Vegan Pesto: Pesto’s Healthier Cousin

I haven’t had much time to conger up many delicious recipes lately. My time at home has been minimal due to my recent acceptance of another job at a local yoga clothing store (if in the KC area come to Lucy in Leawood and say Hi!). When I do finally step through the door, it’s about 9:45 p.m. and my creativity is null. Dinner consists of a big nutrient dense salad (greens, vegetables, hummus, and whatever else I may have in the fridge) tossed together while the Train and I fill one another in on our day. Doesn’t leave much time for much of anything other than sleep. (I’ve been secretly getting my blogging done at work… shhh ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Today, I didn’t work at the university, and I was sent home early from work being that business was a little slow. Elated, I rushed home to have some playtime in the kitchen. I have been dreaming of this recipe for quite some time. I used to make this dish when we lived in Boise all the time. I’d melt it over warm pasta or spread it over toast, oh it was so rich and creamy. I can still smell the robust aromas it put off, a little spicy, a hint of bitterness, a touch of sweetness. Heavenly. I made it for guests all the time. My good friend LT probably had her fill of it, but it always got rave reviews time and time again. The only problem, the recipe is vegetarian. Problem for my now vegan status. So of course I couldn’t wait to veganize it. What is this dreamy recipe you ask?

Pesto. Salty, olivey, garlic-y, nutty, sweet, Pesto. Only with a tricky delicious spin. Technically pesto is just a raw sauce made of basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. But my version consists of sweet steam broccoli and soaked almonds, nutritional yeast and a fresh herbs to create a more complex and delicious pesto-like sauce (and it’s vegan!).

Vegan Pesto: Pesto’s Healthier Cousin

2 – 3 c. raw chopped broccoli

3 – 4 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 c. soaked almonds (soaked at least 8 hours)

1 handful of fresh or 1 tbsp dried basil

1 clove garlic

2 tbsp fresh or 1/2 tbsp dried parsley

S/P to taste

Steam the broccoli in about 1/3 c. water (or enough to cover the bottom of your pan and up the side about 1/2 inch)ย until tender. Meanwhile, in a food processor or high-speed blender put oil, nutritional yeast, almonds, basil, parsley, and garlic.

Once the broccoli has cooked, add the broccoli and cooking water to the food processor. Mix on high speed until it is paste-like and resembles a thick pesto. You may need to top a few times and scrape down the side.

I chose to put a couple dollops onto a pile of greens, but certainly feel free to put this on pastas or other cooked grains, toasted bread, roasted vegetables, or eat as a dip with pita bread and raw vegetables.

I’m really excited for this weekend. My mom is going to be in town again to help me around the house and do some painting of some old furniture. We’re going to try a new raw vegan restaurant here in town that I can’t wait to write about, and hopefully get the rest of the house finally put together and possibly do some work on the yard. It’s going to be a weekend of shopping, antiquing, walking, exercise, and food. I can’t wait!

What are your weekend plans?

ps – be sure to check out my new Health Counseling page!

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8 thoughts on “Vegan Pesto: Pesto’s Healthier Cousin

  1. Oh how I do remember and miss the pesto!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love the new and improved version, and can’t wait to
    try it back here in Boise.

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