Paleo basil pesto sauce
Few recipes capture the flavor of summer like a fresh basil pesto sauce. This quick and simple paleo recipe can be used on your favorite spiralized noodles, on top of grilled chicken, or simply tossed with roasted vegetables to create a memorable paleo summer salad.
A pesto with cashews
We've replaced the classic pine nuts with cashews in this recipe. Cashews have a similar nutty flavor, and they tend to be less expensive. Plus, if you have leftover cashews you can always soak them to make cashew milk or another tasty paleo sauce!
Paleo pesto mayo
You can also mix equal parts of this paleo pesto with your homemade mayo and you've got a creamy and rich pesto dip. It's always a great idea to double this recipe, because it definitely won't last long in the fridge!
Paleo and vegan!
This amazingly bright and sunny pesto is also vegan. That's right, it's paleo AND it's vegan. How is this possible? Most pesto sauces are loaded up with dairy-rich Parmesan cheese. The secret ingredient is nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and it has a very distinctively cheesy flavor. Vegans have used it for decades as a cheese replacement, and the paleo community is learning to embrace this delicious cheese substitute.
Paleo Basil Pesto Sauce
Paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free
Makes approximately 2 cups of pesto sauce.
Recipe adapted from www.Food52.com
- 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
- 1/2 cup cashews or other nuts
- 2 cloves fresh chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- sea salt to taste
1. In a food processor, pulse basil, cashews and garlic until everything is roughly chopped.
2. While the motor is running, drizzle olive oil into the food processor until a thick pesto paste forms. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt and pulse until well combined. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste.
3. Serve with fresh, roasted or grilled vegetables and meats. Mix with equal parts mayo for a delicious dipping sauce and spread.
Let’s be honest. Sometimes you need something decadent… something sublimely creamy and reminiscent of the old days when you indulged in carb-heavy comfort foods. Paleo Bacon Alfredo with Wild Pheasant is the answer to that craving. This recipe was inspired by an incredible meal I had recently at the Colorado Mountain Brewhouse in Colorado Springs. While not paleo, the Grilled Chicken Carbonara was outstanding, and the wait staff went to extra efforts to make sure my meal was gluten free.
In our house, wild pheasant is a staple. We hunt so we can provide a sustainable wild game food source and also because we enjoy it. You can easily substitute chicken in this recipe.
Some will argue with me that goat cheese is not paleo. The “dairy or no dairy” discussion has been ongoing in the paleo community. I know that I personally tolerate goat’s milk well. However, I have a casein intolerance and do not tolerate any cow’s milk dairy products other than grass-fed butter. This is a personal choice you will need to make for yourself.
Paleo Bacon Alfredo with Wild Pheasant
Prep time 30 mins. Serves 4.
- 1 large zucchini
- 6 oz. goat cheese
- 6 oz. coconut milk
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped small
- 2-4 wild pheasant fillets (or 2 chicken breasts)
- 1 Tbl. fat of choice (bacon grease, coconut oil, grass-fed butter or coconut oil)
- cherry tomatoes, sliced
- fresh basil, julienned
Equipment: If you don’t have a julienne vegetable peeler, I highly recommend you find one. This is my go-to vegetable noodle maker. I also have this one which cost me about $2 at an asian grocery store. Both devices make excellent paleo “noodles” out of many types of vegetables.
- Peel zucchini lengthwise on all sides. I usually stop when I get to the seeds in the middle. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and set aside.
- Slice tomatoes and julienne fresh basil. Set aside.
- In a sauce pan, gently melt goat cheese and coconut milk together over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Add chopped bacon and stir. Set aside.
- Wash and pat dry pheasant fillets and salt on both sides. Melt your fat of choice in a skillet over medium high heat. Sear pheasant fillets on both sides, about 3 minutes per side (5 minutes per side for chicken breasts, depending on the thickness). Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes to let internal juices recirculate before slicing thin.
- Microwave zucchini noodles on high for 2 minutes. Plate on individual dishes. Top with warm alfredo sauce, sliced pheasant, tomatoes and basil. Enjoy!