Have you ever heard of Jalapeno pesto? Neither had I!... until I tuned into the Rachel Ray show one morning and saw Mario Batali demonstrating how to make it. Amazingly, considering its source, this recipe is very healthy- even healing. I have altered it only slightly and added mushrooms and carmelized onions to it, which I believe was a flavor match made in heaven! I hope you enjoy it too :)
For the Pasta:
1 pckg. gluten free whole grain brown rice noodles
1 16 ounce package of Crimini mushrooms
1-2 white onions
For the Jalapeño Pesto:
- 6 fresh jalapeño peppers, cored and seeded
- 5 fresh Serrano chiles, cored and seeded
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- the juice of one lemon
1. To prepare the pesto, place all ingredients in a food processor and then process into a smooth paste.
2. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.
3. Saute the onions slowly over medium heat until carmelized (about 10 minutes).
4. About halfway through the onion cooking process, add the mushrooms. Cook until both are very soft and flavorful.
5. To serve, combine the onion/mushroom mixture with the pasta. Add some jalapeno pesto and toss until the pasta and vegetables are well-coated. Add more or less pesto depending upon how concentrated you desire the flavor of your finished pesto to be.
Jalapenos offer a wide array of health benefits, including:
- Providing pain relief, due to the capsaicin content.
- Relieving congestion and preventing sinusitus, due to their mucus-clearing and anti-bacterial properties.
- Heart protection, due to their ability to prevent blood clots, reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and richness in vitamins A and C (both blood vessel strengtheners).
- Prevention of cancer, as a result of their flavanoids, vitamins, and high antioxidant content.
- Fighting inflammation, also as a result of their capsaicin content.
- Promoting weight loss, due to their thermogenic effect. (Thermogenic foods burn calories and fat.)
- Creating a natural high by releasing endorphins and increasing seratonin levels
Jalapenos are a wonderful food to eat in the Spring and Summer seasons as this is the time that we naturally detox from a winter's diet of more warming foods that can accumulate and congest if we do not eat a seasonally lighter and more detoxifying diet during the warmer months. They can literally "clear out the cobwebs," helping you to feel lighter and more energized.
"6 Health Benefits of Jalapenos," Eat This!:
"Natural Ways to Increase Seratonin," by Kimberly Heit:http://www.helium.com/items/977637-natural-ways-to-increase-serotonin-and-endorphins.