Nut/Dairy-Free Spinach, Cilantro and Basil Pesto over Seared Shrimp


I’m a pesto lover. Better yet, I’m a greens lover. This recipe combines more than just basil, olive oil, and a few other ingredients; it brings spinach and cilantro into the mix. No need to prepare a side salad when you can literally pour your salad atop the main attraction: shrimp. The spinach and cilantro tone down and lighten the intensity of basil and create an even creamier, rounder pesto experience. And rest assured, there are no nuts, seeds or dairy in this beauty!

The pesto is obviously packed with green nutrition, but did you know about the glow that it accompanies?

Shrimp: provides the body with 48% of the daily value of cancer-fighting selenium, keeps the skin, hair, and nails healthy, prevents anemia due to its vitamin B12 content, boosts energy with iron, builds strong bones with phosphorus, aids in processing fats due to its niacin content, fights depression with omega-3 fatty acids, promotes prostate health with zinc, contributes to a healthy thyroid due to copper content, and stabilizes blood sugar levels with magnesium.

Spinach, Cilantro and Basil Pesto over Grilled Shrimp

Serves 2


For the pesto:

  • 1 large handful fresh baby spinach
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro
  • ½ lemon’s juice and its zest
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the shrimp:

  • 12 shrimps, skinned and veined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions: For the pesto, put all the ingredients into a food processor except for the olive oil. Begin to pulse the mixture slowly pouring the olive oil into the mix as it blends. Blend until smooth. Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper according to your preference. If too thick, add olive oil by the teaspoon or even up to 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water. If too runny, add more spinach, cilantro or nutritional yeast.

For the shrimp, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 6 shrimps on 1 skewer. In a pan brought to high heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place the 2 skewers flat on the pan for 30-40 seconds on one side. Flip to cook for 30 seconds on the other side of the shrimp. Remove the pan from the head and brush a bit of the pesto mixture onto both sides of the shrimp. You just want a light glaze. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and place into the oven to cook for 15 minutes. When finished, remove the pan from the oven and serve the skewers on a plate and pour the pesto atop (liberally…).



Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin



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