Split Pea Pesto Salad

Spinach was on sale this week. So I stocked up — 2 tubs for the price of 1. Now we have to use it up before it goes bad. Luckily, we all like spinach (although two out of the four of us would deny it. Any guesses as to who the two are??)

When I dished up this plate to photograph it, I got a couple of boos from the under 10 crowd. Yes, even Kid Foodie balked at the prospect of an entirely green dinner. But then he tasted it. Added a bit here, took away a bit there and he was s.a.t.i.s.f.i.e.d! I wolfed down this plate and loaded up another one. Dad came home and helped himself to two complete servings. And the kicker — after trying many avoidance tactics, Little Brother finally determined to choke his serving down. Imagine his surprise when after the first bite he realized he too liked it. His plate was CLEAN. It might have been a first.

Split Pea Pesto Salad

Ingredients:

1½ cups dried split peas, rinsed and picked over

1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

1 cup sunflower seeds (raw), divided

1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems

⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cups spinach

 Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups water to boil. Add split peas and simmer, uncovered, about 25 – 30 minutes until tender. Drain and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Make the cilantro pesto: In a blender or food processor, combine ⅓ cup of the sunflower seeds, the cilantro, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and a splash of olive oil and puree until smooth. Continue blending while gradually drizzling in the remaining olive oil until the pesto becomes a vibrant green sauce (makes about 1 cup).

3. Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss the cooked split peas and the remaining ⅔ cup of sunflower seeds with two-thirds of the pesto. Continue tossing until everything is well coated. Lay down a bed of spinach on a serving plate, top with split pea mixture, drizzle with some of the additional pesto to taste and sprinkle more Parmesan to taste. Serve immediately.

This recipe was based on this one I found via Pinterest.

For my second serving, I crumbled a bit of gorgonzola over my greens and warmed it up just a tad. It tasted truly decadent. Not sure what the nutritional value is when you start adding rich cheeses, but I figure I’m eating an enormous amount of greens so that’s got to count for something right? In all seriousness, though, this was a highly satisfying meal and very quick and easy to make. It may make another appearance this week or next — depending on how quickly we can go through my stockpile of spinach. I don’t think I’ll hear any complaining the next time I make this dish!

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Sweet Potato Flatbread Pizza

I had a strong urge to incorporate flatbread into dinner tonight. It started off this morning, stayed with me all day and hung on through TWO, count them, TWO rounds of flatbread trials. Last week I roasted 3 or 4 sweet potatoes (like I’ve been getting into the habit of doing. It’s nice to have already-roasted ingredients ready to throw into an impromptu recipe.) So I was feeling like I really needed to use them up today. I did a search for sweet potato flatbread and couldn’t really find anything that incorporated the potatoes into the actual dough. Most just had slices topping the flatbread. My solution was to combine two recipes from my tried and true GF cookbooks and make up something entirely new.

The first round was only a marginal success. I rolled out about 8 smaller discs thinking we’d have personal size flatbread pizzas tonight. The only problem was I let them go a bit too long in an oven that was a bit too hot. They’re edible and they look really cute, but it’s not what I was really going for.

After eating 3 little ones (remember, I DID say they were edible ; ) I still had the energy and enough sweet potato puree to give it another go. This time I kept it simple. I used the recipe from the Sweet Potato Biscuits. That’s it. The only thing I did differently was instead of rolling and cutting out rounds, I smoothed it out onto a pizza pan. Oh, and instead of butter, I used olive oil.

Sweet Potato Flatbread

2 cups all-purpose gf flour (I used my most common mix – 1 cup brown rice flour, 2/3 cup sorghum flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup pureed baked sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)

1/3 cup sour cream 

1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)

1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a round pizza pan.

2. In a large bowl, place flour, xanthan, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine. 

3. In a separate bowl mix together olive oil, sweet potatoes, sour cream and milk. Add these ingredients to the large bowl and mix with spoon until dough begins to come together. 

4. On the greased pizza pan, smooth out the dough with a wet spatula.

5. Place in the preheated oven for about 15 – 20 minutes.

6. Top with assorted toppings, place back into oven for another 10 minutes or so.

This second time around was a resounding success! So much so, I almost forgot to document it. I managed to get the last few slices though. Topping our flatbread pizza tonight, were spinach, shredded carrots, caramelized onions with finely chopped rosemary and gorgonzola. Quite tasty! Kid Foodie agreed.


I’m just now realizing how many recipes I’ve posted using sweet potatoes! But hey, they are a superfood right? My only regret from this dinner experiment was that I didn’t make enough to have leftovers. That pizza went fast! Now . . . what to have for dinner tomorrow night?

 

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  • About This Blog’s Authors

    Even before his diagnosis of Celiac Disease in 2010, Kid Foodie was passionate about food. Although the diagnosis brought some restrictions, his appreciation and appetite for good, healthy food has only skyrocketed.

    For me, his diagnosis of Celiac opened up a world of food possibilities and a new way of thinking about what we eat. It has absolutely been a joy to overhaul our family's food choices and we all continue to benefit from it. We write this blog to help our family and friends understand how to cook gluten free and to provide them recipes to try out themselves.

    Kid Foodie now has his own blog:
    heykidfoodie.com

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