Garlic-lemon-basil spread

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So sometimes life gives us happy accidents…like when I discovered that with slight alterations, the sauce I love to serve on pasta also makes an amazing spread or dip for crackers and veggie sticks. This spread is flavourful, healthy and super easy to make.

Ingredients

1 ½ avocadoes – peeled and pitted

The juice and zest of ½ a lemon

1-2 cloves garlic (or more if you like garlic!)

A handful fresh basil leaves –about ½ cup packed

A handful fresh kale or spinach leaves (optional)

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup pistachios or walnuts (optional)

 

Directions

Put everything in a food processor and whirl until you have a smooth spread. Serve on crackers or with veggie sticks. I especially love this dip on endive leaves and garlick-y crackers.

 

 

 

Avocado pasta – creamy, garlicky, lemony and delicious

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This pasta surprised me with its simplicity and deliciousness. It’s easy to make, no fail and will be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Make this. That’s all I can say. Just make this.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 avocado

The juice and zest of ½ a lemon

1-2 cloves garlic

A handful fresh basil leaves –about ½ cup

1 cup of fresh kale or spinach leaves

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup pistachios (optional)

10 ounces of uncooked pasta – any shape or kind

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Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a food processor and whiz until you have a creamy sauce. You might need to add up to 2 tablespoons water to get a creamy consistency. The more you whiz the sauce, the smoother it will be. Spinach also makes a smoother sauce than kale.

Place the hot, cooked pasta in a large bowl and spoon the sauce over it. Toss to blend and serve. This recipe makes 2-3 servings.

If you have leftovers, this dish is great at room temperature as a cold pasta salad.

 

Tomato and basil pasta – easy, fast and fresh!

Tomatopasta

Whatcha going to do with all those beautiful, rosy tomatoes in the garden?? This is one of my longstanding, favourite pasta dishes. Before I went vegan, I ate it with feta or parmesan cheese. Now, I sprinkle it with my vegan version of parmesan. The beauty of this dish is it’s ridiculously easy to make, super fast, and taste like summer time. Using fresh, good quality tomatoes and fresh basil is key.

Tomato basil pasta

2-3 ripe tomatoes chopped (use more or less depending on their size and how much you love tomatoes)

1 small jar or can of artichokes (about a cup). Cut roughly

2/3 cup fresh basil torn or cut

1/3 cup sliced olives (or more – I love olives)

1 Tbsp good olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic minced

9-10 ounces spaghetti or spaghettini

Cook the pasta according to directions. While it’s cooking, chop the tomatoes, artichokes and basil and put in a large bowl. Add the olives, olive oil, minced garlic and toss. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the bowl and toss well. Serve immediately.

My mother would actually eat this dish the next day cold as a salad and add cucumbers to it. You could give that a go too.

Serve with a good grind of fresh pepper and vegan parmesan.

Makes 3 huge or 4 generous servings.

Vegan parmesan

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1/3 cup raw almonds (no skins)

1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds (I toast mine on a sheet of tin foil in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for 4 minutes)

Grind everything together in a blender or food processor and store in the fridge in a sealed container. It’ll keep for 2-3 weeks.