Arugula pesto roasted almonds make for a savory salty snack that’s perfect for entertaining or packing with you for on-the-go.
How was your first day of the #eatmindfully challenge? I’ll be checking in every day this week to see how everyone is doing and share some of my experiences from the challenge. And you can join the challenge at any time this week, so no worries if you haven’t started just yet!
Day 1 was challenging for me. I realized that even if I’m not checking my phone or computer while eating my mind is still elsewhere. It’s paging through my to-do list, it’s remembering that thing I have to add to my to-do list, it’s fast forwarding to tomorrow, it’s backtracking to what happened yesterday. And before you know it, my meal is over. I realized that by removing tangible distractions, I still have one big ol’ distraction to deal with – my thoughts and my mind. So, I tried to reset my thinking and focus on the food in front of me by counting the number of chews, slowing down by putting my utensils down in between bites, and closing my eyes every now and then to shift the focus inward. It wasn’t easy. It’s hard when our brains are hardwired to always be ten steps ahead to slow that down. I’m hoping it will get easier as the week goes on.
What struggles or challenges or wins came up for you yesterday? Would love to hear about them in the comments below.
I thought it was fitting to post this recipe today because nuts are one of those snacks that if you don’t eat mindfully, they can quickly become a calorie bomb. A serving of nuts is 1/4 cup and about 200 calories or so. Mindlessly eat 1 cup of nuts and you see where the problem lies.
I also posted this recipe today because I’m heading to Anaheim, CA for Expo West on Thursday through the weekend and I love packing along homemade snacks when I’m on the road. It’s so much better than relying on airport food. Plus, nuts are packed with protein and healthy monounsaturated fats so they’ll be sure to fuel me throughout the Expo floor. I made a batch of 2 cups that I’m sure will last me and Steve through the weekend. Oh yes, Steve’s going too. This is our first work trip together! It’s so funny/weird to watch our worlds merge into one.
I was inspired by the idea of flavoring roasted nuts with pesto when I went on the California Almonds tour last year. They served these basil parmesan roasted almonds that were just fabulous. I had a bunch of arugula pesto leftover from recipe testing for a client that I figured why not toss some of the remaining with almonds for a quick & easy travel-snack! I’ve also been spooning a dollop of the pesto on top of my scrambled eggs in the morning :).Print
For the pesto*:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 cups chopped arugula, stems removed
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the roasted nuts:
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1/4 cup arugula pesto
- 2 egg whites
- Salt to taste
For the pesto:
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
For the nuts:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Blend 1/4 cup pesto with egg whites in a blender or food processor until combined. In a medium bowl, mix together almonds and pesto-egg white mixture until almonds are covered. Using a slotted spoon, transfer almonds to the baking sheet, leaving any excess liquid behind in the bowl.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until pesto has dried and almonds are crunchy, moving the almonds around halfway through.
- Let cool and salt to taste.
*Pesto makes 1 1/4 cups
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Store these bad boys in an air-tight container to keep fresh and pop a handful for a satisfying snack that has some serious staying power to hold you over till your next meal.
Feeling nutty? Check out my honey whiskey roasted pecans while you’re at it!