Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spinach Pesto

I wanted an inexpensive vegan pesto I could make with ingredients I had on hand. That meant I didn't want to use basil or pine nuts. I would use basil if I had some in my garden but it's too expensive to buy otherwise. I don't have pine nuts in my kitchen but I do have walnuts. This is what I came up with. 

1/2 cup walnut pieces
5 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup yeast flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
4 cups spinach leaves, packed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until all ingredients are finely ground and well mixed. Toss with hot cooked pasta or freeze for later use. 

Variation: Replace half the walnuts with hemp seeds.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Toast over medium heat in a dry frying pan:
cups sesame seeds

Stir constantly until the seeds turn a light golden brown color, look oily, and smell very good. This takes 5-10 minutes. Then grind in a food processor with the following:
cup yeast flakes
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. salt

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps indefinitely. I usually make a double batch so I always have some on hand.