Toss it with pasta, spread it on crackers, or eat it by the spoonful, Kale and Brussels Sprouts Pesto is a nutritious sauce that is bursting with fresh flavors.
Dorothy is a phenomenal sleeper (knock on wood). She usually sleeps for a five or six hour stretch each night. In her two months of life, she has had only a handful of nights when she hasn’t woken for a diaper change and to eat, then gone right back to sleep. Unlike her sisters, she doesn’t cry or need to be held for hours at a time in the middle of the night. The difference between our experience having twins who were poor sleepers and a singleton who is a great sleeper is striking. I could not be more grateful.
Unfortunately for me, she doesn’t do much sleeping during the day. Most of the time that’s okay. She likes to sit in her bouncy seat and look around. She likes being worn, especially when I’m vacuuming (so I have the cleanest of carpets). But some days she clings to me like a baby monkey. She won’t be put down. She doesn’t want to go in the Ergo. She just wants to be held and to eat. And eat and eat and eat. Yesterday was one of those days. On one hand, I feel lucky. I can sit on the couch or the porch swing and nurse my little girl. I get to enjoy her snuggles, her little noises, her time as a soft, squishy baby. On the other hand, it is strangely exhausting to sit and hold a baby all day.
I know that might sound nuts. Who doesn’t want to spend as much time as possible with their baby? It’s not like she’s screaming for hours. She just doesn’t want to be put down. She just wants the comfort and nutrition that comes from a breastfeeding marathon. But I literally have pain in my back and neck from sitting and looking down at Dorothy’s little face. I can only watch so much Food Network, HGTV, and episodes of Real Housewives. I can only check social media so many times, before my brain turns to mush. Having gone back to work when Clarissa and Veronica were just seven weeks old, I dreamed of being home with Dorothy in my arms all day. I feel lucky. I feel blessed. I feel grateful. But it’s so much more difficult than I anticipated, even on the great days. I feel sort of lonely. I feel kind of trapped. I feel a little bit emotionally exhausted.
Getting back to this blog has helped. Squeezing in time to make a new recipe when Dorothy let’s me put her down gives my mind a workout and provides me with a creative outlet. Editing photographs is both monotonous and engaging. It’s always a thrill to be able to serve my family delicious food. Seeing my girls eat a fresh, homemade meal is really gratifying. It makes me feel like I’m succeeding at this business of being a mom of three. When Clarissa and Veronica gobbled up pasta tossed with Kale and Brussels Sprouts Pesto I was full of joy. Who could be so lucky? I get to do my favorite creative activity, keep from going stir crazy, connect with my family, and make sure supper is on the table all in one fell swoop.
- 3/4 cup roasted cashews
- 6 cloves roasted garlic
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 3/4 cup trimmed, halved brussels sprouts
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 6 large basil leaves*
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1. Pulse the cashews and garlic in a food processor, until roughly chopped.
- 2. Add the brussels sprouts to the food processor. Pulse until they are finely chopped.
- 3. Add the kale to the processor in batches, pulsing until it breaks down. Drizzle in the olive oil and lime juice as needed to help the greens break down.
- 4. Add the basil and nutritional yeast. Process until the mixture is very finely chopped. Add a bit of water as necessary to achieve desired texture (thinner for a pasta sauce, thicker for a sandwich spread).
- 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- *My basil plant could only give me 6 leaves when I made this recipe. It was enough to flavor the pesto, but more would probably be extra delicious.