Spring (GREEN) Fever!

Kale, Strawberry, mango smoothie

Spring is in the air and I am craving all things GREEN! This morning I had a delicious green smoothie. It was packed with kale, strawberries mango and coconut water.  Smoothies give you a nutritional power punch, the veggies are easier to digest and nutrients are absorbed more efficiently.  Drinking a smoothie a day can help to shed belly fat and it’s INSTANT energy.

I toss kale into pretty much every smoothie (or juice) I make. It’s one of the most amazing veggies out there.  Kale is an amazing green veggie. It’s packed with goodness like vitamin A, Calcium and folic acid.  The strawberries and mango gave my smoothie a sweet, tangy kick.  A lot of people add water to their smoothies, but I like to go big on nutrition, so I use coconut water. Coconut water is a high in potassium super-hydrator that is said to lower blood pressure.  The smoothie was pure morning green goodness.

Today’s green pièce de résistance was dinner, a beautiful spring veggie pesto pasta.  The pesto made it delightfully green. It was a co-cook; Hubby made the pesto and I sauteed and tossed.  I didn’t think about blogging the recipe until it was finished, sorry about the lack of pictures!

Green Veggie Pesto!

The basil pesto recipe came from simplyrecipes.com:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese (we used Parmesan-Reggiano)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine pine nuts and garlic in the food processor, pulse a few times, then add basil, pulse a little more and then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream with the food processor on. Add grated cheese and pulse again until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.  This is a large recipe, you’ll only need 2-3 tablespoons for the pasta. Save the rest in the fridge. It should keep for up to 4 days. Set the pesto aside, you’ll add it last.

Then I sauteed organic cherry tomatoes (cut in half) and fresh organic green beans with a little EVOO, sea salt and pepper while the pasta was boiling.  I try to use gluten free pasta whenever I can sneak it by my husband. Tonight I was successful with quinoa rotini. You should use whatever pasts you love most (though whole wheat, quinoa or rice is definitely healthier than standard white semolina pasta!)

When the pasta was tender (al-dente, not mushy!) I drained and added the pasta to the veggie sauté. Then I spooned in 2-3 tablespoons of the fresh pesto and stirred to coat. You can add more or less, depends on how pesto-ey you like your pasta.  We topped it with more Parmesan (a pinch for me a fist-full for Hubby).

This pasta was so green, zesty and delicious! I think I might call it Zesty-Pesty Pasta!  You can use just about any veggies that are in season. I just happened to have the cherry tomatoes and green beans in the fridge (and Hubby wouldn’t let me add kale!).  Experiment and see what makes your taste buds sing!

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