Ahh balance. The ultimate ‘good for you’ thing. That’s the spirit Brooks and I have been in lately. Balancing work with play, sitting and standing, thinking and feeling, dreams and practicality. I’ve found that the best thing that helps me with being able to balance is being open and aware to what it is you’re balancing. Although this may sound like a no-brainer, I was surprised at the things I felt I had to balance that I just…don’t. Expectations I was holding myself to that I didn’t realize were self-imposed (re: a fresh and different homemade dinner every night of the week, 40-50 hours of pure focused and productive work-work a week, etc). Take a look, you may be surprised. A good indicator that you’ve got one is the general feeling that ‘other ______ are doing it’ or ‘other _____ want me to do it’; the blank can be filled with “hard-working people”, “mothers”, “women”, etc. Or even ‘my husband wants this from me’, ‘my children need this from me’. That’s probably some bs voice that you probably don’t need to let rule your life. Just saying.
But back to balance. I didn’t lose a touch over 30 pounds last year by putting my poor body and psyche through a diet. Instead, I gave my body some attention and lovin’, and decided to let it tell me what to eat and when. It was hard to drown out the voices of the collective health community telling me conflicting information about what to eat. So I balanced my psychological cravings and what my body was telling me it wanted and bam, my body is the size it wants to be.
This pasta is the ultimate example of indulging with care. Decadent cream and butter richen up a bright kale and basil pesto to create a perfect stick-to-the-noodle garlicky bite. If you’re going to indulge, do the best you can. I bought a fancy brand of pasta, and the best, freshest ingredients I could (considering it’s February in Michigan…). Treat yourself with intention, like your own royalty, not when you’re disconnected in front of the tv, comfortably taking the last chip-crumb-shot from the upturned empty bag.
This pesto is just as easy to make as any other pesto, if you’ve got the equipment (food processor, blender, etc) to make it. I didn’t have a food processor until two years ago when Brooks and I received it as a gift. I was SO excited as I super 100% love pesto and didn’t have a way (or the willingness to buy the way..) to make it. Thanks Aunt Carol, you rock (fist bump emoji)
You could totally just stop at this point and mix in your pasta (add more olive oil, probs) and call it a damn good day, but, but, but, I was looking for some indulgence. So…whoops, I poured some cream into some melted butter to thicken for the sauce.
Once the sauce thickens, mix in the pesto and noodles until creamy and dreamy. Leftovers heat up really nicely in the microwave, especially if you cook the pasta to just al dente. Serve to your fave babe and enjoy.
“No food is health food when you’re not healthy about how you’re eating it.” –Not Me
Kale Pesto Pasta
YIELDS: 4-6 SERVINGS; PREP: 15 MINUTES; TOTAL: 25 MINUTES
12 oz uncooked pasta (Use something sturdy; this time we used a large rigatoni)
1 1/2 cup raw kale, rougly chopped, ribs removed
1 1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil (‘good’ olive oil, as Ina Garten would put it)
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Boil pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, set aside.
Make pesto: Combine kale, basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, and s&p in a food processor. Put olive oil into the cup that slowly dispenses oil if your food processor has that, if not you can pour the oil in in batches while pulsing the pesto together. Pulse until combined to desired texture. Set aside.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the cream. Cook and stir until the sauce begins to thicken (3-6 minutes). Add in the pesto and stir until creamy. Add in the pasta and toss to coat. Serve with fresh sprigs of basil. 🙂
Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food (highly recommend this one! Literally every one of Lisa Leake’s recipes on her site and in her book work and taste great.)