(As always, this is an old post, I am currently not pregnant!)
I’m less than 3 weeks away from our little girl’s due date. I’m trying to stock the house with diapers and the freezer with easy, healthy meals. I made up three varieties of pesto that we can just toss with pasta and cream for a quick dinner or make flatbread pizza’s for an easy lunch.
- Swiss Chard with Almonds
- Spinach Arugula with Walnuts
- Roasted Red Pepper with Tomato and Garlic
It’s the middle of winter in Minnesota, so Classic Basil Pesto was not one of my choices. With basil not being in season, it just doesn’t make sense to make a bulk batch, I’ll save that for summer when gardens are full of basil. This is what I would call the winter pesto varieties. It’s a great way to eat the healthy greens you might not always reach for and the nuts add good protein.
In not much time, these 3 recipes gave me 10 jars of pesto, enough for 10 meal ideas for our little family of almost 4, without taking up much room in my freezer. Even if you’re not preparing to survive on no sleep, having a few of these jars is great on a busy weeknight.
Pesto is also great on a chicken or turkey panini, or as a sauce for homemade pizza. Try simmering one of the jars in a large pan with 1 cup of heavy cream, then toss in your favorite pasta and top it with grilled chicken.
The recipes are all basically the same, just the main ingredients varied, which means you can make up your own varieties quite easily, try different greens, like basil, spinach, kale, Swiss chard or arugula, different nuts, or different hard cheeses.
- ⅓ c almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch Swiss chard washed and stems removed **see notes for variations
- 1 t kosher salt
- 10 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- ⅓ c Parmesan cheese grated
- ⅓ c olive oil
- ⅓ c water
- In a food processor, add the nuts and garlic and pulse until roughly chopped
- Add all other ingredients except olive oil and water and process
- With food processor running, drizzle in the oil and water through the feed tube until well blended
- Store in small jars and freeze or keep in the fridge for a couple days
- **ARUGULA SPINACH VARIETY, sub pine nuts or walnuts for almonds and a 5oz bag spinach arugula mix for the chard, (or basil in the summer mixed with any combination of other greens, like kale, spinach or Swiss chard. Adds nutrition and "stretches" your basil--as many greens as will fit in your food processor is fine, amounts don't need to be exact).
- **ROASTED PEPPER VARIETY, on a baking tray, roast 1 red bell pepper, 2 small tomatoes (optional), and 3 cloves of garlic (don't peel), toss all with olive oil and a little salt and pepper at 425° for 25 minutes. When slightly cooled, peel the garlic and bell pepper, remove stem and seeds. Add walnuts, roasted veggies, salt, pepper, lemon juice, Parmesan, and process. Drizzle in ¼ c olive oil, (no water) until well blended.