Finding my vegan groove again

Its been a while!

I’ve been on holiday and I confess…lost my vegan mojo for a while there…it was lost somewhere inbetween a multitude of aperol spritzs and lemon peronis enjoyed with my husband and family whilst travelling in Europe. I found it very hard to be vegan in Italy and confess – on this journey of mine – that I decided it was time to be vegetarian again for my time there. My only options for dinner otherwise would have been rocket with cherry tomatoes and a side of chips for ten days straight. Delicious maybe, but not sustaining or nutritious or filling.

It was weird for me, 6 months into being vegan, to revert for a week. However, I decided when I began this journey that I wouldn’t beat myself up or shame myself at any stage. I’d just accept the journey as it came to me – so that’s what I did.

However, now back in Aus, and I am back in my happy vegan place cooking for myself and trialling new recipes eagerly and happily experimenting in the kitchen.

Tonight I found myself making my first vegan pesto. I didn’t follow any recipe. I just decided I really fancied it along with some yummy spiralised zucchini pasta.

2015-08-26 17.26.06Without wishing to sound like I am singing my own praises, I was actually super happy with how it turned out and did not predict it would be as lovely as it was.

I haven’t ever had a homemade vegan pesto before. I’ve bought one from the shops made with tofu but was a little underwhelmed and found it a little watery (and distinctly un-cheesy…as you might imagine). So I decided I wanted to make my own and give the vegan pesto back the cheesy kick it deserves!

So here’s my very own – one of a kind – Basil and Macadamia nut pesto recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Rockin pesto

  • 150gm Macadamia nuts (thats all I had in the cupboard – go large and put in more if you have them!). NB: I used raw but I reckon they would have been lovely roasted too
  • A whole bunch of fresh basil (again…two bunches wouldn’t have been overkill)
  • 2 tablespoons Macadamia oil (only because I had it in the cupboard – it was a gift. I reckon Olive Oil just as good if not better). Add more if its too sticky and not the right texture.
  • 1 cup Daiya mozzarella cheese – smells a little weird (I doubt I am the first to say that) but its brilliant for whenever you want grated vegan cheese. I had an inkling that it would work well in a pesto and I was thankfully right…
  • 2 cloves garlic (small cloves you don’t want to overpower it)
  • Pinch white pepper, black pepper and salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze

STEPS:

Blend the macadamia nuts until they are almost a flour. Then add the cheese and blend straight in with it.

Once done – add the rest of the ingredients and play to taste and consistency until you are happy.

Ta da.

It feels like it was too easy. Why have I been buying shop bought pesto all these years!

What a lovely little bit of experimentation to get me back to the heart of the food that I love.

Happy Weds all.

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