No doubt about it, green crunchy food can make you feel alive……. Being alive can make you feel alive too.
That’s exactly what I thought a month back after I managed to step out of my car in one piece. The car was wrapped around a telegraph pole when I looked back on it, and from then on I felt that nothing would worry me again, being alive and in one piece was all that mattered.
A month and a half has passed by without me having a car and I have forgotten the joie de vivre that I felt standing on that footpath looking at the lucky escape I had. Insurance is a mean thing and navigating car salesmen even more joyless.
After much worry and stress I now have a cute blue car. I have dealt with car salesmen and sharks of the car world and although a few issues remain I have been very impressed with my own steely determination. I have car.
To celebrate I’ve made some quick and lively food. This is perfect for a weeknight dinner. The kale and herb pesto is full of crunchy almond bits and it is delicious.
Crunchy Pesto chicken with shaved fennel salad and beans- alive food!
This Kale , Spinach and Basil Pesto originated in The SuperFoods Kitchen Cookbook for Bioglan and is a recipe by Jacqueline Alwill. I have altered it a little by adding parmesan and lemon and lots more green leafy things than the original had. It would be great with pasta and even greater with zucchini vegetable pasta ( spiralized). But here it is in a kind of light and fresh, no grains or gluten kind of weeknight meal.
- 3 cups of firmly packed baby spinach, basil & parsley leaves only (100-120gm)
- 3 Tablespoon dried kale powder ( bioglan)- don't skip it is perfection
- ½ cup of raw almonds ( skin on) - 75gm
- ½ cup of grated parmesan
- ¼ cup lemon juice ( ½ a lemon)
- ½ clove of crushed garlic
- ¾ cup olive oil ( or 185 ml)
- 500gm ( 1 lb) of chicken tenderloins
- 1 medium fennel bulb shaved or cut very fine ) 21/2 - 3 cups
- 1 small sliced Spanish Onion
- 1 x punnet of ½'d cherry tomatoes ( 200gm- 7oz)
- 400gm green beans
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Extra 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup crushed galic
- Put the nuts, garlic and parmesan into the food processor and blitz briefly just to break up a bit. Add the leaves, lemon juice and olive oil and process in bursts cleaning down the sides . Keep it chunky. Taste for salt and if there is enough oil to combine the pesto. Add at will. Set aside
- Put a pot of salted water onto the stove and bring to the boil. Add the prepared beans and bring back to the boil. Drain immediately and refresh with cold water. Set aside
- Put the dijon, vinegar and oil into a bowl with salt and pepper. Add the sliced or shaved head of fennel and toss.
- In another bowl big enough to hold all of the chicken add 3-4 tablespoons of the kale pesto and set aside. ( You can also add a teaspoon of white balsamic or lemon juice and some more oil & salt to taste)
- Heat a non-stick pan on high. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil and the Spanish onion. Sauté on medium until softening. Add the tomatoes and toss till just starting to wilt. Add this to the fennel and toss well.
- Clean down the pan with kitchen paper and heat again on high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil, then the chicken to the pan. The tenderloins will cook very quickly, turn down the heat and cook for 5-8 minutes or till just firm to touch ( test one by cutting open. Put the chicken straight into the bowl with the pesto and roll them around to coat.
- Serve along side the salad with any left over pesto from the bowl