Steaming summer vegetables and using pesto, which is simply a nifty way to preserve it in the freezer and enjoy it in the colder months.
Pesto’s flavor is concentrated freshness, and you only need a tablespoon or two to enhance the flavor in a meal. I especially like the notion of getting a dense serving of anti-oxidants in a neat little package. I’ve learned from scouring a lot of recipes that you can repurpose any green to make a pesto, even carrot tops. And you can mix greens as I did in the recipe here.
Expanding beyond its usual pairing with pasta, lately we’ve been adding it to simple vegetable stir-fry’s. Below is one combination of vegetables, but use what you have on hand through the year, scraping frozen pesto as needed.
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 zucchini- green or yellow, sliced 1/4″
4 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
8 mushrooms, cremini or button, sliced
1. Saute the onion at medium-high until golden, add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring them with the onion a couple of times.
2. Add the mushrooms and stir to coat; let them throw off their juices until wilted, stirring frequently.
3. Add the tomatoes, cook 5 minutes uncovered, then cover for 10 minutes, turning down the heat to medium-low.
4. Add zucchini, stir all the ingredients together, and cook covered 5-10 minutes, until they just begin to soften.
1 cup arugula
1 cup basil
1/4C grated parmesan cheese – vegan version swap out nutritional yeast for the cheese
1/3C walnuts or pine nuts
1/4C olive oil
2T lemon juice (optional)
Put the arugula, basil, nuts, cheese or yeast in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the olive oil slowly and blend until fairly smooth.
Trying different recipes, I’ve found that one cup of greens consistently yields two servings.
You can modify the amounts of garlic, cheese or yeast, nuts, and lemon juice to suit your taste- it’s extremely forgiving! The main point is to make a paste of basil and you really don’t need as much oil for that to happen, especially if you’re adding lemon juice.
In your quest for longevity- enjoying a great quality of life with balanced emotions, relationships, and health, eating healthily is a key component. It also helps to get acupuncture treatments regularly, even if it’s once a season for maintenance.
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