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Meatless Monday: Fettuccine With Broccoli Pesto

fettuccine with broccoli pesto

Turns out you can make pesto with almost anything green, not just basil.

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces — I love it on pasta, crostini, pizza and on a spoon, straight out of the food processor after I’ve made a batch. Classic pesto is made from bunches of fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil, but since basil won’t be in season for a few months, the basil selection in the supermarket is a little grim. It’s more expensive and only available in small quantities, so I usually suffer through the winter without it. But here’s what I just figured out: Pesto doesn’t have to be made with just basil. This verdant sauce can be made with other herbs, like parsley or cilantro, so as soon as those roll into markets and sprout up in the garden try making pesto with a green herb other than basil.

During the winter months, when cruciferous vegetables are in season, grab a bunch of broccoli and make pesto out of that. Bobby Deen’s Broccoli Pesto recipe calls for just a handful of basil, plus cheese, nuts, garlic and olive oil, so it will have the bright color and flavor you’re used to. Toss the sauce with sun-dried tomatoes (packed in water if you can find them — this cuts down on the oil/fat) and whole-wheat pasta for a hearty tastes-almost-like-summer meal you can make all year. Bonus: Broccoli is loaded with cancer-fighting plant chemicals (so have an extra serving!).

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Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash With Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts

butternut squash and quinoa recipe

Bobby Deen's Butternut Squash and Quinoa

There’s a strategy to my weeknight cooking. I like my weeknight meals to be easy-to-make, fairly healthy and with leftovers enough to either take to lunch the next day, or versatile enough to transform into another dish later in the week (think pasta sauce becoming Eggs in Purgatory). Bobby Deen’s Butternut Squash With Quinoa, Spinach and Walnuts meets all of these qualifications — it’s super healthy (quinoa is a superfood you should be eating more of), ready in under an hour, plus it’s great hot or cold so if there’s a line at the microwave at work, I don’t really have to wait. Bonus: it’s made in one pot so there are fewer dirty dishes.

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Paula Deen’s Recipes Get Healthy

Bobby and Paula Deen

Bobby is putting his mother Paula Deen's recipes on a diet.

Staying fit with celebrated Southern chef Paula Deen in the kitchen? It ain’t easy, y’all, but that’s what Paula’s son Bobby has managed to do. His secret? Bobby Deen is remaking his mama’s most crave-worthy recipes so they’re lighter, leaner and still just as delicious.

From Shrimp and Polenta and Spicy Sweet Potato Chips to “No-Fry” Apple Pies and Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie, Bobby Deen slims down his mother’s favorite comfort food recipes on the all new Cooking Channel show Not My Mama’s Meals premiering tomorrow night at 9pm ET.

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