{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Basil, Macadamia and Coriander Pesto

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Today’s recipe is a pesto made from locally-grown macadamia nuts, coriander and basil. It also consists of locally-made raw macadamia nut cheese. These ingredients were purchased at one of our local farmers’ markets.

We purchased the produce on a beautiful spring morning last week, and made the pesto just a few hours later. The freshly-picked status of the herbs is evidenced by the vibrant green colour of the pesto.

Most jars of supermarket pesto contain dairy-based cheese. The best option for vegans is to make their own. Homemade pesto is simple and quick to prepare, and does not require an excess of salt and oil like its counterparts on supermarket shelves.

Raw macadamia nut cheese

Raw macadamia nut cheese by Raw Ecstacy.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts

3 cups coriander leaves

1/2 cup basil leaves

1/4 cup nut cheese, homemade* or store-bought

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (some pulp OK)

2 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 tsp salt

Method

1. Wash and dry the coriander leaves and basil leaves.

2. Add the nuts to a food processor and process for about 15 seconds.

3. Add the leaves and nut cheese and process for 30 seconds, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the jug with a spatula (if necessary).

4. Add the lemon juice, oil and salt through the chute, while the machine is still running. Process for 15 seconds, or longer, to achieve a smooth consistency.

Store leftovers in a lidded glass jar in the fridge.

This is a low-oil pesto. It is suitable for spreading on toast or flax crackers. You may want to add more olive oil if you are stirring the pesto through spaghetti. Just add additional oil to the portion that you are using.

* For a simple, homemade nut cheese, see this recipe.

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Raw macadamia kernels from Tuckombil Native Foods.

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

All of the tiny vegans enjoy eating pesto pasta. My daughter enjoys pesto on toast, or in her school lunchbox as a dip for raw vegetable ‘sticks’.

Ally

{Vegan MoFo} Wearing Pyjamas to the Farmers’ Market

My part of the world is home to many farmers’ markets.

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This post highlights some of the local, vegan and gluten-free products (and produce) available at the Byron Bay farmers’ market.

On a recent visit, Tiny Vegan, 4 years old, decided to wear his pyjamas. Over his jeans. Who was I to cramp his style (or lack thereof!)? In my neck of the woods, PJs over jeans does not warrant a raised eyebrow or a second glance.

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Each week, we purchase a large quantity of green leafy vegetables for salads and green smoothies – young kale (just $2 for a large bunch), coriander, basil, baby spinach leaves, cos (romaine) lettuce, tatsoi, watercress, mixed salad leaves.

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We purchase Davidson Plum chilli sauce, raw macadamia nuts, and macadamia butter from a local macadamia grower. Davidson Plums are native to this part of Australia.

A local company sells soy-free tempeh in two varieties – fava bean and wakame, and chickpea.

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Recently, we bought nut cheese and a packet of flaxseed and macadamia bread from a local raw food company. This raw ‘bread’ is delicious. I cut it into smaller squares, and packed it for a picnic. We topped the bread with hommus and homemade pesto.

The bread is made of organic flax seeds, macadamia nuts, spring onions, tomatoes, dates, olive oil, Italian herbs, and celtic sea salt.

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I used the nut cheese in a pesto, and as a topping on homemade flax crackers. It contains organic macadamia nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, smoked paprika and salt.

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Sometimes we indulge in a raw dessert and a cup of locally-grown coffee. The avocado key lime pie (on left of plate) is particularly delectable. And if we call it second breakfast, rather than morning tea, the wearing of PJs is totally appropriate. 🙂

Tomorrow: A closer look at the fava bean and wakame tempeh.

{Recipe} Cucumber and Nut Cheese Bites | Lime Cheesecake (vegan).

We celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday yesterday.

My sister, my brother-in-law, and my dad’s brother arrived from Sydney to join our family and local friends for the festivities.

We enjoyed lots of delicious food, and I indulged in a couple of drinks. My brother-in-law makes a mean Espresso Martini!

We shared tonnes of laughs. As the evening progressed, we put on our dancing shoes. We sung, we reminisced. The evening will always hold a special place in my memory.

On to the food!

We all pitched in to prepare a scrumptious vegan spread. I made Uberdish’s gluten-free  savoury crepes. They are delicious smeared with non-dairy cream cheese and other dips. I also enjoy them plain.

Savoury crepes

Savoury crepes

Mat made cucumber and nut cheese bites (recipe below).

My mum baked two birthday cakes (both vegan, of course) – Chocolate Cake with Cacao Icing, and Lime Cheesecake (recipe below).

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Delicious finger food

Delicious finger food

Cucumber and Nut Cheese Bites

Ingredients

1/2 continental cucumber (or 1 large Lebanese cucumber)

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered

Nut cheese (recipe below)

Alfalfa sprouts

Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Method
1. Slice cucumber into the desired number of pieces.
2. Smear nut cheese on each piece of cucumber.
3. Top with olives, tomato and sprouts in preferred combinations.

***

nut cheese

Nut Cheese

Adapted from: Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen (Mozarella Cheese).

Ingredients:

1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked overnight)

1 cup raw cashew nuts (soaked overnight)

1 Tbsp soy sauce/tamari OR 2 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 – 1 Tbsp water (optional)

Cashews and macadamia nuts

Cashews and macadamia nuts

Method

1. Add all ingredients, except optional water, to a blender (I use an immersion blender).
2. Blend until all ingredients are smooth. Add additional water if required (I added an additional 1/2 tbsp).

* Use leftover nut cheese on crackers, or as a dip with raw vegies. It complements beautifully this raw pasta dish.

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Lime Cheesecake with Soy Whip

My mum is the vegan cheesecake expert in our family. This Lime Cheesecake recipe is the product of two recipes, plus some trial, error and ingenuity.

Incidentally, my mum is well known (in our family at least!) for a delightful dessert known as Upside-Down Cheesecake. The secret method for Upside-Down Cheesecake is to cause the bottom of the springform pan to collapse as you are removing the baked cheesecake from the oven. This takes great skill and timing! Then, salvage the cheesecake that has fallen onto the oven door, and transfer it to a container. Refrigerate. Serve in a bowl, eat with a spoon. Delicious!

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Lime Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the base (adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook) –

125g (4 oz) vegan margarine/butter

200g (7 oz) plain, sweet vegan biscuits, finely crushed

2 tbsp brown sugar

Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F, and line a springform tin with baking paper.
2. Melt the margarine in a saucepan, then add the biscuit crumbs. Mix well.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Press the biscuit mixture into the base of the springform tin. Smooth the top.
5. Refrigerate the base while you prepare the filling.

For the filling (adapted from this recipe by Michael Greger) –

450g/16 oz non-dairy cream cheese

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp lime zest

2/3 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup water

2 Tbsp cornflour

Method
1. Process the cream cheese in a food processor.
2. Add the caster sugar, lime juice and lime zest. Process again until ingredients are incorporated.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add water and cornflour. Whisk until combined.
4. Add the cream cheese mixture to the mixing bowl, and combine.
5. Remove cake tin from the fridge.
6. Pour filling into cake tin, and smooth the top.
7. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a golden brown skin forms on the top.
8. Allow cake to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with homemade non-dairy cream or Soyatoo soy whip.

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Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or two!) – one that is enjoyed by my family (and a few friends). I hope your family enjoys it too.

Ally

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