I love me some pesto. Classic basil pesto is always a good call, but you can make a solid pesto out of pretty much any green leafy veggie/herb and nut. Basil, parsley, cilantro (yuck, sorry), walnuts, cashews, almonds (all cheaper than pine nuts)- the combinations are pretty endless.
I've definitely been trying to watch my budget as much as possible lately, and what really helps is shopping seasonally. Think about it- farmers have a natural abundance of a seasonal crop, so the lower the price is going to be. So, while eating healthily can prove challenging to those budget-conscious, it is most certainly doable.
Kale has been ubiquitous during my past few visits to the market, so I picked up a monstrous bundle of dino kale for cha-ching TWO whole dolla dollas. This amount of kale I think could have filled up at least 3-4 pre-washed bags you get at the supermarket for like $3/each. Seriously, I think I tried to sneak kale in every meal I had this past week just to use it all before it went bad!
I also still had some walnuts lying around from my mom's birthday chocolate zucchini banana walnut bread, so I decided to whip up some pesto to slather onto my about-to-wither lone zucchini in my fridge.
All my ingredients were pretty much washed and prepped, so this took me 10 minutes- then I last minute decided to add some of my simple grilled chicken I had in the freezer, to add my healthy protein.
Zucchini Noodles w/Kale-Walnut Pesto
*Pesto serves 2.
1 small bunch of Dino (Lacinato/Tuscan) Kale, chopped
(about 6 whole leaves, remove really thick part of stems)
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup EVOO
1 tbsp grated Parmesan Reggiano
1 clove crushed Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
+ 1 Zucchini per person, sliced w/a julienne peeler or spiralizer to make noodles
1. In food processor, combine walnuts, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper, and gently pulse a few times to combine. Add in half of chopped kale, and blend until well mixed.
2. Add second half of kale and blend continuously, pausing to scrape sides of bowl as needed. Keep blending until well combined.
3. With the processor running, gently pour in EVOO through the hole in the bowl's cover (if your processor doesn't have one, just open and pour in EVOO in small parts, blend, and repeat). Keep blending until pesto is uniform.
4. At this point, you are finished with the pesto- but feel free to add some more of whatever ingredient you feel is needed to taste.
5. Mix pesto with zucchini noodles, and serve. Optional- you can quickly throw the zucchini noodles on a pan to make them a bit more tender if you don't like zucchini raw.