Friday, September 19, 2014

Sage Pesto

Sage is an herb that I love but I don't have many uses for until Thanksgiving rolls around. Besides making sage smudge stick ... how much sage can one really consume? This year, my sage is absolutely crazy! I planted regular sage this year, usually I do purple or golden sage and the plants grow well but not as huge as this year. I don't know if it was the weather conditions or if it's just this type of sage that loves my garden. Regardless, I'm not complaining.

I was staring it down as I was picking my basil for pesto last week when it dawned on me to try a sage pesto. It is fall and with squash and sweet potatoes making it through the kitchen right now, I figured it was worth a try. Did it work? Let's just say in the past 5 days I have made it 3 times! It's my new fall favorite!


Sage Pesto

I've used it on Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells, Squash and Walnut Bruschetta and I can't wait to try it drizzled on my sister-in-laws squash soup that she makes for Thanksgiving. Savina won't stop eating it with a spoon ... 20 months and I have sage pesto addict on my hands. Now I'm looking at my massive sage plant wishing it were bigger because I just have enough to get me though the season and I won't be able to save it and freeze it for the winter!


Sage Pesto

Sage Pesto

Makes 2/3 cup

1 c sage, tightly packed
1/3 c grapeseed oil (olive oil will work just fine)
1/4 c toasted walnuts
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
1/2 t lemon juice
1/4 t salt


*to make vegan use Cashew Parmesan or other vegan parmesan.

Put all ingredients into your food processor and mix until smooth. Add more oil if needed.

Sage Pesto

Butternut Squash, Walnut & Sage Pesto Bruschetta

Can I just say how much I love acorn squash? It seems so versatile and the squash flavor is so subtle as opposed to the in-your-face-flavor of the butternut squash. Can you tell I've never been a butternut squash fan?!? For me, squash and beets are a lot alike. I didn't like them as a kid, but beets I now love. I realized that was time to stop the nonsense and embrace this wonderful fall squash.

I recently found a love for sage pesto and I knew squash would be the perfect match. The appetizer was amazing! The squash tasted so good after it was roasted with a little salt and pepper, that I found myself to be munching on it when it came out of the oven. So, maybe I just don't like mashed squash with cinnamon on it. Surprise surprise, I should've known years ago that I would like it more savory than sweet!

I didn't use the whole squash so the extras were great for the kids side dish for dinner that night. Maybe they will now grow up to be squash lovers! I've also made this recipe with sweet potatoes instead of the squash ... not as great, but a  great substitute when you need one. 


Butternut Squash, Walnut & Sage Pesto Bruschetta

Butternut Squash, Walnut & Sage Pesto Bruschetta

Makes about 15

2 1/2 c butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3/4 walnuts, toasted
1/2 c sage pesto (recipe shown below)
Shaved Parmesan to top
1 loaf french bread, sliced about 1/2 in thick


**Ia have made these gluten free and vegan before using Udi's Bread and I simply omitted the cheese from the pesto and I used a vegan cheese to melt on the top.

Preheat oven for 300º.

Drizzle some olive oil over your bread and sprinkle garlic powder over them. Toast bread for about 7 minutes then flip and toast another 5. I don't like mine super crispy but you don't want it soggy so it can hold the bruschetta. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Once toasts are out, raise oven to 375º. Drizzle a little olive oil on the squash and shake some salt and pepper on it. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Mix it with the walnuts.

Meanwhile, make your sage pesto.

To assemble, top your toast with pesto, then squash and walnuts and then sprinkle some shaved parmesan on the top. If you want, you can put them back in the the oven so the cheese melts a bit or just serve as is!

Butternut Squash, Walnut & Sage Pesto Bruschetta


Sage Pesto

Makes 2/3 cup

1 c sage, tightly packed
1/3 c grapeseed oil (olive oil will work just fine)
1/4 c toasted walnuts
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
1/2 t lemon juice
1/4 t salt


*to make vegan use Cashew Parmesan or other vegan parmesan.

Put all ingredients into your food processor and mix until smooth. Add more oil if needed.


Sage Pesto



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Freeze Kale, Spinach and Other Hearty Greens

How to Freeze Kale, Spinach and Other Hearty GreensOur kale plants are doing great right now, I can't keep up with the harvest! On top of that, we will get more kale every now and again from our CSA. This is a great problem to have! I've been substituting kale for spinach in almost all of my recipes, and as usual, kale is a staple in almost every juice we make.

As I begin the think about the winter months and the fresh produce that we don't have from our backyard I realized I need to make process my kale now so that we can use it longer. Since we juice our kale all the time, why not juice it now to freeze and use it when our garden is covered in snow. This lightbulb moment is keeping me warm as I shiver thinking about snow!

I quickly realized that I should be doing this with all of my hearty greens that I have excess of. I think I need a chest freezer!


I'm excited to try out my Green Machine Brownies and other baking recipes this winter using my frozen kale cubes too! They don't have to be used for just juice.

How to Freeze Your Greens

  • For Juice: Simply blend kale with water or aloe vera juice ... enough for your blender to be able to liquify the kale. Then, pour into 1 ounce freezer trays and freeze. When frozen, put kale cubes into freezer bags for storage.
  • How to Freeze Kale, Spinach and Other Hearty Greens
  • For Cooking
    • Boil water in a large pot.
    • Tear washed greens into usable pieces. 
    • Boil for 5 minutes and drain.
    • Rinse with ice cold water to stop the cooking process. 
    • Squeeze out all extra liquid from your greens.
    • Pack in freezer bags for storage. It's best to measure first so you know what you have in the bag. I am putting two cups of greens per bag because that's a good amount for my families needs.

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