October 2, 2008

Quick & Healthy Recipes: Vegan Spinach-Walnut Pesto

Here is a different spin on traditional pesto I often whip up at home.

It omits cheese (you're welcome, vegan and lactose intolerant readers), replaces pinenuts with walnuts for an Omega-3 boost, and adds some spinach for extra nutrition.

YIELDS: 6 servings


6 garlic cloves, whole
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1/3 cup raw walnuts
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably coarse sea salt)
Pepper, to taste
1 cup water (from pasta pot)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)


1. Place whole garlic cloves in food processor. Pulse until diced.
2. Place rest of ingredients (except water) in food processor.
3. Pulse; add water and pulse again.


220 calories
1.5 grams saturated fat
14 grams monounsaturated (heart healthy) fat
190 milligrams sodium
4.5 grams fiber
7 grams protein
350 milligrams ALA Omega-3 fatty acids

Excellent Source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, B vitamins

Good Source of: Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber

Although you can obviously drizzle this over some pasta (preferrably whole wheat; be sure to include roasted red peppers for a wonderful complementary taste), I also recommend using it as a topping for seitan, tofu, or grilled chicken.

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