"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

March 29, 2012

Broccoli-Almond Pesto with Rice Noodles

Phew! It's been a busy few months...resulting in a severe lack of posts! My apologies. The good news is that I've got a good number of recipes ready and waiting to be shared with you in the coming weeks - Yay!

So, back to it...it's spring again, and that means time to clean up our diet a bit. By way of another blog I frequent, I found a great New Year's cleanse hosted by Whole Living Magazine. It's called the Whole Living Action Plan 2012. It's a three week diet cleanse that has you omitting everything except fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, beans/legumes/tofu (in week 2), and gluten-free grains (in week 3). For non-vegetarians, the diet also permits the addition of seafood and eggs in weeks 2 and 3 respectively. It sounded challenging in the beginning, but after the first few days we got the hang of it and really enjoyed starting the day with a big smoothie and eating a new variety of vegetables and fruits throughout the day. We all get in our ruts where we find ourselves eating the same things week after week; this was a fantastic kickstart to get back to eating new and varied whole food meals!

We're currently rounding out our third week and feeling fantastic. I've gained energy and lost some weight (yay!). I highly recommend it for anyone feeling the effects of the long winter (both in health and pant size!). Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes from the Action Plan so far...it's a Week 3 recipe but it was soooo worth the wait!! It combines almonds, basil and broccoli to create an incredibly vibrant pesto...one that I would happily use in place of any other based on a standard recipe. Trust me when I say you'd never know there's broccoli in there! Because the diet is exclusively gluten free, it calls for use of rice noodles; however, use any noodles you'd like based on your own preferences.

Rice Noodles with Broccoli-Almond Pesto


1 head broccoli, florets and sliced stems
6 tablespoons raw almonds
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
8 ounces rice noodles
Sliced almonds (optional)

1. Steam broccoli florets and stems until bright green and just tender, about 3-4 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking process and set aside. Roughly chop 1 cup cooked florets; set aside.

2. In a food processor, puree almonds until they resemble a course meal. Add remaining ingredients (except noodles) and puree until smooth. Set aside.

3. Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, drain noodles, and return to pot. Toss with pesto, adding reserved pasta water until creamy. Top each bowl with chopped florets, small basil leaves, and sliced almonds.


This recipe was adapted from Whole Living Magazine's Whole Living Action Plan 2012