This tasty, simple side was a hit at a family dinner last week, and many of you asked about the recipe after seeing it on Instagram. One of my favourite things about it is the incorporation of walnuts in the homemade pesto. Traditional pesto sauces are made with pine nuts, but for an extra boost of nutrition I love subbing in walnuts.
Some argue that walnuts are one of nature’s most perfectly packaged foods. As it stands, they pack twice as many antioxidants as any other nut, specifically polyphenols. These compounds fight free radical damage to our cells. Research shows that 1 ounce of walnuts have more antioxidants than the sum of what most people get from fruits and vegetables! And while some people shy away from nuts due to the fat content, I remind you again that it’s healthy fat. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids to prevent heart disease – plus they’re good for your hair and skin!
It only seemed right to incorporate this luscious nut into homemade pesto, which I served up on a bed of konjac fettuccine noodles. I love these gluten-free noodles, which are actually derived from the root of a plant. They come packaged in water; I simply rinse them off in hot water and they’re ready to serve.
Try this simple Meatless Monday recipe as a side, or bulk it up with some beans for a heartier main dish.
- 2 large cups basil leaves
- 1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
- 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Himalayan salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 package konjac noodles, rinsed
- Combine the walnuts and basil leaves in a food processor. Process until nuts are well-ground and the basil is incorporated.
- Add the lemon juice, olive oil, cheese and season with salt and pepper. While processing, pour in water until pesto reaches desired consistency.
- Pour over rinsed konjac noodles and garnish with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.