Vegan Kale and Basil Pesto.


On a vegan roll this week with the recipes.  Again, I think many people shy away or turn their nose up to trying vegan recipes – trust me, don’t!  All of these recipes I’m sharing I “test run” on my family and my kids and father are all staunch carnivores.  It is nice to mix up your menu choices.  Add more veggies and sub out the meat once in awhile, remember Meatless Mondays?  Okay so my kids LOVE LOVE love, pesto.  I haven’t made it all winter – well because it reminds me of spring and summer.  It’s light and fresh and normally has ingredients that come from our garden.  Well now that the snow has melted (Amen!) and spring has SPRUNG (finally) I wanted to whip up a different pesto that was nutritionally set up as a powerhouse, who doesn’t want their kids to eat more green veggies right?, and was totally vegan (because you can try a vegan recipe without dying I promise).

This pesto is so packed with vitamins and minerals – your body will be humming along nicely and when you eat lots of color (remember science and photosynthesis?) – that comes from the sun, that energy and glow will happen to you.  Insert the wahhh wahhh wahhhh from Charlie Brown but I’m serious.  Since becoming a vegetarian – consuming more and more vegetables has changed my skin texture and it now has a glow plus I have a ton of energy.  Meat doesn’t do that for you, sorry.

Back to the recipe at hand… this recipe can be made solely with basil or a combination of basil, kale and spinach – whatever you like.  Totally flexible and totally tasty.  Also refrigerates or freezes beautifully.  Plus how easy is this dinner… process it in your food processor or Vitamix and keep it in the fridge till you boil your pasta.  Ummmm hello easy weeknight dinner.  Also spreads great on crackers, acts as a dip for veggies or a spread on your sandwich, top your favorite protein, in soup… the ideas are endless.


2 cups of kale (I used dinosaur)
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of walnuts
4 -6 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you love or hate it)
2 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast (I used Bob’s Redmill)
Olive Oil


Into your food processor or Vitamix, add your garlic and pulse until it breaks down into really small pieces.  Then add your kale/spinach/basil or whatever mixture you’re using, walnuts, Nutritional Yeast, salt and pepper. Process until chopped up nicely.  Through the spout, drizzle olive oil, while the machine is running to blend the oil into the mixture.  Avoid being heavy-handed here.  I add and watch to see how the pesto looks.  Add more if it needs it, if not, stop.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  The nutritional yeast will add a nutty/cheese flavor to the pesto without dairy.  It is also packed with B vitamins.  (Also great on popcorn.)



Spoon out the pesto into an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze until needed.  A little pesto goes a long way on pasta so start with a tablespoon or so and add more until you get to the amount you prefer.  Always add it to drained, hot pasta – giving it a good toss to incorporate.  Enjoy!



— Knead to Cook

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