Besides the mesmerizing lull of ocean waves gently crashing near my feet, one of the things I really miss about summer is my mother’s basil bush. Right outside the door of her screened in porch off the kitchen, stands a large terracotta pot. It is planted with basil that grew so large and full that it looks like a bush. When I was with her this summer, every day I bowed to the bush, snipping off leaves to toss with greens from the farm, to drape over sautéed patty pan squash, or add zest to my raw zucchini tomato pasta salad.
One day while sitting on the beach with my mom, my sisters, and all our kids, my mom pulled out a branch of basil from her lunch bag and added a few leaves to her lunch. Then she offered the remaining leaves to us. Just for fun, I wrapped an organic red grape with a one of the basil leaves and ate it. Shockingly good. Outside the box, for sure, but really really delicious.
How often do you think outside the box ?
When it comes to meals, eating and juggling life, thinking outside the box can be challenging most of the time. But if we switch gears for just a moment, a split second is all it takes, the ideas will start to flow. Getting creative in the kitchen can help fight off boredom and keep you on track so you can stick with whatever plan it is you want to be your lifestyle.
For example, there many ways to eat or cook just one thing. Try chopping veggies in a different shapes like cut or grate zucchini into sticks instead of rounds. Purple cabbage can be made into it’s own salad or sauté it with other veggies for rainbow stir fry, or try grilling some wedges of radicchio for a minute or two, yum! Color, flavor, texture, sweet, bitter, salty, what turns you on? Find it, then make it!
Even though basil is the most often used herb in pesto, there are many ways to make pesto with or without basil. All you need is a food processor or blender, some greens, nuts or seeds, lemon, garlic and olive oil (skip the cheese, you don’t need it !) Add any green, like parsley with spinach, arugula, or cilantro – they all work. Pulse and voila, done!
Here’s one of my favorite pesto recipes – cilantro pesto or as I like to call it Detox Diva Pesto. Increase your libido with this tasty sauce for pasta, beans, fish, chicken, veggies, sandwiches, wraps or eggs. What’s your favorite way to eat pesto? Leave me a comment below
Detox Diva Cilantro Pesto
1 bunch organic cilantro leaves
1 handful organic baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1/4 -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper
Before removing the tie that holds the cilantro bunch together, cut off the bottom third of the stems. (It’s okay to have some of the stem in this recipe.) Then, wash the cilantro leaves well and wrap it in towels or paper towel to dry.
Place walnuts in and garlic in bowl of food processor. Pusle until well combined into a gravel like texture. Add cilantro and spinach pulse until chopped finely. Juice half of the lemon and add to bowl of processor. Add sea salt and pepper. Pulse again a few times. Then turn motor on and slowly pour inthe oil. Test for consistency and taste adding more lemon juice and olive oil as you like it.