Sincere Sustanence - To Life! Real Food Recipe: Paleo Parsley Pesto



13 Ta Da cropped

This recipe may be worth more 

than a million dollars.

Don't believe me? Read on.



 Many years ago my sister had returned home from a body systems health course, where she learned some things she wanted to share with me.

Do you know where the adrenal glands are?” she asked.


Yep, they're just above the kidneys,” I'd responded.


How'd you know that!” my sister spluttered, not expecting my answer.


I read,” I told her.




Adrenal glands became more important after a doctor told me I had “adrenal fatigue,” brought on by prolonged extreme life stresses. He said to me, “No doctor can help you. You must de-stress your life.”


Always an exercise fan, now even the idea of a short walk exhausted me. Months of rest, eliminating stresses of all kinds as much as possible, maintaining only responsibilities that were my own to take, good food and moderate exercise have helped me heal.


I can finally say I do love exercise again!  What a relief.



Now, try reading with a “veddy fine Gaelic lilt” in yer voice:



As St. Patty's Day is a comin' fast, ee'm celebratin' me 1/8th Irish 'eritage

- with the wearin' o' the green, four-leaf clovers, pot o' gold, faeries n' all -

sharing one o' me favorite recipes fer strengthenin' adrenal glands,

e just 'appens to be green, fer the grasses o' me ancestor's Irish homeland:



It's been said Parsley is like a “multi-vitamin and mineral supplement,” but natural and much cheaper. Parsley contains so many excellent things to help various parts of the body! One thing Parsley does is aid our adrenal glands in their important, life-giving work for our bodies.


The adrenals are part of the endocrine system, closely tied to the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands. Cortisol and adrenaline, among about 50 other hormones, aka the Energy needed to do great stuff, lose weight, etc.,are produced by these small, but vital glands.

Anytime you can add parsley,

raw or cooked, to your diet, do it.

This photo shows all the usual ingredients you'll need for this particular pesto, however ONE ingredient is not accepted by Paleo dieters – can you guess which ingredient?


01 Paleo Parsley Pesto

Yes, if you're strictly on the Paleo diet, do forget the cheese.

02 a Parmesan Cheese Paleo - Nix this


You'll need to obtain these flavorful, nutrient-packed items



Ahhh, tink vhat a fun trip to de busy grocery store dis vill be!  E shall vatch de beeg people, get to hum vhile vaiting in line, have fun vith de squeeky-vheeled carts, get stared at fer me tiny, per'aps I shall be'ave me self, 'dis time...



  • 2 Cups Curly Leaf Parsley OR Italian Flat Leaf Parsley – organic is best

  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter – raw, grass-fed, organic or non-BGH is important! Unsalted if you're strictly Paleo. Only Grass-fed Butter is Paleo. Try Coconut Butter or Coconut Oil, if you don't want to eat cow's milk butter.

  • 3 to 5 cloves fresh Garlic

  • 1 tsp Dried Basil Leaves – Buy small bags from the bulk herb section of a health food store, to save $ over buying Brand-name jars

  • ½ Cup Olive Oil – I've recently become a huge fan of tastes so good and non-organic olive groves are heavily sprayed with pesticides, adversely affecting the nervous system

  • 1 Cup Walnuts – since they're running $14/lb organic, I didn't use organic nuts...this is an expensive recipe!


  • 2 small Jewel Yams (or Sweet Potatoes) – which ever you can find, they will cook similarly (Yams and Sweet Potatoes do differ, see Note Three, at the end of this post)


  • Optional: ½ teaspoon unrefined and unwashed Sea Salt – NOT for Paleo diets


Allow 1 hour for preparation and cooking the yams. If you use a blender, the pesto itself can be made in a matter of minutes.




A medium-size mixing bowl

A one cup measure – though cooking is simply NOT rocket science. You can “eye it” if you simply have a tea mug or short fat water glass.

A cutting board – I like wooden over plastic or glass because wooden boards kill food bacteria and also don't pollute the environment. They're lots nicer to cut on, too.

A sharp knife or two

A fork – to stab yams and mix ingredients

An oven to bake the yams - a toaster oven works fine

A garlic press – optional, mincing by hand does the job


Directions fer findin' an' reachin' yer pot o' gold:


First turn your oven on to 375 degrees to pre-heat it.


Then scrub your yams, carefully stabbing each of them once with a fork, to puncture the skin (allowing steam to escape during cooking so the yams don't explode while in the oven).

04 stabbing a yam

I stab whole yams in two places if they are large ones. These yams are quite small so they will cook quickly. When baking, I try to choose long, slender yams which have the same amount of flesh on either end, so they will cook evenly. Fatter or uneven yams I tend to cut in pieces for other recipes. I'm guessing my small yams will cook in 45 minutes, while I prepare the pesto.


Put the yams in the oven and close the door. Take note of the time. I will check the yams after 45 minutes and if they are not soft enough, leave them in for another 10-15 minutes.

05 yams in toaster oven


Cut the butter into smaller chunks and put it in a bowl to soften while you prepare the parsley


Parsley has a tendency to be gritty. Not much is worse than spending a fortune on expensive pesto ingredients only to have grit in the end product! So, take time to throughly rinse your parsley and then shake it over the sink to remove as much water as possible. Pat it dry with paper towels because oil and water don't mix well. Discard any yellowed leaves.

02 c Curly Parsley

Now finely chop the dry, washed parsley until you have 2 Cups. Add this Parsley to the bowl of softened butter.

03 finely chopped parsley

If you desire smooth pesto, you can opt to blend the first five ingredients in a food processor using the large bottom blade, OR do the same in a Vita Mix blender. I like the chunkier, hand-cut version, but everyone has a different preference.


Crush the garlic cloves hard by pressing down with the heel of your hand, or with the side of your knife blade, to break the paper skin and make the cloves easier to peel.

06 crushing garlic

You can see the broken skin on the lower right-hand cloves.

07 How to peel garlic

Once peeled, mince the garlic cloves finely. Press down with a couple fingers on the very tip of your knife, while working the knife handle up and down with your other hand.


You can also choose to press the garlic into the bowl with or without peeling the cloves, if you have a garlic press.

08 peeled garlic

Chop” “Dice” “Mince” – terms that go in order from Bigger to Smaller. Finely minced garlic looks like the left pile in this photo:

09 minced garlic

Add the garlic to your bowl and then add 1 tsp dried basil.

10 one teaspoon basil

Mix all ingredients well, then gradually add a ½ cup of Olive Oil.

11 mixing the bowl

I added ½ tsp of pink Himalayan Sea Salt because of omitting the salty parmesan cheese. I'm using salted butter, so more salt may not be necessary to your taste or diet preference.


Then finely chop your 1 Cup of Walnuts. You don't want them to turn into powder, just aim for them to look like the nut pile on the left in this photo. Mix the walnuts into your bowl.

12 finely chopped walnuts

Check the small yams at 45-50 minutes, they should be quite soft to the touch and a fork should go into them easily if they are done. Hard yams are not very tasty, so do leave them in the oven if they are not yet soft. Larger yams may take an hour to cook. When sufficiently cooked the yams should be soft and oozing juice from the stabbed places.



Oooo, ze teensie faerie, she still a'larnin' to say,

yer pot o' gold,

it ken go down n' visit de stomacke!”


Nay, thar ken na money pay, restorin' yer 'ealth once 'tis lost!”


13 Voila



Enjoy the fruit of your labor! Don't forget to eat the yam skin – it contains a lot of nutrients.


These two yams will feed 1-2 people if used as a meal, with plenty of pesto left over. Just add more yams to feed more people. Leftover pesto keep very well in the fridge. The butter hardens again and the pesto gets firmer until brought back to room temperature.


Other recipe options - Paleo Parsley Pesto is great over a green salad, winter or summer squash, or with chicken, fish or steak.


This Paleo Pesto recipe is FULL of healthy fats which help nourish and heal your brain. Good quality butter, olive oil and walnuts are each wonderful for helping mental cognition. Brain work, whether studying in school or working on a project uses just as much energy as physical work. I often eat 1-2 Tablespoons of very high-quality butter just before I begin a project - it helps me think and gives me energy.


Note One: A few substitutions - try pine nuts, pecans or sunflower seeds instead of walnuts; try coconut oil instead of olive oil. Fresh basil leaf can be used instead of parsley...but the parsley tastes perhaps even better!


Note Two: For readers who are not strictly Paleo, can consume some gluten and yeast, and are trying to bulk up or just maintain your weight, I suggest serving room temperature Paleo Parsley Pesto over a good quality but Non Paleo Buckwheat Soba. It's SO yummy!


Note Three: I've called orange-fleshed root vegetables “yams” for a very long time, even though they are probably sweet potatoes. They differ, coming from different botanical families but whichever you buy, the roots will cook similarly. Yams are starchier than sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are bred either to be firm or soft. You probably won't know which until you cook them. Many cultures of the world live on yam and sweet potato roots, high in Vitamin A and C.


If your yams are woody and never get soft, and/or don't have much flavor, don't let this discourage you from trying again. When buying, look for organic yams with smooth skin and no soft or moldy spots. Store them unwashed, in a brown paper bag in a cool, dark spot in your kitchen and use them before they start to rot.


I prefer the Jewel “Yams” to red fleshed Garnet “Yams.”


Note Four: Organic parsley tastes much better than plain old parsley because it has a higher mineral content. So if you can't find tasty, fresh parsley on the grocery store shelves, buy some seeds, get a pot and some soil and plant some on your windowsill or outside your door when Spring arrives!


Singing Garlic's Praises:


Greek wrestlers used garlic for energy. Garlic is an effective natural pain-killer, high in the essential mineral sulpher (MSM), needed for the formation of all flexible cells; and it is anti-fungal, anti-biotic, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic. This means raw garlic can help your body kill candida yeast, bacterial infections, viruses, and parasites...It has literally been a life-saving agent for me, because my body is very sensitive and allergic to pharmacuetical drugs. I'm also part Italian, and come by my garlic love naturally =) .

Here's a photo of my garlic bed in June 2013:

14 My Garlic Bed 2013

You can see the “scapes” curling above the stalks. Finely chopped or blended in a food processor, garlic scapes make a great ingredient for pesto!


This bed produced 130-odd bulbs and three varieties of garlic:

15 Garlic Harvest  2013

Are there some garlic-eating, pesto-lovers out there who'd like to share a few of their secrets? I'd love to hear them.


With gratitude for the gifts of Health, Food, Friends and Family,

your friend in the Art of Cooking,



Addendum: I am not a medical doctor and anything I say is not to be construed as medical advice. Please take what I have shared about food and the body as suggestions only.

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