Grow. Eat. Live.

Grow.  Eat.  Live.
Grow. Eat. Live.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013


"Cilantro Watercress Pesto"

Raw Pesto
     Weird combo, huh?  Nope, a good one.  Better yet, a powerful combo- two herbs that has a strong flavor and a power punch body healer.  Ever since two summers ago when I grew my first basil plant I became fascinated on the basil herb and the ways of incorporating it in my foods.  Pesto is my favorite way I like using the herb (raw & fresh).  Unfortunately, basil is not the superstar in this posting but will be in future.


I am not flat parsley!

Also known as Coriander.  It is considered either a herb or spice since its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning condiment.  Derived from the Greek word, koris, meaning bug.  Cilantro commonly used in Asian, Indian, and Mexican cuisines.  Cilantro is referred to the plant stage life and coriander is referred to the seeds when the plant develops flowers and seeds.  In this recipe I'm using the stems and leaves.  Cilantro sometimes gets confused with parsley but the difference is the smell.
Some parts of the world, such as, Europe, coriander has been referred to as an "anti-diabetic" plant, India, uses it for "anti-inflammatory" properties, and the United States has recently studied the herb for its "cholesterol lowering effects."

  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Control cholesterol levels
  • Reduce free radical production
  • Fight against Salmonella 
  • Aid to help digestion
  • Maintain healthy eyes *(1-2 tsp. of cilantro juice taken daily)
  • Detoxification - eliminates heavy metal toxins in tissues and cells
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
The volatile oils found in the leaves (cilantro) has antimicrobial properties and rich in phytonutrients, carvone, geraniol, limonene, borneol, camphor, elemol, and linalool.  Coriander/Cilantro's flavonoids are quercitin, kaemferol, rhamnetin, and epigenin.  Its active compounds are caffeic and chlorogenic acid.


Eating it raw and fresh is the best!

A cress, Nasturtium Officinale, belonging to the cruciferous and mustard vegetable family.  Some regions consider it a herb or vegetable.  Watercress originated from eastern Mediterranean and some areas of Asia.  The Greeks believed watercress was beneficial to the brain.  Watercress has a pungent, peppery, and slightly bitter flavor.  It grows perennially and flourishes in clear streaming cold water.  Watercress is known to be a "super anti-cancer food" that contains phytonutrients known to boost the body's defenses against cancer.

*Note:  Please be aware there are different cress.  Some stores may carry Watercress or Upland cress.  Upland cress is similar to Watercress.
Upland Cress

  • Contains gluconasturtiin (a glucosinolate compound that gives it the pepper flavor)
  • Vitamin  C (ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin A
  • Antioxidants - B carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Detoxification - dispose excess estrogen
  • Iron

Watercress in the diet can help prevent osteoporosis, anemia, Vitamin A deficiency, protect against cardiovascular diseases, colon, and prostate cancers.  According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition "Watercress supplementation in the diet reduces lymphocyte DNA damage and alters blood antioxidant status in healthy adults."  For a more detail research report done by AJCN click here
The simplest recipe

"Cilantro Watercress Pesto"

Less than 10 ingredients
  • 1 small bunch of fresh watercress
  • 1 small bunch of fresh organic cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds (Pepita)
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt (just a pinch)
  • 1/4 (2 ounces)  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
       Blender or food processor

Ready to blend

  1. Thoroughly wash watercress and cilantro.  Soak in a bowl of water so dirt or sand can sink into the bottom. Drain and rinse.
  2. Remove any yellow leaves.
  3. Combine the watercress and cilantro including stems, garlic, pumpkin seeds, cheese, and salt in blender or food processor.
  4. Pour extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Remove the seeds from the lemon and squeeze out the juice.
  6. Pulse until nice and smooth.  If you notice the ingredients is having a hard time blending, then add a little more oil in the chute.  * Eye ball the oil when pouring it in.

No need for heating!

Try to scrape all the pesto inside

Tips:  Lemon or Lime or half of a vitamin C (crushed) keeps the pesto bright green and fresh.  Can last in fridge for a week or you can freeze leftovers.  Always eye ball the amount of oil or you can add a tomato (this helps the other ingredients move better in the blender or food processor).  You can always substitute any ingredients to your preference.  For instance, I used pumpkin seeds because hubby is allergic to nuts.  A food processor would make it easy to remove the pesto without leaving any behind.

***The pesto is excellent on pasta, bread, crackers, quinoa, fish, meats, and homemade pizza!  I love it on Tandoori Naan flat bread.

Making pesto is a great way for you to "hide" all the good healthy foods for those PICKY EATERS!

A great alternative for the tomato sauce that causes acid reflux flare ups in some people.

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