Presto Vegan Pesto!

We are but one week from when i enjoyed teaching a  “plein-air” (which just means outdoors) cooking class on a beautiful day, under deep blue skies (no filter needed kind of a day!) and vitamin-D rich sunshine 
offering the gardeners from the local Methodist Church’s Community Garden a cooking class on how to make the very most of their abundant organic veggie harvest.  And here we are, just a few short days later,  all practicing “Social Distancing” and “Self-Isolation” doing our patriotic bits to help flatten the curve.
Their lush late season harvest included many varieties of onions, purple, yellow, green, bunching varieties, and scallions, so I chose to invent a variation on Pesto, utilizing the tall stalks of onion greens, which folks tend to toss and waste. I pride myself on being a #zerowaste chef, or at least strive to get as close to zero waste as possible, so i found this a brilliant possibility.  Now, just hoping ti would taste divine, too, otherwise it would be so brilliant, after all, lol!   With a further challenge, I also opted to keep it budget-friendly, so instead of walnuts or heaven forbid, pignoli nuts most commonly featured in traditional pesto recipes, I picked sunflower seeds. Both choices actually worked brilliantly! Finally, because I’ve seen the call to keep clients healthy, I aim for no-oil recipes as often as possible.  So, this pesto is more of a paste, than a sauce. And, it works!
Ingredients:
1 bunch basil
1 bunch scallions (or the equivalent e.g. in fresh onion tops.)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 and 1/2 cups shelled sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
2 garlic cloves (raw is suggested but these could also be roasted if you prefer the flavor)
1/2/ cup Nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil oil (or enough for a paste to form in the blender, you may need a little more than 1/4 cup). You might use infused oil i(e.g. with basil stems). If you don’t want to use additional oil and a paste has not yet formed, use hot water for the additional liquid. If you don’t want to use oil at all, you may substitute hot vegetable broth for the entire 1/4 cup of oil
2 big cloves garlic (raw is recommended but you could use roasted)
Lemon zest from one lemon
Squeeze of lemon juice (this is approximately the juice that you can squeeze from one half lemon)
Directions:
Blend all ingredients together to form a paste.

Leave a comment below on how you plan to use your pesto!

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*I know that sentiment has deep political ramifications RIGHT NOW as the term “marshall law” is being bandied about, but this post just isn’t about that.  I’m personally NOT a fan of speculating, or stressing about the things that I cannot control so here I am back at my home temple, the kitchen, creating healing recipes so that we can live our best life, despite being temporarily in isolation.

Cason Garden Pickled Cabbage

This is the recipe followed for the Cason Community Garden Class taught on 3/14/20

This recipe was first published on https://omnivorescookbook.com and is authored by, Maggie Zhu it is with admiration that we share this with you and encourage you to visit the site there for more great recipes in addition to the one we are sharing.

Ingredients
Pickling mix
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic , smashed
4 red chili peppers more if desired (Optional)
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (Optional)
1 lbs (450 g) cabbage (about half of a small head of cabbage)
1 large carrot , peeled
2 tablespoons salt

Instructions:
Combine the rice vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and chili peppers in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it reaches a simmer.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.

Use a clean spoon to taste the pickling liquid to see if it has the desired spice level. You can simmer it for a bit longer if you want the liquid to taste spicier. Once done, set aside and allow to cool.

Cut out the cabbage core and discard it. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Cut the carrot into 1/4” (1/2 cm) thick half-moon shaped slices.

Combine the cabbage, carrots, and 2 tablespoons of salt in a big bowl. Toss it with your hands so the veggies are coated with salt.

Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, up to 1 hour (no more than an hour).

Drain and discard the salted water released by the veggies. Rinse the veggies twice.

Drain thoroughly, and squeeze out the excess water from the veggies. Transfer them into a large container (or a jar).

Add the crushed garlic and Sichuan peppercorns (if using) into the same container.

Add the cooled pickling liquid. Press the veggies so they are submerged in the liquid. It is fine if a small fraction of the veggies are poking out from the liquid (because the veggies will shrink over time and become submerged).

Seal the container and allow to pickle for 3 days in the fridge.
The pickles will start to taste good after 1 day, but the sourness will come through at day 3. Make sure to use a clean utensil to pick out the pickles every time you serve them. They will stay good in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks.

Nutrition
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.6g | Protein: 0.9g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 5.3g | Calcium: 28mg

 

What do you think about this recipe? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to join my meal prep  CommUNITY on Facebook!

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Disclaimer:
This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice, legal advice, or professional services. If you feel that you have a medical problem, you should seek the advice of your health care practitioner.
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