Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Hard as it is for me to believe, I have a son who is nearly a legal adult.  I have vivid memories of rocking my baby boy to sleep for his nap as thoughts of him going off to college would flit through my mind.  "Not to worry,"  I would tell myself, "that's years and years away."

Well, somehow those years have passed, and with a new UCSB Mom sticker proudly affixed to the back of my car, I find myself entering a new phase of parenting.  Gone are the days of worrying if he would look both ways before crossing the street or would put something in his mouth that wasn't good for him.  Here are the even more worrisome thoughts of will he see what he needs to as he merges his car onto a busy Southern California freeway?  Or worse yet, will he make good choices when thinking about taking a drink when he's at college?  And even more stressful, will he pick a girl that I like?

Now, I'll freely admit that whomever he chooses is already knocked down a peg because I know with her addition I will have been fully replaced.  However... there will definitely be some choices that will be better than others (oh my goodness I hope I like her!), and I've been dropping (unappreciated) hints as to who I think may be that good choice.  So far most of my "suggestions" have been met with eye rolls and "leave me alone" comments, until I mentioned Julie Morris.

Admittedly she may be a little old for him, and I'm not sure, but she may actually already have the man of her dreams, but Julie Morris, the author of Superfood Kitchen appears to me to be the perfect catch!

First off, Julie is positively adorable.  But it's her love of healthy, nutrition and good food that has me thinking she would be the perfect choice.  An advocate for healthy food and an expert on the so called "Super Foods" of today, Julie has an amazing story with her journey to a plant-based diet and a love of life-enhancing and energy-giving foods.

Presenting myself with her book, Superfood Kitchen
, for Christmas, I've made a number of recipes all with resounding success, but her Secret Pesto with Sun-dried Tomatoes inspired a recipe that has has become one of our all time family favorites.

Filled with fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes and a few tablespoonfuls of hemp seed, no one is any the wiser that this pesto brings a healthy bent to the table.

Hemp Seed, while from the same family as the marijuana plant, does not produce the "high" inducing THC of its cousin.  It does however, provide a complete protein boasting all essential amino acids and is easier to digest than animal proteins such as meat, dairy and eggs.  Julie writes in her book, "Hemp also offers a wide range of mineras, especially iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium.  Better still, hemp is an excellent source of fiber, and is one of the few alkaline-forming seeds in nature, due to the small green filament on the inside of the kernel. " pg 30, Superfood Kitchen.

Recently hemp has been gaining status in the food world and is finding itself a featured ingredient in everything from smoothies to soups to salads and more.  Here in our Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, hemp takes the place of nuts yet retains the perfect flavors and textures of traditional versions while keeping the recipe healthy.

My soon to be college-bound son loves this recipe, and he even admitted that Julie's photo was a head turner.  Looks like he might have really good taste after all.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Inspired by Julie Morris' recipe in the Superfood Kitchen, this pesto has become a family favorite and is simply irresistible when mixed with quinoa and additional sun-dried tomatoes!
Adapted from Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature's Most Amazing Foods
, pg 138

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1 cup fresh basil, packed
3 Tbs hemp seeds
3-4 Tbs avoado oil (or oil of your choice - more if desired)
2 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes (the packed in oil kind)
1 clove garlic
salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a blender (we use our Blendtec Twister Jar
 for processing in a flash) and blend until desired consistency.  I find that I'm not exactly accurate when packing my basil and sometimes I may need to add additional oil, or if I'm skimping on oil that day I may add a Tbs or so of water.

Use immediately, or place in a covered container in the fridge.  I find it best used within the first day or two...

Julie mixes her pesto with prepared quinoa and adds additional chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the mix.  I find this dish simply irresistible!

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with quinoa
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto mixed with quinoa and additional chopped sun-dried tomatoes... irresistible!!

Liv Life Note:  I did not receive anything to mention Superfood Kitchen... I purchased the book myself (a gift to me from me!) and I love it.  I'm simply passing on a good thing!


  1. This is brilliant, Kim - Two of my favorite foods combined! Can't wait to try this! (and I'm also hoping time slows down a little bit, because I too am not ready to think about kids going off to college...)

    1. I've been loving this recipe this season!! Yes... enjoy every moment you can. I'm just amazed at how quickly it all goes...

  2. LOVE!! I need to try this immediately! I adore pesto and sun dried tomatoes. YUM!

  3. I've been adding hemp seeds (milled) to granola and granola bars. Hope this love match works out! LOL

  4. I haven't met a pesto I didn't like, so will be trying this sun dried tomato variation. Sounds delish! Thanks for sharing, Kim :)

  5. I've been on a hemp seed kick lately and would love to make this! Have fun "ninjaing" :-)


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