Fresh Pesto | Vegan Week

It’s a pretty simple recipe for today

IMG_1349

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m too posh for shop bought jarred pesto, but sometimes there’s just nothing better than the real deal.

Either make this in bulk and keep it in the fridge or just whip up a bowl and use it straight away (I haven’t tried storing it so can’t guarantee what’d happen but you’ll never know if you don’t try!)

I always try to have a basil plant in the house as I use it so often cooking, although winter in the North has been bitter and cruel to my poor basil, so I made this pesto using the last leaves before it died.

Most pesto (shop-bought and most pesto recipes) contain parmesan or a similar cheese – which isn’t even vegetarian let alone vegan!

So this recipe packs in all the flavour of your standard pesto but is totally vegan, totally fresh and beautiful.

I find pine nuts extortionately expensive, so you can use them if you want, but I use pistachio nuts which are considerably cheaper and I love the taste!

I mixed this with pasta (but was too hungry and ate it before I could take a photo, bad blogger!), but you could try it in sandwiches, burgers, drizzled over salad, with chicken… the list is endless

Ingredients:

Handful or two basil leaves

Handful spinach/rocket (optional – good if you want to bulk the recipe out!)

Large drizzle extra virgin olive oil

Handful pistachio nuts (de-shelled)

Squeeze of lemon juice

1 clove garlic

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

Method:

  1. Chop up the pistachio nuts fairly small, and toast in a dry frying pan
  2. Grab your blender
  3. Throw in all the ingredients
  4. Whizz around until pesto-like in consistency (come on, I don’t need to spell it out for you do I?!)
  5. Tadaaaaa

Let me know if you try this recipe and send me photos! (Tag me on instagram – @catunwin)

Rice Stuffed Peppers | Vegan Week

I’ve been meaning to try stuffed peppers forever but always put it off as I thought it was too much of a palaver.

2

Since it’s the start of term so workload hasn’t built up yet, I figured I’d spend an evening giving them a go.

They’re not the quickest dish to rustle up but as I love spending time cooking a dish I find it quite enjoyable.

You won’t even miss the meat in this dish.

(but if you do feel you reeeaaally want some, try stuffing it with chunks or chorizo or have it alongside some chicken skewers!)

3

You can pretty much use whatever’s in your cupboard and season it however you like so it’s a pretty flexible dish, great for using things up, or a perfect if imagination’s otherwise lacking!

1

Ingredients (to make 4, multiply/divide as necessary):

4 large bell peppers (red/yellow taste best)

3 mushrooms

1 onion (I used a red onion)

1 small-medium tomato

Handful olives

1tsp paprika

1tsp cayenne pepper

1 vegetable stock cube

2 cups cooked rice

Method:

  1. If your peppers cannot stand up on their own, slice the bottoms so they do (try not to make too much of a hole). Slice the top off and discard the membranes and seeds, but set aside any usable bits of pepper and slice for later.
  2. Slice up your onion, mushrooms, olives and tomato. Fry your onion and pepper till slightly softened. Remove to a plate, then fry the mushrooms for about 6 minutes. Add the onion and pepper back into the pan and season to taste with paprika and cayenne pepper.
  3. Stir the cooked rice in. Crumble the vegetable stock cube over the mixture and stir in, and then leave to cook for another minute or two.
  4. Spoon the mixture into each pepper and press down so it’s tightly packed. (If you have any extra stuffing place into a small casserole dish)
  5. Cover the baking dish with foil and cook for 30-40 minutes (depending how soft you want your peppers)
  6. Serve and enjoy!