Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 December, 2013: Tofu Cucumber Mint Chutney Cold Pita Pizza

vegan cucumber chutney pesto flatbread with tofu IMG_3882INGREDIENTS:

1 pita round
1.5 cups cucumber, sliced very thinly
1 tablespoon prepared mint chutney or prepared pesto

1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon garlic, minced (about one clove)
Salt to taste

3/4 cup firm tofu, drained

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine minced garlic, tahini, and salt.  Toast one pita round — I used my broiler on 400 for a minute — and spread it with mint chutney or pesto.  Add a layer of sliced cucumber and tomatoes.  Crumble the tofu and sprinkle on top, then drizzle with garlic tahini sauce.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 19 September, 2013: Fresh Broccoli Pesto and Noodles

vegan raw broccoli pesto

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into chunks
2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

Salt to taste

4 – 5 cups cooked spaghetti or angel hair pasta

DIRECTIONS:

Cook noodles according to package directions, set aside. Combine uncooked broccoli, basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Pulse about 20 seconds. Taste test and add salt to taste shortly before before the basil is rendered as paste. Add 1/2 cup water if desired; I did not add water. Pesto should be very finely chopped but not liquid sauce.

Combine pesto with cooked spaghetti or angel hair, mix until thoroughly combined.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 14 July, 2014: Kale Pesto Spread

vegan kale pesto spread

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup tofu
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons sundried tomato
5 cups kale or other leafy greens
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup cashews, almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts (I used cashews)

DIRECTIONS:

Start by putting garlic and sundried tomato in the blender or food processor, pulse until finely chopped. Steam kale in a medium sized, covered pot or pan on medium heat in 1 cup of water. Cook about 2 minutes or until kale is slightly softened and takes on a bright green color. Drain kale and add it to the blender/food processor, packing it down. Add nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, and nuts to the blender/food processor and pulse, scraping down the sides until it is an almost-smooth sauce. I ate this on homemade sourdough bread. It would make a good vegetable dip.

Daily Vegan Lunch for July 6, 2013: Roasted Walnut Pesto and Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

This is the type of sandwich that you see in restaurants around my area as their sole vegetarian option — often they want to put asiago cheese or parmesan pesto on it (gross) rendering it non-vegan. This uses a delicious dairy free walnut-basil pesto. These sandwiches travel particularly well.

pesto, eggplant, zucchini, and grilled peppers sandwich

IMG_3090

SANDWICH INGREDIENTS:

For each sandwich:

2 slices of wheat bread
1 slice of roasted red bell pepper (I use organic roasted red bell peppers from a jar)
3 slices of baked sliced zucchini
About 1/2 cup worth of roasted eggplant slices
2 tablespoons walnut pesto (recipe below)

PESTO INGREDIENTS:

1.5 to 2 cups fresh basil, washed and plucked off the stems
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Roast the eggplant and zucchini by slicing them in 3/4 inch slices and laying them on an oiled cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, flipping once at 10 minutes, though I usually forget to flip them! If you are using fresh red bell pepper, you can roast that too, just take out the seeds and white pith first. No additional oil is needed on top of the vegetables to make them roast.

Make the pesto by combining all pesto ingredients in a blender. Don’t puree the pesto completely, just puree until it is just smooth, about a minute to a minute and a half. You might have to scrape down the sides as this recipe is for a very thick pesto spread.

Make the sandwich by laying out a small layer of each vegetable and spreading one of the bread slices with 2 tablespoons of pesto.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 6 April 2013: Arugula-Cilantro Pesto and Soba Noodles

This is my first ever Japanese-Italian fusion dish… I think. *scratches head* The garlic in this is very strong, so don’t eat this ten minutes before a hot date. I know you have a lot of hot dates, that’s why I’m always warning you about garlic.

arugula-cilantro pesto and soba noodles

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cilantro (or basil or parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
2 cups arugula lettuce
3-5 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
Several tablespoons olive oil or water
Salt and pepper to taste

2 bunches of cooked soba noodles

DIRECTIONS:

Pack cilantro, arugula, and garlic into a blender or food processor, process until it chops enough to become much smaller as the air between the leaves goes away. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan on the stove top, the pan being preferably cast iron, on medium-high heat, watching them carefully so they don’t burn. Once they brown, flip them and toss them around for a moment and then dump them into the food processor along with the chopped leaves. Add olive oil and/or water by the tablespoon and pulse until the mixture is a bit saucy rather than one solid chunk of paste. Toss with cooked soba noodles or any other noodle.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 20 February, 2013: Pesto Tofu Sandwich

pesto tofu sandwich

PESTO INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh basil and 1 cup spinach leaves or 2 cups basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
3 cloves garlic
Salt to taste

PESTO DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until basil is finely chopped and spreadable.

INGREDIENTS:

Bread
2 Tablespoons vegan pesto
2 quarter inch slices of firm or extra firm tofu, patted dry with paper towels
Vegan parmesan cheese sprinkles (to make your own vegan parmesan, put 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a a spice grinder or food processor and pulse a few times)

Spread bread with vegan pesto. Slice firm tofu and pat each one dry on both sides with a paper towel. Put some vegan parmesan on a cutting board and press the tofu into it so the parmesan coats both sides. Place tofu slices on top of pesto bread and make into a sandwich.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 11 February, 2013: Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Wraps

roasted red pepper pesto wraps

Mmmm, pesto.

My apologies for this picture. I was not super-hungry so I didn’t make a huge wrap, unfortunately that meant the inside ingredients are barely showing.

PESTO INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh basil and 1 cup spinach leaves or 2 cups basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
3 cloves garlic
Salt to taste

PESTO DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until basil is finely chopped and spreadable.

INGREDIENTS FOR WRAPS

Tortillas
Roasted red peppers (about 1/4 cup per sandwich, from a can or roasting directions below)
1 Tablespoon pesto
6-8 fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup sweet corn kernels, thawed in microwave

Roast red peppers by washing peppers, cutting them down the middle, taking out the seeds and pith, and putting them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

To make wraps, microwave tortilla for 15 seconds. Place ingredients in the middle but slightly to one side of your future roll. Wrap by folding the ends in and then roll the burrito down the cutting board.