All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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Kale, Spinach & Cashew Pesto
Makes about 2 cups – which is a lot
2 cups kale with the ribs removed
2 cups organic spinach
2-6 garlic cloves (depending on your taste for garlic)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (or vegan alternative)
1/4 cup cashews (or almonds or pistachios or walnuts or pecans)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
Blanch the kale in boiling water for 1 minute & then drain & put into cold water. When it is cool enough, squeeze the water out & pulse it in a food processor a few times.
Toast the nuts in a dry pan – agitating them so they do not burn – for a few minutes or until they start to brown a bit & smell fragrant. Do not burn them or the pesto will be bitter. Pulse them into the Kale.
Add all the other ingredients & pulse until smooth. You might need to add more or less water to get the desired consistency – which should be thick but smooth. Season with S&P.
This is a pretty healthy pasta salad. No mayo & lots of veggies. I used some leftover kale & spinach pesto that I had frozen but any pesto will do. I added some feta cheese to mine because I had some leftover from Blue Apron meals I never prepared but there was not a lot & it certainly was not critical to the dish so – if you are vegan – simply omit it.
The amounts you add of each thing is really a personal preference but here is how I did it.
Kale & Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad with Avocado (Vegan or not)
Feeds a lot as a side dish maybe 10-15 people
1 1/2 lbs pasta – cooked, drained & cooled
1 small red onion – diced
2 large avocados – cubed
1 red bell pepper – diced
1 green bell pepper – diced
10 oz of cherry or grape tomatoes – halved
1/4 cup cilantro – chopped
1/2 cup pesto (more or less – according to taste)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (more or less acording to taste) – OPTIONAL – omit if you are vegan
Mix it all up & season with S&P.