One of the most important things I realized during my first round of the Whole 30 was how crucial having amazingly tasty food was to my success! I was fine making large batches of chicken or steak to eat for days on end, but having delicious sauces to choose from kept me jumping off the wagon and visiting the closest fast food joint.
If you need substitutions based on a food allergy or lack of a specific ingredient? I’ve got you covered, just scroll down to my substitution section!
- 2 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 med. sized lemon, zest and juice
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp. salt (Kosher, sea, pink, etc.)
- 1/4 cup good quality EVOO
- Food processor or similar attachment for a blender (I use this Ninja Blender, which comes with a food processor attachment so you don’t have to buy a separate appliance)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Lemon zester (or cheese grater, I got my handheld one at Ikea)
- Knife (only for the lemon, you’ll tear the basil by hand)
- Strainer (doesn’t matter what size)
- Start by removing the basil leaves from the stems (just tear them, no need to cut or use scissors) and loosely packing them in a 1 cup measure before transferring to the food processor. (The fresh herb packs I buy from Sprouts are approx. 1 cup of basil each so I just buy two and go directly to the food processor.)
- Wash and lightly zest the lemon directly into the food processor. Just be sure to only get the yellow part of the peel and avoid the inner white layer, called the pith. You don’t need very much and will end up with about 1 tsp of zest.
- Add the garlic, salt, and pine nuts into the food processor (hold off on the olive oil for now). Note: You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like some heat and can substitute cashews or walnuts for the pine nuts if it’s all you have on hand!
- Pulse the food processor a few times to break up the basil and begin bringing the ingredients together. It is important that you do not let the food processor run at length during this step- I find that 4-5 quick pulses does the trick.
- Lastly, with the food processor running, slowly add the 1/4 of olive oil to allow it to incorporate into the rest of the ingredients (typically takes about 30 seconds).
- Pour over your favorite meat, veggie, or pasta! Enjoy!
As someone with food allergies, I am sensitive to the struggle others have with their own dietary restrictions, whether they are voluntary or not. Here are some easy swaps for items in this recipe for an allergy or simply when you don’t have an ingredient on hand!
- Basil > Arugula, Spinach, Kale
- Lemon > Lime, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar
- Pine nuts > Walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans