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Creamy Asparagus & Spinach Pesto

on April 17, 2013

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It seems like every week my 3yr olds are adding new foods to the “I hate it” list.  Last week it was asparagus.  My heart broke.  After a long winter of broccoli, broccoli and more broccoli, I jumped at the chance to stock up on crispy, bright green asparagus.  I sauteed in olive oil, sprinkled the glossy spears with parmesan cheese and just as the plate hit the table I heard (in stereo) “But Mommy, I hate asparagus, YUCK!”.  Awesome. So, I ate all of the asparagus on their plates because wasting that much food is just crazy and moved onto Plan B.  While I am not a fan of hiding veggies, or anything really, I found a recipe for an asparagus pesto and tried my own version the very next day.  Pesto is not really “hiding”, it’s more like a clever disguise. It was super easy (recipe below) and guess what?  They loved it!  It was so creamy and mild, and super easy to make.  Need more convincing? Asparagus is loaded  with antioxidants, fiber, folate, vitamin K and chromium, so enjoy it now that it’s season and buy local whenever possible.

Pasta with Asparagus & Spinach Pesto 

1/4 cup olive oil

4-6 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped, bottoms cut and discarded

1 cup baby spinach

1/4 – 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts (any nut is fine)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Chicken Stock (optional)

1b Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Ricotta Cheese (optional)

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Heat olive oil in pan, add garlic, asparagus and walnuts and sautee for 5 minutes.  Add baby spinach, allow to cook until asparagus is soft (7-10min).  Pour veggies mix into blender and puree, add cheese, puree until blended.  If mixture is too thick, add some chicken stock to thin. Mix into hot pasta and top with a dollop of ricotta cheese.  Yum!   You can easily double the recipe and freeze for a quick, healthy dinner.

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