Kids in the Kitchen with Girl and Her Kitchen: Kale and Bean Pesto Dip and Other Fun St. Paddy’s Day Foods

Kids in the KitchenEvery year when March rolls around, St. Patrick’s Day is on my mind. It’s automatic. Sort of like February with Valentine’s Day….er…well, I guess it’s like November with Thanksgiving, December and Christmas, and July and…well-you get the picture! Anyways, when March 1st hits, my brain goes into overdrive thinking of all the green food we can possibly cram into seventeen days until we have to start thinking about eggs, chicks, bunnies and a lot of pastel colors.

I have done many of  the usual green foods. The lime sherbet floats you see everywhere on Pinterest, green cupcakes, green rice krispie treats…the list goes on and on. I have also tried a few more healthy foods for the holiday. Have you tried this fruit rainbow? It is all over the place on Pinterest, when I made it for my kids they flipped over how cute it was.


I also made them these really delicious, but healthy, green muffins and green smoothies too. They loved eating green food, and I loved that it was healthy.


I also love having some “Irish” foods as well. I have Irish in quotes since I am not really sure if anything is really Irish food or just food that Americans have made Irish for St. Patrick’s day. I loved putting together an Irish breakfast for the holiday last year for my kids. Eggs, Irish sausage, Irish soda bread, Irish butter and a fruit rainbow. It was so good and I felt like I hit my holiday “creative mom” quota for the day before 9am!


This year, I really wanted to figure out something a little different, still green, and of course, delicious. I had an idea. I wasn’t sure if it was kid friendly, but I thought I would give it a try anyways. I gathered the ingredients, and got to work. The result: delicious. The kid factor? They helped me make it. Heck, they could have done it without my help-that is how easy it was! When it was ready to be tasted, they were wary. Very wary.

I begged, I pleaded. I won.

The oldest took a cracker and slowly dipped. She chewed. She savored.

She loved it.

The middle child was trickier. She was not going to budge. Finally I broke her down. She dipped a chip into the creamy dip.


She had it for lunch. She absolutely loved it!

The youngest could not stop dipping carrots in it. He probably didn’t even notice it was green though. He is still at that stage where he really doesn’t question much!

So…a dip that is kid friendly, delicious, unique and different, and perfect for St. Patrick’s day?

Sounds like we just found our pot of gold.

Kale Bean Pesto Dip

Kale and Bean Pesto Dip
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup walnuts
3 cups kale
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tblsp fresh lemon juice
2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
3 tblsp honey
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 15 oz cans of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Pulse garlic cloves in a food processor until finely chopped. Add walnuts and pulse until smooth. Add kale and parmesan. Turn the food processor on and drizzle the olive oil in. Add the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, garlic powder and pepper and pulse until smooth. Add beans and let it mix in the processor until smooth and creamy. Adjust taste if necessary with salt, pepper, honey and lemon juice if necessary. Adjust consistency with olive oil if you need. Garnish with extra chopped walnuts and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips, toss with pasta or rice or serve as a sauce over chicken. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.


Are you crazy like me and go all out with green food this month? Check out Girl and Her Kitchen soon. I will be recreating the Shamrock shake… in a healthier way. Like “I can eat this for breakfast healthy”. Yep, it’s coming!

Dance academy of Libertyville
About Heather 80 Articles
Heather is a busy mom of three who loves exploring Lake County with her kids. When she, her husband and kids are not embarking on new adventures, you will most likely find her cooking and posting some great family friendly recipes at Girl and Her Kitchen.

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