Vegan Pesto Recipes

Happy Spring everyone!!! I am so excited that it’s here!! Soon farms, gardens and farmers markets here in Colorado will be growing and busy. I have some great posts planned that will help you maximize your seasonal and local produce. Too bad I don’t have time to share everything in my head!! But will do my best! 🙂

I would also like to share with you a new guide that may be helpful for some of you from the great organization Vegan Outreach. This Guide includes easy, tasty recipes for people moving towards a vegan diet, and other helpful tips on how to live a compassionate lifestyle. You can find out how to download it and many other great guides here.

Today my topic is pesto!! Pesto is such a great spring and summer topping/dish. My wonderful mother grows bunches, prepares big batches of it and then freezes it to use throughout the winter. Pesto can be made with a variety of ingredients including; kale, spinach, avocado, you can even use nettles or other greens! You can also use many different nuts; walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, macadamia nuts. I also like to add nutritional yeast and miso. There are endless recipes and pesto ideas online, if you need more ideas. I love Pinterest for recipes, if you have a profile and find one you like you can pin it to one of your boards and come back to it later.

Pesto can obviously be used to top a variety of pastas but you can also drizzle it over roasted veggies, on pizza, in hummus, over veggie meats, in soups or spread on bread. It has so many uses!

basil
pesto in progress
Basic Pesto Recipe
Ingredients
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, cashews or walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Add nutritional yeast and/or miso to suit your taste, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a food processor combine basil, nuts, garlic, lemon and salt.
  2. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Drizzle oil and process until smooth.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste.

pasta

In the above photo I made a simple pasta dish and added a few ingredients; roasted peppers and peas. There are a variety of other veggies you could experiment with as well; tomatoes, olives, broccoli, onions, roasted squash, just as an example. This is a very easy and delicious meal. I also used brown rice pasta, which I really like.

mushroomsThe next recipe I created was based on a Portobello Mushroom Burger with pesto mayo my mom and I used to get at one of our favorite restaurants. This is a super easy recipe. I just love grilling. Its so fun to get creative with vegan options on the grill.

cut cabbage

cabbageI felt like some cabbage for a side so chopped some into wedges and lightly covered with olive oil and salt and pepper. Then wrapped securely in a foil packet.

grillI then placed the cabbage on the grill and cooked it for 20 minutes, flipping just a few times. The portobello mushrooms grilled for about 10 minutes, be careful not to over-grill. Sometimes it’s good to marinade the mushrooms but I didn’t for this recipe. I also made a foil packet of chopped potatoes, herbs and olive oil and cook them for around 25 minutes.

toppingsMix together some leftover pesto and a vegan mayo like Vegenaise or Hampton Creek (these are both easy to find at natural grocery stores). I used equal parts pesto and mayo, but add pesto to the mayo to suit your taste.

burgerHere you have my final product!! Portobello Mushroom Burgers on a bun served with sliced tomato and pesto/mayo (don’t use too much mayo). Everything turned out delicious! I think next time I will pair the burger with a nice green salad but this was a fun dish to make and especially eat! 🙂

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