P(r)esto Change-o!

I hope things are finally getting back to normal if you were affected by the blizzard last weekend! I actually spent all day inside on Saturday. I was doing homework which isn't fun, but I got it all done which is awesome. This week will be much easier as a result. Yay for planning ahead! I even had off of school on Monday AND Tuesday so I had an two extra days to take it easy. (Insert smiley emoji with sunglasses here.)

So I guess even though I did spend most of my snow day grinding away at my desk, I did have time to try out a new recipe! (I mean you always gotta eat!) I actually don't think I have ever had pesto before becoming vegan, but I think my recipe is magical, as in pour it over anything and Presto! (Pesto?) Change-o! You've got yourself a bowl of deliciousness! Maybe this doesn't scream snow day to you, but it's nice and fresh for when you might be feeling sluggish trapped inside all day.

By including hemp seeds and walnut oil in this recipe, you get a nice serving of omega 3 fatty acids which are important for brain health. Hemp seeds also add plant-based protein on top of what you get from the freekeh and whole wheat couscous I chose to pair it with. Freekeh is type of cracked wheat that comes from the Middle East. It has a toothsome texture and slightly nutty flavor, and I have actually found it in the organic aisle at Stop & Shop (or Giant for all of you D.C. residents). Of course, the pesto can be used on anything, from pasta to sandwiches or as a sauce on a pizza. I like to use this mix and others like it on top of a bed of leafy greens, but you could also use it like a tabbouleh and serve it with crackers or pita chips. If you don't want to go for the walnut oil, regular extra virgin olive oil would suit this recipe as well.

Hemp Seed Pesto and Herb-y Pesto Grain Salad

Made possible with some guidance from Cookie + Kate's Super Kale, Hemp, and Flaxseed Oil Pesto

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3/4 c. freekeh

3/4 c. whole wheat couscous

1.5 c. diced onion

2 c. frozen peas and carrots

3 medium cloves of garlic

2-3 c. fresh basil leaves

Juice of one lemon

1/2 c. hemp seeds

1/3 c. nutritional yeast

1/4 c. walnut oil

Ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the freekeh and couscous together in one medium pot.
  2. In a separate pan, add the onion and frozen veggies, and cook until the frozen veggies are heated through and the onion is translucent.
  3. Stir the cooked vegetables into the pot of grains and set aside.
  4. Drop the garlic into a food processor as it's running. When the garlic has been chopped, stop the food processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor, and run it until all of it is combined. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Pour the contents of the food processor into the pot of mixed grains and stir until combined.
  7. Serve warm or cold, and keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days.