Recipe by Tina Jenkins, FGHG naturopath

This fresh, super-tasty, Spring veggie dish forms the perfect side dish to a portion of protein. Green veggies are alkalising and anti-inflammatory, making them wonderful for overall health as well as fertility.

Fresh green beans, peas, parsley, basil and pistachios are a great source of folate, calcium, magnesium, protein, b-vitamins – key nutrients in pregnancy and pre-conception care. Garlic is rich in sulphur, which aids detoxification, and alliin, which stimulates the immune system, great for warding off those lingering winter respiratory infections. Olive oil is a healthy fat, important for maintaining good cardiovascular health and helping us to feel full and satisfied.

200gm green beans, tails removed
200gm fresh peas, shelled
1 cup rocket leaves, firmly packed
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan
½ cup pistachio kernels
½ cup olive oil
himalayan rock salt and ground black pepper to taste

  1. Boil a large pot of water on stove and blanch beans and peas for 1 minute or until just tender. Drain, then plunge into cold or ice water to refresh.
  2. Place all other ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  3. Pour in the olive oil in a steady stream with the motor running until your pesto forms the desired texture (ideally no large chunks but some texture remaining). Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Toss the beans and peas in pesto.
  5. Serve as a side dish to grilled chicken, steak, tofu or fish, or with poached eggs for breakfast.

Tip: you can substitute the beans and peas for any other green veggie you like – e.g. broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, even leafy greens like silverbeet or rainbow chard are lovely dressed in the pesto.

Tina Jenkins, Naturopath

Tina Jenkins