Main Meals

Vegan Pesto

Vegan pesto is all about the herbs and nuts. You won’t miss the cheese.
Making pesto is not an exact science. It’s intuitive. And lucky for us- easy as pie. You can whip up a vegan pesto from any combination of herbs, nuts and oil that your little heart desires. You can use cilantro or basil. Or both. Or try a light and fresh combo of mint , basil and parsley. Choose pecans or walnuts. Or traditional pine nuts. Even hazelnuts.Dairy-free sauce never packed so much flavor.

Pesto adds a big flavor boost to all kinds of recipes. Stir it into tomato sauce  just before serving. Or plop a dollop into a bowl of Italian soup. Add a spoonful to stew. Schmear some on croutons,  gluten-free toast and grilled cornbread. It’s a fabulous base for pizza toppings.You can also add pesto to roasted potato wedges and grilled vegetables. Stir it into polenta- or spread it on wedges of broiled polenta. It dresses up rice and risotto, pasta, noodles, and even grilled tortillas. It kicks up salad dressings and hummus.

For flexitarians, pesto is a bright, herby accent for grilled salmon, shrimp, and fish.  Not to mention, egg dishes. Pesto and huevos is a match made in ovo-lacto vegetarian heaven.

So even if pesto is considered passé by some, an eighties foodie fad gone by…do we care?

How To Make A Vegan Pesto – A Recipe Template

This vegan pesto is big on taste, zero on dairy. You won’t miss the cheese, I promise. It never lasts long around here. The nuts you choose influence the taste.
2 cups, washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
1/2 cup shelled pecans or walnuts
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Sea salt, to taste
Combine the fresh herbs, nuts, and garlic in a food processor and process the mixture until it turns into a coarse meal. Slowly add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle as you pulse the processor on and off. Process until it becomes a smooth, light paste. Add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable. Season with sea salt, to taste.
Cover and store chilled for at least an hour to saturate the flavors. I like to pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over the top to help keep it bright green.
Makes roughly a rounded cup.
Karina’s note:
Pesto can darken if heated (basil turns black) so add it to hot dishes at the very last minute if the color is important to you.
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Basic Quinoa

Basic Quinoa

Serves 4 (makes about 4 cups)

Quinoa is a complete protein containing all eight essential amino acids. It’s light and fluffy in texture but has that whole grain ability to fill people up–and if you’ve got company coming, this recipe easily doubles to serve eight people.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear, drain and transfer to a medium pot. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork.

Per serving (about 5oz/162g-wt.): 160 calories (25 from fat), 2.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 6g protein

Fresh Earth Food Store | Basic Quinoa


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Pea and Lentil Curry

Vegan Recipes Vegan recipes for South Africans

Pea and Lentil Curry

A simple curry recipe that uses the traditional Indian vegetarian food ingredients of lentils (dhal) and peas (mutter).


1 tsp oil
1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp masala
1 tsp chili (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
2-3 chopped large tomatoes
1 tin tomatoes
2 Tbsp chutney
1 cup frozen peas
2 cans lentils
1 tsp salt

Cooking Instructions

  • Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and masala
  • Add the chili (optional), turmeric, tomatoes and chutney, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the peas and lentils and salt. Mix and cover. Cook 10 minutes until the flavours combine.
  • Serve with brown rice.

Serves 2 people

Recipe supplied by Claudia Miceli, Muizenberg, Cape Town

VeganSA Directory – Indian Vegan Recipes – Pea and Lentil Curry – Dal Mutter Recipe


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