Pesto Cod – Light and Flavorful

I’m back I’m back I’m back!! This past month has been so fully devoted to my trip “home” to visit my family in Washington! It. Was. Beautiful. I got to meet my new nephew, Ellis London. I got to build Legos with my oldest Nephew, Noah Jesse. And I got to play in an Anna and Elsa tent with my one and only niece, Olive Selah Grace. I got my toes done and shopped at Ross with the girls (one doesn’t realize how they love Ross until they move away from it!), to go on a romantic date with my husband at a spot on the beach we went to when just dating…and I got to be close to my three brothers, my best friends of all time. My heart is happy as I resume my food posting!! So please forgive me for my absence! But when one has not seen so many of the most important people in their life for a year and 3 months….one cuts out everything else in life to just BE with them!! I sincerely hope you all had a chance these past months to just BE with the ones that are important to you!

However, as glorious as it was, I am ready for a few things to resume. First and foremost, health! In every aspect of the word! Physical, mental, spiritual!! And along with that, the resuming of sharingy journey with you wonderful people!!

So, assuming you are all still feeling like fat cows just like me, let’s start off with something super light but still so yummy yummy yummy!!

Cod with Pesto! So incredibly easy and tasty!

So, here’s what you need:

16 oz Cod Fillets
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 sm bunch parsley
2 Tbsp cilantro paste or fresh (optional)
1 tsp minced garlic
Juice of a lemon
2+ tsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp minced favorite nut (I used walnut)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400*
  2. Start your pesto. Trim the stems off the parsley and place in a good proccessor. Pulse a few times until broken down some.
  3. Add all the other ingredients except the fish and blend. Add more olive oil until it becomes a thick sauce, or whatever consistency you prefer.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Add fish and sear for about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Too each fillet with even portions of pesto then slide into the oven for 5 minutes to heat everything through. Serve hot and feel good about your choices!! Go you!! Happy New Year!!

 

 

Pesto Cod 1

Blend everything together to make your pestoooooo!

Pesto Cod 2

Sear your fish on each side for about 3 minutes.

Pesto Cod 3

Top with pesto and slide into 400* oven for about 5 minutes, until everything is warmed through.

Pesto Cod 4

Now serve with some nice hearty veggies!!  (I always serve fish with a sturdier veggie like broccoli or asparagus since fish is so light…it makes me feel full and satisfied!)

Pesto Cod 5

And enjoy!  Yummy yum yums!  Thanks for reading guys, I truly appreciate you all!

Chicken Bacon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Lately I have had SO much fun searching through all my cookbooks (and buying new ones…batting my puppy eyes at Mr. Rodgers when we find them in stores hehe!), adapting the recipes to fit our lifestyle, and sharing the recipes with you wonderful people.  (Seriously, you guys are wonderful.  I love my followers, and that everyone is so encouraging!)  I hope you enjoy seeing all the fun cookbooks I stumble upon!

 

However, with that being said…I must declare that there is something SO special…so satisfying and confidence-boosting…about successfully creating your own dish.  Your brain child.  Your baby.  And when people you love rave about it…I don’t know about you guys, but that makes me want to cry happy tears!

This is one of those dishes.  MINE!  MY OWN!  MY PRECIOUSSS!  Haha.  (If you understand that reference, you may be a nerd…and I love you for it!)  I sincerely hope that some of you understand what I am talking about, and you aren’t sitting there reading this thinking “wow, she’s a freak!”  😉  ANYWHO!  Staying on track…I loved this dish.  Mr. Rodgers loved this dish.  Mr Rodgers’ best friend loved this dish!  (I wish I could communicate to you how big of a deal that is!  He is…particular…about his food.  To this day I can’t believe he ate squash…and loved it!)

 

I mean…just look at these ingredients:

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Lg Chicken Breasts
  • Salt, Pepper, and Mrs. Dash (or your favorite seasoning blend.  I’m addicted to Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 Package Bacon
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
  • 2 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 C Pesto (I used this quick recipe)

 

And here’s how you do it!  (Though there are a few components, it really is a simple process!)

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash however you desire!  I usually roast whole in the oven at 400* for an hour or so, turning occasionally.  You wanna make sure that you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork before you take it out.  Remove the seeds and use a fork to pull the inside into spaghetti-like strands.  Set aside.
  2. Cook your bacon and reserve the grease!
  3. Cut your chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash, and cook in bacon grease until done.  Set aside.
  4. Sauté your zucchini just a few minutes in the bacon grease, until just beginning to get tender.  (Don’t let it get mushy!)
  5. Crumble in your bacon (or if you’re like me, use kitchen scissors to cut it into little uniform bites hehe.)
  6. Dump in your spaghetti squash…
  7. Stir to evenly distribute all those yummy ingredients…
  8. Dump in your pesto and stir to coat everything, it should be just enough to give you a nice covering without being too overwhelming.

 

 

 

Peectures!

PSS 1

Cook your bacon, reserving the grease

PSS 2

Cut your chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash, and cook in bacon grease until done.  Set aside.

PSS 3

Sauté your zucchini just a few minutes in the bacon grease, until just beginning to get tender.

PSS 4

Crumble in your bacon (or if you’re like me, use kitchen scissors to cut it into little uniform bites hehe.)

PSS 6

Dump in your spaghetti squash…

PSS 7

Stir to evenly distribute all those yummy ingredients…

PSS 8

Dump in your pesto and stir to coat everything, it should be just enough to give you a nice covering without being too overwhelming.

PSS 9

And serve!  Yummy!!

PSS 10

I wish it wasn’t so hard to make spaghetti squash look beautiful!  But I tell you what…even like that I still want to eat it right now!!  I hope this idea inspires you guys, let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

Peectures!

 

Pesto Green Beans

I have been meaning to make these for a very long time!  But if you read my last post, you know that the requirement for fresh herbs and the effort it takes to make pesto has always caused me to put it off till “next time” because I live a busy life and run out of time or my herbs go bad.

But I have finally hacked the system!  Check out my Super Easy Cheater Pesto post to see how I can now make really fast pesto!

I finally made pesto green beans!  Happy dance!!  They were full of flavor, and something new on the veggie front!!

 

So, here’s what you need!

  • 1/4 – 1/2 C Pesto (Depending on how “saucy” you like it.  Baha.)
  • 1 Small Onion, Cut into chunks
  • 1 lb Green Beans, Cleaned and Trimmed
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place green beans and onions in a bowl.  Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat and toss.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.
  4. Slide into your pre heated oven and cook until teder crisp and starting to brown, about 15 minutes or so.  Just keep an eye on ’em.
  5. When browned and tender crisp, remove from oven, return to a bowl, and toss with pesto.  Serve and enjoy!

 

Photo (40)

Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper!

Photo (41)

Roast until starting to brown and tender crisp!

Photo (42)

Put back in a bowl and add pesto.

Photo (43)

Toss to coat!

Photo (44)

And enjoy!  Yummy!  I had a bowl of this for a quick lunch!!

Super Easy Cheater Pesto!

Pesto.  I lived so much of my life without it.  It is a travesty I am trying to correct by sharing it’s beauty with the world in my adult years!

My love for pesto is deep.  But being limited on time, and having many heart breaks over fresh herbs gone bad by delayed plans…I have not made it nearly as often as I’d like.

But lately, I’ve had pesto on the brain.  And then I had an idea.

LIGHTBULB!! (Insert Gru voice here)

Because of the constant fight to use my fresh herbs in time, I have lately been converting mostly to herb pastes.  Easy to use, stay good for weeks, taste the same (just herbs with a little oil!), and can be stirred into pretty much anything.  So as I sat, wishing for pesto, the thought occurred to me that the two main ingredients of pesto are herbs and oil.

In my fridge, I have herb pastes that are made with what again?  Herbs and oil.

A couple of minutes of research later, and I realized my life was about to get much easier, and much pesto-ier.  🙂

So here ya go.  Super easy cheater pesto!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Basil Paste
  • 1/4 C Parsley Paste
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried: mint, oregano, and thyme
  • 1/4 C Pine nuts
  • 2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste…it doesn’t take much!

And here’s how you do it, easy peasy:

  1. Put everything but oil in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Stream in olive oil until you have desired consistency.

 

YOU’RE DONE YOU’RE DONE YOU’RE DONE!  Note:  we stay away from dairy so we don’t use parmesan, but feel free to add it if that’s how you roll!

 

Peectures!

Photo-24

 

Step one…

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Step two…

Photo-26

Step DONE!

Now tell me…what is your favorite use for pesto?!  I’ d love some inspiration!

 

Kale Pesto. Say Whaaaaaat?!

Yes, you read that right.  Kale pesto!!!  I LOVE PESTO!  And the fact that when you eat this one….you are unknowingly devouring a SUPER FOOD!  So tasty, and so beyond healthy!  Yeah baby!!  And the color is phenomenal, haha.  Green is my favorite 🙂  You can do so many things with pesto.  Chicken.  Veggie sides.  Pasta.  Pizza.  Why not whip up a batch of this fantastic pesto, and have it ready to substitute into your favorite recipes?  Here’s my thought…if you are a pesto lover, make this one change, have an even better flavor and unbelievable health benefits!  Eliminate the store bought pesto you get from a jar, and you eliminate the mystery…do you know what mystery I am speaking of?  The “what sort of strange chemical poo did they cram into this” mystery?  I have come to the terms that even if the ingredients on a bottle all seem legit…and if it has that “all natural” label on the front…you can’t trust it!  That one thing that I haven’t heard of…that big word I can’t pronounce….it’s probably where they snuck in the bad stuff that will hurt the body!  Oh and don’t even get me started on the whole “natural flavors” thing.  Ha!  Anywho.  This recipe eliminates that mystery!!!  You can KNOW what you are putting in your body, and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your body is not being harmed!  And on the other hand, if you already make home made pesto, I altered this recipe to the point that it is crazy delicious without any cheese!  Not that I think a little Parmesan here and there is a bad thing.  But if you can have something that is so yummy without NEEDING cheese, you might as well eliminate it so that you can have some cheese where it IS needed, right?  Makes sense to me 😉

Enough talk!!!  Let’s hop to it!!  I’m excited for you to try this gem…and I’m excited that in a few days, I get to show you how I used it!  FANTASTIC!

Adapted from marycrimmins.com

So here’s what you need:

  • 2 Small Bunches of Kale, Stems Removed
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C Walnuts, Chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (ish, to taste and texture 😉 )
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or something similar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (Careful with the salt if your Cajun style seasoning has salt in it!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place your walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn 🙂  You just want them to get a little browned and bring out that fantastic toasty flavor!!  Yummmm!  Set aside 🙂
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. Add kale leaves to boiling water and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Should be nice and tender.
  4. Put your toasted walnuts, cooked kale, and garlic in a food processor.  Or blender, but food processor works better 🙂  Get it nice and blended!
  5. Pour in oil and lemon juice slowly, until you get the consistency you want.  Mine was creamy and spreadable, which was perfect for my use 🙂
  6. Whiz in the Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper…taste and adjust!

WABAM!  AMAZING!  That’s all I can say!  Amazing!!!  I hope you enjoy this…it was a huge discovery for my kitchen 🙂

Oh my gosh.  I just had a thought.  Kale pesto.  Plus spaghetti squash.  Holy inspiration.  Ahhhhh.  That must happen.  Really soon.  Wow.  Maybe I should blog while watching Iron Chef more often.  For real.

Holy boiling kale batman!

Kale Pesto 1

So green!  Yay green!  Tastiest darn green I’ve ever had!!!

Kale Pesto 2

Yum!  I have more pictures for you…but I’m not giving them to you yet…cause I want you to see them all together when I reveal the finished product.  The life-changing, wonderful, beautiful finished product.  Haha.

Salmon with Pecan Pesto

Say whaaaaaat?!  Pecan pesto…and on fish?!  It’s true, it’s true!  And it was super fun!  We both enjoyed it!!!  I am seriously in love with salmon, and am loving discovering new ways to prepare it!!!!

I love that this pesto is hearty enough that it adds a lot of substance to the lightness of the fish…and I love that it has a mild warmness to it as well because of the jalapeno 🙂  I’m going to halve the recipe for you, because…I still have a tupperware full of it in my refrigerator, and my salmon is long gone haha!!  But I think you will find this very fun and delicious!!!

Pecan Pesto Salmon 6Yum!!!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lemon, for zest and juice
  • 1/2 T fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 oz cold butter (a stick is 4 oz so a little less than half), sliced into Tbs slices
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 lb shelled pecans
  • Wild salmon fillet
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil (optional)
  • 1-2 T Coconut Oil

And here’s how you do it!!  🙂

  1. Zest your lemon.  Cut your jalapeno into chunks, and deseed and devein if you want less heat.  Pull rosemary off stem.
  2. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Lay your pecans out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and toast for about 20 minutes.
  4. Put the lemon zest, rosemary, jalapeno, butter, and pecans in a food processor and pulse a few times.  Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in…and if you want your pesto to be thinner, add olive oil until it reaches the consistency you desire.  Ours was a liiiiiiittle thick.  Add salt to taste and process again until blended and the right consistency.  Feel free to taste and adjust 🙂
  5. Rinse your salmon fillets and pat dry.  Rub with coconut oil, and salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, and toss in your salmon.  Saute it until it gets firm to the touch, about 8 minutes total, 4 per side.
  7. Remove salmon, spread with pesto, serve with some veggies, and devour!

Pictures, yes?! 😀

Pecan Pesto Salmon 1Toast your pecans 🙂

Pecan Pesto Salmon 3Get a sexy man to help you with the food processor…he’s getting so good at making pestos!!!  Remember the pictures of him making the pesto in the lamb and garlicky pesto recipe???  If you haven’t seen that one, you should go to the archives and look it up…it’s a favorite 🙂  And you may notice that he is almost 30 pounds lighter here than there 🙂

Pecan Pesto Salmon 4Here is what he created!  Well done husband!  Can you see the little bits of nuts and jalapenos?  Feel free to add olive oil if you want yours thinner than that!

Pecan Pesto Salmon 2Rinse the salmon, dab it dry, rub with coconut oil, salt, and pepper!!!

Pecan Pesto SalmonCook your fish!

Pecan Pesto Salmon 5Top with pesto, and eat!!  Get a little pesto in every bite.  So good, and such great flavor combinations.  I loooove pecans!  Enjoy!!!