Vegan Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

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I love making this dish for my vegan friends, but when I cook for myself, I tend to incorporate it with an entrée that has more of a paleo approach, ie. not-so-vegan ingredients. Like chicken (pictured). This pesto recipe has walnuts in the place of the Parmesan cheese, and plenty of fresh basil and garlic. Although my diet is not entirely dairy-free, I actually enjoy this pesto more that the cheesy variety. It’s fresh and light and delicious raw as well as baked (as in the stuffed mushrooms). For a raw meal, just incorporate it into a salad, add it to raw zucchini pasta, or use as a dip for cucumber, broccoli, carrots etc. This dish can be wonderful as an appetizer or, as I like to present it, as part of a main dish with a protein and vegetable. Makes a great holiday recipe! Injoy!

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     Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts

2 cups fresh basil

½ cup high quality olive oil

2-4 cloves garlic

1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. salt

Dash of pepper

12 mini Portobello mushrooms

     Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until incorporated, but slightly chunky.

3. Pull stems off of mushrooms and place them face up in a 9×13 baking dish. Spray lightly with olive oil.

4. Fill each mushroom with 1-1 ½ Tbls. pesto.

5. Set some aside if you’d like to include a bit of dressing on fish or chicken.

6. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

 

Seasonal Superfood Spotlight: Pumpkin Seeds!

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Don’t be too quick to toss the seeds after carving your pumpkin or making fresh pumpkin pie this fall! Pumpkin seeds are the richest plant source of the mineral zinc on the planet. Zinc is a vital nutrient in immune system support as well as the health of the digestive system and prostate. Just 1 3/4 oz of pumpkin seeds provides 3.2mg of zinc, over 1/3 of the recommended daily intake. In addition pumpkin seeds have a diverse antioxidant profile and are a great source of vitamin E. To maximize the benefits from these tasty seeds, I recommend eating the shell and all. The richest source of nutrients is concentrated in the membrane (endosperm envelope) that lines the inside of the shell, so it’s best to eat the fibrous husk as well. .

Try this Cilantro and pumpkin seed pesto over steamed vegetables and brown rice for a fantastic autumn supper. Or check out this recipe for strait up pumpkin seeds with a kick! Injoy!

      Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 scallion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds

2 TBS water

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add olive oil a little at a time at end. You want the pesto to be blended yet not smooth. It is best with a little texture. Serve at room temperature. Do not heat it.