, knowing I have a nice place to sit outside and just be in the sun and in nature.
I’m patiently waiting for the temperature to dip below 100 so I can finally spend more time out there.
In the meantime, I’ve been inside cooking rosemary plantain crackers, bone broth, stirfry, and pesto, stuffing most of it into my already-full freezer for days when I don’t feel like cooking.
Lately I’ve been going through food cycles: days of dedicated meal prepping, followed by a week or two of convenience-food seeking (lots of RX bars and easy Instant Pot dinners), and then a few days of lazy green juice and smoothie blending.
As much as I’d like to meal prep and have really healthy and fresh food all the time, it’s so hard to sustain, especially when I’m busy or not feeling well. Those are the days I go for veggie-packed smoothies with hemp, chia, aloe, and coconut water for some extra bulk.
Sometimes (read: rarely), I even have energy to make some food ahead of time, for times when I just can’t stand the thought of another green juice (:
There’s nothing I love more than freezing healthy food to use in a pinch.
Because it’s summer, basil is plentiful (and you can easily grow your own). Pesto is one of my absolute favorite things to make ahead of time and freeze in silicone ice cube trays. I mix it with zucchini noodles or spread it on turkey for a quick snack. I also loooove baking it with cubed sweet potatoes. It’s pretty versatile, and full of fresh herbs and some healthy fats.
Here’s how to make superfood pesto in five minutes or less, along with two ways to serve it.
You Will Need:
-6oz basil (a full bunch, not the little herb container)
-handful kale or power greens
-3 Brazil nuts
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/2c olive oil
-3 cloves garlic
-salt and pepper to taste
Put everything in your food processor and blend! Add extra garlic powder, salt, or pepper as needed.
I call it “superfood” pesto because I throw in as many greens as I can: dandelion greens, kale, chard, collards, spinach… really anything will work here. I also add Brazil nuts because they’re full of antioxidants and selenium, which is great for boosting the immune system (and preventing damage from oxidative stress).
Just one Brazil nut a day is enough for your daily required selenium. Super easy! I also throw them in smoothies.
Garlic is a very powerful antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial food, especially in its raw form. In fact, in the Immune Summit, I watched an entire hour-long presentation on the amazing benefits of garlic. I actually crave it. And there’s not much better than roasted garlic. Yum.
Raw Vegan “Noodles”
This is a very easy raw vegan version of “spaghetti.” All you have to do it slice two zucchinis into noodles, either with a julienne peeler, spiralizer, or your knife (I wouldn’t recommend the last one, though. It takes too long and is hard to get them thin enough).
Stir in the pesto, raw onions, cherry tomatoes, and any other raw veggies that sound good. You can also add a dollop of vegan cashew “cheese” if you’d like!
Click on any of the links below to shop some of my favorite julienne peelers (they’re all pretty inexpensive):
One Pan Potato Chicken Pesto
For a warmer meal that’s still paleo and Whole 30 approved, I love making sweet potato chicken pesto. You can use regular potatoes, too, for a great gluten free dinner the whole family will love.
Peel and cut your potatoes into squares. Cube your chicken. Place those two ingredients in a casserole dish and stir in the pesto.
Cook on 350 for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are soft. You may need to add more time, depending on how thick you’ve cut your chicken and potatoes.
Such an easy, one-pan meal!
I have a huge batch of this in my freezer right now. I’m planning to make chimichurri next (which is awesome on grassfed steak).
What’s your favorite way to eat pesto?
Or what’s your favorite “sauce” or dip to make?
Let me know in the comments! I love hearing what other people are doing in the kitchen. Share a good recipe if you have one!