Pesto: Made Vegan and Full of Kale!

Sunday Dinner: Flour City Pasta’s Rasta Pasta and Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini tossed in Kale-Pecan Pesto and topped with Zima tomatoes! 
Well, I wouldn’t be a foodie, if I didn’t love cooking. One of my favorite things is to read recipes and testing them out. If the recipe isn’t vegan, I’m just to the challenge for making it so!
Recently, we were going through some of magazines when Artie came across a recipe for Kale-Pecan Pesto from the January/February 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times. Kale-Pecan Pesto? I never heard of pesto being made with kale before then (spinach, yes. kale, no). Plus, we don’t have pesto very often. So, we both thought it would be good to try for Sunday evening’s pasta dinner.
The recipe wasn’t vegan, as it included Parmesan cheese. To substitute, I used an equal amount of nutritional yeast. That was the only modification we had to do. YES! EASY PEASY!
Something that struck us as odd was having to cook the kale for 5 minutes, as well as toasting the pecans. I would have thought it would have been better just raw. I supposed you can do it that way, but we wanted to stay as true to the recipe as we could (minus the vegan changes). So, next time, we’re going to try it raw just to see if there’s a difference.
We blended all of the ingredients with a little bit of the cooked kale water in the Vitamix. Boy, did it whip up super-creamy like smooth peanut butter! I had never seen pesto like that. So either we ran the Vitamix a little too long, or using the kale and water made some difference. We did add a little sea salt and black pepper to it, and felt it needed 1-2 extra cloves of garlic. Nevertheless, the pesto was delicious.
The recipe yields about 8 large servings. We used the equivalent of 2 servings for our dinner. 2 servings are in the refrigerator for pizza this week. The rest we froze. The 2 servings for the pasta was a lot. Good thing, I asked Artie to cook some Gardein Chick’n Scallopini, which turned out to go nicely with our pasta. We added some Zima tomatoes to the dish which kicked up the nutty-kale flavor even more, and slightly made up for the lack of garlic.
So kudos and thanks to Vegetarian Times for a great recipe!

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