CSA Love – Garlic Scape Pesto

We are LOVING our first summer being part of a CSA. A super awesome surprise box of beyond fresh veggies every week 🙂 What a great present to have! Before joining the CSA I had never had a garlic scape before. Garlic scapes are the beautiful bright green stems and unopened flower buds of garlic. I heard that if you place them in water, their flowers are beautiful!! (but then your house will also smell of garlic!). They have a mild-strong garlic flavor, depending, and can be used a variety of ways, often times just in place of garlic itself. You can find them early summer at farmer’s markets and they are quite the gem!

I decided to try making a pesto with them. I ended up adding a bunch of baby spinach to tame down the powerful garlic flavor, but in the end it was DEELISH! We used it to make pesto pasta, sautéed greens (from the CSA), as a condiment in wraps and even the babies Loved it as a dip with baby carrots. Image

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 garlic scapes
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup pignoli nuts + some for garnish
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigian (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Puree everything together, scraping down the sides to incorporate everything.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with pignoli nuts. Simple and delicious.

For Pasta – Just boil 1 lb of pasta and combine with Pesto.

For Sauteed Chicory – Boil Chicory for about 5 minutes to remove some of the bitterness and then saute with pesto. Amazing!! A CSA Fave!!!

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For Baby Beet Greens – Chop up, saute the stems first till they soften a bit and then add the greens and mix with pesto. (enjoy the beets with this or on their own)

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Vegan Pizza with homemade dough

Who doesn’t appreciate a good slice, especially here in NYC where pizza is so very important and such a point of contention – even for vegans! Our favorite place to order from is Viva Herbal Pizzeria where we can get spelt or gluten-free crusts with daiya and even vegan sausage as toppings (our personal fave combo!) Pala Pizza also has great vegan options and that brick-fired pizza taste, yum!

Sometimes it is easy to buy dough and tomato sauce quickly whip up a pie at home, but if you are interested in making your own dough, here is a great recipe! My mom made the dough and I added the homemade sauce (thanks mom!!).  It was really very very good!

Check out here for some of my other fun pizza nights 🙂 Flatbread Pizza with hummus, green olives, cherry tomatoes and za’atar (this is a raw one and Well Worth the effort!), Raw Eggplant Pizzas and the quick at home whipped up kind with purchased dough.

Vegan Pizza with Homemade Dough & Daiya Cheese

Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast (1 packet of dry yeast)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees (if using a pizza stone – place in the oven to get hot and heat for an hour)
  2. Mix together the warm water, sugar and yeast. Put aside to get foamy. If it does not foam then the yeast is not good – redo this step.
  3. In a separate bowl mix all of the other ingredients. Add in the yeast mixture and mix well until dough forms a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough – Use the palm of your hand and keep pressing in and folding it over and repeating for about 5 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 – one pound balls. Place these dough balls into containers and cover the container with anything that will keep the air out. Set the dough to rise in a warm spot for at least 45 minutes. (you can freeze any unused dough after rising*)
  5. Prepare your topping. Stretch out the dough and aim for it to be even thickness all around. Top your pizza and place in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes. Let it rest. Add any herbs to your pizza afterwards.

*If using frozen dough – allow dough to defrost in fridge 12 hours

  • Either use a jar of Marinara Sauce or make your own

Basic Sauce Recipe

  • 28 ounce pureed tomatoes
  • sugar to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 3-6 finely grated fresh peeled garlic cloves

Mix all the ingredients together.

Topping Suggestions:

  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Fresh or Roasted Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn
  • Peppers
  • Olives
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Grilled/Fried/Baked Eggplant
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Capers
  • Saute Spinach
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Artichokes
  • Soy Pepperoni or Soy Sausage or Tofu/tempeh
  • Daiya Vegan Cheese or other vegan cheese
  • Herbs

Unbaked Pizza

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

We had such a super lovely week of vacation! We spent most of the week out in Sag Harbor relaxing, cooking, practicing yoga with the amazing Colleen Saidman at Yoga Shanti, hanging out with my wonderful sister & brother in law and their adorable twin girls and just generally taking it super easy. (I’ll post some of our other super quick vacation recipes soon!)

We then headed out to Northport to stay with our friend Lisa Dawn. She has a beautiful studio there, Project Yoga, that I was honored to be teaching at this weekend. Such a sweet and blessed space. We spent the rest of the time there at the beach and of course cooking a little more 🙂

As many of you know, I love onions! We bought the most beautiful onions at the Farmers Market in Northport and I wanted to use them right away. Lisa had this amazing Vegan Pesto from Delpozzo at the farmers market so it was just a perfect quick and easy beach meal to throw both these together with quinoa pasta. Easy Peasy!

The pesto was Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, Pinenuts, Tofu, Salt and Pepper. Super easy! I have never tried tofu in the my pesto and this was out of control amazing! I usually make my pestos with olive oil, pinenuts (or sometimes other nuts), salt and pepper -occasionally I will add some nutritional yeast. I always like to try new things of course, so I am excited to experiment with this one soon myself.

Caramelized onions are one of my favorite things ever. They come out so sweet and deelish!! All you have to do is cook them down and the sugar in the onions make them super sweet. Yum!

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

 

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-6 onions (depending on how much you love onions and if you want some for leftovers)
  • 4 ounces of quinoa pasta
  • 2-3 ounces vegan pesto
serves 2

To caramelize the onions, just peel and chop the onions. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onions, stirring. Continue to let the onions cook for a while, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions don’t burn. You can either cover the onions with a lid and let their liquid cook themselves down or for a browner more caramelized version, keep the lid off and the liquid begins to evaporate as the onions begin to brown, just make sure you are stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. You can cook both versions for about 10-20 minutes till you reach your desired color and texture.

After you get the onions in the pan, boil the pasta water. Add the pasta and cook according to instructions.

Then simply combine the onions, pesto and pasta with a bit of salt and pepper and Enjoy 🙂

I kept the cover on for the onions, so they are not as brown, but they are soft and super sweet!

I LOVE it when it says Vegan on it!! So Special!!!

Vegan Eggplant Pecan Pesto Dip

Ahhh Football Season!!! Ad my J-E-T-S!!!  are playing awesome! We have been really busy lately but this last Sunday, Michael and I got to hang out on Sunday and watch the games. Pure heaven! My hubby, football and super healthy & delicious Vegan snack goodness!

I had made a double batch of kale chips a few days before and then whipped up this insanely amazing and unbelievably low-fat dip! We served the dip with multi-grain pita chips and it was divine! The whole time we were eating it I couldn’t believe how good it was since I had just made it and knew what was in it and what was not in it! (fat!!!!) There is 1 cup of Pecans in this but there was no other oil or any other”creamy” ingredients. We really enjoyed the dip warm 🙂

Happy Snacking!!

Vegan Eggplant Pecan Pesto Dip
Makes about 3 cups
Recipe adapted from Dr. Neal Barnard

1/2 cup water, more or less as needed
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 large eggplant, peeled
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-4 tablespoons light miso
dash of salt

Heat water in a large non-stick skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to onion, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until eggplant is very soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. If necessary, add a little more water to keep eggplant from sticking to pan. When tender, transfer eggplant mixture to blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth. Mixture will be thick. Serve immediately while warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in refrigerator and reheat to serve.

Double Broccoli Quinoa

OMG! We loved this! Broccoli Pesto – Genius!! I always love quinoa but this was a really exciting and super deelish way to have it. Such a creamy and well seasoned dish! I know we will have this again soon.

Let me know if you get to try this and what you think! ENJOY!!

Double Broccoli Quinoa
Recipe adapted from 101cookbooks

3 cups cooked quinoa
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup cheddar vegan cheese (preferably daiya)
2 big pinches salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil

  1. Heat the quinoa and set aside.
  2. Now barely cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
  3. To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, vegan cheese, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until smooth.
  4. Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds.

Serves 4 – 6.

Pesto in the Vita-Mix

Vegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto

This soup was sooo good! Thanks Bryanna! It was super easy and super deelish! I love artichokes and the taste that lingers in your mouth after you have eaten them. This soup is just divine and super creamy and Vegan! Yum! Highly recommend! Bryanna also listed the nutrition stats, which is always helpful!

Plus I just found out this is the coldest winter in NYC since 1977. No wonder I am craving soups lately!

Vegan Creme of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup with Pesto
adapted from Vegan Feast Kitchen
Servings: 4

2 tablespoon vegan margarine or olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh crimini or white mushrooms, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons white unbleached flour
6 cups lite soy milk or other nondairy milk
2 tablespoons No-Chicken Bouillon/Soup Base
2/ 14 oz. cans artichokes hearts in water, well-drained and chopped
(OR use two 9 oz. pckgs. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained and chopped)
2 tablespoons non-dairy basil pesto (I made my own but you can just use a packaged brand )
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Melt the vegan margarine or heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the mushrooms and shallot and stir-cook over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and stir-cook for 1 minute.
  3. Vigorously stir in the nondairy milk and bouillon and let it come to a boil, stirring. Cook 1 minute, stirring consistently.
  4. Add the artichokes, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  5. Either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or Carefully pour into a blender and puree there.
  6. If you are using an external blender pour back into the pot.
  7. Add the pesto and stir to combine.
  8. Serve and Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 285.1 calories; 27% calories from fat; 9.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 3578.0mg sodium; 1272.9mg potassium; 44.1g carbohydrates; 12.9g fiber; 14.5g sugar; 31.2g net carbs; 22.3g protein; 5.6 points.

Check out the steam coming off the top of the soup!

Everything but the kitchen Sink-Frittata

I think you all know that we love frittatas in my house. See my Spanish Tortilla, Zucchini, Potato and Goat Cheese Frittata with Cilantro Sauce and Fontina, Asparagus and Zucchini Frittata. They are delicious, quick and nutritious. So similarly to the Italian Ribollita soup, this is my go-to leftovers meal. I hate wasting food so this is the perfect way to make sure your veggies don’t go bad and to empty out your fridge all while really enjoying what you make with the ingredients. Also, as I have said before, frittatas are perfect for breakfast, lunch, snacking and dinner! All you need is the eggs and have fun with the rest. This recipe is one that I made recently, but you can play with whatever you have and as long as it makes sense and you will have a tasty, quick and inexpensive meal.

Everything but the kitchen Sink-Frittata

6 eggs
left-over goat cheese from Judith’s Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta (thanks Judith 🙂 )
2 onions chopped (there are always onions in my house)
1 10 ounce bag of spinach leftover from the Polenta Vegetable Casserole
1/2 cup of pesto leftover from the Raw Corn Cakes
3/4 cup chestnut puree, divided, leftover from the Chestnut and Mushroom Pâté en Croûte
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mushrooms leftover from the Chestnut and Mushroom Pâté en Croûte
1/2 cup cottage cheese
garlic, chopped (of course!)

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautée onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and spinach and cook for another 2-3 minutes, till spinach has wilted. Add goat cheese, cottage cheese, pesto and half of the chestnut puree and stir till combined with vegetable mixture. Turn heat down to medium and pour eggs on top of vegetable mixture and let settle. Top parmesan, other half of chestnut puree, salt and pepper. After 5-7 minutes on the stove top put the skillet into the oven for another 10-15 minutes to set. Once it is golden on top you can take out and Enjoy :)

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