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Delicious Pesto Sauce

My family LOVES pesto sauce.  My daughter prefers to eat it over marinara.  So, I try to keep some in the fridge, but the truth be told is that I never make enough.  The best thing to do is make tons of sauce, and freeze it in ice cube trays to be used later.

Our favorite uses of pesto:

  1. On pasta
  2. On Pizza
  3. Baked on Chicken

What are your favorite ways to use pesto?

Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta

Disclaimer: I did not invent this recipe, but have no idea where I got it from.

Serving Size: 4-6 people, about 1 pint

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Bag of Hydroponic Basil

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • 2 cups basil leaves (I used 2 bags of hydroponic basil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (I like Trader Joe’s because there’s no cross-contamination)
  • 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (any olive oil will do)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I also use Trader Joe’s grated parm and stash it in the freezer)
  • Salt/pepper

Ingredients for Pasta:

  • 1 bag of gluten-free pasta – favorite brand is Tinkyada
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • *optional – extra parmesan as topping
  • *optional – handful of pine nuts as topping

Directions:

  1. Get pot of boiling water going for pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, put all ingredients, except the oil in the food processor, and process until blended.
  3. Slowly pour in the oil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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    Makes about 1 Pint of Pesto Sauce

  5. When pasta water is boiling, put the pasta in the water and follow directions of pasta bag.
  6. 2 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, throw in some chopped broccoli.

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    Broccoli Added to Pasta

  7. When pasta is done cooking and broccoli is done to liking, pour into colander and rinse with cold water.
  8. Coat pasta with the 1 TBSP of olive oil to keep it from sticking together if not serving right away, otherwise, follow step #9.
  9. Toss pasta with pesto sauce.

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    Pasta Coated with Pesto

  10. Bon Appetite!

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Spinach Muffins

I was inspired by a friend, Elana, several years ago to find more creative ways to make vegetables for my little eater who was probably about 1.5 then. The name makes it sound a good deal more playful and interesting to a toddler. This recipe has inspired me to create others similar and for no other reason than it is soo simple and literally takes less than 5 minutes to mix all the ingredients.  I have used it as an appetizer.  It tastes just like a crustless Spanikopita.

Gluten-Free Spinach Muffins

Serving Size: about 24 mini-muffins

Ingredients:

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Spinach Muffin Ingredients

– 1 egg
– 1 box of 10 oz frozen spinach (or more) or any other veggie.  (If using fresh veggies, make sure you steam them for about 3 minutes first).
– 1/2 16 oz. container of cottage cheese (can substitute ricotta)
– 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use cheddar, but any kind is fine)
– 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
– 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste

Supplies:

– mini-muffin tin (you can use a bigger one, but I don’t know how many it will make)
– cooking spray
– mixing spoon
– bowl
– spatula

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease muffin pan REALLY well.  Because there is cheese in this, it sticks.  I’ve tried using muffin liners, but the cheese sticks to those, too, and makes them difficult to eat.
3. Mix all the above ingredients together.  (I often don’t measure and just eyeball everything).
4. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
5. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.

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Fresh Out-of-the-Oven Spinach Muffins

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