{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Roasted Cashew and Coriander Pesto

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We don’t seem to have much luck when it comes to growing coriander in our backyard. We are fortunate to have well-established parsley, oregano, rosemary, mint, and garlic chives plants. But coriander does not thrive in our little herb garden.

Fortunately for us, big, beautiful, fresh bunches of coriander are available for a pittance at our farmers’ market.

We use coriander in salads, stir fries, Thai curries, and pesto.

Today’s pesto recipe contains roasted cashews, raw pine nuts and coriander. The oil content ensures that it is spreadable and easily stirred through pasta shells or spirals. For a pesto recipe with a lower oil content, see this recipe.

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Cashew and Coriander Pesto

Quantity: makes 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups raw cashews

1/4 cup pine nuts

3 tightly packed cups coriander leaves (some stem is OK)

2 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. Spread the cashews onto a baking tray and roast in a warm oven for about 10 minutes. Allow the cashews to cool before using them in the recipe.

2. Wash and dry the coriander leaves (I use a salad spinner), and put them in a food processor with the cashews, pine nuts and garlic cloves. Process for 30 seconds.

3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor using a spatula. Add the salt and olive oil. Process for 30 seconds.

4. Taste the pesto, and add more salt if desired. Process for a further 15 seconds (if required).

5. Serve with your preferred gluten-free pasta.

Scoop leftovers into a glass jar with a lid, and store in the fridge. Yummy on toast!

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The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

All of the tiny vegans enjoy this pesto stirred through pasta. As they find raw garlic spicy, I keep the garlic content low in this recipe.

Two cloves is low for us. 🙂

Thanks for sticking with me through Vegan MoFo. The ‘finish line’ is in site. Wishing you all a beautiful day. 🙂

Ally

{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

{Recipe} Macadamia and Basil Pesto with Marinara Sauce and Zucchini Ribbons

The days are starting to heat up in my part of the world. It is time to farewell the comforting soups and stews of winter and early spring, and commence RAW FOOD indulgence!

This pesto is a concoction that I developed after discovering that my family’s preferred nut and herb combination (for pesto) was macadamia and basil. I added english spinach on an occasion that I was a little short of basil, and it became a regular addition to the recipe.

The marinara sauce is adapted from Alissa Cohen’s Living on Live Food. We discovered zucchini ribbons (or ‘noodles’) when we first became interested in raw food 5 years ago.

Macadamia and Basil Pesto

Macadamia nuts

Quantity -2 cups

You will need:

4 cups basil leaves, tightly packed

1 1/2 cups English (baby) spinach leaves, tightly packed

2 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts

2-5 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup plus 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

English spinach and basil leaves

Method

Wash basil leaves and baby spinach leaves, pat dry or use a salad spinner.

Place leaves in food processor with macadamia nuts and garlic. Process for 30 sec. Turn off, then remove lid. Use a spatula to scrape mixture down the sides of the jug. Replace lid, process again and add 1/3 cup of oil and salt while blades are spinning. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape ingredients down side of jug with a spatula.

Once ingredients are well incorporated, do a taste test. Add remaining 1/2 tbsp oil or additional salt if it is required. Process again to combine.

Pesto

We use the full amount of oil. We only use 2 cloves of garlic, as my children comment that the pesto is ‘spicy’ if we add any more. By all means, add more if that won’t be a problem in your house. I’d certainly add more garlic if it wasn’t for fact that my kids find the strong, spicy flavour of raw garlic overwhelming (when someone calls out ‘water, water’ I know I’ve gone overboard with the garlic!).

Set pesto aside.

Marinara sauce

Quantity – 1 3/4 cups

2 cups fresh tomato, chopped

15 sundried tomatoes soaked for 2 hours

5 dates, pitted and soaked for 2 hours

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of cayenne pepper

Method

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process on medium until ingredients are blended well, and desired texture is achieved. I like it to be a little chunky.

Marinara sauce

Zucchini ribbons:

You will need:

1/2 – 1 medium zucchini (courgette) PER person

Method:

Wash and dry zucchini. Use vegetable peeler (or spiraliser) to create ribbons. If using vegie peeler, peel zucchini along the entire length.  Discard skin if  preferred. I use it. Use as much of the zucchini as possible. Set ribbons aside.

Zucchini ribbons

Additional ingredients, PER person:

2 small button mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup diced red capsicum (bell pepper)

1 tbsp sliced olives

A sprinkling of savoury yeast (nutritional yeast)

4 slices of avocado

A few sprigs of fresh parsley

To assemble:

For each person:

Place ribbons in a bowl. Add desired amount of pesto. Mix with a spoon to coat the ribbons, or you can use your hands to work the pesto through the ribbons.

Add desired amount of marinara sauce, mix well.

Add vegetables, stir.

Sprinkle with savoury yeast flakes (nutritional yeast) and place avocado slices on top. Top with parsley.

Enjoy!

with nutritional yeast.

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without nutritional yeast.

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Variation: My kids aren’t keen on raw zucchini (or cooked, or any form really. But they do like zucchini cake – especially when I call it Maple Syrup and Walnut Cake 😉 ).

So, we serve their meal with wholemeal wheat spaghetti instead of ribbons.

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Leftover pesto can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge, for about a week. My daughter and I enjoy pesto on whole wheat toast for breakfast.

Leftover marinara sauce can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

What is your favourite pesto combination?

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe – one that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.

Ally

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