Killer Ab Workout & Kale Pesto

Pesto Kale & Seared Sirloin

I didn’t feel like running today (it snowed all day, but has been sunny and in the 60s, thus I’ve been running outside, wasn’t in the mood for the treadmill), but I did do 30 minutes on the elliptical and the Nike Training Center’s 15 minute Ab workout (available on Apple App Store)  HOLY SORE ABS!  15 minutes of toe touches, Russian twists, Crazy Ivans, plank and side plank sure make one feel like they are out of shape. (Oh wait!  I am!)

On a tastier note, my new favorite vegetable is Kale.  I (somewhat) recently experimented with Baked Kale Chips and LOVED them.  While traveling this past weekend, I spotted a recipe for Kale Pesto in a random magazine.  Last week, I improvised and made my own recipe, based off my pesto recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bunch Kale (it will look like A LOT, it cooks down)
  • 1 small lemon
  • apx. 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Roughly 1/4 cup (or more, depending on taste) Pine Nuts (toasted)
  • apx. 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup Olive Oil & White Truffle Oil (white truffle oil optional)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Crushed Red Pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  • Begin boiling a large pot of slightly salted water (to blanch kale)
  • Tear kale roughly, removing the hard center ribs, roughly chop
  • Prepare an ice water bath in a deep dish, set near stove
  • When water comes to a boil, blanch kale (drop into water, and immediately remove)
  • Place kale into ice bath to cool

Notice the much deeper, brighter green of the blanched kale while its cooling in its ice bath!

  • Bring another pot of salted water to a boil for  your pasta, cooking according to package directions (I used spaghetti & Udon noodles for a variety of texture)
  • Meanwhile, put pine nuts into a pan, and toast, shaking slightly and often to prevent charring/burning
  • They are done when they are a light golden brown and smell delicious

Toasted & Tasty Pine Nuts

  • Peel some lemon zest, juice the small lemon, pour into food processor

Lemon

  • Begin combining all ingredients into your food processor (kale, garlic, shallot, lemon juice & zest, S&P, cheese, pine nuts)
  • There is no need to chop the garlic or shallot, as it will be diced anyways.

Notice, I WROTE food processor, but I have my ingredients in a blender.  I don’t have a food processor, but I do have a bad ass blender.  However, not so bad ass to thoroughly “process” the kale.  Thus began a series of emptying out the blender, mincing & mixing, emptying, filling the blender, emptying & mixing, etc. etc.  Seriously, need to buy a food processor.

  • Once fully blended, your kale pesto should look something like this:

Kale Pesto fully mixed

  • Don’t be put off by the insanely bright green, vomit like mixture you are left with.  It is DELICIOUS.  I used both truffle oil & regular olive oil.  I used the lemon because it helps to cut some of the “woodiness” or “earthiness” of the kale.  I also tossed more crushed red peppers and whole pine nuts into my pasta mixture.
  • Simply toss pesto with cooked pasta, drizzling more oil, or adding more pepper or cheese to your tase.
  • I wanted some protein, so the dish is topped with a sirloin seasoned with garlic, salt & pepper.
  • Pesto will keep in the fridge for another week or so!
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