I used to think eating fat was what made me fat.. I couldn't have been farther off. So for the longest time growing up I avoided enjoying pesto despite how much I loved it! 💕 You can read more about why fat doesn't make you fat & we shouldn't be afraid of them here.
Pinenuts, a key ingredient in pesto, are packed with protein, iron, and magnesium. All things your body needs. They also can support healthy skin due to their antioxidants. Think of that youthful glow we all want!
Did you know the basil is packed with vitamin k? Basil is another of the primary ingredients in pesto which means it's packed with it. Vitamin K is one of the fat-soluble vitamins that help with blood clotting and bone metabolism which is why pairing basil with pine nuts makes the perfect pair. Not to mention the polyphenols in basil which come from the bright green color.
Whether you buy pesto from the store or make it from scratch at home, it is one that can be used in so many dishes!
Here are some of my top favorites!
1. Pesto Pasta
I love a good pesto pasta! It's a great way to change up from the normal red sauce, adding in some color while keeping plenty of flavors. My go-to with pasta is to always add in a ton of veggies, even with the noodles. I mixed some heart of palm noodles with regular pasta noodles, some sauteed tomatoes, kale, and chicken (or whatever protein I have in the fridge).
Trader Joe's has a vegan kale pesto which for me in a pinch is great since it is on that doesn't have any cheese in it. But If I can, making pesto at home is super easy!
2. Pesto Pizza
A go-to date night for Joey and I when we feel like having a night in is some homemade pizza! Especially since I don't eat a ton of dairy, this makes it so we can make it at home with some great dairy-free cheese and ALL THE TOPPINGS!
Pizza is a prime example where I love to apply my #1 health coaching tip, adding more to the pizza allows us both to have flavor and satisfaction galore!
This most recent time we decided to split up the pizza, half pesto/half red sauce. And the pesto side was my favorite. We again used Trader Joe's Vegan Kale pesto (which I loved because it had even more veggies in it!)
So if you are getting bored with your regular pizza order, change it up! Pesto is a great way to add more color and appeal to a different flavor palette without sacrificing your beloved pizza night!
3. Pesto Chicken & Veggies
I almost always have chicken on hand, either in the fridge or in the freezer on reserve for those last-minute needs. And I love to pair it with pesto when I have it on hand, as its a great compliment but also gives me options for how to incorporate it.
One of my go-tos is pairing baked chicken tossed in some pesto with a veggie or two. When I can add more green in, I do! So pairing with Brussel sprouts or some kale are common options. But really any veggie is great! I also am a huge fan of potatoes, so since I have so much green, I love to throw in some sweet potatoes for some other color.
How do you love to incorporate pesto into your meals?