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!
- 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
- In a food processor combine basil, nuts, garlic, lemon and salt.
- Pulse until finely chopped.
- Drizzle oil and process until smooth.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
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.
The 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.
I 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.
Mix 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.
Here 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! 🙂