August 30, 2012

Walnut Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes & Chickpeas

So yesterday, I posted a recipe that included sweet potatoes, as per a request on our Facebook page.

The Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Pesto combines flavors of summer with the savory pesto (fresh herbs, lemon, garlic) and sweet potatoes, reminiscent of the flavors of the upcoming fall season.  So yum.

So after my mom and I inhaled the sweet potatoes last night, I had all this leftover pesto.  I immediately thought of pasta.  Actually, I immediately thought, "Hooray!  I can use this stuff for tomorrow's dinner and not have to freaking cook!"  Then after that, I thought, PASTA!


So I searched the fridge and pantry and found some multi-grain pasta, spinach, grape tomatoes, and a can of chickpeas.  Dinner was done and I barely had to use any brain cells to put it together.

I LOVE pesto - especially on pasta.  This oil-free pesto is super light too - and bulked up with the tomatoes, spinach and chickpeas - it's amazing.  I could literally eat this every single night of my life.

Easy, yummy, perfect.

Love & Kale,
Ali

                     ________________________________________________________

Walnut Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes & Chickpeas
Serves: 2

Print here.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 box Multigrain Pasta
  • Leftover Walnut Pesto, about 3/4 cup (recipe here)
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 can chickpeas
Instructions:
  1. Make pasta according to package directions.
  2. Toss cooked pasta with remaining ingredients.  Garnish with a little lemon zest, if desired, and ENJOY!
Ingredients

Umm....make pasta and throw everything together! DONE!


August 29, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Pesto

WELL HELLO!!!!!!  Long time, no blog.  As I explained on our Facebook page, these past couple of weeks have been absolutely crazy.  Lots of moving, lots of changes.  Some positive, some negative, all part of life.

So anyway, I asked you last week on Facebook what recipes you'd be interested in us posting.  One response was, "Something with potatoes or sweet potatoes please!"  

Although it's still August for a few more days, there have been hints of cool evenings lately.....little teases of the lovely fall weather that will be here soon.  

I don't know about you, but the second the temperature dips below 58 degrees in the evening, and I need a hoodie because it's a little chilly, I think fall food (I swear I should be 876 pounds).  Pumpkin, cinnamon, sweet potatoes, chili, the list goes on and on.  

So, being the plant-based rock star that I am, I put two and two together - the request for potato recipes and the tease of the upcoming fall weather and decided to make something with sweet potatoes.

If you've been following us from the beginning, you know we've done quite a few things with the good old sweet potato.  You all know our undying love for our Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas, and the amazing Sweet Potato Burgers.  We've also done Sweet Potato Curry and Sweet Potato Stuffed Peppers.

However, this time, I wanted to make something different.

I wanted to stick with the combination of sweet and savory that we've come to know and love - but add a new twist.  Hello Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Pesto.


I love pesto - always have.  But now that I don't eat oil (essentially devoid of any nutrition, and pure fat - if you want the benefits of an olive, don't eat the oil, eat a freaking olive), and obviously don't eat cheese, I have had to be creative when it comes to pesto.  This pesto uses the fat of a whole food, walnuts, but still contains the flavor combination of classic pesto - garlic, fresh herbs, and a hint of lemon.

I ate this with a salad and big ol' glass of wine.  Yummy.  The roasted sweet potatoes reminded me of the upcoming fall, while the fresh pesto reminded me that it's still August, and to appreciate these last days of summer.

And the best part (well, second best after eating this)?  I had pesto leftover for dinner tonight!  Any guesses as to what I made with it tonight!?!  Stay tuned tomorrow to find out!

Love & Kale,
Ali

                      ___________________________________________________________
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Pesto
Serves: 4

Print here.

Ingredients:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into similar-sized wedges
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with a little cooking spray and salt and pepper.
  2. Roast potatoes, turning once, until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes, depending on how large your wedges are).  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  3. Add parsley, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice and zest to a food processor or blender.  Process until coarsely chopped.  Add about 1/4 - 1/3 cup water to the mixture, until combined and a good pesto texture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Top the sweet potatoes with a drizzle of the pesto.  ENJOY!
 
Ingredients

Cut sweet potatoes, season with S&P, bake

Toast your nuts!!

Shove everything into the blender and let it go

Roast until golden brown and yummy looking

Oil-free Walnut Pesto

Drizzle pesto on top and EAT!



August 3, 2012

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

I hosted a going-away party for friends this past weekend.  Ann, as you know, is a plant based rockstar, and her husband is a vegetarian.

So let's talk about what a vegan rockstar makes for another vegan rockstar for aforementioned vegan rockstar's going away party.

I did light appetizers and dessert:  
  • Avocado White Bean Dip and salsa with tortilla chips
  • Potato chips with dill dip (1/2 Tofutti sour cream, 1/2 Veganaise, 1 tbsp of dried dill)
  • Veggies with hummus
  • Triple Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake (recipe from "Veganomicon")

All the food was a hit, with vegans and non-vegans alike, and a good time was had by all - hooray!

So on to this week's recipe!! 

I was inspired by Ann's creation a few weeks ago, when she just took a bunch of crap she had, and made it into an awesome meal!!  I went into my pantry and fridge, and this is what I came up with:


I know roasting vegetables sounds like a terrible, terrible idea when it's 95 degrees out.  But hear me out - this is so freaking good.  You don't even have your oven on for that long, promise!  Plus, it took no time at all, and it's super versatile!  Use whatever grain you want, whatever veggies you have, whatever bean you desire, and whatever herbs tickle your fancy.

Of course, no "clean-out-the-fridge-eat-whatever-you-want" meal would be complete without a big 'ol glass of wine.  



Love & Kale,
Ali

                      _______________________________________________________
Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables
Serves: 4

Print here.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 -15oz can beans of your choice, rinsed and drained
  • Veggies of your choice - I used:
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 cup broccoli florets
    • 1 small sweet potato, chopped
    • 1 cup carrots, chopped
    • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
    • 1/2 red onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
    • Handful of baby spinach
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos - or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake (adjust to your desired heat level)
  • 1 tsp cumin (or whatever herbs you want)
  • Pepper to taste (you could add a little salt, if desired, but the soy sauce is pretty salty)
Instructions:
  1. Cook your quinoa according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Meanwhile, chop all your veggies.  Combine the soy sauce (or aminos), cumin, salt and pepper.  Toss the dressing with the veggies, making sure to evenly coat them all.
  3. Place veggies on a baking tray, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until fork tender and charred on the edges (will depend on how large you chop your veggies).
  4. When the quinoa is done, add in the beans and the roasted vegetables.  Toss to combine.
  5. Serve with a big salad, and garnish with a little more soy sauce, a little oil-free dressing (which is what I did), avocado, or more spinach!  Oh, and a large glass of wine.  ENJOY!
Ingredients

Make your quinoa

Combine the dressing ingredients

Toss to coat the veggies

Bake your veggies on HIGH heat - 450 - for about 10 min

See that pretty char on the edges?  That's what your looking for!

Combine quinoa and beans

Toss everything together

Serve with a big salad and bigger glass of wine!