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Spinach Basil Pesto

You might be wondering... "What is spinach basil pesto?" Well, it's simple, really! I had every intention of making a traditional basil pesto, but it it turns out that three cups of basil is a lot of basil! So instead, I substituted spinach into the recipe to sneak in some veggies, and later realized that I couldn't tell a difference! That's one of the best parts about cooking! You can put a spin on almost any recipe. Not all recipes come out very well (I know that full well), but this one has become a hit!

Tonight's pesto was featured with sauteed mushrooms, ziti noodles and goat cheese accompanied by salmon and roasted brussel sprouts. Holy moly people... the combination of pesto, goat cheese and pasta might be one of the best I have ever had in my life. Pesto has become one of our favorite "go-to" recipes for a quick dinner. It's so simple to make.

Here's my recipe:

2 cups spinach

1 cup basil

1/4 cup slivered almonds

3 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

dash of pepper

Common basil pesto is made with toasted pine nuts, however, have you seen how expensive those can be?! Pine nuts are not always in the budget, so thankfully there are a few alternatives: cashews or almonds. I chose almonds this time around for two reasons: 1) I wanted to try it to see the difference in flavor, and 2) it's what we had in the pantry! It's as simple as that! Anyway, it turned out better than I had expected!

Combine spinach, basil, slivered almonds, minced garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper into a blender of food processor.

Slowly drizzle olive oil while blending ingredients. For a more course pesto, pulse instead. Season to taste.

Once the pesto is a your desired texture, it's ready for whatever recipe you create!

As for the rest of our dinner, I halved brussel sprouts and spread them on a baking sheet with salmon. All this needed was a quick seasoning of Johnny's seasoning salt, pepper and a drizzle of avocado oil. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and into the heat they went for about 25 minutes. After that, I added a few pats of butter (because why not?) and it was back in or another 10 minutes.

Dinner turned out pretty well if I do say so myself! I have loved experimenting with basil pesto recipes. This culinary challenge has become a staple recipe in my home. What are the staple recipes for you?

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