Pesto de Espinafres
Lunch & Dinner, Recipes, Side Dishes

Spinach Pesto: A Fresh And Vegan Filling

I’ve already mentioned the article I read on MindBodyGreen about the four anti-stress foods and that guided my cooking this week … read it here, if you want.

Why Anti-stress, You Ask?

For two reasons: because today’s life is always fast enough to justify some intentionality in controlling stress, let alone reducing the incidence of the “cortisol tummy”; and because, in fact, I have slept very poorly these last few days, which already indicates that I am not having great success in managing my own stress.

The four foods mentioned in the article are cauliflower, spinach, salmon, and buckwheat.

If you’re curious, you can read here what I did with the cauliflower, which is one of the vegetables I cook the most at home – a very close second place, next to broccoli.

I Discovered A New Blog …

Today I’m going to share a new recipe, which I found entirely by chance, in a blog that I didn’t even know about, but which turned out so well that this is now, without a doubt, a favorite.

It’s called Rebel Recipes. It has a healthy and very funny positioning, with a graphic image that looks like the cheeky infant of a tattooed mother and a biker father, the latter probably a fan of Grateful Dead.

Yesterday I was so inspired by the suggestion of the spinach pesto and its use as a mushroom filling – a few of which I had in the fridge, waiting for inspiration – that I followed almost exactly what the recipe said. You can read the original post here.

I actually just baked the mushrooms, didn’t brown or grill them. I used arugula instead of kale. In the pesto, I used roasted cashew freshly arrived from Maputo and as decoration, sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts.

Easily The Best Pesto Of Recent Times!

Made with spinach, it has a vibrant, fresh taste. It has practically no added fat, besides the nuts that give it texture.

And it is a vegan recipe: it doesn’t have any cheese but rather nutritional yeast – an ingredient that has aroused my curiosity for some time and finally bought it on Puro Sumo, by Mafalda Pinto Leite.

I’ll take this opportunity to say that the store works very well and my package arrived a few days later, very well packed and with a cute personal postcard written by Mafalda.

Glow, Chef, Glowchef, cogumelos, espinafres, pesto, sementes, anti-stress

Since I only had four mushrooms, I still had plenty of pesto leftover which we had on top of brown and wild rice. It was still great.

Spinach Pesto with Arugula And Cashew

For two cups of pesto

  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup lightly roasted cashews
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


It couldn’t be simpler: throw everything into a food processor and blend until it has the consistency of a thick cream. In the middle of the process stop and scrape the walls of the food processor, so there is no waste and everything is well incorporated.

The Mushrooms

Plan two per person if they are of medium size like the ones I used. If they are big portobellos, I think one per person is enough.

Clean them well, carefully remove the stem and place it on a baking tray with the concave side up. Season with salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Bake in a preheated oven at 180º for 20 minutes.

Serve the mushrooms stuffed with one or two tablespoons of pesto, depending on their size, and decorated with roasted sunflower seeds (or pine nuts, if you prefer).

These mushrooms can be served as part of a vegetarian or vegan meal. They can also be a delicious side dish to grilled meat – chicken breast or turkey steak go particularly well here, as this pesto is very tasty and compensates for the delicate flavor of these meats.

See, even simple spinach can become an imaginative and very tasty meal!

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