I am between trips right now. I went to an amazing island in the Philippines called Siargao last weekend, I’ve been home for four days and now I am off to Bali for a girls weekend getaway! The perks of living in Southeast Asia 🙂 Anyway while I was home I wanted to be able to cook but without going to the store and loading up on groceries just to have them go to waste.
I bought a bunch of fresh basil for a stir-fry I was making and would hate for it all to go to waste, but we all know how long herbs last. There was no chance this was still going to be good when I get home. In comes the pesto. The perfect way to use up all that basil and be able to save it for later or use throughout the week. Pesto is so versatile, we might all know it as a pasta topping but it is so much more than that.
Here are some other ideas for using pesto:
- Add extra olive oil to make salad dressing
- Top it on roasted vegetables
- Add it to a ‘buddha bowl’ with quinoa, vegetables, and spinach
- Mix it with greek yogurt for a healthy dip or sandwich spread
- Use it as a marinade or topping for fish, chicken, or tofu
Not only is basil amazing for adding a burst of flavor to anything but there are great healthy benefits to it as well. Think of it like a little mini salad, all those nutrients you find in leafy greens packed into a smaller leaf!
- Antioxidants and phytochemicals that help to prevent certain types of cancer.
- Anti-aging effects because of the antioxidant propertise
- Antibacterial properties
- Anti-inflammatory effects have been seen in people after exercise.
- It is high in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and calcium.
- All this and with the added flavor boost you don’t need to use as much salt, sugar, fat and other higher calorie foods to make a delicious meal.
- 1 cup fresh basil, packed
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons fresh shaved parmesan
- 1/4 cup olive oil, more or less depending on how thin you want it
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add basil, garlic, and lemon juice to a food processor or blender. Process until basil is very finely chopped.
- Add parmesan and drizzle olive oil in a little bit at a time. Blend between mixing until the pesto is a nice spreadable consistency.
Shaved Vegetable Toast:
- Carrot, cucumber, radish or other vegetable of choice
- Whole wheat bread
- Shave vegetables into thin strips with a mandoline or vegetable peeler.
- Spread pesto on whole wheat bread and top with shaved vegetables.
Campari Mule for 2:
- 2 oz campari
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 bottle ginger beer ( I like Bickford or Q for a really gingery almost spicy flavor)
- 3-4 dashes bitters
- Garnish with lemon slice or candied ginger
- Add Campari, lemon juice and bitters into a glass over ice. Stir to combine and top with ginger beer.
Cheers to healthy! ~ Amanda