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Just to be clear… this is not a pesto made from kale.  I never understand how people can replace basil with cilantro or some random green like kale and still call it pesto!  Basil is irreplaceable in my book.

So I was needing a good dose of greens, but I didn’t want to eat them plain.  And I had some extra basil leftover from my tomato basil soup… so I made pesto.

Vegan Pesto

  • 1 tightly packed cup of basil leaves (rinsed clean)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt, depending on personal taste preference

So there are a couple ways you can do this…

The easy way: Blend it all up in a food processor.  Done.

The less easy way: I wanted to try making it like an Italian grandmother (click here for link), because that just sounded too appealing!  So I followed her directions for the basil and garlic, but when it came time to incorporate the parmesan, I just grated some walnuts in a rotary cheese grater and added that and the nutritional yeast and salt to the minced basil mixture.

Then I steamed a bunch of kale in 1/3 cup of water till the water was mostly gone:

Then I combined the two… and voila!

I highly suggest serving this with leftover mashed potatoes and/or cauliflower, then you can be all fancy and call it “Pesto Colcannon”:

I’m still learning to eat well at restaurants.  Especially vegetarian and vegan restaurants… it’s not like I’m going to accidentally order a steak, you know?  But fried falafels and the often oil-laden restaurant hummus can be just as unfriendly to the waistline.

My favorite question (suggested by both the healthy vegans and happy herbivore) for restaurant ordering is “Do you have a dish that can be easily prepared without oil?”

So I forgot to ask that one today.  This is the potato and cauliflower bowl with brown rice.  I had steamed veggies in my head, but they were roasted.  It wasn’t drenched in oil or anything, but it was a bit on the heavy side.

Tsom has a great cold buffet that I ate from last time that has a lot of light options, from greens to couscous salads to lentil stews.   I do recommend that!

My brother ordered the Indian curry biryani special and yam chips.   He can get away with this because tomorrow morning he will run 10 miles up some mountain peak… with his shoe laces tied together and blind-folded.  Or something like that!

I’d be willing to bet my brother could eat just one potato chip. 🙂