Radish Greens Pesto

We love radishes. We buy them regularly at the farmers’ market and will top our salads with them, or just crunch on them with crackers and cheese. But we previously would just toss the leaves away. Not anymore!

Now, I wash the leaves and turn them into pesto! You can also sauté them with a little EVOO, onion, garlic and salt and pepper. They have a naturally yummy peppery taste. Here’s my pesto recipe in case you need a quick meal and have a bunch of radish leaves that you were going to compost.

Ingredients:

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  • Bunch of radish leaves (washed and dried)

  • 4 cloves of garlic (less if you’re not obsessed with garlic as I am)

  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts

  • Extra virgin olive oil - about 1/2 cup (depends on pesto consistency - read about this below)

  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

  • Squeeze of lemon juice (oops, not shown in the photo)

Put all the ingredients into a food processor, except for the lemon juice and salt/pepper, and whiz it up! Add additional olive oil if the pesto appears too thick. The consistency I aim for is akin to a thick smoothie. Add your lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. This makes the perfect amount for a large pasta meal with the family, or you can reserve it to use as a spread (we love to put it on veggie burgers). When creating your pasta dish, make sure to save some starchy pasta water to add to the pesto to thin it out a bit, and make the entire dish silky. Finish with parmesan reggiano if dairy works for you!

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Also fun fact: radish greens have six times the vitamin C that the actual radish has, plus many other health benefits - ie. aside from being high in fiber, they contain antioxidants, vitamin B6 and calcium, just to name a few.


Slow Cooker Veggie Chili

It’s fall, so that means it’s time to dust off the slow cooker and start throwing things into it, then reaping the benefits.

One of my family’s favorite meals is veggie chili, and this recipe is super simple. I’ve played around with other recipes, and adapted this one as it takes minimal time, and bonus: it has loads of veggies, and not beans. Most times, veggie chilis are jam-packed with beans…which means they are heavier, and they cause ahem, digestive issues (I think you get the idea). So instead, this chili has quinoa as a main ingredient, which is a great source of protein and adds an appealing texture.

The only thing that really takes any effort in this meal is chopping the vegetables, but then everything else is done for you by your slow cooker…while you go and take care of other things (ie. life in general).

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried beans (soaked for 24 hours and rinsed) - I used red beans called “sangre de toro” but anything will work *OR if you are in a rush, use 1 can of black or red beans*

  • 2.5 cups of veggie broth 

  • 14 oz can of tomatoes (diced if possible)

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 cup quinoa 

  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 onion (diced)

  • 2 carrots (diced)

  • 2 stalks celery (cut small)

  • 1 small jalapeño (optional for spiciness)

  • 1 green pepper (diced)

  • 1 red pepper (diced)

  • 2/3 cup of corn 

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 3 tsp chili powder (with oregano if possible, or simply add a tsp of oregano)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Agave syrup (optional, and used sparingly to sweeten the chili if tomatoes aren’t sweet enough)

Put all the ingredients into the slow cooker except the salt, pepper and agave syrup. Stir ingredients and set your slow cooker to low for 5-6 hours, or high for 3 hours. If using dried beans, you may need to add more time (up to two hours) to soften the beans.

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Once cooked, add salt and pepper, then taste your creation and add more if you need to “doctor” it as my Mum would say. Possibly add a drizzle of agave if necessary.

Serve with your favorite toppings. Our family loves grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, cilantro, avocado and crumbled tortilla chips. The recipe makes enough to feed the four of us, plus there are leftovers for lunches!