You Heart What You Eat: Rad Pesto Green Beans |

You Heart What You Eat: Rad Pesto Green Beans

Explore's health and food contributor

— First off, I’m beyond green — new that is — to cooking with or even having regular access to micro-greens, since my introduction to them at a little California farmers market nearly a decade ago. So, when I found out about a local company that grew and sold them this past summer, I knew it was time I got acquainted with how to actually put them in my kitchen beyond the humdrum of salads, and use them to their fullest potential.

And just in case you’re wondering what exactly micro-greens are, they are the shoots of vegetable and herb leaves just as the first leaves form, and they capture the maximum flavoring and nutrients.

Radishes have never been my favorite. I like the color and the simplicity of growing them, but their pungent flavor has never been something I craved until I got my hands on the Radish Sango micro-greens. They too have a bold, spicy radish flavor; however, unlike the root itself, you don’t have to figure out how to soften or cook with it in its whole form.

In this recipe, I made a pesto that made me not only fall in love with radish flavorings but pesto in a whole new way.

High in folic acid and a great source of vitamin A, this little plant packs a punch in the antioxidant and vitamin C department as well. Trust me when I say, this pesto can be used for more than just green beans as a side dish (I secretly get a spoon and steal bites just plain and imagine it could be incorporated in a pasta, chicken or other pesto-friendly dish you make at home).

You may have to go outside your comfort zone on this one, but if you give micro-greens a shot, I can just about guarantee you’ll never regret it. Oh, and if you’re wondering where to get some of these micro-isms I’m referring to, check out Innovative Ag Colorado ( — they’re based right here in Steamboat Springs, so go ahead, support a local farmer.

Rad Pesto Green Beans

  • 1 cup fresh spinach

  • 2 cups fresh Radish Sango micro-greens
  • 1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1⁄4 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 diced garlic cloves
  • Olive oil and salt

In your food processor, blend the spinach, micro-greens, nutritional yeast (used in place of and tastes a lot like parmesan; it’s also dairy-free and has loads of nutrients), walnut pieces and garlic cloves until all diced.

Make sure to scrape the sides to push down and then while leaving your processor on, in the top open cylinder, slowly pour enough olive oil to make a pesto-paste.

Taste and add just a bit of salt to taste and you’re done. Boil frozen or fresh green beans as you normally do, drain and scoop some of your fresh pesto in and mix until just blended and you’re done.

Packed with healthy goodness and all of 15 minutes in the kitchen and you’re done. Enjoy.

You Heart What You Eat is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

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