Basil, Zucchini, and Pistachio Pesto
While many people are discovering they have food allergies, others opt for meaningful carbs and skip the extra fat in most dairy. Regardless of the reason, a lifelong diet that avoids dairy and gluten can be one of the keys to nourishing our bodies. How? It eliminates the temptation to eat at fast food restaurants, dine out and enjoy freshly baked bread with whipped butter, partake in fried chicken or calamari, or indulge in dessert. The gluten- and dairy-free life naturally moves us away from consuming foods that we should generally avoid for lifelong health.
The language of food allergies and diets tends to focus on restriction from indulging in foods we love. This approach to the language of food infuses our own perceptions of what we eat, and perhaps we are more likely to break diets or eat what we know we physically shouldn’t. The truth is, it’s hard to go through life without Burrata or Camembert, but if these ingredients make us sick or compromise our health, we need to 1 zucchini 1¼ cups roasted pistachios 2 cups basil leaves, thinly sliced 3 lemons 3 cloves of garlic 1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil Pinch of black pepper Pinch of red pepper flakes Salt, to taste A squeeze of lemon juice, to taste begin to imagine the lusciousness of extra-virgin olive oil coating our crispy broccoli rather than the gluey, melted cheese running down our toasted sourdough. Since I’ve been dairy- and gluten-free, I haven’t felt restricted in my intake of food, and I’ve never really thought about ‘not getting enough.’ Here’s how I thrive gluten- and dairy-free: A diet rich in olive oil has long been promoted by the medical community for its positive role in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. Besides its health benefits, olive oil provides the same fatty richness as cheese, without the gut-splitting heft. Exploring the world of olive oils can be just as rewarding as tasting the various cheeses that different regions offer. Cold-pressed unfiltered Arbequino, Sicilian extra-virgin, mission olive oil, and extra-virgin Frantoio—the Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dice the zucchini, toss it in a drizzle of olive oil, and add a pinch each of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Roast the zucchini for about 12 to 15 minutes or until it’s just done (it should still be firm). While the zucchini is roasting, prep the other ingredients. Wash and zest the lemons. Chop the lemon zest. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Place the pistachios in a food processor and process them until they are finely chopped, so small bits of the nuts are still visible. Put the chopped pistachios in a stainless steel bowl. Take the zucchini out of the oven to cool. Wash and dry the basil leaves, and put them in the food processor with the olive oil. Process the basil until smooth. Once the zucchini is cooled, place all of the ingredients into the bowl (lemon zest, crushed garlic, pistachios, puréed basil, zucchini, salt). Let the ingredients mingle for about 30 minutes before serving. Right before serving the pesto, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice into the mixture, stir it well, and add salt, to taste. options are numerous. Savor the fatty mouth-feel that each variety brings, and try different types on a wide range of dishes. Drizzle olive oil over rice crackers, on top of soups and glutenfree pasta, on meats, over eggs, or in between lightly cooked leaves of chard.
Replace cream or butterheavy sauces with salsas and vegetable purées.
Most dishes that we associate with cream and butter deserve an upgrade. While roasted chicken or fish with beurre blanc, steak with compound butters (anchovy, herb) or beurre rouge, and lasagna with béchamel, macaroni and cheese, and fettuccini alfredo are all delicious and have become a part of our dinner options for a reason, why not enjoy the feeling of indulgence and retain optimum health at the same time? By using fresh vegetables, nuts, and herbs with an olive-oil base, these dishes can be transformed into healing foods that nourish.
To be able to survive on the glutenand dairy-free lifestyle, plan ahead because fast-food and sandwich shops generally only sell items packed with gluten and laced with cheese. While it takes some planning to navigate the meal and snack path, planning meals helps us skip impulsive food purchases like chips, fried chicken, and chili cheese dogs. More often than not, if you have already taken the time to prepare healthy snacks and meals for on-the-go moments, it’s harder to indulge in junk food. While the occasional quarter-pound burger with bacon and cheese will not hurt, over the course of a lifetime, consistently eating fast food can have a severely negative impact on health.