8 ways to use pesto

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

Is there anything better than a batch of fresh pesto?

The possibilities are endless. Even the beginnings are endless!

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

I’m kind of a purist when it comes to pesto – meaning I tend to stick with the standard basil + pine nuts + garlic + parmesan + olive oil, but it’s not to say that I never branch out. It’s just rare. And for the record, I don’t always make my pesto from scratch. It’s preferred, but I also love the Kirkland brand of prepared pesto from Costco.

8 ways to use pesto: 

Pesto Pizza | A Nutritionist Eats

This has been dinner far too many times to count. It couldn’t be easier, yet hits the spot every single time I have it. Try Pesto Pizza for lunch or dinner soon. Please!!!!!

Thin pesto with olive oil and drizzle on fresh vegetables. Outstanding!

Salmon Sandwich with Pesto Avocado Spread | A Nutritionist Eats

I absolutely love combining pesto with avocado. Clarification: I love combining anything with avocado, and pesto is no exception. Salmon Sandwich with Pesto Avocado Spread is a delicious, rich and healthy sandwich.

Toss with cooked grains (like quinoa) and sprinkle with goat cheese.

Summer Crostini | A Nutritionist Eats

Summer Crostini is a great make-ahead appetizer and guaranteed crowd-pleaser. (And it’s been having a moment on pinterest this summer!)

Blend into white bean dip. Serve with toasted crostini, crackers and fresh vegetables.

Pesto Chicken Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

If you’re a chicken salad fan, you’ll love this pesto version! Pesto Chicken Salad is insanely easy and perfect on sandwiches or spread on crackers.

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

And, last but certainly not least is probably my absolute favorite way to eat pesto: simply tossed with pasta.

What’s your favorite way to use pesto? (AND! Make or buy?)

grilled chicken sandwich

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Today, I’ve got a delicious, messy, filling – and healthy – dinner for you all!

When I put a call out for the type of recipes you’d all like to see, there was an overwhelming request for kid-friendly, family dinners. That makes sense. Dinners are tough and so I’m working on more entire-meal dinners with a focus on kid-friendly meals.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

For this particular meal, the center, the main, the BEST part… is the grilled chicken sandwich. The sides – grilled potato wedges and a simple salad – are good, but the sandwich is WHERE it’s at. Let me tell you about it.

Multigrain bread. Avocado. Sriracha aïoli. Swiss cheese. Tomato slices. Grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And. YES!

In my mind, dinner needs to get to the table quickly and it needs to be nutritionally balanced. This sandwich fits the bill. The sides fit the bill. Protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains/starches…it’s all here!

When I look at this dinner on paper (or screen) it looks like a lot, but it really isn’t. Prepare the aïoli, prep potatoes and chicken and while those are on the grill, make the salad and get the remaining sandwich ingredients ready.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich | A Nutritionist Eats

Dinner’s on the table in about 30-40 minutes!

 

Grilled Chicken Sandwich
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (give or take depending on how hot you like it!)
  • 3 medium red skin potatoes, washed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, pounded even
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 6-8 cups salad greens
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 8 oz (8 slices) multigrain bread
  • 1 avocado, mashed and seasoned with salt
  • 4 slices of swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Make aïoli: combine mayonnaise and sriracha. Set aside.
  3. Make potatoes: cut potatoes into wedges about 1inch thick and toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and salt & pepper.
  4. Prep chicken: drizzle 1 Tbsp oil, salt & pepper.
  5. Place potatoes on grill and cook for about 7-10 minutes, flip over.
  6. Add chicken to grill and cook for 5-7 minutes, flip over. Cook both chicken and potatoes another 10 minutes, until both are thoroughly cooked through and remove from grill.
  7. Slice 1 tomato for sandwiches and remaining into small pieces for the salad.
  8. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, dijon and remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil together in a large bowl. Add greens and toss.
  9. Assemble sandwiches, plate sides.
Notes
If you aren't a fan of spice or sriracha,try pesto instead!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 700 Fat: 32 Saturated fat: 9 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 62 Sugar: 11 Sodium: 600 Fiber: 9 Protein: 40 Cholesterol: 120

roasted corn, tomato & basil salad

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

I need to brag for a minute.

I have successfully grown plants. Yes, plural! I’m not going to publicly call it a garden quite yet, but in my mind it is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to grow edible plants. Ok, I’ll tell you. Pretty much every year, I’ve tried – and failed – to grow vegetables, herbs, and really anything.

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

But that all changed. And this year, I have jalapenos, flowers, succulents, a money tree, cactus and a big OL’ pot of basil. The basil just started multiplying. And then I started to panic…how do I use it fast enough? What can I do besides make pesto (which is a whole conversation in itself)?

So I took the best produce of summer and combined it all together in one, tasty salad.

Can we talk about summer for a minute though? We have done NOTHING. We haven’t gone to the beach, we haven’t been to Malibu, we haven’t even been to the Hollywood Bowl and we haven’t gone to one outdoor movie. We’ve visited our pool once – pathetic. Our favorite outdoor movie location isn’t happening this summer, which is really depressing, we have a few outdoor shows later this summer and we keep talking about the beach, but ugh, we really need to get going.

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

Another important topic: not only is this the summer of plants, but it’s the summer of corn. And, I like it. Mexican Street Corn Crostini was a great start to the corn season and I think I’ve got at least one more in me!

But this corn salad could also be considered a salsa, a topping for anything grilled, scrambled eggs or a topping for a green or tomato salad. The possibilities are endless. (And what I really mean is, put this on anything and everything.)

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

This recipe comes together really quickly, simply shake together the dressing and toss all ingredients together.

Enjoy! (Are you crossing things off on your summer-do list?)

Roasted Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 16 oz fire roasted corn, or about 4 cups of grilled corn
  • 16 oz grape tomatoes
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 cups basil
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Sauté corn lightly if using frozen. Set aside.
  2. Slice tomatoes in half.
  3. Soak onion slices in cold water. (To lessen the intensity.)
  4. Thinly slice the basil into ribbons.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients in small jar. Shake together.
  6. Stir together all ingredients but basil, then gently add basil and stir just until combined.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 93 Fat: 4 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 14 Sugar: 5 Sodium: 11 Fiber: 2 Protein: 2 Cholesterol: 0

cucumber & dill goat cheese

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

Since moving to LA, we’ve become house/dog-sitting extrordinares. Meaning not much more than, we (mainly Richie) are good at taking care of a cute dog named Ruby.

So when my cousins head out of town, we move into their house. We love it because 1) grill 2) back yard 3) GRILL! And even though I always say we aren’t “dog people” we do love having a pet for a month or two out of the year. My cousins love food as much as I do, and it was in their kitchen where I got totally hooked on maldon sea salt. So much so that I refuse to use anything else. Most recently, it’s where I discovered a cucumber & dill goat cheese. Because last time we were there, we had special instructions to “eat the goat cheese!”

You don’t need to tell me to eat goat cheese twice…

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

It was a delicious and ultra-fresh goat cheese (from the farmer’s market) specked with cucumber and dill. We loved it. So naturally, I re-created it shortly thereafter.

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

While I could never choose my favorite cheese, goat cheese ranks with the best of them and I love this version. It’s fresh and totally perfect for summer.

The wonderful thing about this cheese is that it is good on just about everything. It’s reminiscent of the classic cucumber and dill creamy salad and the possibilities are endless. Bagels, pita chips or crackers – it’s all good. If you want to be especially virtuous, spread on cucumber slices!

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s eat cheese!

nutrition facts: 139 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber

P.S. What kind of recipes you would like to see here (healthy or a particular type of diet, kid-friendly, gourmet, quick dinners, 5-ingredients or less, etc.) I’d love for you to add your input!

Cucumber & Dill Goat Cheese

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: appetizer snack gluten-free low-carb spring summer

Ingredients (2 cups, 8 servings)

  • 11 oz goat cheese (give or take, it will work out fine with 9-12 oz)
  • 1/2 english cucumber or regular cucumber (peeled and seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

Remove cheese from fridge and let come to room temperature.

Grate cucumber with cheese grater and then squeeze all of the water out of it. Use a paper towel to remove as much water as you can.

Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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