How to Make a Nut Free Basil Pesto

This Nut Free Pesto is the perfect condiment to brighten up any dish. It’s also a great way to use up the overabundance of basil at the end of the season to put up for winter!

nut free pesto recipe in a bowlNut Free Pesto Recipe

Everyone loves a good pesto recipe! But not everybody can have nuts and most pesto recipes call for them. So we whipped up a bright and flavorful basil pesto that doesn’t use pine nuts so that everyone get can enjoy it. This pesto recipe also sneaks in some healthy greens by using a combination of basil and kale.

Basil pesto is great for nearly any dish. And it’s simple to put together and a great way to use up an overabundance of herbs. It also freezes well so make a bunch now while it’s abundant and you can use fresh pesto in your dishes all summer long!

Nut Free Pesto Ingredients

  • Basil
  • Baby Kale
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

ingredients for nut free pesto going in blenderHow to Clean Herbs

Herbs can be very dirty and gritty, whether coming from the supermarket or the farmer’s market. The best way to clean herbs is to fill up a big bowl with clean, cool water. Dunk the herbs in the water, letting all the dirt and grit sink to the bottom. Empty the water, fill it back up and repeat until no sand or dirt remains at the bottom of the bowl.

Ways to Use Pesto

This bright pesto would be great with so many dishes! It is great with both chicken, turkey or even pork. You can use pesto in pasta dishes, rice dishes, in a salad, as a dip or spread and served over a grilled meat or veggies.

Check out these recipes using pesto:

How to Freeze Pesto

Pesto freezes really well. You can freeze it in small jars for single serve portions. Small mason jars work well for this.

How to Prevent it from Turning Brown

Pesto turns brown when the fresh herbs oxidize by coming into prolonged contact with oxygen. It isn’t harmful to eat brown pesto, but it can have an off taste and it looks unpleasant. To prevent browning you can float some olive oil over the top of pesto in the container. Make sure to cover the pesto entirely. This creates an airtight seal and will prevent the pesto from turning brown immediately.

You can freeze for up to 3 months. The longer you freeze fresh herbs, the less potent they become. To defrost leave in the refrigerator overnight.

nut free pesto recipe in a bowl

If you like this herb recipe, check out these others:

Nut Free Basil Pesto Recipe

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:05 Yields 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed basil
  • 2 cups packed baby kale
  • 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • hot water, as needed

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor or a high speed blender. Pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. If needed you can add in a tablespoon of hot water as needed to make a smooth pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Use immediately or store for up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can replace the kale with equal portions basil for a basil only pesto.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Muffins

These Paleo Blueberry Muffins are bursting with lemon flavor and plump blueberries! They come together easily, are gluten-free, made with almond flour, and the perfect healthy muffin recipe for any brunch or as a snack!

Paleo blueberry muffins in the muffin tinPaleo Blueberry Muffins

These grain-free Paleo Lemon Blueberry Muffins are so simple, moist, and delicious. They are bursting with blueberries, with a fluffy texture and a bright lemon flavor. Nobody will know these muffins are gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly! They are so easy to make and can easily be made for a quick brunch or breakfast at home. Get the kids and they can help too!

Here’s what you need to make them:

  • Almond flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Lemons
  • Fresh blueberries

Swapping with Frozen Blueberries

It’s so nice during blueberry season to include them fresh in this muffin, but in the dead of winter, frozen blueberries can work too! To avoid turning the muffin batter blue fold the blueberries in while they’re still frozen. They might need an extra minute or two to cook in the oven, but otherwise the recipe will work the same.

A paleo blueberry muffin ripped in halfIs Almond Flour Healthy?

Almond flour is a delicious and nutrient dense alternative to any other flour. It is low in carbs and high in fat which makes it a great healthy flour that you can feel great about eating.

How to Measure Almond Flour

If you have an electronic kitchen scale at home, it’s best to use it here to measure almond flour. Almond flour can be tricky to measure as it can be easily compacted, even straight from the bag. The same goes for coconut flour too since it’s such an absorbent flour. Even a small measuring error with coconut flour can impact a recipe. So we’ve included the weight in grams here. Any electronic kitchen scale can switch between grams and ounces. Since grams are more precise we’re use that. If you don’t have a scale: whisk almond flour until it’s lightened up and lightly scoop the almond flour or coconut flour into the cup measurement and level it off.

a bunch of Paleo blueberry muffinsIf you like this muffin recipe, check out these others:

If you like this blueberry recipe, check out these others:

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:20 Total Time 00:30 Yields 9

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (192 grams) almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon (7 grams) coconut flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup blueberries, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line muffin tin with parchment liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk to combine eggs, honey, vanilla, applesauce, lemon zest and juice.
  4. Combine wet into dry and stir until fully incorporated. Gently fold in 1/2 blueberries.
  5. Using a muffin scoop or spoon, fill liners with 1/4 cup batter. Place remaining blueberries into the top of batter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe Notes

  1. Recipe originally published in 2014, recipe updated in 2018 and republished with new photos in July 2019.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Asparagus

Need a delicious light dinner that doesn’t require much cooking and is so DELICIOUS? Then this Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Asparagus is just what you need to make tonight! This seasonal and bright dinner is perfect for a night you still want something delicious but don’t want to cook much. It’s also gluten-free, paleo, low carb and whole30 friendly. Made in partnership with my friends at Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO Farmer Focus)!

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken for DinnerEasy Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Recipe

This Instant Pot Lemon Chicken recipe with asparagus and artichokes is exactly why we love the Instant Pot! It cooks up delicious meals, using mostly hands-off cooking, and quickly! We love how flavorful this dish is with the bright lemon that compliments the earthy artichokes, asparagus and hearty chicken. This meal is pretty low-carb on its own, but if you’d like you can serve it alongside pasta, rice or cauliflower rice.

Of course, not all of the ingredients cook at the same time so there are a few steps in this recipe. It’s not difficult though, and it makes it so that you are mostly just placing ingredients inside the instant pot, and then letting it work it’s magic!

Here’s what you need:

  • SVO Farmer Focus chicken breasts
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and Red Pepper Flakes
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock
  • Lemon
  • Asparagus
  • Canned artichoke quarters
  • Arrowroot starch

Ingredients for Instant Pot Lemon Chicken

How to Prep Asparagus

Asparagus is in season throughout the spring. Look for asparagus in the store with medium sized spears that have dry tips. Try giving the tips of the asparagus a quick smell, it should be earthy and fresh. If it smells funky, pass on them.

To clean asparagus rinse the spears to remove any grit. The end of the spear is woody. You can snap off the bottom and they will naturally break where the woody part is. Alternatively, if you prefer not to lose too much asparagus you could cut off 1″ of the stem and peel a few layers off of an additional 1-2″ of the spears.

How To Cook Asparagus in the Instant Pot

The timing for this asparagus is based off of fairly average supermarket asparagus. If your asparagus is very thin, you might be better off cooking the asparagus on the saute mode in the lemon broth instead. Simply saute until al dente. For average asparagus:

  1. Clean the asparagus
  2. Place in instant pot and cook on low pressure for ZERO minutes. The Instant Pot is cooking the food while it’s coming up to pressure and this is just the correct amount needed to cook the asparagus. 
  3. Use the quick release function

Lemon chicken in instant pot

I am so happy to partner with my friends at SVO Farmer Focus to bring you today’s easy Instant Pot chicken recipe! Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO) is my go-to trusted, farmer focus, chicken company for years now because they pride themselves in producing the highest quality chicken grown on family-owned farms.

These days you can go to the grocery store and *think* that you are picking up chicken that comes from an all-natural sounding brand that does things right, but then unfortunately if you look further into who owns that chicken company, you might be surprised to find out that it’s just the giant chicken manufacturer in this country.

Shenandoah Valley Organic is building partnerships with growers through a Farmer Focus Business Model

I love that with SVO Farmer Focus you know that they are supporting their farmers and is a company that is working hard to do things right and truly raise and produce the highest quality chicken! Every SVO Farmer Focus product includes a 4-letter farm I.D. that traces your chicken to the farm that raised it. How cool is that? So aside from the best quality chicken (truly), Farmer Focus also delivers the peace of mind that I am supporting hard working family farmers.

SVO chickens are humanely raised and fed a diet free from animal byproducts, pesticides, and antibiotics. On their website you can see where all of the farms are located, so you know just where your chicken was raised!

You can also use their easy store locator to find where you can get this amazing quality chicken near you.

organic chicken for instant pot

If you like this chicken recipe, check out these others:

If you like this Instant Pot Recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video:


Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Asparagus

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:09 Inactive Time 00:15 Total Time 00:29 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1-½ lbs. SVO Farmer Focus chicken breasts or chicken thigh
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 1- 15 ounce can artichoke quarters
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Directions

  1. Place chicken breasts, oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, chicken stock, lemon juice and zest in a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot. Mix together to combine and make sure that the chicken is not stacked on top of each other.
  2. Cook on manual high pressure for 8 minutes and once done use the quick release function. Remove chicken, cover to keep warm and set aside.
  3. Take 2 tablespoons of brine from the artichokes and place it in the pot. Drain the remainder of the brine and add artichokes and asparagus to the pot. Cook on manual LOW pressure for 0 minutes. Use the quick release function when done.
  4. Slice the chicken and divide on four plates along with artichokes and asparagus. (see note about warming up chicken)
  5. If desired you can thicken up the sauce at this point: Press the saute function. Add 1 teaspoon of arrowroot to a small bowl and scoop out some of the lemon liquid and whisk it with the arrowroot to create a slurry. Return it to the pot and let cook until it has thickened to your desired consistency. Drizzle over the chicken, asparagus and artichokes and serve with wedges of lemon.

Recipe Notes

  1. The timing for this asparagus is based off of fairly average supermarket asparagus. If your asparagus is very thin, you might be better off cooking the asparagus on the saute mode in the lemon broth instead. Simply saute until al dente.
  2. Yes this is supposed to say ZERO minutes. The Instant Pot is cooking the food while it’s coming up to pressure and this is just the correct amount needed to cook the asparagus.
  3. You do not need to thicken this sauce up, this step can be skipped and the sauce served as is.
  4. If you are looking for a more carb-heavy dinner serve over pasta or with rice.
  5. If your chicken has cooled too quickly in between steps, place the chicken back in the pot in the liquid when thickening up the sauce to warm up briefly.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

This post is sponsored by Shenandoah Valley Organic! All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

Easy Cucumber Salad with Lots of Herbs!

When your garden is overrun with cucumbers this summer, this is the salad to make! Or, when you just are really in need of a refreshing, flavor-packed, and super simple salad to throw together. This Easy Cucumber Salad with Herbs uses all of the fresh herbs (parsley, dill, and mint) and features the fresh, cool cumber to complement any dish you’re serving up this summer

bowl of easy cucumber saladEasy Cucumber Salad Recipe

This recipe is for when you have found yourself googling: “How do you use a lot of cucumbers?” this summer. Throwing together this Easy Cucumber Salad with ALL THE HERBS is just the answer! This recipe is light, refreshing and a great side salad to accompany all of your grilling mains, seafood or chicken dishes this summer! And it’s a great way to use up all those fresh herbs you have too!

This recipe works with either farm fresh large cucumbers you find in the summer, or if you’re craving a refreshing side it can also work with store-bought English hot house cucumbers. If you are using extra large cucumbers from your garden or the farm feel free to scoop out the seeds and slice in half moon shapes.

bowl of cucumber salad and herbsHere’s what’s in it:

  • 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • dijon mustard
  • dill
  • parsley
  • mint
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

a plate full of what goes with cucumber salad

What goes with cucumber salad?

To begin, the best thing about this cucumber salad is that it is oh-so-versatile! It can go with just about anything! It’s great to serve as a side for a barbecue, alongside seafood or just about any chicken dish. Here are some of our favorites that go great with this clean cucumber salad:

Looking for more summer sides recipes, check these out:

Herb Cucumber Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
  2. 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  4. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  9. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
  11. Pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Slice cucumbers using a knife or a mandolin. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.
  2. In a bowl combine oil, vinegar, dijon, fresh herbs, salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Pour mixture over cucumbers and toss to coat evenly. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.
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Israeli Salad

Israeli Salad {low-carb, vegan option, grain-free} | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

This one-bowl Israeli Salad is the perfect refreshing Spring and Summer side-dish! I like to make a big bowl of it and keep it in the fridge all week long! The flavors from the lemon, tomatoes, onion, and herbs go so nicely with almost anything!

Israeli cucumber Salad recipeIsraeli Salad Recipe

I discovered the delicious Israeli salad a number of years back on a trip to Israel and I have loved it ever since. I often forget about this simple salad, and go a long time without making it. This summer I am teaching art classes at the Jewish Community Center and have rediscovered my love for it, as they often have it in the Cafe. Now that your tomatoes are ripening, get ready to make this delicious salad all season long! Low-carb, vegan-friendly option, and so so simple to toss together!

Israeli Salad recipeIngredients for this Israeli Salad:

  • Cucumbers
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Italian parsley
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • Green pepper (0ptional)
  • Chickpeas (optional)

How to Make it:

This isn’t complicated to make, but does involve some chopping! Once that’s done, place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat!

israeli chopped salad recipe

How long will this last?

I keep this salad for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, but it is best served within 2-3 days.

If you like this salad recipe, check out these others:


Israeli Salad

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:00 Total Time 00:10 Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, and parsley in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add in lemon juice, olive oil, and spices and mix well to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Recipe Notes

  • *Tip: to prevent salad from getting too watery, scoop out the seeds from the tomatoes before chopping.
  • **Photos updated April, 2017
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice

We are well into cold and flu season and this Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice is a recipe you need in your back pocket! If you feel a cold coming on, or you are currently in the throes of one, this juice recipe with oranges, lemon, carrots, ginger and turmeric will give you an extra boost of vitamin C and antioxidants to help your body naturally feel better!Kick That Cold Juice

Kick-that-Cold Juice

When cold and flu seasons hits staying healthy can be a top priority.  Our bodies naturally do a great job at utilizing their own defenses to fight off colds but it can never hurt to arm yourself with some extra Vitamin C and antioxidants to do it. This recipe has been used in my house for years and it’s time it’s officially landed on the blog. If we feel ourselves starting to get sick we immediately make this Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice and drink up! I swear by it, but it’s also super delicious and a good pick-me-up.

Benefits of juicing:

Juicing can be controversial in the health world as it does remove some fiber from the fruit and veggies, but I’ve found, when I am coming down with something, this really does the trick! While of course fiber IS important (because it also contains nutrients and helps digestion), practically speaking, you will absorb more nutrients because the gut doesn’t need to digest all that fiber at the same time! Want more info? I like this article!

Juicing extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in the whole fruit! Since you have to use a far larger quantity of fruits and vegetables to make a glass of juice than you typically would eat in a sitting, you will get higher doses of those micronutrients and phytochemical. Juice quickly reaches your vital organs, can help reset your body, re-oxygenates yourblood, flush out fat, and more!

What I will say is: when ordering juice out, ask them how much fruit is going into your juice (so you can watch the sugar intake). Nobody needs 3 apples in one sitting!

Kick That Cold Juice

The juice is made up of oranges, carrots, lemon, fresh ginger and turmeric! The citrus and carrots add a much needed boost of vitamin c and antioxidants, the ginger is a natural antiviral and the turmeric has the nutrient curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

To prep the fruits and veggies you remove the rinds from all of the fruit before juicing. This is important because the skin/rind is what can hold the most pesticide residue and we want to keep away all that harmful chemicals, especially when your body is fighting off a cold. You can either just wash the carrots, or peel them.

Kick That Cold Juice


Tools for juicing: 

If you like this good-for-you  recipe, check out these others:

Kick That Cold Juice

Ultimate Kick-that-Cold Juice

Prep Time 00:10 Total Time 00:10 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 oranges, rind removed
  • 1 lemon, rind removed
  • 2” chunk ginger
  • 1” knob turmeric
  • 5 large carrots, cleaned / peeled

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients through a high-speed juicer and mix well before serving over ice. Consume immediately.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

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Kick That Cold Juice

What is your go-to natural cold remedy?