Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

IMG_3773Peas scream spring to me. The bright green color with that nice bright fresh taste….. kind of like a fresh spring day. Ah spring, so lovely, so nice, so hasn't made its way here yet. So I guess I am left to eat my spring. And what better way to highlight those lovely spring tastes? A fantastic pesto my friends, and it can be made lickidy split.

Pesto is one of those things that I am constantly making, and not just the kind most people think of with basil and nuts, I pesto everything..peppers, greens, carrots, squash.  And yea, I used this post to make a pesto pasta dish, but pesto has so many other fantastic uses. Like as a sandwich or wrap spread or a dip for veggies and crackers. I have used it as a soup base, a pizza sauce, on roasted potatoes and marinated tofu with pestos. It can also be thinned down and used as a salad dressing. See, so many uses. 

And this pea pesto is no exception. It has such a great light, almost fruity, super bright taste. I mean, it's peas so it taste just like peas but somehow even better. It really works in my mouth. I could eat a bowl of this stuff and be happy. 

Whatever you plan on using it for, make the pesto. You will be thanking me later. 

IMG_3751Pesto Stuff. We got the peas, garlic, lemon, oil, cheese if you please, and salt.  IMG_3757Take a handful of peas and set aside for later. Juice the lemon and take that and the rest of the stuff and stick in a food processor and puree until smooth. 

Oh my, so green, so good.  I first made it without cheese and  scooped a little out for me. It was perfect. Like the most brilliant bright pea flavor ever. It made me happy. After I added in the cheese, the mister said it tasted even better…. so cheese or not, it's going to be good!IMG_3798The pesto is made, and it only took about 2 seconds, now boil up the pasta.  If you were a thinker, you could start the pasta and make the pesto while its boiling. (I wasn't being a thinker) I used bow ties cause they are super cute, but use whatever pasta you're feeling. Shells or the ones that look like little brains would be good options.

Once the pasta is cooked, strain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the water. Add that bit of water back to the pot, add in the pesto, give a stir and dump pasta back into the pot. Toss in a handful of peas, maybe sprinkle some cheese and give it a good crack of some pepper.

IMG_3776Into a bowl and served with a fork to eat it with.  A super green fresh springy meal of happiness. And all under 15 minutes in the kitchen.

Oh you want to thank me for this...

Hey, not a problem….not a problem at all.

-C


Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

Makes enough pesto to coat a pound of cooked pasta and have some left over for sandwiches or to spread on crackers.

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 ish tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, really or vegan (optional)
  • salt
  • 1 lb (an average box) of bow tie pasta (use any whole wheat, vegan, gluten free variety)

Place peas, (remove a handful and set aside to toss into the pasta) garlic, the juice of the lemon, olive oil and the parmesan (if you are using) into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and salt as needed.

Pasta… Boil per instructions on box. Strain pastas but save about a 1/4 cup of starchy water. Toss pasta, starchy water and pesto together, adding in the handful or more of the whole peas. Sprinkle with more parmesan and or cracked pepper ,if wanted, and serve in big bowls. 

Use a fork. Eat, smile and be happy. 

Kale Walnut Pesto and Baked Ravioli

IMG_2113 HOORAY FOR SPRING!!!!!!!

Yesterday The mister and I went for a walk, a long walk. I was wearing a sweater, a light jacket and I  left the mittens and hat at home. There was sunshine, huge puddles and mud. Birds were chirping. It was amazing.

After our nice long walk, we got home and I needed to start dinner. It was a little later than I usually so I wanted fast and easy  I usually always have pesto in my fridge (I had to make some, but it only takes 5 minutes) because when it's in there, I can whip up a big awesome meal in the time it takes to boil some pasta or quinoa or smear on toast or toss with potatoes. It really can be used on everything and can be made out of just about anything. Kale and walnuts are just one of so many fantastic combos. And frozen ravioli is always in the freezer too. I  used just plain cheese, but use whatever kind you like.

Together, pesto and ravioli, well that's a quick, easy, and tasty meal, perfect for a spring evening,  And yea, there will be left over pesto from this recipe… just stick it in the fridge or freezer….you will be glad you have it.

IMG_1642    IMG_1655   Pesto stuff. Kale, walnuts, parmesan cheese(nutritional yeast to keep it vegan), garlic, lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

A few little pre steps before the blending.. Toast the walnuts. Just toss onto a dry skillet and stick on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they start to become née and fragrant. Remove from skillet and add in a bit of water. Add in chopped or ripped kale and cover to let the kale tenderize, but only for about 2 minutes. (you want the kale to still be crispy and fresh tasting)  Drain water and add kale, garlic, toasted walnuts, cheese  and the juice of the lemon into a food processor. Turn on and slowly add in olive oil until you get to a nice paste, adding more oil to get to your desired consistency. Oh and don't forget to salt and pepper to taste!

IMG_2081 IMG_2098Straight up frozen ravioli goes onto an oiled baking sheet.(make sure that non are overlapping) Place into an oven at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes, flipping after 10. If you want to add mushroom and a few more walnuts, just toss them onto the ravioli when you are flipping over the ravioli. 

When the ravioli is nice and brown and crispy, remove from oven and dump the ravioli and the mushrooms into a bowl. Add a big old scoop of the freshly made pesto and toss around. 

IMG_2121Look at this… fresh, crunchy, light and happy. Kinda like a spring day.

I am the best lady, making the mister a pretty yummy dinner. 

Have a great Tuesday!

-C


Kale Pesto and Baked Ravioli

  • 4-5 cups chopped Kale
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese ( Nutritional Yeast  to make it vegan)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4-5 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 bag of frozen ravioli(use vegan or gluten-free if you want)
  • 3-4 mushrooms

Note..There will be plenty of left over pesto… Just fridge or freeze it

Place walnuts in a skillet and toast on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the nuts become fragrant. In the same skillet, add enough water  to cover bottom and add in all the kale. Place a lid on it and let kale wilt on medium heat for about a minutes or 2, Take off heat. Add walnuts. garlic, cheese, salt and pepper, and juice of lemon to a food processor. Blend. Now add in the kale and blend, slowly adding olive oil until a thick paste forms. You can add as much oil as you want to make it as thick or thin as you like.

Preheat oven to 400

Place frozen ravioli on an oiled baking sheet, making sure none are overlapping. Place into oven for about 15-18 minutes, removing after 8 minutes to flip. When you take the ravioli out to flip, slice up the mushrooms and grab a few more walnuts and toss onto baking sheet with the ravioli.  When the ravioli's are nicely browned and toasty, remove (mushrooms and walnuts too) and place into bowl. Add a big scoop of pesto and toss to mix.

Serve and eat.. fork is optional.

Note..Add a thin layer to the top of any left over pesto to keep it fresh and from turning black 

Skillet Crust and Pesto Chickpea Pizza

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 It's Friday!!! And what does that mean? Pizza Pizza!!!!But not just Fridays…pizza happens more times then not in our house…It's the misters favorite food and for real, he could eat it everyday, all day.…He is kind of made of the stuff. As for me, well I don't mind making it for him because it's easy. And because I am making it, it doesn't have 8 million calories, 9 million grams of fat and have 10 million milligrams of sodium like takeout of frozen.  My pizzas are for the most part pretty freaking heathy. It really depends on how its topped. Like take this one.. Homemade pesto, good quaility cheese, (you can use vegan or low fat) chickpeas and tomatoes. Not to shabby. And really, it isn't any more complicated then calling the take-out place or unwrapping the frozen plastic disk from the box. All you need is some good dough (I guess you could use store bought) and some good quality toppings… and you're there…Pizza in your face.

For this pizza I used the skillet cooking method. This crust is one of  the misters favorites. It is a basic pizza dough but cooked on the stove in a skillet. It's almost like a pita bread, but not. And I like to make it this way because its really fast (once the dough is made) and I can even make up a few crusts to have on hand for later.

Fast, healthy, and tasty…..Why not eat pizza every day? 

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Not too many ingredients here. 3 cups of all purpose flour or 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat. A teaspoon salt, a teaspoon honey (use sugar if vegan), yeast and warm water… 

Start with the dough.  Add honey or sugar to yeast and warm water and let sit to active, which should take about 5 minutes.

 Mix together the salt and flour(s) and add the foamy yeast mixture. Mix until it all comes together and dump out onto a floured surface. (if the dough seems to dry add a splash of water..if way to wet, add a little flour) Give the dough a good 2-3 minute knead session, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Form a nice ball, place back into bowl and drizzle with oil. Cover bowl with a towel and stick in warm place to rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

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When dough has doubled, dump back onto a floured surface and divide into 4 equal sized balls (or as many balls at whatever size you want)

Now you have a few choices here. You can either cook up all the dough now if you need it, or freeze dough balls for future use. If you think you are going to make pizza again within the next few days, it can be refrigerated, or you could also blind bake the dough and freeze or fridragerate that and have pre baked crusts all ready to go. So many options… just do whatever works for you. 

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To make the dough in a skillet, oil the bottom of a 15 inch skillet, turn burner on to high and let preheat until the oil is sizzling. Roll dough out to roughly the size of the skillet and when it has preheated, place dough on in there and let cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the dough starts to bubble and the bottom has started to brown. Turn burner down to medium and flip. Cook this side for another 3-5 minutes.

If you want oven crust, just roll out and place on a baking sheet and bake with topping on at 475 degrees for about 20 minutes

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Now the crust is ready for the toppings!!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Smear the pesto (for this pie, I used the last of my homemade pesto from last summer…sad face) Mince garlic and distribute evenly on top of that. Then do the cheese, followed by the tomato slices and chick peas. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, cracked pepper and some parmesan cheese. 

Stick into oven for 10 or so minutes or until the chesse is nice and bubbly and the crust os crispy and brown.

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And that is pizza. A super duper, yummy, healthy, not too fatty or overly salty…  can be eaten breakfast lunch or dinner time, pretty, satisfying, pizza.  

Make it for yourself, for you lover, for a friend. Make it in the shape of a heart or an elephant. Give you kid(s) a ball of dough and have them make their own… I know… such a good idea. 

Everyday, all day.. Happy Friday and Happy Pizza

Stay warm!

-C


Skillet Pizza Dough and Pesto Chickpea Pizza

For the dough ..Makes about four 10 inch pizza doughs or three 12 -14 inch doughs. This is also the same recipe I use for all of my pizzas (skillet and oven)

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour or  2 cups all purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast or 1 packet
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

The Pizza Toppings (for a 15 inch crust..adjust amounts to your need or liking)

  • 1/4 cup of pesto
  • 1 large  roma tomato thinly sliced
  • a few cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/1 cup of prepare chick peas.. rinsed and drained
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese (or any kind you like..use vegan cheese if you want too)
  • salt, pepper, and parmeasan (optional) to sprinkle on top

To start, place honey, yeast and water into a jar or bowl and let sit to active until mixture starts to foam. Mix together flour and salt into a large bowl and add in yeast mixture. Stir until combined and dump onto a well floured surface. Knead dough for a a few minutes and form into a ball. Place back into bowl, drizzle with oil and top with a towel. Place somewhere warm to rise for an hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

When dough is done rising, dump back onto floured surface and divide into 4-8 equal sized balls.( 4 balls make  15 inch pizza… 8 balls are good for individual size pizzas) Place whatever dough you are not going to use into a closable plastic bag and either stick in fridge(if using within a few days) or freeze for future use.

Place skillet on high heat on stove and drizzle with oil. Also, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out you dough and when the skillet is has gotten really hot, place dough right on in. Let cook for about 3-5 minutes or unit the cough has started to form bubbles and the bottom has started to brown. Turn heat down to low and cook other side for another 3-5 minutes or until browned. 

Now pizzafy it.. Add on the toppings. Smear with pesto, add minced garlic, then evenly sprinkle cheese. Top with the chick peas and the sliced tomatoes. A sprinkle of salt and pepper and a dusting of grated parmesan……Right into the oven for about 10 minutes to melt it all together…..

Pizza Pizza!!!