Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta
When life gives you lemons, you could make lemonade. Or you could get some serious meal-spiraton from us and make this lemony Avocado Pesto Pasta, instead! This creamy dish is packed with flavor but comes together super easily - you can even make the pesto ahead for an easy instant meal builder. It's the perfect dish for welcoming in warm, spring weather and the recipe is easily doubled for family-sized meals or lunch-leftovers. Top it with a sprinkle of hemp seeds for a bit of texture, and of course serve with fresh lemon slices- they add a ton of fresh flavor when squeezed over the top!
Before we get cooking, just wanted to let all my Orange County pals know that my vegan, organic baked goods are now being sold at Green Bliss Cafe in downtown Fullerton! This week they've got Oatmeal Cream Pies and Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies from our NEW Homestyle Vegan Cookbook (available for pre-order!!), as well as matcha-glazed and maple-glazed donuts! And if you need a custom baked goods order, let us know! We're happy to help bake and deliver whatever goodies you may need. Any questions? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let's get cookin'!
1 1/2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup hemp seeds (shell-free)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium avocado, halved and seed removed
16 ounces spaghetti noodles (or any pasta you prefer!)
lemon slices, for squeezing + garnish
hemp seeds, for garnish
In a food processor or high speed blender combine the basil, hemp seeds, lemon juice, garlic, pepper and salt. Drizzle in the olive oil and scoop the avocado into the mixture and process until creamy. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles until al dente, then drain.
Pour the avocado pesto sauce into the pasta and toss to coat evenly. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. Serve + enjoy!
Leftovers last in the fridge up to about a week.
Easy Miso Gravy
You know what's better than gravy that's ready in just over 5 minutes? ALMOST NOTHING. Gravy is like my lifeblood - I could eat it slathered on just about any vegetable and I think it makes everything taste better. A good gravy, that is. I'm not much for store-bought packets, so whenever I want gravy I follow pretty much this exact recipe and whip up a batch to dump on everything. And since I've made it so many times, I've gotten pretty darn good at it. So good at it, I figured it was about time I shared it with you guys. And just in time for Thanksgiving! Kitchen time on Tofurkey Day is valuable, so who wants to waste it slaving over an hour long gravy recipe? NOT YOU! And sure as heck not me. So grab a pan, whip up a batch of this easy, flavorful gravy, and go smother some mashed potatoes in it. Or share it with our friends at the dinner table, if that's your jive turkey. Let's eat!
Looking for more Thanksgiving sides? Check out our Celeriac Mashed Potatoes, Lemon Miso Cranberry Sauce, and Homemade Tofurky!
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1/4 cup flour (AP or WW)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon miso paste
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
In a small cast iron pan (or sauce pan, but we like the flavor and the way the butter browns a bit more in cast iron) melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour. The mixture will be chunky.
Stir and let brown for 1-2 minutes, then pour in vegetable broth, miso paste, onion powder and pepper. Whisk vigorously until completely combined. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and thickening.
Turn the heat to low and simmer a few more minutes, until your desired gravy thickness is achieved. Serve immediately!
Makes about 2 cups.
If you don't have flour/ want to keep it GF, you can substitute cornstarch. Start with an equal amount and use more to thicken as needed.
Leftovers can be refrigerated up to a week in an airtight container.
Mexican Wheat Berry Salad
Sometimes you want something a little spicy, sometimes you don't. If you don't, thats okay. If you do, this dish is for you! We used our flavor-packed, low-fat Cauliflower Queso Cheeze recipe to coat one of our favorite and underused pantry staples, wheat berries, and added plenty of fresh veggies and cilantro to kick it up to party-worthy appetizer level! We fell in love with wheat berries a few years ago at a friends wedding where they served a lovely vegetarian salad (that I literally picked the cheese out of) and have been incorporating them into our diets more and more ever since. Wheat berries are the entire kernel of wheat, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. This means that they are the purest, whole, unprocessed form of wheat. When ground, they make whole wheat flour! Wheat berries are high in fiber and rich in vitamins B1 and B3, plus magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese and selenium. And since they're so hearty and full of fiber, a 1/2 cup serving of cooked wheat berries does a great job of filling you up and keeping you fuller, longer. We love this salad as an appetizer or side dish alongside our Jackfruit Asada Street Tacos. Its a crowd pleaser and requires very minimal work on your part, plus is easily made ahead for parties. Let's eat!
3/4 cup hard wheat berries
3 cups water
1/2 cup Queso Cheeze
1-2 tablespoons jalapéno, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced (we used yellow tomatoes from the garden!)
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
chips for scooping (optional)
In a medium sized pot, boil wheat berries in water for about an hour, until the berries become soft enough to eat. Drain the water, and set the wheat berries aside to cool.
If you haven't prepped the queso cheese, go ahead and do that. If you have, move on to the next step.
Prep jalapeños, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro.
When wheat berries have cooled, mix in queso cheeze, jalapeños, tomatoes, green onion (save a little for garnish, if you like), chopped cilantro, and the juice squeezed from 1 lime. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine, garnish with remaining green onion, and serve with chips! Makes about 2 cups, serves 4. This dish will save well in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
Field Roast Fiesta Burger!
We've been fans of Field Roast for a few years now and have always loved incorporating their flavorful grain-based sausages in jambalaya, soups, and on their own in a bun and slathered in mustard and onions. At Expo West this year, we FINALLY tried the long-awaited and AMAZING Chao cheeses in all three flavors - tomato cayenne, creamy original, and coconut herb. They're super realistic in flavor + texture to what I remember munching on a kid and they are the perfect filling for an ooey-gooey grilled cheese. Alex is big on finding the PERFECT veggie burger- and as far as texture and flavor goes, Field Roast's Hand-Formed is his first choice. Is it the most realistic looking burger to a meat patty we've seen yet- especially pre-cooked. You could convince any meat eater that whats in the plastic is a turkey burger for sure...if you trash the label, of course. The burger base is a blend of whole barley, carrots, garlic, onions, and celery- and of course, a secret blend of spices! They're high in protein and non-GMO, and are hand-made in small batches, by hand, in Seattle.
When we were sent a few extra samples after the Expo, we decided to create (what we're calling) a Fiesta Burger smothered in Firecracker Sauce, Roasted Poblano Peppers, and Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw...and its fucking delicious. So, let's just pretend we're celebrating Cinco de Mayo three weeks early, grab a margarita, and get cooking. Olé!
2 Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers
2 slices of Field Roast Chao Tomato Cayenne Cheese
2 focaccia buns, sliced
1 large or 1 medium poblano peppers
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast washed, halved, and seeded peppers on a lined baking sheet for 15-25 minutes, until skin gets bubbly and brown. Remove from oven, let cool, and peel off bubbly skin so you're left with just the meaty part of the pepper. Set aside.
Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw:
In a large mixing bowl toss together cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine mayo, hot sauce, and paprika. Stir well to combine.
Heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron pan. Fry Field Roast patties until crisp and browning on one side. Flip burgers, toss on a slice of tomato cayenne cheese, and let burgers cook until equally crisp and browning on the bottom side.
While the burgers cook, slather bottom patties with about 2 tablespoons each of the Firecracker Sauce. Top with the cooked burger and melty cheese, then layer on the roasted poblano peppers, Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw, and sliced avocado. Spread a bit more Firecracker Sauce on the top bun, add it to the pile, and enjoy! Serves 2. Leftover slaw + firecracker sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week.