Vegan basil pesto with pasta & Veggies.

Pasta is such a comforting meal and the sauces that you can create are endless. Basil is definitely a favourite herb of mine, however when looking for a pesto there are very few that are vegan – unless I want to drive for an hour or pay a ridiculous price for it. So I make my own in bulk and freeze down for when I want to make a pasta dish. This recipe is so simple and does not take long at all.

The great thing about this pasta dish is that you can swap the veggies with those that are your own favourite or produce that you need to use up. I hate wasting food so I find roasting or steaming up those veggies and tossing them through a pesto pasta is perfect – sometimes they are my best dinners!

For the pesto you will need to place in a food processor

  • 1 large bunch of basil – stem removed
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (I use @braggs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (@braggs)
  • 4 tablespoons oil (sunflower/light EVO – nothing too strong. It will dominant the flavour)
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind & juice
  • 1 clove garlic

Blend the ingredients until combined add a little more oil if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

For this pasta dish I cooked a packet of pasta (350g). After draining off the water stir through the basil pesto. I find it easier to mix through when the pasta is still warm.

Vegan Basil Pesto Pasta

Now cook some veggies. For this recipe I heated up a frypan with a little EVO and 2 tablespoons coconut sugar then added

  • 1 sliced capsicum
  • 3 large mushrooms sliced
  • 1 sliced red onion

Cook for a few minutes then add to your pasta with a good handful of baby spinach.

Sometimes I add in some roasted diced sweet potato or pumpkin and steamed broccoli. Which is really yummy. What I love about this pasta is that you can use whatever veggies you have in your pantry or fridge.

My girls have also taken this to school in their lunchboxes – super easy and healthy for them! I know it is a winner when they fight over the leftovers!! I hope you and your family enjoy too.

Make sure you tag me in your own creations. Enjoy your day! Amanda xo

Thai inspired raw veggie rice salad.

It has been so muggy here at the moment, the summer weather is bringing moments of rain and then the sun comes back out and it gets so hot! Not complaining though I am so fortunate to live on the Gold Coast and I do prefer the warmer weather, longer days and more time to get creative with dinner ideas. With this sort of weather I love eating raw veggies with yummy dressings. At the moment I have been experimenting with Thai and Asian influenced ingredients to create some new dressings to top off my salads.

Thai Inspired Raw Veggie Rice Salad

What I love about this salad is that I used up all the bits and pieces I had in my veggie box (carrots, capsicum, broccoli, beans and cabbage). It was so quick, the longest part was waiting for the rice to cook and cool down! Also, I hate wasting food, in my house everyone knows that leftovers are used up either in another dish or for lunches the next day. It is important to not only think about different flavours but textures when creating dishes (something my dad taught me!). So I toasted up so coconut flakes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds to add a crunchy element to the salad which made it even more addictive with the Thai dressing!

You could also serve this up warm, which i did last night and it was really lovely with some roasted mushrooms (my fav!!) but would also be yummy with some pan-fried tofu. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this new recipe and please give me a message and let me know what you enjoyed serving the salad with.

Amanda x

Ingredients and Method.

Dressing:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 9g Galangal chopped in small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter/nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vegan fish sauce
  • pinch chilli (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons coconut cream/yoghurt (use the cream on the top if using coconut cream)
  • small piece of ginger chopped up

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and combined well. This dressing will go a little firm when refrigerated. So I used some to dip some veggies straight into it and the rest of the leftovers I just left it out of the fridge for around 30 minutes before adding more sauce on top! It really depends how much you want to add to your salad.

For the salad I placed 2 carrots, 1 capsicum, 250g beans, small head of broccoli and 1/4 of a cabbage in the food processor and pulsed it until the veggies where roughly chopped. Be carful not to pulse too much otherwise your veggies will go mushy! I then mixed the veggies through some brown basmati rice (1 cup of cooked rice, rinsed well and allow to cool down).

Now for the crunchy element! In a pan place

  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup of mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoon coconut sugar

On a low heat keep mixing until the coconut and seeds are lightly toasted.

Now you are ready to place all the ingredients together. As I mentioned before I had a little sauce leftover so place half into the rice salad season with salt and pepper and taste. Now you can add in more or keep aside as a snack with raw veggies or with some avocado on rice crackers, yum!

Please share your creations with me on social media.

Have an amazing day x