Hazelnut Pesto for Lazy Afternoons

hazelnut pesto

Basil, basil, and more basil! When a basil plant decides to take hold it really pumps it out. So, I schedule a few minutes each day to go out and cut the flowering basil tops, to keep the plant going all summer long. Which winds me up with a lot of extra basil hanging around the kitchen. Here is a great sweet-meets-savory idea for a lazy afternoon salad, with vegan hazelnut pesto as the star of the show. You can also do a non vegan version of this by using parmesan or another hard aged cheese in place of the nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

vegan hazelnut pesto with mango & avocado slices

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 fresh mango, split, peeled and cut into slices
1 fresh avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into slices Read More


Swiss Chard Enchiladas Are What’s Up

swiss chard enchiladas

We have this gigantic Swiss chard “bush,” seriously taking hold in the food garden. The leaves kept beckoning me to wrap them up with something. So, here’s an idea for gluten-free and cornmeal-free Swiss chard enchiladas that came out pretty yummy! The fresh epazote adds a nice, earthy, Oaxacan nuance, but you can substitute something like fresh thyme and still get a great fresh herbal infusion. Epazote is really easy to grow but not so easy to find at the market. Feel free to play around with non-vegan variations using queso fresco, organic chicken, and-or ground meat. Enjoy!

vegan swiss chard enchiladas with quinoa, black beans & epazote

12 chard leaves- steamed for 1 1/2 minutes
2 cups cooked sprouted quinoa (easy to get this by cooking 1 cup dried quinoa and 2 cups water in a rice cooker)
2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups semi smashed black beans
1 tsp. sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. fresh epazote (optional, or substitute fresh thyme or other pungent herb) Read More


Chewy Squash Blossom Fritter Yuminess

squash blossom fritters

“Vegan-Paleo Squash Blossom Fritters” is about as complete a description as I could get for these very interesting, chewy-yet-crisp treats that were basically an experiment. But I guess that is how it’s supposed to work on here, right? I started thinking I was going to make a gluten-free, vegan squash blossom pancake, but the texture of these, coming from the tapioca flour, is definitely more “fritter”- like. These seem best right out of the oven, but I’ll bet they would be great cold or reheated also. The problem is, I gobbled them up so fast I didn’t have any to save for later, so now I have to wait until I get some more fresh squash blossoms on my hands.

Technically, these only fulfill the ingredient guidelines of being “Paleo.” In order to be truly paleo from a macronutrient standpoint, they wouldn’t be so heavy on carbs. But, they are gluten, grain, dairy free and totally vegan as well. So enjoy these as a healthier indulgence and as a great way to enjoy the season’s squash, zucchini and other blossoms from the garden or the Farmers Market. I’ll bet the chewy texture of these is unique from many things you have tried before.

vegan-paleo squash blossom fritters

1/2 cup hazelnut flour 
3/4  cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 cups organic, full-fat coconut milk (from can)
20-25 fresh squash blossoms Read More