Arugula Pesto + Brussel Sprout Shreds

It’s like this, you’re either going to reckon this is the oddest food combo and not sure what to think about it (well a twinkie stuffed with meat would be pretty odd)


you’re going to love it and go buy some brussels immediately (brussel haters might even try it!)

(I love how spellcheck doesn’t know what to do with the word twinkie. I think it’s cause it’s an unidentified object). Just sayin.

Anyhoo, I love me some brussel sprout heads and they’re the underdog during this time of the year, I mean you never hear somebody saying (unless you’re me of course) I can’t wait to shovel those brussel sprouts into my mouth. People don’t usually overeat them either. Well,  I’ve overeaten these little bad boys of health. Not pretty. Soooo, don’t do that.

I’ve always wanted to mess around with the sprouts beyond the usual roasting (p.s. roasting is good too, check out this post for a few options). Why not make a happy combo with my two favorite greens? I have been pondering (favorite big word) the thought of shredding the sprouts forever but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them from there.

So, enter a pile of goodness where veggies are the rockstars and the soba noodles are just the backup singers. (Never had Soba? The Kitchn did a good job describing the difference between the Japanese noodles). 

p.s. This recipe is so meant to be played with (like play-dough or silly puddy).


Arugula Pesto & Brussel Sprout Shreds

Serves: (depends on how many soba noodles you make-safely serves 2).

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Food processsor


  • 6 or more garlic cloves (heck, the more the merrier)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 bundle (1 oz.) uncooked soba noodles

For the sprouts:

  • 6 oz bag of whole, uncooked sprouts
  • olive oil (to taste)
  • pepper (optional)



  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Shred brussel sprouts in food processor. Set aside.

    Love me some shreds!

  1. Place whole garlic cloves (unpeeled) on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes. At the same time place 1/2 cup of walnuts on another cookie sheet and roast for 6-7 minutes (nuts are not to be neglected, watch em so they don’t burn!).
  2. Remove both from oven and set aside.

Brussel Sprouts: 

  1. Place on a cookie sheet (once shredded) or jelly roll pan and toss with olive oil and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes to start. Toss halfway through. Add on another 5-10 minutes or so if they haven’t quite cooked. Once done, set aside. (I kept mine in the oven while making the pesto).

I just love this pic of the soba noodles.

For the Noodles:

While the brussels are roastin, place 6 cups of water on the stove and heat on high til it’s boiling. Add the soba noodles and cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. Drain.

For the Pesto: (which can be made in advance).

  1. Add walnuts, arugula, garlic and salt to food processor and whirl it all up til a nice pesto-ey pile forms. As processor is processing, add olive oil.
  2. Scrape the sides and bunch it all up in a bowl, then add parmesan cheese and mix to combine. (take a whiff of the utter goodness).

For the finale:

Plate some noodles on something pretty, add some pesto and twirl with a fork to combine, (alternatively you can just add the pesto and soba noodles in a bowl and combine all like one big happy family) then toss some brussels on top and perhaps a bit more parmesan cheese (truffle oil anyone? just a smidge-omg).



Genius Thoughts (I can’t stop myself):

  • Use that pesto as a pizza topper (do I even need to tell you to add it to the squash pizza?)
  • Use the pesto as a veggie dip.
  • Use the brussels as a side dish (p.s. they’re fun to eat-but you might find some in your hair later). I might even toss some maple syrup on them next time if I serve alone.
  • Try other nuts. Pine Nuts are a traditional pesto maker, almonds or papitas would be fun! Mix your greens and try spinach, maybe a little fresh basil or cilantro (just watch the bitterness factor).

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Are you a fan of pesto? Are you a fan of brussel sprouts? What’s your favorite way to use either? 



Golden and Good! The red things are GOJI berries!

I warned you that I’d try getting you to eat a BEET.

Enter the GOLDEN BEET!

First of all, I’m obviously on a SALAD kick.

Second of all, and more importantly, on a BEET NOTE: If you haven’t seen it, heard of it, or are plain disgusted by the word “beet” the good news is a that it’s a little less “earthy” on the flavor front. So even the “dirt” haters out there might want to try it. Well, I don’t like thing that taste like dirt either, but I have a really wacky palate sometimes and there’s something about knowing it’s GOOD for you that makes me want to eat it. The best way to boost the flavor is truly through roasting this veggie. So that’s what I did.

Moving on.

Oh happy day at whole foods last week when I spotted the beets and grabbed a handful of them figuring I’d decide how to prep the dense bulbous veggie later.

Speaking of, have you ever done that? Just grabbed a food you have no idea what to do with and then figure it out later? What fun, I love the spontaniety of choosing a new food and tinkering around with the endless possibilities in my mind. Anyone use a fiddlehead yet? Oooooh, you’re in for it. Google it, NOW or CLICK HERE. They’re not in season yet, but just you wait.

Okay, you know beets are good for you. SO here’s some other stuff to know.

Ingredient Highlight

GOLDEN BEETS:  Are “Nutrition Rockstars” because of their folic acid, potassium, beta carotene, Fiber and Vitamin C content. Besides all that…

Purchasing: Available all year round but peak in the Fall. Choose beets that are firm, smooth skinned and unblemished. BONUS! The greens are also edible, in fact, they’re the most nutritious part of the whole package! While I didn’t use them today, you can by all means eat the greens. Just look for very bright and lively looking ones.

Try this for the BEET GREENS! (maybe use turkey bacon?).

Storage: Store unwashed beets (the bulb) in an airtight container squeezing out a much of the air as possible for up to 4 weeks. Separate the greens, but store the same way.


Now, I’m not one for the fad foods, gimmicks, etc. BUT I like to try new things. It’s that simple. And I had to try a dried Goji just because…well you need  VARIETY, remember? (CLICK HERE FOR GET HEALTHY Starting NOW). Anyway, Goji berries are chewy little mongers having a somewhat sweetened flavor that is a nice topping for things such as smoothies, yogurts and salads. Oh and I haven’t tried yet, but they’ll likely go in a pancake, or baked good of some sort soon. Want to know MORE about the GOJI? CLICK HERE-WebMD did a good job.


Mmmm. Just so Pretty!



Serves: 1 (easily doubled)


  • 1 golden beet per salad (I bought 3 beets and devoured them all!)
  • salad greens (I used a handful of spinach)
  • balsamic glaze (for drizzling)
  • 1 tablespoon or so of walnuts, crushed (or any other nut-crush with a meat mallet or just use your fingers)
  • 1 tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese (or feta, mmm)
  • goji berries (optional, adds a sweetness, or use dried cherries/cranberries)
  • pepitas -CLICK on link for pepita info and another recipe. (optional, just adding more color and crunch here)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Rince the beets gently then slice the ends off (use the greens if you wish) and place on baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper on top.
  • Drizzle the whole beets with olive oil and place in oven.

Jen and the THREE little BEETS! Ready to Roast!


  • Roast for approximately 40 minutes, or until you can sort of jam a fork in it with ease.
  • Pull beets out of oven and let cool a bit. Using a paper towel (you might want to wear gloves to dodge the yellow pigment), start peeling away the skin. Yes, you’re going to get messy here. The skin should remove easily though. Fingernails are also handy here.

Stunning Golden Color=HEALTH

  • Slice beets into whatever size you’d like to chew on (say 1/4 of an inch) and mingle amongst some salad greens (on top, in between, tossed amongst).
  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze (recipe link above) and/or some olive oil and vinegar (I like rice vinegar).
  • Sprinkle with walnuts, goji berries, goat cheese and pepitas!

Cooks Tips:

  • Try Grating beets on top of soup or even on a salad! YES, use that cheese grater for a vegetable, or if you’re super fancy schmancy try the mandoline. I need one of those! OXO makes a good one and you can impress people with perfectly sliced food (unless you have MAD knife skills, as I do, ha!)


    Serve on a pretty dish and ENJOY!



    Balsamic Glazed Beets

    A Whopper of a Salad

    Sweet Tart Crispy Slaw