FITfare: spinach pesto

Spinach Pesto Recipe

1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts*
1 cup (handful) fresh basil
8 oz frozen spinach – thawed and excess water totally squeezed out (can substitute fresh steamed or sauteed spinach but still squeeze water out or fresh raw kale)
1/4 Parmesan (optional) **
1-2 garlic cloves (optional and to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup EVOO
pasta of choice ***
1. Boil water for pasta
2. In a food processor, chop nuts (or seeds), basil, garlic, cheese, and dry spinach
3. Slowly add EVOO while blending  until pesto is course but wet and well mixed
4. Drain pasta and combine with pesto
Sprinkle with additional cheese (if desired)
* Nut free option: Sunflower Seeds
** Vegan Option: Eliminate cheese (sub extra salt and extra seeds or nuts)
*** Gluten Free Option: Use quinoa, corn, or brown rice pasta (use quinoa for the extra protein)
Serve as a main dish, or a side dish to a simple baked chicken or white fish broiled with lemon.

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