As nutritionists, we sometimes see people whose perception of healthy eating equates to bland and boring food...grilled, lean protein, bland grains, unseasoned, steamed vegetables, lots of raw salad....you get my drift. Our job is to help clients find wellness through food, and that means they also have to be satisfied emotionally and mentally. We want people to be healthy, not bored and hungry!
This is where homemade condiments come in - or more specifically, our basil walnut pesto. Makeover a turkey sandwich, a quinoa and veggie bowl, a bison burger, salad, pizza, grilled chicken, green beans, ANYthing with a dollop of homemade pesto. Is there a meal that doesn't go with pesto?!
I get it. At first pesto seems like one of those things that's unreasonable to make yourself ("that's one more thing I'll have to do..."), but then you make it and wonder why you ever bothered with the store-bought stuff. Homemade pesto comes together fast, and it tastes so much better.
Why walnut pesto, you ask? Despite the hype in the media, omega-3 fats aren't the only fats we need to be healthy. What's more important is the ratio of omega-6 fats (the predominant fat in the standard American diet, found in many seed and vegetable oils and cereal grains) to omega-3 fats, because our bodies require both. Walnuts have a more favorable omega-6 : omega-3 ratio than pine nuts which is why we chose to deviate from the traditional pesto recipe. We aren't saying that pine nuts are bad, but typically Americans already get plenty of omega-6s. Why not switch it up?
WALNUT BASIL PESTO
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 quart fresh basil
1/2 cup walnuts
1 large clove garlic
2-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, add cheese and basil; chop until fine.
Next, add the walnuts, garlic, and olive oil; process until smooth, even consistency is reached; for a thicker pesto, use less olive oil, for a thinner batch, use more.
DONE! Now go spice up whatever bland, boring "healthy" food you were about to go eat ;)
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