Paleo Pesto

My daughter and I live in a house full of Italian food loving people.  I love Italian food, too, or at least, I used to enjoy it.  Growing up in upstate New York, I didn’t really know what Italian food was.  My mom canned spaghetti sauce that I loved, but what she canned had to last us through the entire winter and into the summer, which means we didn’t have it a whole bunch.  My exposure was limited to the occasional spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna.  In college, I lived in South Philly in the Italian Market district.  For those of you not in the know:  that’s pretty much the heart of a very Amercanized version of Italian cooking.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like the food was not ‘authentic’ Italian.  It was a lot of the old country Italians, who knew what Americans wanted and so that’s the way they cooked.  That’s really where I learned to cook Italian.  Man, I learned the meanest Sunday gravy.  I have no qualms making it for Italians when they come to dinner.  But, I also appreciated the more authentic Italian cooking of the no pasta, fresh and local ingredients.  It’s actually more of a paleo type of cooking than we really imagine.  In eating paleo, I’ve grown to appreciate Italian cooking sans pasta.  Really, what could be better than some fresh basil and olive oil and garlic?  So, this is how my paleo pesto recipe came about.  To make an authentic tasting pesto, it really needs cheese, but I’m staying away from dairy.  Now, if you don’t have issues with dairy, go ahead and find some really good parmesan and use that instead (if you’re not dairy sensitive, I really don’t see an issue with eating grass fed, organic dairy products even though some paleo purists say no dairy at all.  When it comes down to it, our ancestors ate dairy.).  For the rest of us no dairy people, I used nutritional yeast.  It’s really a tasty substitute.  There’s only a slight difference in taste from the original version.  I served the pesto over some grilled chicken, with a side salad.  It was a nice meal.  Here’s the recipe:

Paleo Pesto

Paleo Pesto



1 Cup Baby Spinach

1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves

½ Cup Pine Nuts

½ Cup Nutritional Yeast

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic

Sea Salt, to taste



To a food processor, add the spinach, basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, and garlic.  Process until mixed thoroughly.  Add in the olive oil and salt to taste and blend thoroughly.  Serve on meats or spaghetti squash or spiral vegetable noodles.


Hope you enjoy it!  Blessings…


About Markowskis

Were a family sold out to serving the Lord: "Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." - Psalm 100:2
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6 Responses to Paleo Pesto

  1. Sunny says:

    Love pesto, paleo, and South Philly!! I’m a Philly resident myself, so I was really excited to see the very truthful short out 🙂

    • Heather says:

      🙂 Thanks for reading my blog. If you like pesto and garlic, I think you’ll really like this recipe. I miss South Philly. I used to love walking to the Italian market and watching the old babushkas swatting the flies off of the crabs they were selling. Oh, and the delis in the Market were beyond compare! I loved seeing the cheese and meats hanging from the ceiling. It seemed very old world to me.

  2. Sunny says:

    Also, totally bookmarked this recipe v

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