Kale & Pumpkin Seed Presto Pesto

Wheeeeee!

Check out the big haul of organic kale I got from the Farmer’s Market at Ryerson this week! Just three bucks for the biggest bunch, stems, dirt ‘n’ all!

I love kale.

Maybe a little too much, I thought as I placed it in the fridge next to my Red Russian Kale and Lactinato Kale.

Did I mention I considered naming the blog “Will Work for Kale”?

After I de-veined (to the earwig of Carly Simon) and washed my beauties, setting some aside for juicing, and some for easy lunch salads, I still had plenty upon plenty left. And I knew it could only have one fate.

PESTO

Not any ordinary pesto my friends, but a fresh, power-packed, pumpkin seed and kale pesto. For dippin, spreadin, sandwich-slotherin, and spoon-lickin. Yup. I did that too.

I call it “Presto” Pesto because it literally takes five minutes—my kind of recipe.

P.S. Notice how I said “organic” kale? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just released their 2012 list of the “Dirty Dozen“—listing which produce you should really buy organic due to its high pesticide content—and my beloved kale is on that list. So though I’m okay to buy onions, pineapple, and avocado conventional (they’re on the “Clean Fifteen”), I’ll be making sure my leafy greens are chemical-free, thanks. All the more excuse to swing by the farmer’s market!

Kale and Pumpkin Seed Presto Pesto (raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free)

Makes about 1.75 cups, according to my best eyeball measure

Ingredients:

2 big handfuls of washed, chopped and de-veined kale

2 cups pumpkin seeds, ideally soaked

1/2 cup nutritional yeast (gives it a slightly cheese-like, thick, rich flavour)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt and pepper to taste

a small handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (optional)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or EFA oil (I used UDO’s 3-6-9 blend, ’cause I had free samples :)) – you can use more for a more traditional-like pesto recipe

Directions:

Combine all ingredients up to cilantro in a food processor. While food processor is running, drizzle in the oil through the top. This will help ensure your pesto has a smooth, consistent texture. Keep combining until all the chunks are gone. Then toss with pasta, spread on wraps or sandwiches, make a tortilla or pita pizza, or as I like, schlop on potatoes like sour cream!

Advertisements

Crackers, Curry, and Crackin’ Open the Books

My biggest, er, beef when it comes to raw foods?

When they try and be something they’re not.

I remember my first experience back at Live Food Bar, where the menu was full of a plethora of raw options, but most memorable were a few off-putting dishes like the raw, vegan “TV Dinner,” the Liver ‘n’ Onions, the “Neat”loaf. C’mon, raw foods, you don’t have to front with me! I like you for who you are on the inside.

My most recent trip back there was great, and while pretty much everything on the new menu did appeal to me, it was some raw crackers that I’ve seen Live sell in grocery stores before that really kicked my salivary glands into gear.

The Spicy Nori crackers have appealed to me on a few occasions, but every time I want to buy them I’m turned off by the price tag—at about a dollar a cracker, you begin to see the significance of their gold hue…

I never really thought about making them at home. Thankfully, others out there are a little more innovative than I, like Ricki of Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. She gets me. Not to mention she dedicates a great chunk of her blog to healthy, low-glycemic desserts. She really gets me.

And so she posted her take on Live’s Nori Crackers… and thus now, I shall post mine. A noble cracker, which has no desire to pretend to be anything it’s not. Enjoy!

Curry Spice Nori Crackers (Adapted from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs)

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, raw option

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1.5 cups pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp ground flax

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander (these were the three I had on hand—if you have others, or a pre-mixed curry spice, get wild!)

1/4 cup water

1 tsp tamari or soy sauce

3 sheets of nori (the seaweed paper used for sushi)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 F. (For raw, use a dehydrator or set your oven to the lowest setting and prop the door open a bit with a spoon—technically, raw foods must never be heated over 104F to keep all enzymes intact)

In a food processor, pulse the onion a few times until it is finely chopped. Add in all other ingredients except the nori, and process on low until you get a chunky paste. On a parchment sheet, lay out 3 sheets of nori and gently spread the paste onto the nori sheets with a spatula. Put crackers into the oven. The heat helps caramelize the onions and turns them brown and sweet.

About 1 hour into baking and you can cut your nori sheets into cracker shapes using a pizza cutter, then bake or dehydrate them further to your liking. Some like them crispy, I like them on the softer side, so bake another 2-4 hours depending on the temperature of your oven and desired crispiness.

Spread with edamame hummus, serve with an asian-inspired salad, or pack a bag and take ’em to to the library for study snacks. That’s what I’ll be doing! Happy studies! xx