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Make your own fresh pesto in five steps

Over the holidays, many of us have the tendency to eat heavy. Heading into January though, a simple, fresh pesto can be a lighter option on the menu.


After the decadence of Christmas, it’s nice to get back into a semi-normal routine. Granted, many of us still have a wild New Years Eve ahead of us. That will inevitably lead to consuming a little too much alcohol, but so be it. Then, the calendars switch over to a brand-new year and people switch back into a cleaner eating lifestyle.

Winter squashes are still in great abundance in December, they’re a sneaky way of getting in extra vegetables in substitution for simple carbs. Spaghetti squashes are the best alternatives to pasta, and pack an additional nutritional punch. As I don’t eat pasta very often, it’s a great way of curbing any cravings until I break down and wolf down a massive bowl of mac’n’cheese… We all have our vices.

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Over the holidays, as part of my mother’s Christmas present from her wonderful daughters, we took her to an Italian cooking class at Nourish Café & Cooking School (nourishvancouver.ca). It was such a fun night that was filled with handmade gnocchi, pizza and pesto. We were certainly in a food coma by the end of it. The simplicity of the ingredients and recipes made it even better as we knew we’d be able to recreate it once we got home. Here’s our easy peasy pesto adapted from Nourish Vancouver.


– 1 tsp minced garlic

– 15g roasted nuts

– 1 bunch fresh basil

– 1/3 cup olive oil

– zest of one lemon

– salt and pepper


1. In a food processor or big mortar and pestle, mince the garlic.

2. Add in the basil and blend into a paste, slowly adding the olive oil as you go. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add in the nuts and crush into fine pieces.

4. Combine the lemon zest. Add lemon juice if desired.

5. Serve on bread, pasta, or anything else you want!