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    pesto recipe

    Mysteriously, mom life doesn’t slow down in the slightest when kids go back to school. Fast and healthy food ideas can be a huge help in our daily schedules, and condiments – like a great pesto recipe – can make all the difference. (Do pesto, hummus and guac even qualify as condiments when we can eat them by the spoonful? A question for another day.)

    Pesto, made with power-packed basil and healthy fats from olives and nuts, makes an ideal match for almost anything kids will eat – pasta, a turkey sandwich, you name it. This walnut version from farm-to-family delivery service, Out of the Box Collective solves for many edible family issues. Their Back To School box includes everything necessary to make the pesto, plus a ton of other ingredients that families can enjoy cooking together. Designed with busy but health-conscious moms in mind, learn all about the box below and be sure to order before August 23rd to get yours…

    Summer is over and you’re back to being a chauffeur-parent, super glued to your car seat, stressed by traffic, with less and less time. You’re balancing work with trying to get everyone from point A to point B and back – soccer practice, violin lessons and playdates – you’re thinking about their successes, their passions, their travels and their college degrees. We get it.

    As the mother of three, I want to help my kids have great experiences. And I want us to have the kind of quality time that creates lasting health, epic memories, basic life skills and a family culture anchored by happy times around the dinner table. But with so much pressure, it’s no surprise that cooking ranks low on the to-do list.

    Our Real Food Boxes are designed to make the transition to cooking a seamless and fun one. I believe our kids shouldn’t need to go to “home economics” classes or cooking school to be able to feed themselves a simple meal. This week, we have chosen particularly kid-friendly meals – they can help you cook and begin to master the art of a roast chicken with sweet potato and apple mash, pasta and fresh pesto or grilled steak with salsa. The Back-to-School Box is so straight forward, it’ll become their most memorable lifesaver once they’re out of the house trying to build their own lives.

    Walnut + Basil Pesto Pasta


    3/4 lb fresh pasta
    1 bunch of basil, leaves picked to yield about 1 lightly packed cup
    1 garlic clove, peeled and pounded to a paste in a mortar and pestle
    1/4 – 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
    1/4 cup grated hard cheese
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


    Cook the fresh pasta in abundant salted boiling water (3 minutes). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

    Add salt and the walnuts and grated cheese to the pounded garlic. Pound in the mortar and pestle then transfer to a bowl. Coarsely chop the basil leaves and put them in the mortar. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pounded nut mixture to the mortar and pound leaves and mixture together. Continue to pound as you add the olive oil. Taste for salt.

    Return the pasta to the pot or place in a large warm bowl and toss with the pesto and salt. Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved water into the pasta – taste and add more salt or water if needed. Plate and garnish with the freshly grated hard cheese. Serve immediately.

    Note: The trick to saucing pasta with pesto is to loosen the noodles with hot pasta water. It makes all the difference.

    The Back To School Delivery Box

    in the box:

    This box yields meals kids enjoy and can help prepare. Enjoy your back-to-school season with a carefully curated box that removes some of the obstacles of shopping time, planning and trying to procure fresh ingredients from farmer’s markets. One day your child will thank you – every child who cooks with a parent is an empowered child!

    how to order:

    Order before August 23rd for delivery across L.A. on August 28th The box features a myriad of seasonal ingredients perfect for making kid-friendly meals – sweet potatoes, lipstick peppers, tomatillos, bread, ingredients for pesto pasta and, most importantly, Gravenstein apples. These prized apples have been nominated for Slow Food’s catalog of distinctive foods facing extinction. They are small and stout but mighty with their crunchy, sweet-tart flavor – perfect for lunchbox applesauce!

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