Dairy Free Spinach & Walnut Pesto
Do you ever feel humble by life? The past few days has certainly made me feel humble and very aware of the most basic needs of human survival. The stormy weather of the past few days left us without power for three days. This meant no way of powering the iPhone or my computer. No internet connection. Damn. But besides that, no central heating, no oven and no kettle to boil water… Not much use having a pantry full of food when it all needs to be cooked! This week I also learned that when I am very hungry, my logical thinking drifts and I become a rather narky person to be around!
Heat. Food. Sleep. The very basic of human needs. Needs which have to be satisfied before anything else really matters. Luckily we have a great stove. some lovely neighbors and good friends who made surviving (managing) with out electricity for a few days bearable. So I got fed, slept on the couch and learned a lesson in humility. It does make you think how lucky we are that basic survival is not part of our everyday struggles.
Now when the electricity is back I can sit back and enjoy my day off in comfort, to allow myself to reflect on all small things for which I am grateful. My basic needs are satisfied. This recent power cut also meant that the lovely chocolate recipe I had in mind for Valentine’s will have to wait. Such is life.
I love recipes that are quick and simple.
A few wholefood ingredients, which can quickly be turned into a nourishing dish. Since I tend to become a rather narky person to be around when my blood sugar is low, easy accessible food is of most importance to me. This pesto recipe is raw, vegan, gluten and dairy free. I paired mine with some wholewheat pasta, but you can of course use gluten free pasta or pair it with any other type of grain, which takes your fancy. If you want to keep the meal completely raw, serve with vegetable cruditées.
Spinach is rich in iron, magnesium and vitamin K. It make is a great vegetable for bone health. Serving your leafy greens as a pesto may help getting this great source of calcium into growing kids a little easier.
Walnuts are a rich source of healthy Omega 3 – fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are important to keep our arteries healthy. Omega 3 – fatty acids has also been shown to improve concentration levels.
Nutritional Yeast is a cultivated yeast, most often from the strain Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. It has been dehydrated and fortified with B vitamins, incl. B12. The dry yellow flakes has a nutty, cheesy flavour. Otherwise known as “Umami”. This make it a popular substitute for anyone avoiding dairy, yet who want to have that savoury cheese flavour. If you are OK with dairy, feel free to substitute the nutritional yeast for a chunk of good quality Parmesan instead.
Dairy Free Spinach & Walnut Pesto
2 cups fresh baby spinach, rinsed & drained – preferably organic
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 1/2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
Sea salt & Black pepper, to season
Place the walnuts in a food processor. Process until roughly chopped. About 30s. Add in the spinach and the nutritional yeast, plus some seasoning. While the food processor is running, slowly add olive oil through the hole in the lid, until you reach desired consistency. Keep scraping down the sides a few times, until your pesto is smooth and creamy. Add the lemon juice and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve stirred through freshly cooked pasta. The pesto will keep for a few days in the fridge, is stored in an airtight container.