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« Menu: Cook for Good Summer Challenge, Week 2 | Main | Day 5, Week 1: baking day, with bean salad »

Day 6: start with sweet potatoes, end with Southern Summer Pesto

Your cooking pays off early today. Warm up the sweet potatoes you baked last night or just eat them cold, topped with Cinnamon Yogurt Sauce.

For lunch, have bell pepper sticks and two pieces of Good Whisk Bread, perhaps in a sandwich. As a snack, have the walnuts and raisins you bagged up on Day 4.

two slices of homemade bread

You also experience the power of two other key Cook for Good techniques:

  1. Feed your freezer. Spend most of your cooking time today making pesto. Make half a batch (nine servings) for the Challenge. (If you have the ingredients and a few extra minutes, make a whole batch of pesto.) Freeze the rest of the pesto in family-sized amounts for next week.  
  2. Cook food together; save resources and wash fewer dishes. Boil high-protein or whole-wheat pasta with green beans cut into bite-sized pieces, then mix in a cup of pesto. You don't need a separate pot, water, and heat to cook the green beans. You'll get extra delicious broth in your broth jar, too.


  • Classic Challenge, make Southern Summer Pesto (page 177 in Wildly Affordable Organic).
  • Plant-Strong Challenge, adjust the Southern Summer Pesto recipe to make Lighter Basil Pesto, using one-quarter cup nooch (nutritional yeast) in place of the Parmesan and walnuts instead of the more-expensive pecans.

basil pesto with pecans on noodles with green beans and tomatoes

A "muffin" of pesto usually serves two. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and freeze solid. Then fill a rimmed cookie sheet with water and dip the bottom of the muffin tin into it to thaw the pesto just a bit. Quickly nudge pesto out of the tin, put in a labeled freezer bag, and put the bag in the freezer. We'll have one meal using frozen pesto next week.

basil pesto in muffin tins ready for the freezer

Also bag up two servings each of carrot sticks. (A serving is half a large carrot.) Peel carrots to remove the slightly bitter skin when eating them raw if you like. A good scrub is all you really need, though.

Reader Comments (1)

Made a full batch of the pesto, but had to do it in halves as my food processor is only a mini. I'm not sure I've ever had homemade pesto before, and after tasting this I have discovered that I might as well say I'm not sure I've ever had real pesto before. It's *so* much more flavorful than anything I've had that was commercially produced.

I think I need to take a break from the Challenge for now. My fridge and freezer are already packed with food (I'm only cooking for 2), and this week is busy with other cooking and preparations for my son's 1st birthday party. Thanks again for the great work you've done and shared with us, Linda.

Aug 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
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