Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cashew Spinach Pesto

I love pesto.  Along with mustard and chocolate, it's up there with my most-craved foods. 

Unfortunately, most pesto served in restaurants or sold pre-made in stores contains Parmesan cheese.  Dairy in my pesto?  No thanks! 

Another downer with pesto is that it traditionally requires pine nuts.  Pine nuts are expensive. 

I really wanted to find a way to satisfy my pesto cravings at home without breaking the bank.

One of our favorite restaurants on the east side of Michigan serves a tofu scramble with a basil cashew pesto.  I'm a sucker for it every time, and have to hold myself back from ordering nothing but a side of pesto and a spoon.

Their pesto inspired me to attempt my own cashew pesto.  I was dealing with a pesto craving a couple of weeks ago and hadn't acquired my basil plant yet, so I gave this a whirl with a spinach/kale blend.  I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome!  You could really use any green here - arugula, mizuna, beet greens - you name it! 


I first enjoyed the pesto tossed with some spiralized zucchini, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and Beyond Meat Grilled strips.  It made for a really light, fresh, spring-like meal that also had a decadent feel to it.


Cashew Spinach Pesto

1/2 C. Raw Cashews
2 lightly packed C. greens of choice
1/3 C. Nutritional Yeast flakes
3 Garlic cloves
1 T. Lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste

First put the garlic in the food processor to mince.  Then add the cashews, then the rest of the ingredients and process until a smooth-ish paste forms.  My pesto is oil free, so you may need to add a splash or two of water as you go to get the desired consistency.  Taste and season as you go. 

This pesto is great as a sandwich spread, pasta sauce or a crudit├ęs dip. 

Give this pesto a try next time you want to try something different on your pasta or veggies!  

Also, if you find yourself in Ann Arbor or Detroit Michigan, get into Seva and try their basil cashew pesto.  Wash it down with Left Foot Charley's Cinnamon Girl cider. Trust me. 




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