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Arugula Walnut Pesto

Arugula Walnut Pesto

Today we are joining together to help raise awareness for Heart Disease. Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was 15. Each year on the day her Mom passed she shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her Stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s Stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day. The ladies got in touch with other bloggers to ask them to share their own stories about how heart disease has touched their lives. So today we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours, in memory and honour of Momzie, Kim’s Mom. We hope you will share your stories with us today as well.

Arugula Walnut Pesto

In 2006, at the age of 52 my dad had triple by-pass surgery.  High cholesterol runs in our family, and he had been on medication for years to help control it.  He was having some problems, and my mom forced him to go to the doctor.  Turned out he had major blockage, and his cholesterol medicine was the only reason he had not had a heart attack.  The cholesterol medicine had actually formed new vessels going to his heart.  They thought he was going to have a stint put in, but after he went into surgery they ended up doing a triple by-pass.

Arugula Walnut Pesto

My dad is alive, well, active, and much healthier these days.  He has completely changed his lifestyle.  My dad now works-out most days, and watches what he eats (well, my mom does that part).  In 2009, my husband and I hiked with my dad to the top of a mountain.  That is something he never would have done before.  I have a 7 year old son, and I am so happy that he will have many years to come with my dad.

Today we are sharing healthy recipes to go along with bringing awareness.  I made a pesto with heart healthy olive oil, walnuts and a combination of arugula and spinach.  I also used some chickens stock to thin it out instead of lots of oil.  Arugula walnut pesto is great over whole grain pasta, or mixed in with Greek yogurt as a sandwich spread, or even on top of chicken with fresh tomatoes and a little cheese!

Arugula Walnut Pesto
 
Serves: 10
Prep time:
Total time:
 
Peppery arugula and walnuts give lots of flavor to this healthy pesto.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1½ cup arugula/spinach mix
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 3 tbls walnuts
  • 3 tbls olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper.
Instructions
  1. Combine basil, arugula, parsley, walnuts, olive oil, and garlic in the food process. Process until a smooth paste forms. Add cheese, stock, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined. Add additional stock to thin out if necessary.
Notes
Adapted from Cooking Light

Don’t miss what everyone else is making to help raise awareness for heart disease!

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Comments

  1. Erin,
    Your dad’s story teaches us all such a great lesson about how we can turn out health around. Thank you so much for sharing it, and for sharing this delicious-looking pesto. I love the idea of using stock instead of oil. It’s brilliant, actually.
    Christine

  2. Erin thank you so much for sharing your recipe and your story with us. I am so happy your dad is okay and thriving. The photo of you two hiking is fabulous.

    I just love this pesto. It’s one of those things I don’t make enough of. This would be perfect for so many dishes. I’m thinking it would wonderful over pasta.

    Again, thank you so much for participating. It means the world to me that you joined us today. xx

  3. I am making the rounds of all these great posts today so that I read the personal stories – for me the recipes are a bonus! I lost my grandmother and uncle to heart attacks and I thought I was “doing the right things” but lately I realize I’m not even close!

    I love pesto but don’t eat it often – your idea to use it as a spread may change that! I think this would be amazing in a healthier chicken salad.

  4. What a great post for a great cause! I love pestos – especially pestos using arugula (another favorite of mine).

    xo Jackie
    http://www.FoodWineFashion.com

  5. That picture of you and your dad on top of the mountain must be so special to you in so many ways. I am so glad that he is still with you and that he made the decision to change his lifestyle. I’m sure that it’s no coincidence.

    That pesto is brimming with healthy goodness. And I’d just keep a ton of olive oil in there since it’s also good for your heart. I heard a crazy piece on NPR on Sunday about The Mediterranean diet and how healthy it is. Recommended daily intake of olive oil? Minimum of 1/4 cup! Wow!

  6. It’s wonderful your dad recovered and is able to have an active lifestyle. The time you climbed the mountain with him has to be totally priceless memories.
    I’ve only made pesto with basil and a few other herbs. I want to try it with arugula and spinach too. Great idea to use stock to thin it out a bit.

  7. Thank you SO much for participating. I am so glad that your dad recovered. What wonderful memories you must have from the hike.

    And I love this pesto! Can’t wait to try it!

  8. Love this pesto in honor of a great cause. Your photos are always fantastic. I never incorporated arugula in a pesto before but it makes complete sense to me now that I see it here.

  9. What an awesome photo, the one of you and your father on the mountain! I think that would be my Christmas card every year for the rest of my life because there just ain’t any better gift to be given. Your pesto looks and sounds delicious, Erin.

  10. What an inspiring story about your dad! So glad he is doing well. Your pesto looks healthy and delicious!

  11. This looks delicious! And I’m so glad to hear that your dad is doing so well!

  12. Loving this!! I adore arugula!

  13. I love reading about lives that were saved and lifestyles that were changed. I am so glad that your son is getting to enjoy having his grandpa around.
    That pesto sounds fabulous. I definitely don’t have enough pesto in my life.

  14. Aw. Very inspirational, indeed. Beautiful pesto as well. Looks wonderful!

  15. It is so wonderful to see people change their lives around for the better. What a blessing you get to keep your dad around and for your son as well. This pesto looks delicious and I love that it is a healthier version. Sounds amazing with some chicken tomatoes and cheese! Wish that was my lunch right about now!

  16. This is wonderful! Arugula pesto is one of my favorites!

  17. Great picture of you and your dad, it’s so wonderful that you could take that hike together! What a great pesto too, love the color of it.

  18. What a great story Erin, so glad your Dad is here with you and changed his life around to live a healthier life. Great healthy recipe too.

  19. Thank you for sharing your story Erin. It’s such a blessing to have your father in your life and your son’s life. What an amazing accomplishment hiking a mountain. Well done to your Dad. :) Love this pesto… :)

  20. Great story Erin and it is such a reminder to be as healthy as possible! Arugula and Walnut pesto is right up my alley! This is a winner!!! Glad to hear your Dad is doing well!

  21. This is such a great story – it’s wonderful to know your dad’s heart problem was caught in time, and that he’s become so focused on being healthy and active as a result. That photo of the two of you on the mountain is just lovely.
    The other thing that’s just lovely is this pesto. I usually grow way too much arugula in my garden during the summer, and this sounds like the perfect way to use it all up at the end of the season!

  22. Glad to hear your dad survived! My dad doesn’t exactly eat healthy either. Wonder if I could change his mind with this beautiful pesto?

  23. I think my original comment didn’t go through. So here goes again…

    The combination of arugula and omega-rich walnuts is enough reason for me to make this healthy pesto!

    Erin, I know how hard it is when a family member falls close to illness or suffering. I’m glad that your Dad is OK and hopefully, no more further issues. High cholesterol runs in our family, too, so thanks for sharing this post. It reminds me to check up on my Dad.

    • This time it really didn’t go through….a couple other times it went to spam. I check spam and it isn’t there this time. Not sure what happened!

  24. Love this pesto. My hubby was just talking about pesto so I will have to show him this recipe!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    I am so happy your dad is doing well. Love the picture!!

  25. I’m so happy to hear that your dad is doing so much better. Love that picture of the two of you. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my stubborn dad. He loves fatty foods and it’s genetics that’s saving him. No matter how hard my mom tries to feed him well, my dad goes back to the fatty stuff. This pesto is wonderful!

  26. I’m so happy to hear that your father has changed his ways. :)

    I think it’s great that you all are sharing your stories to bring awareness to the issue.

    And the pesto looks great!

  27. Kind of scary reading your post, Erin since your dad is maybe 10 years my senior. I’m so so glad for all of you that he is ok!!

    Now to go buy some arugula!

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