Do you have days when you just want a quick healthy meal? I do: especially during the busy working week. So how about whipping up some kale pesto and stirring it in to pasta or chickpeas for a easy meal, or spreading it on toast for a healthy snack?
A new love of mine is actually legume pastas; lentil, chickpea and black bean are my favourites! (I am yet to try mung bean!). The beauty of these legume pastas is that they are high in protein and fibre and usually gluten-free. Please note though, some brands combine legume flour with wheat flour, so they still need to be avoided by coeliacs.
Why eat kale?
Kale is rich in anti-inflammatory chemicals and antioxidants, which promote a healthy immune and cardiovascular system. It is also rich in detoxifying chemicals (sulphur and isothiocyanates), which help to eliminate toxins from the body, which could otherwise be harmful. How to get more kale into your diet? How about making this pesto, or adding it to stews, casseroles and curries, massaging it with a dressing to make a superfood salad, baking it to make crispy kale crisps or blending it into a green smoothie?
This pesto takes just 5 minutes to make, so perfect for busy people who still want to eat well but not compromise on flavour. It is so fresh, creamy and flavoursome and keeps in the fridge for a few days so ideal for meal prepping. Note: it does tend to go darker as the kale oxidises as the days go by (but it still tastes great).
Makes: 1 bowl. Enough for 200g pasta
Preparation time: 5 minutes (for the pesto; pasta may take 12-18 mins depending on the type you buy)
- 200g fresh kale, tough stems removed.
- 30g raw cashews. These can be pre-soaked for an hour in boiling water if you wish, but un-soaked cashews also work! If you want to make this nut-free, substitute with tofu (both silken or firm)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1 small garlic clove
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- Optional: ½ tsp. wheatgrass superpowder or spirulina
- Optional: 1 tbsp. protein powder. If adding, you will need a further juice form half a lemon. (Soya bean, pea or whey).
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Whizz to form a creamy paste. You will have to stop the blender, use a spatula to scrape down the sides and repeat.
- Stir into your pasta or chickpeas or serve on toast. Enjoy!