Spinach Avocado Pesto (Raw, Vegan, GF, Sugar-Free)

By contributor Megan Stulberg

Instead of consuming large amounts of buffalo wings and potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday, I skipped the game altogether and made this healthy snack! Traditional pesto is made with parmesan cheese but avocado is a great creamy alternative.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp ground garlic (or 2 cloves)
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Half the avocado, remove pit, then scoop out the flesh.
  2. In a high-speed blender/food processor combine avocado, spinach, nuts, water, oil, yeast and seasonings until thoroughly combined.
  3. Serve immediately, or else avocado will brown!

Makes roughly 1 cup of pesto. Use as a spread on raw crackers (as pictured), as a pasta sauce, or as a dip with fresh veggies.

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Summer Recipe: Balsamic Pesto Pasta

From contributor Aine Davis

I am madly, truly, deeply in love with Italian food. After visiting Italy a few summers ago, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all of the rich and flavourful foods I devoured abroad.

I recently whipped up this dish for a romantic evening with my “fidanzato” and the results were to die for. Use my following recipe for a hearty dish that takes only 15 minutes to make:

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Ingredients…

  • 1 box rice pasta
  • 4 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large head of garlic (roughly 10 cloves)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions 

  1. Boil water in large pot on stovetop.
  2. Place basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes in blender or food processor. Combine until smooth.
  3. Following box’s instructions, cook pasta accordingly. Drain, then mix thoroughly with pesto.

Serve immediately on a bed of arugula. Makes 4 large portions.

Bellisimo!

Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 11

By Raven Steepe

This holiday season, why not spice things up with a good ol’ summer food? Pesto is delicious and doesn’t need to be plagued by dairy! It can easily be made from raw, fresh ingredients. This pesto recipe makes a great salad dressing, bread or veggie dip. I modified my original recipe to make it vegan, as it originally called for parmesan cheese.

A little seasonal tip: for the holidays, try serving this with our gluten-free stuffing!

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts (almonds or walnuts may be substituted)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

1) Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. That’s it!

The pesto should not be completely smooth and should have texture. Tada. Enjoy!