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Spring Greens Pesto: Detox Recipe 17 of 21

May 17, 2011
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Welcome to 21 Days of Detoxing! Whether you are one of our amazingly motivated participants or just interested in eating clean, whole, real food – boy do I have some recipes for you! From now ’til May 21st I’ll be featuring a delicious detox-friendly recipe each day. (And if you want to get in on the detox magic I have a Do It Yourself version available – right here.)

Whether you have a garden or CSA, you may be inundated with greens right now. Awesome! But you gotta use it before it goes bad.

Pesto to the rescue!

Ok, maybe you don’t have a CSA or a garden…that’s ok. I wish I had a garden. Wait, I wish I knew how to garden. And our CSA doesn’t start for another couple of weeks.

Doesn’t matter. You and I can still make pesto from whatever looks good at Whole Foods. They didn’t have any arugula this week, or watercress (WTF, WF?) so I got lots of chard. Whatever, getting your dark, leafy greens daily is a super important part of a healthy diet and as long as you rotate what kind you’re eating you’ll be in great shape. For this recipe, you can really use any type of greens you like!

Spring Greens Pesto
1 garlic clove
2 cups of flat-leaf parsley, packed (woody stems removed)
2 cups of kale leaves, packed (stems removed)
½ cup of walnuts
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

- Toast the walnuts by putting them in a 350° F oven for about 5 minutes (or until golden brown).
- Combine the garlic clove, parsley and kale in a food processor. Process for about 5-10 seconds, making sure to scrape the sides of the food processor so everything gets chopped.
- Add toasted walnuts to the mixture and continue processing until the walnuts are well chopped.
- Put mixture in a bowl and mix in olive oil and nutritional yeast with a spoon.
- Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

This recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto. Try substituting pine nuts or almonds for a twist on the flavor. Can’t find fresh kale in your store? Try spinach instead, the results will be delicious.

Serve over brown rice with cannelini beans, pasta, as a sandwich spread, as a sauce spooned over eggs, or mixed with roasted potatoes. You can also add lemon juice or vinegar and turn it into a salad dressing. Enjoy!

This recipe is from Sara at http://sara-streeter.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com.

**See all the 21 Days of Detox recipes so far by clicking here.**


  • http://www.itzyskitchen.com Erica

    I always love trying new pesto recipes out :) Pesto has so many great uses. This recipe series rocks!

  • http://www.fakefoodfree.com Lori

    I made some kale pesto recently, but ended up cooking it with shrimp because it was a little too strong for me. Great idea to include the parsley that might have cut the strong flavor a bit. I’ll have to try it again!

  • http://www.upupandaways.blogspot.com chickster

    Is it necessary to rotate what kind of greens you eat? I stick to kale and mustard greens most of the time, because I’ve tried the others and want to stick with what I like.

  • http://www.vestellasvale.blogspot.com Dia

    My favorite spring green pesto is Nettle!! My former hubby has a nice little patch, & I have ‘harvesting rights’ – if you cook the nettles <3 minutes (plenty to take the 'sting' out) it retains the enzymes that are so great for fighting allergies! Some CSAs grow nettles these days – Here's a post with my recipe
    http://vestellasvale.blogspot.com/2009/04/sister-spinster-nettle.html
    Another great option is lambs quarters or quinoa greens! They are super easy to grow, if you're so inclined! Around the world, this 'ancient spinach' is grown for greens as well as seed. Magentaspreen is a particularly attractive version, with delightful fuscia tips!

  • http://www.vestellasvale.blogspot.com Dia

    ooo – & for folks that are gluten free – check for GF nutritional yeast!! There are several brands that are – if it was grown on barley malt, it wouldn’t be GF!

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