Sunday, May 6, 2012

CREAMY CARROT PESTO! TRY CARROT PESTO!

RECIPE - If you've been keeping up with my previous pesto recipes or have been spring cleaning detoxing, then all the goodies that you will need to make this wonderful little meal enhancement should be right in your kitchen or pantry.  This recipe was an experiment and an attempt to make some use of the remainder of my pound of fresh carrots that have been hanging out in the fridge... and, like all unintentional findings, turned out to be something worth blogging about!

Oh, and have I mentioned all the health benefits of taking in some extra orange superheros? Full of fiber, half of which is soluble, carrots may help to lower blood-cholesterol and the beta-carotene from their insane amount of vitamin A can help ward off cancers, stroke, night blindness, and heart disease!  Extra Virgin Olive Oil works The broccoli tops you off with some additional beta-carotene and fiber plus the added benefits of vitamin C, calcium, an folic acid which help to lower blood pressure.  Hempseed offers some lovely omega 3 to 6 fats as well as a bit of protein while olive oil helps out the carrots in reducing cholesterol.  You will be warned that this recipe calls for a decent amount of Country Crock (or butter substitute) which probably evens out the score for your cholesterol levels, so if you are watching your weight and your heart, please reduce the amount that you are adding accordingly.  If you are using a bit of this in one meal, you should be fine... but don't make over-buttering a habit!  Health first!




QUICK PREP:
  1. Grab your food processor of choice and get it prepared to blend!
  2. Measure out 4 teaspoons of hempseed, pour into food processor.
  3. Melt approximately 2 teaspoons of country crock (or other butter substitute) in microwave for 15 seconds, pour into food processor.
  4. Scoop approximately 3 teaspoon-balls of country crock (unmelted) into food processor. (this will thicken the mixture)
  5. Scoop 3 teaspoons of tomato sauce into the food processor.
  6. Measure out 4 teaspoons of dried basil, pour into food processor.
  7. Peel and dice 3 cloves of garlic, pour into food processor.
  8. Measure out 3-5 teaspoons of fresh grated parmesan (or vegan substitute), pour into food processor.  You can always add more to taste later.
  9. Grind fresh coarse black pepper to taste directly into food processor.
  10. Grind fresh sea salt to taste directly into food processor.
  11. Clean, peel, and chop 5 organic carrots into small pieces, pour into food processor.
  12. Remove the stems of 5 fresh broccoli, pour heads into food processor.
  13. Pour enough extra virgin olive oil into the food processor for it to grind the ingredients without struggling.  You may want to alternate between chopping and grinding... and always add more olive oil if the food processor seems to be working too hard.  You don't want to break it.
Your pesto should come out creamy and lightly chunky... almost a hummus or dip consistency... the kind that doesn't fall apart when you scoop it but is thin enough to be considered a "sauce."  The country crock (or substitute) will melt when you put it on whatever meal you're making.  The pesto shouldn't taste particularly of carrots, basil, or parmesan but the garlic shines through to warm up the flavor... which I love!

MEAL IDEA!
Pesto and pasta are always a given... and although I could have just done my usual faves of Trader Joe's Spinach & Chive Linguine, tri-colored spaghetti (or rotini), or whole grain rotini... I decided to change things up a little bit with ravioli.  You omnivores can try out some meat ravioli, my veggie-friendly readers can try some cheese ravioli or get on board with my lovely vegans by tossing some SoyBoy Verde Garden Herb in the pesto!  I am sure that all of these options will be absolutely DELICIOUS!  Hopefully I will be able to provide you with my own spinach-pasta recipe to eat this with in the near future... that's my next big endeavor.

YOUR TURN!
Okay Boys and Girls, Moms and Dads, Ladies and Gentlemen!  It's your turn to share your favorite way to enjoy Creamy Carrot Pesto... just leave a photo, description, and/or link in the comments!  I'll look forward to checking them out (and I'm sure the rest of our readers will, too!)  So don't be shy!

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