1st Cooking Demo: Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta & Kale Salad!

nom...Hey guys! Sorry about the delay! The first Cooking Demo at Foothill with Chef Eric Haney and RD Renee Simpson last Tuesday (3/5) was so green-licious! The gluten-free alliance on campus, glutenX, also joined us in our yummy, nutritious night. Thank you!!!

As some of you guys may know, CalDining and SDA are co-hosting cooking demonstrations in March, the National Nutrition Month! The theme this year is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” Have you been eating right? ;D

(For more info: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UUT3qlcTWyB )



The theme for the first cooking demo is “Eating Green!” As seen in the picture on the right, we had some very greeen Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta and very dark greeeen Kale Salad! So so so so sooooooooo delicious! (Sorry, I think I’m having a bit too much fun with the colors.)


Zesting Tip from Eric: If you don’t have a zester, use a potato peeler then chop the lemon zest! Be careful not to apply too much force into the white, bitter part of the skin!

Throughout the food demo, Chef Eric taught us some cooking techniques and how we can switch some of the ingredients around, such as replacing the brown rice pasta for quinoa or just regular pasta. He also added water into the pesto to reduce the amount of oil that would’ve be in regular ones! Meanwhile, Dietitian Renee gave us a nutrition quiz while we were eating the scrumptioulicious food! (Don’t worry, she also had some in the end!) I think the most important lesson we learnt that night was… Kale is the most nutritious vegetable, packed with fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins and antioxidants! (According to Wikipedia, most cooking methods also do not result in the loss of nutrients. We had it in raw salad, so I don’t think that was an issue!)

There wasn’t an official recipe, but as Chef Eric said, sometimes you have to go by how you feel!

Thank you Mayra (our BADA rep!) for the ingredients!


Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta

Beautifully green, luscious pesto!

Beautifully green, luscious pesto!


Pine Nuts
Oil (CalDining uses 80% Olive oil + 20% Vegetable Oil
Lemon Juice

  1. First of all, add the spinach, basil, parsley, oregano and garlic into a food processor.
  2. Add in a bit of oil and water before mixing the ingredients.
  3. Turn on the food processor to mix. Add in water and oil as needed to achieve the desired consistency
  4. Taste (as we did!) to check the flavors.
  5. Next, zest and juice a lemon, gradually adding the lemon zest and juice and mixing for the desired flavor.
  6. a10

    Salt and pepper to taste.

For Pasta Assembly!:

Brown Rice Pasta (or any pasta!)
Diced tomatoes
More Spinach!
Salt & pepper to taste
Almond (for garnish)

  1. In a pot, boil the brown rice pasta in salted water, or cook according to the instructions on the packet. (I forgot the ratio of salt to water, but add some salt so the pasta will not be so bland on its own! Chef Eric pre-cooked it beforehand)
  2. In a pan, heat some oil and saute some chopped shallots for flavor.
  3. Add in the pasta and saute (or reheat) for a bit
  4. Add in the desired amount of pesto, spinach and diced tomatoes.
  5. Salt and pepper, and maybe even add more lemon juice!, to taste.
  6. Garnish with some sliced(/slivered) almonds.
Pesto Pasta Complete!

Pesto Pasta Complete!


Get creative with your pesto! At the Berkeley Student Food Collective, we’ve also used carrot tops for pesto! This pesto used pine nuts, but Renee told us that walnuts and almonds could also be another healthy option!


Renee preparing ingredients for the salad.

Renee preparing ingredients for the salad.

Kale Salad

Red Bell Pepper
Red Onion
(3/18 update) Olive Oil
Lemon Juice and Zest

  1. Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces. Cut the red bell pepper and red onion into thin slices.
  2. Cut open an avocado and add the amount desired.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, (3/18 edit) add two parts olive oil to one part of lemon juice. Then add the zest and the chopped vegetables.
  4. Mix, and add salt and pepper to taste.
a12 Kale salad!

Refreshing Kale Salad!


Again, add whatever you want to the salad! It was really flavorful, even without oil in the dressing! I think it made it even more refreshing!

Thank you so much to our wonderful cooks, Eric and Renee, as well as all the others who joined us! I enjoyed the evening so much, especially having dinner with all the other people!

Can’t wait for the one at Cafe 3 next Tuesday (3/19) 5PM!!!

Here are some of the pictures from the evening!:


One response to “1st Cooking Demo: Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta & Kale Salad!

  1. Pingback: [F13 Meeting #1] Info, Jeopardy & Recipes! | UC Berkeley's Student Dietetic Association·

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