Monday, February 27, 2012

roasted red pepper & kale pili pesto


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do you remember early release days from school; weren't those the greatest?
friday was an early release day for me; originally i was suppose to take anna to the groomers
but our groomer was out sick on friday

so what was a girl to do with an extra 4 hours on a friday
make a pretty rad pesto- that's what

i am absolutely head over heals in love with this pesto
the taste, texture and color can't be beat

to top off my adventurous friday afternoon, i tossed my pesto with tofu noodles
after hearing the good, the bad & the ugly about these odd smelling noodles i decided to try them out for myself; after getting over the smell <insert gag noise>
 and preparing them according to the directions , they actually were pretty tasty

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organic red kale
(which i call purple kale, maybe the farmer was color blind when naming this variety of kale)

raw Polynesian pili nuts
&
California roasted red peppers
are combined with a bit of salt into a lovely pesto

the pili nuts, in case you are curious were found on the raw food world site; I am sure you could substitute any type of nut that you fancy or have on hand

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since i have a mini food processor i made mine in 3 batches
if you have a big boy throw it all in there and go to town

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from start to finish you will have yourself a great little lunch in about 10 minutes
for a little added freshness i topped my tofu pasta pesto mix with some sprouts
super tasty

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trust me, you won't be disappointed if you make this
you could also add a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice
you know what, i am thinking that would be pretty good next time around
note to self; squeeze of lemon juice= brilliant idea
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this recipe makes about 3 cups worth of pesto
perfect for batch cooking as this pesto freezes well

for those of you growing a garden this year, definitely keep this recipe in your back pocket for when you have literally a ton of kale and peppers that you don't know what to do with
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so the tofu noodles, i have heard about them & seen them but just kinda passed by them in the grocery store - i have seen a few different reviews online and on other blogs; some good, some terrible. so while at sunflower picking up my red kale they caught my eye
i figured what better day than my half day to try these out
honestly i a super glad that i had read online that these were a bit funky smelling; the package refers to it as the authentic aroma; yeah, authentic all right, they are down right stinky
once you get over the smell, rinse really well and parboil for 2-3 minutes they are pretty awesome; they are super low in calories and have a similar texture as pasta; i the brand i used / bought was
House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodles, i will be definitely cooking with these again

have any of you had an experience with the tofu noodles? how do you get over that smell- do you prepare them in a different way other than what is outlined on the package?


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this is the type of lunch that i could never get away with serving justin
he would look at me like i had four heads if i served him tofu noodles with sprouts
that boy would think i had gone and got all crazy on him

reason number 42 way why this was a perfect early release lunch

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so go on, grab a bunch of kale the size of your face as peas & carrots would say and get to work on making your very own roasted red pepper & kale pili pesto
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Roasted Red Pepper & Kale Pili Pesto
makes 3 cups

you will need:
2 cups jarred roasted red peppers with the juice & oil
1 bunch of kale
1/2 cup pili nuts
2 tsp salt

optional: 1 package tofu noodles fettuccine style
sprouts for topping

assembly:
place all ingredients in a food processor and process until desired consistency is reached
if using a small processor, create pesto in 3 smaller batches

if making the pasta lunch:
prepare tofu noodles according to package directions
or boil regular noodles

drain &  toss  pasta/noodles with 1/2  to 1 cup of prepared pesto

top with 1/3 cup of sprouts

use remaining pesto within 2-3 days or a week if a thin layer of olive oil is added to the top of the prepared pesto

or freeze to use at a later date

enjoy!

Yum

24 comments:

  1. Mmm, this sounds good! I love all pesto, but hadn't thought to add peppers before. Bookmarked!
    I have used tofu noodles before, actually. The smell is a little off-putting, but I didn't find it to be too bad. With lots of rinsing the smell is gone and you're left with juts super low calorie, high protein, noodles. One of my favorite ways to prepare them was to make a big stirfry with vegetables, tamari, and ginger, then at the end stir in the (well rinsed) tofu noodles. It was a nice way to bulk up a simple stir-fry when I was just using up whatever I had on hand, and super tasty!

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    1. The rinsing was definitely key; love the idea of adding too stir frys in lieu of rice; one of the things i loved most was how low in calories they were and how satisfying too!

      The peppers where a fun twist on normal pesto :)

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  2. wow- this is amazing! i can tell all the flavors must taste amazing together!!

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    1. I loved the flavor combo and the texture; but the color was my favorite thing about this pesto; it was so pretty!

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  3. Hey, I never had an early release day in school!! Now I am feeling ripped off that I had to work an extra 4 hours a week. Not fair. ha! I have had those tofu noodles in my fridge and I have yet to try them so I am glad to hear that you like them :)

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    1. No early release day...oh thats right no snow in Cali ;) Our early release days were either due to snow or parent/teacher conferences!

      Girlie you need to start cooking with those tofu noodles, they were surprisingly good!

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  4. I totally left school early today to go home and make some pesto, and then I read this post - too funny! You are always introducing me to new things - tofu noodles, pili nuts, and early release days (we never had anything called that growing up - just P.D. days where we would get the whole day off)!

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    1. Great minds think alike!

      I love exploring new foods, I am so happy when others come across new foods and techniques too :)

      No early release days in Canada- not even when a snow storm hit in the morning while school was in session?

      We would all keep our fingers crossed for that announcement on snowy mornings that they had yet to call off school!

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    2. Hmm...not that I can remember - we did have snow days, but those were always announced early in the morning so we would listen to the radio hoping to hear that announcement, and then we would get to just stay home all day! If the snowstorm hit while you were already at school, I'd be worried of getting trapped there, like that Simpsons episode!

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    3. We defintely had those too, my Moms is a school teacher so she use to do the snow dance with us the night it was snowing; all our friends whose parents worked would come over to our house for a day of sledding and hot chocolate and of course snowman making!

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    4. aw, good snow day memories...it's been so long since I've enjoyed the snow like that!

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    5. We have a storm moving in tonight into tomorrow...now only if i could convince work to enforce the school snow day policies!

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  5. Yum!! I've tried pesto with parsley, arugula, of course basil, and the like... but never with kale. Or roasted red peppers, for that matter. This looks and sounds so tasty though! As Genevieve said, you are always introducing me to new things, too. Thank you for that!

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    1. Hi Lauren, I've missed you!

      LOVE pesto with arugula and also scape pesto; YUM!

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  6. totally with genevieve.. pili nuts.. tofu noodles! i have never heard of pili nuts. i love roasted red pepper in pesto.. but never tried with kale.. this is a mind boglingly new an fun meal! love those sprouts and the pretty backdrop too!

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    1. Pili nuts are a first for me too, when i came across them on the raw food world they sounded interesting and couldn't resist (they were on sale :) )

      The sprouts were the perfect pairing with the tofu noodles; I totally was in love with my lunch on friday!

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  7. Just leaving a message that you have been tagged :D
    I hope you enjoy this and you definitely deserve it!
    Check it out here: http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/i-oat-to-get-into-shape/

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Fun uru; thank you so much - I still haven't forgotten about the liebster, it is coming up this week.

      Thanks for the tag :)

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  8. What a great pesto - looks absolutely delicious, I love the color and the flavors sound really wonderful!

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  9. I love roasted red pepper... I love kale... and I love pesto! Looks amazing!

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    1. Love all those things too; that means you need to make this and will love it as much as i did!

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  10. I love the simplicity of your pesto recipe, it looks delicious!

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    1. Thank you; I have definitely been on a simple is better recipe kick lately!

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Thanks for stopping by - your comments make my day!