Nut Free Pesto and The New Cookbook, Secret Sauce!

Hi everyone! I was invited to partake in a healthy cooking class with Chef Jenny at the Leman Preparatory School in lower Manhattan yesterday . She is a FCIA trained Chef and the celebrity chef at the school. She recently published a book called Secret Sauce with all the kids’ favorites.

We had the pleasure of preparing homemade whole wheat pasta with a unique nut-free pesto made with crunchy chickpeas. Yum!

Here’s where you can pick up the cookbook:

Here’s the fantastic recipe that is sure to become a part of your repertoire!

P.S. Check out more photos of the day on the Take Back the Kitchen facebook page and don’t forget to “like” the page!

Nut Free Pesto:

1/2 can chickpeas (15.5 oz. can)

rinsed and drained

3 cloves garlic

2 cups fresh basil, packed (or spinach or arugula)

juice from 2 lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TBS shredded Parmesan (optional)

salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toss chickpeas in salt and pepper. Roastfor 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.

2. Put garlic, chickpeas and basil into a food processor. Pulse several times until blended.

3. While the food processor is running, add the lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Turn off the food processor and scrape the sides of the bowl.

4. Add Parmesan cheese, if using, and pulse again until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve as desired or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.


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