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Cheeky Spinach Pesto

I hate to say it, but cold and flu season got the better of me this year. Not only did my fiancé pass down his cold to me, but the next week, I got a bad case of sinusitis, gah! Thankfully, I feel back to 100%, and I had some time to recover and reorganize my life. I appreciate the time my body needed to restore, even if that meant feeling groggy at best.


But of course, while my body was on "pause" and wasn't too focused on consuming rich and complex food combinations, my produce was coming closer to its expiry date! Luckily, I didn't have too many items nearing their end, just the cilantro leaves and spinach. So, I whipped up this staple to pop into the freezer. Not only did I reduce my food waste, but I have this savory staple on hand to enhance any future recipe!


Thank goodness for the invention of the freezer! Not to mention, pesto is a very versatile sauce to create. All you need to do is follow the guidelines of some staples (an oil base, herbs, greens, and cheese) and whatever optional ingredients you wish (nut butter, salt, and spices), and presto! You created a flavour enhancer to fancy up any meal.



Cheeky Spinach Pesto

Makes: 500ml (14 cubes) Cost total: $12.97 ($0.92 per cube)*

Prep Time: 30 minutes Freeze time: 4-6 hours


Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Olive oil

1/2 bunch of Cilantro, chopped

1-2 large Garlic cloves, chopped

1 TB dried Parsley flakes

1/4 cup of organic raw Tahini

2 TB Lemon juice

142g container of Baby Spinach

1 cup of Mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Using a blender, pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and blend on the lowest setting. Take off the fill cap from the blender.

  2. Slowly incorporate the following ingredients through the hole in the cap: garlic, parsley flakes, cilantro leaves, and tahini. Blend until smooth.

  3. Using your hands, tear up the spinach. Slowly feed into the blender. You may need to increase the speed or use the food pusher to ensure the spinach breaks into small, uniform pieces.

  4. Add in the grated cheese and salt and pepper (optional).

  5. Once it is the desired consistency, turn off the blender. Using a spatula, pack the mixture into an ice cube tray (14 count). Smooth it down and place it in the freezer until solid (approx. 4-6 hours).

  6. After fully frozen, break the cubes up and transfer them into a freezer bag.

  7. Use within 4-6 months to ensure freshness.


Warning: these cubes pack a garlicky punch and a finish with a smooth tahini aftertaste. So be aware of the garlic breath!


Here are some simple ways to add these delicious and nutrient-packed cubes to your dishes!

  • Add into soup, stews, broths, and pasta for immune-boosting benefits

  • Make it into a salad dressing with balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar to liven up your vegetables.

  • Place a cube into your creamy sauces to add depth to cold dishes like pasta salad or potato salad.

  • Spread on toast and top with feta and avocado for a savory snack.

  • Toss with pan-fried vegetables to enhance a side dish.


On Monday night, I cooked 114g of Jovial cassava penne and tossed two pesto cubes as the sauce. It pairs perfectly with coconut shrimp on the side!




What will you create with your cubes?


P.S. Anyone else excited for Spring?


Until next time, stay well!

Chloe

RHN, CH, & CPT


*Prices may vary, depending on where you shop.

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