Super Simple Basil Pesto Recipe

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This is just your stock-standard basil pesto recipe. There’s really nothing out of the ordinary about it because I think that it is just that good as it is you really don’t need to mess with it.

Plus, if any Italian nonna’s found out that someone had even thought of changing the recipe to their beloved pesto, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be very happy at all.

Recipe

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup olive oil (roughly)
  • ½ lemon, juiced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or a food processor and pulse until fully combined. If needed, add more olive oil until the pesto is slightly runny. Season with salt and pepper.

 Notes:

  • To ensure that the pesto is of best quality it is crucial that you use fresh basil and top quality ingredients.

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Serving suggestions:

  • In pasta salad, try my Deluxe Pesto Pasta Salad.
  • In scrambled eggs or an omelette.
  • On toast with avocado and haloumi or a poached egg.
  • Blobbed on top of pizza.
  • In savoury muffins .
  • Spread on a sandwich.
  • In (or on) quiche or frittata.
  • Serve alongside meat.

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Tanisha xx

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Deluxe Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

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I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT I HAVEN’T POSTED A PASTA RECIPE ON THIS BLOG YET!!

Now that’s embarrassing.

I am a true pasta enthusiast. It just tastes so good I could eat it plain. In fact, I used to do just that when I was younger. And I don’t care what anyone tells you but pasta IS healthy, especially if you cook with wholemeal or experiment with other wholegrain pastas such as quinoa. And if you eat the right amount, alongside lots of veggies, you’re on a winner. Everything in moderation, guys.

So here is a perfectly healthy pasta recipe, just waiting for you guys to try it. It’s great for a summer lunch or even dinner if you so wish.

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Recipe

Deluxe Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 500g pasta – spiral penne or orecchiette
  • Handful baby spinach
  • Handful olives, sliced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 150g feta
  • 5 tablespoons whole egg mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons seeded mustard
  • Basil pesto, to taste

Method:

  1. Bring some water to the boil and add a pinch of salt before adding your pasta. Cook to al dente according to the packet instructions and then strain in a colander and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile cut up your olives and red onion before adding to the pasta in a large bowl (you may need two bowls). Add the spinach and stir through. Crumble some of the feta over the top then mix through the mayonnaise, mustard, and basil pesto, adjusting quantities for a balanced flavour. Mix well.
  3. Garnish with the rest of the crumbled feta.

Notes:

  • This recipe is from the book, Flavours of Melbourne pg. 310. It was originally called, Olive Grove Salad and was a recipe from the café Famish’d.

 

When I made this salad I was astounded at how big it was. I couldn’t find a bowl big enough to mix it in so I had to use two!! The original recipe said that it served 4. And there is no way that it serves 4. I served it alongside a lunch for 6 people and there was heaps of leftovers so it took another 4 of us to finish it off for dinner later on. But I think if you ate it as a full meal it would probably serve at least 6 people. Minimum.

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My lunch spread. The pasta salad is in the background.

What I love about this recipe is that it is so easy and tasty too. So, I guess it’s not really that deluxe like the title says but I feel that if you make the basil pesto yourself it does really spruce this pasta salad up above the usual. And if you counter in all the other ingredients it really is deluxe compared to other pesto pasta salads.

I hope you enjoy it!

Also: 1 MORE SLEEP TILL CHRISTMAS!!!!

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Tanisha xx

Addictive Chocolate Cluster Granola A.K.A Chocolate Granola 2.0!

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I’ve just recently noticed that I tend to go through phases with foods (especially breakfast foods) where that’s all I’ll eat for the next few weeks and even months. I think it all started with the green smoothie. For about two months that’s just about all I ate for breakfast. It cost my parents a fortune buying ominous amounts of kale to feed my growing green smoothie obsession. And then one day, I just got sick of it. Enough was enough, and I went onto my next phase, which also turned about to be quite expensive because I probably trialed just about every muesli there is in Woolworths.

Actually, now that I think about it, I do remember being obsessed with cereals like nutrigrain and cheerios when I was younger, so maybe I shouldn’t go blaming the green smoothie for it all. I guess it’s just always been a part of me.

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I’d like to say that I’ve gotten over my breakfast phases now but I don’t think I am at that level just yet. I have to say though, that I have been more varied with the breakfasts I eat and now there seems to be a combination of phases all in one, which is better than it used to be, I guess. Take, for example, this winter, my phase at this time seemed to be centered around porridge. But not just any porridge, gourmet porridge. That’s right, plain old porridge just wasn’t going to do it for me. I had to eat just about every flavour of porridge you could think of. I credit myself for this phase though, because at least it was just a bit more adventurous than a boring old bowl of cheerios day after day.

These days, I seem to be going through a very wide array of phases all in one. For example, I have a very big obsession with smoothie bowls and ‘nicecream’ at the moment, as well as overnight oats, the deadly combination of peanut butter and banana, oh and how could I forget dark chocolate. Seriously I can’t get enough of that stuff. But there is one thing that seems to stand out amongst all of this and that is big, chunky, delicious, homemade GRANOLA and when you combine it with peanut butter and chocolate, you have yourself a winner there.

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Recipe

 Addictive Chocolate Cluster Granola

 Serves 4 – 6

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • cup almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 C degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix together oats, cocoa powder, salt , cinnamon powder and almonds. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan (on medium heat), whisk together coconut oil, peanut butter and maple syrup till smooth and well combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the oats mixture. Stir to combine till the oats mixture is completely moistened.
  5. Transfer the oat mixture to the baking tray and spread evenly.
  6. Bake at 150 for 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let the granola cool for 1-2 hours. Do not stir.
  8. Once the granola has semi-cooled, mix in the dried cranberries and chocolate chips.
  9. Store in an airtight container.

Notes:

  • The original recipe calls for pecans but I didn’t have them so I just used almonds and they worked a treat, however, feel free to give the pecans a go.
  • This granola can be served with milk or yogurt, fruit, as a topping on smoothie bowls or snacked on by itself!
  • Inspired by Cook With Manali

Ways of serving this granola:

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By itself, with milk or yogurt…..it also goes great with coconut and fresh fruit!

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On top of a smoothie bowl….

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On top of ‘nicecream’…

I vow that once you have made this granola for yourself, you will never have to buy a store-bought granola ever again!

Tanisha xx