Long time, no recipe post, huh? Sure, I’ve been including recipes here and there in my posts lately, but sometimes it’s nice to devote an entire post to them. I haven’t had one of these since June 10th–almost a month, yikes! But I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting in the kitchen and it’s paid off with two recipes I think you might love.
First up, something you might want to whip up as a quick dinner. Usually when I have pasta, I use some kind of red sauce or sometimes my spicy nacho cheez sauce for a vegan take on mac ‘n cheese. I rarely even think about pesto, the popular green cousin of tomato sauce. But when I saw a recipe for pumpkin seed pesto on the Whole Foods website, I knew I had to make some for myself…with some changes, of course, to make it my own recipe.
Cheezy Pumpkin Seed Kale Pesto (vegan, gluten free)
1/2 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp olive oil
lemon juice, to taste
two handfuls kale, roughly chopped
nooch, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until combined and creamy. Add more nooch if desired, and serve over pasta, veggies or quinoa. Makes about 1 cup.
The pesto paired perfectly with chilled quinoa pasta and soy ricotta ravioli but I also want to try it as a sandwich spread! It’s more nutritious than the typical pesto, because it’s cheese-free (but uses nooch to get that cheezy taste) and uses kale which is packed with Vitamins A & C and has some calcium and fiber. And the pumpkin seeds add an interesting taste and creamy texture to the sauce!
And what’s dinner without some dessert afterwards? I usually space my dinner and nighttime snack so there’s about 2 hours in between, just enough time to digest and work up some hunger for dessert! I haven’t baked something in pretty much forever (probably close to two months) so it was definitely time. I made banana bread for the second time ever–the first time was about 3 years ago. I like banana bread, but I just rarely think to make it. But I didn’t want to just make plain ‘ol banana bread, no, I had to try incorporating some unusual ingredients. It turned out great and even better than normal banana bread.
Mocha Chip Banana Bread (vegan)
3/4 cup oat flour (can sub whole wheat, or gluten free flour)
3/4 cup oats [adds some texture]
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 squares dark chocolate with coffee pieces, chopped (can use normal dark chocolate, or chocolate chips)
1/4 cup cold coffee (I made mine with 1/3 packet Starbucks VIA instant mocha powder and 1/4 cup water)
2 ripe bananas
2 tbsp maple syrup or agave
1/2 tbsp chia or flax seed, for “egg”
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together flour, oats, baking powder, salt and chocolate until combined. In a blender or food processor, blend the coffee, bananas and maple syrup until smooth and mixed thoroughly. Pour wet mixture into dry and add in chia or flax egg. Pour batter into baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Makes 8 slices.
Mine didn’t rise a lot (stupid high altitude baking!) but it was still tasty and very dense. It’s a lot healthier than the typical banana bread and isn’t quite as sweet but for around 110 calories per slice, it makes the perfect snack crumbled in almond milk or spread with almond butter. And I love the slight coffee taste it has! Next time I would add even more coffee to it. Oh, and my junk food-loving little sister loved it, so that’s saying a lot!
This recipe is being submitted for this week’s (September 7) Healthy Vegan Friday.
What’s your favorite kind of bread to eat? Do you like red sauce, white sauce or pesto?