I bumped this pesto up to the top of my “recipes to post” list because I wanted to share it before everybody’s fresh basil dries out.
My family and I are seriously obsessed with this pesto and have been putting it on everything (my favorites so far is pairing it with hamburgers, chicken, and salmon)
And my friend who’s allergic to nuts has even been able to enjoy it because there’s no nuts involved! (Nut-free also means it’s more readily-available to make since we don’t always have containers of raw nuts around the house).
To give it extra volume, I add a spear of broccoli to the mix. No fears though! The broccoli goes completely undetected, providing you still with a basil-pesto taste :)
Pesto (Nut-Free and Paleo)
1 spear of broccoli florets (thick stems discarded)
2/3 cup fresh basil, loosely packed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
Place broccoli florets into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl of cold water to another 5 minutes. Drain out the water again and transfer florets to a food processor. Add rest of ingredients and process until smooth. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow pesto to cool and for flavors to set. Serve!
Every Tuesday evening, I visit my mom. If school and work isn’t bogging me down, I try to plan and prepare a nice meal. Just a small way to say thank you for feeding me for the last 2 decades (and, of course, I love having free reign of a kitchen :) )
And the last Tuesday before school starts up calls for an extra special meal. This meant appetizers, side dishes, and a dessert.
But not with chips (I restrict my grain intake). Rather, I used mini peppers!
Recently, raw peppers have graduated to the Top 10 List of my favorite foods. I down those babies like it’s my job.
Anyway, I actually prefer the peppers to the chips. Plus, the bright yellows, oranges, and reds make it much more appealing!
Sweet Pepper Nachos
1 lb ground meat
1 purple onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
Mini sweet peppers
Cheddar cheese (or any other cheese you desire)
Cook meat and onion over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and spices and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut sweet peppers in half and stretch out. Place in a single layer on a baking pan (make sure peppers are pressed close together!). When the meat is finished, spread on top of peppers. Top with desired amount of cheese and place in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.
As for many people, Mac n’ Cheese was always a comfort food in my house when I was little. And so, I wanted to take a crack at making a more grown-up version. Therefore I eliminated the cartoon-shaped noodles and replaced them with (you know me) cauliflower!And added some sun-dried tomatoes to complete the look. Very classy and mature, if I must say ;)
Not to say kids won’t like this too. I’m sure if I had been exposed to this when I was little, I would have deemed this comfort-like food as well!
Cauli’ N Cheese
4 cups cauliflower, chopped into small florets
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
Steam cauliflower until you can pierce it with a fork. Set aside.
Combine yogurt, cheeses, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a pot (Note: make sure to do this before placing over heat). Place over low heat and stir constantly until cheese has melted. Take off heat, stir in desired amount of sun-dried tomatoes, and pour over steamed cauliflower.
To keep costs at a relatively reasonable rate, my family and I try to eat in while on vacation. This can be hard when we all have different plans and guests over and whatnot. Especially when we’re on the beach all day.
So, this recipe was put to use this week to feed a bunch of people as they came and went. Since it’s a slow cooker, I was able to start it up before I headed down to the beach and come back with it almost complete.
Plus, it wasn’t too laborious on my arm (still getting used to the cast!)
Oh, and another thing I loved about this? You get a side dish of BBQ apples and onions, a combination that tastes surprising good together!
Slow Cooker Apple and Onion BBQ Chicken
4 lbs organic chicken drumsticks
2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Bill’s Best Organic BBQ Sauce)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 onions, chopped
2 apples, peeled and cut into 1 inch-cubed pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker (don’t worry if it’s filled to the top- it’ll shrink as it cooks.) Put on low and let cook for 5 hours. Remove chicken. With a slotted spoon, scoop up remaining onions and apples, drain of excess sauce, and place in its own bowl to serve as a side dish.