Saturday, July 20, 2013

Walnuts work

*Second Update* Today I made a new batch of the pesto using more parmesan than before, spread the pesto on half of a soft whole wheat tortilla, folded it in half and then put it in the toaster oven to toast for a few minutes. I fed it to bébé and she loved it. It was like eating a souped version of a quesadilla but with more protein (from the walnuts) and vitamins/minerals (from the basil).

*Update* We just got back from a walk on the beach and I needed to prepare something for bébé for lunch. I decided to add more oil and the parmesan to the "spread".  I mixed in the now full-fledged pesto with some small shell-shaped pasta and bébé ate a lot of it. I was happy because nuts are a great source of protein especially since she doesn't eat as much meat as she used to.

Original post below:

We went to a potluck sometime last year where someone brought this delicious basil pesto.  I couldn't stop dipping veggies and pita chips into it. I really enjoy eating pesto but one of the times I had bought bottled pesto at the supermarket it tasted weird and I didn't like it. Normally I prefer to prepare food from scratch but the idea of spending close to twenty dollars a pound for pine nuts was not appealing. I wouldn't have bought a whole pound of pine nuts anyway, but even just a handful would have been close to five dollars.

Anyway, while I was reading the ingredients of the pesto at the potluck I realized that the nut used was not roasted pine nuts but walnuts instead.  Now walnuts, as well as most nuts, are not cheap but at least it is a more economical substitute for pine nuts. So yesterday I decided to make some pesto using all the basil leaves from the potted plant I got from Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and some walnuts that I picked up from the bulk bins at my favorite supermarket.

I used this recipe for inspiration.  I rarely follow recipes exactly and this one was no exception. I ended up using much less oil and no lemon juice. I forgot to throw in the parmesan (it was later in the evening and I was tired). The consistency ended up being similar to pecan and herb  spread that I had used under turkey breast skin (from a Rachel Ray recipe I found years ago) for our first Thanksgiving dinner here in SoCal the year we moved here. It was just hubby and me since we didn't really know anyone here and all our family is back East, which is why we only needed to have turkey breast instead of the whole turkey.

Anyway I realized this evening that I had some leftover chicken drumsticks which I needed to bake before they went bad. So I decided to spread the "pesto" under the skin and bake them. It turned out decently. I should have used more salt and pepper so that it would have been better seasoned which I will try to remember to do next time.

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