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Healthy Kale pesto

Updated on August 3, 2014

Healthy Kale pesto

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Healthy Kale pesto with ravioli

I got all wrapped up in the eating and almost forgot to take the money shot!!
I got all wrapped up in the eating and almost forgot to take the money shot!! | Source
Gathering the ingredients.
Gathering the ingredients. | Source
Lovely kale!
Lovely kale! | Source
Ice bath burrrr!
Ice bath burrrr! | Source
Just a quick dip in the hot water before the ice bath.
Just a quick dip in the hot water before the ice bath. | Source
Toast your pinenuts or pignola nuts first. It brings out the flavors.
Toast your pinenuts or pignola nuts first. It brings out the flavors. | Source
Dropping your lightly cooked greens in an ice bath stops the cooking process and helps retain the beautiful color.
Dropping your lightly cooked greens in an ice bath stops the cooking process and helps retain the beautiful color. | Source
Drain your kale in a colander and squish out all the water you can.
Drain your kale in a colander and squish out all the water you can. | Source
The freshly grated cheese and chopped garlic are ready for the food processor.
The freshly grated cheese and chopped garlic are ready for the food processor. | Source
All the ingredients go in except for the olive oil.
All the ingredients go in except for the olive oil. | Source
Attach the lid to your food processor and start the machine. Drizzle the 2/3 cup oil in through the food chute.
Attach the lid to your food processor and start the machine. Drizzle the 2/3 cup oil in through the food chute. | Source
It smells amazing! This is the consistency you are looking for. I set aside what I was going to use for the recipe and froze the rest for later.
It smells amazing! This is the consistency you are looking for. I set aside what I was going to use for the recipe and froze the rest for later. | Source
I served my kale pesto with a shredded beet salad sprinkled with Tamari-seasoned sesame seeds.
I served my kale pesto with a shredded beet salad sprinkled with Tamari-seasoned sesame seeds. | Source

Healthy kale pesto

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 12 min
Ready in: 52 min
Yields: Serves 4

Healthy kale pesto

  • 1 big bunch kale, any type is great just be sure it's organic
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Please do not buy that stuff in the can
  • 2/3 cup olive oil, organic would be lovely
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • to your own discretion, add a little salt;, I didn't add any salt because I felt like the cheese has plenty and it did.
  • 1/2 pound of pasta or ravioli, my local grocer makes them on site, lucky me!

Healthy Kale Pesto

  1. Take a large pot and fill it with water. Bring it to a boil. While you are waiting for it to boil, clean and de-stem the kale. I like to eat as much of the healthy plant as possible. You can save scraps in the freezer to make a vegetable broth. That's a future blog!
  2. Take a large bowl and fill it with ice and cold water. When the pot on the stove starts to boil add your kale and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the kale then plunge it in the ice bath. That will maintain its vibrant green color and vitamin content.
  3. I drain my kale in a colander. You can then squeeze out as much water as possible. Set it aside.
  4. Toast your pinenuts. I just put them on a tray and place it in my toaster oven on broil for about 5 minutes. Don't leave the kitchen and keep the door on your toaster oven slightly open so you can smell the nuts toasting. Everyone's toaster oven cooks differently so keep an eye on the nuts because they can go from nicely brown to black in seconds. You do not want to ruin a batch of pinenuts-- they are just too darn expensive for that.
  5. While the nuts are toasting, grate the cheese. When the nuts are done pull them out of the toaster oven and let them cool while you set another pot on the stove to boil your pasta. See cooking notes for time and water saving ideas.
  6. Put all the ingredients, kale, nuts, and cheese in the food processor. Start the food processor and slowly add the olive oil through the food chute. When everything is blended you are ready to go.
  7. I put enough pesto aside for my ravioli. I placed the other half in the freezer for a future use.
  8. I bought store-made ravioli from a local grocer and boiled those to the store recommended time. At the last minute I add the peas. I then drained it all and added it back into the same pan I boiled the ravioli in, then stirred in the pesto. I found that dinner was plenty hot and needed no extra heating. Serve with fresh salad and enjoy!

Healthy kale pesto

I admit I love pasta. Any fresh pasta, anyway I can get it. I was lucky enough as a kid to have a grandfather who was first generation Italian/ American. I ate a pasta dish every Sunday for as long as I can remember. As I grew up and my tasted changed, I ate less and less pasta because it is so filling. This recipe makes me feel good about eating my pasta again and my husband is thrilled because he loves pasta, too! I hope this super simple and nutritious recipe brings you back to enjoying pasta without the guilt!

Cook's note: If you want to save money and water, take a slotted spoon and scoop the kale into a bowl and then into the colander, leaving the hot water for your pasta and peas.

Also, don't store your extra pesto in the refrigerator. The garlic will get a very hot spicyness to it that may not suit your palate.

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    • MindbodyandFood4u profile image
      Author

      MindbodyandFood4u 2 years ago from Ohio

      I am so glad you liked it! Any reason to eat pasta!!

    • WritingInRichmond profile image

      WritingInRichmond 2 years ago

      We make pesto from basil we grow in our garden and the whole family loves it. Will definitely try this as we also grow kale and are always looking for new ideas to prepare. Great tip on saving water, money, and I imagine time by reusing the hot water for the pasta and peas. Thank you!

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