Simple Pesto

Basics, Recipes

When I can get my hands on lots of good basil, I like to make a big batch of pesto to keep on hand.  As long as you don’t mind brown or make sure to keep the air out, pesto keeps just fine and works well on sandwiches or to make a quick meal with pasta.  This rich pesto is shown here on a homemade tortilla. It’s also good on fingers.

1/2 cup walnuts (or whatever seed or nut you have on hand)
10 cloves garlic
3 small bunches fresh basil or about 5 cups. I use the stems, too, if they aren’t too woody
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup hemp seed oil

Measure your oils into the same measuring cup, set aside.  Add all other ingredients to food processor and process until paste forms.  You may need to help it along, but it seems quickest to just put it all in at once instead of chopping things up separately.  Slowly drizzle oil into processor bowl while processor is running.  Use immediately or pack the pesto into a jar.  You can store this in the freezer or fridge, but either  way, if you don’t want a small layer of brown pesto (which seems to me to just be an aesthetic thing), make an air barrier with either plastic wrap (press it right into the pesto) or oil.  If you’re freezing it, you could even get fancy and freeze it in an ice cube tray and then remove the pesto cubes to a bag once they are frozen.

Yum-Worthy Oatmeal

Basics, Recipes

If you have a little extra time for cooking breakfast, this oatmeal is really worth it. This recipe serves 2.

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk of your choice (I used homemade rice)
1/2 tablespoon oil (I used coconut)
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
pinch salt

Fruit and nuts of your choice
Maple syrup, to taste

Put wet ingredients in large measuirng cup or other suitable container.  Microwave on high until they begin to bubble but do not boil.  While this is microwaving, add oil to skillet over medium heat.  Stir in oats and keep stirring until golden, about 2 minutes.    Carefully pour warm liquid mixture into skillet with oats.  Bring to simmer and let cook until oatmeal thickens, about 20 minutes.  Add salt.  At this point, you will want to stir with a chopstick or spoon handle.  Keep stiring this way every few minutes until the oatmeal reaches the consistency of pudding (or whatever consisitency you’d prefer).  This should take no more than 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Adding frozen fruits will help cool it down to a temperature suitable for eating.

No Worries Rhubarb Pie


Sometimes pie crust can be finicky.  When you’re trying to speed things along for maximum oven efficiency, it doesn’t seem worth it to get things perfect.  Both layers of crust stuck to the parchment paper when I was rolling them out.  No worries! Scrape it off and push it into the pie tin for the bottom crust.  For the top, crumble it over the top and sprinkle with pretty sugar.  This is a veganized version of rhubarb cream pie.  The misleading name just means the filling is extra thick and gooey, traditionally accomplished by the addition of an egg.


This recipe uses my old standby, Oil Pastry Crust.  You’ll need to make one recipe’s worth of that.  If you have it, add a little lemon peel to the flour for a little extra zing in your crust.


Filling Ingredients


2 bunches rhubarb, or enough to pile high in your pie pan once cleaned and chopped
about 1 cup sugar, to taste
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon rice syrup
2 tablespoons flour
1 t freshly ground nutmeg
splash lemon juice or milk of your choice
(optional) a couple tablespoons of your favorite butter substitute




Preheat oven to 350° F.  In a large bowl, mix sugar, flax, rice syrup, flour, nutmeg and liquid until uniform.  Chop rhubarb and put into bowl with other filling ingredients.  Toss to coat.  Pour this mixture into bottom pie shell. It should be piled above the edge of the tin.   Dot rhubarb with butter substitute if using.  Cover with top layer of crust.  Poke holes in crust.  Put pie on rimmed cookie sheet to catch any overflow.  Bake in preheated oven for about an hour or until the crust looks done and you can smell rhubarb goodness.  You may need to cover with foil to prevent the crust from browning.  If you can stand it, let cool slightly before serving to let it set up a little.


Cuisinart Griddler Indoor Electric Grill

Gadget Reviews, Reviews

I’ve recently rediscovered my panini press.  Well, technically, it’s called a griddler, as I discovered when I looked it up on Amazon.  Whatever.  My mom got it for me nearly brand new from a garage sale a few years ago for $5 or something.  Anyway, when you make homemade bread, my beloved sandwich maker doesn’t always work out for the best.  Enter The Griddler.  The thing I really like about it is that the plates come free and are dishwasher safe.  It’s hard to beat trendy sandwiches and easy cleanup.



I just made some yummy little sandwiches with pesto, fermented almond cheese olive spread and roasted orange peppers on sourdough bread.  (Edit: try my simple pesto here)  All homemade.  All vegan.  All yummy.

I’m sure the burgers pictured at the bottom of this post are vegan.  Pretty convincing, eh?  🙂  If you click on it, you use my affiliate link and can check it out on Amazon.



Use-It-Up Carob Brownies


This recipe was inspired by my search for delicious vegan brownies and my desire to finally use up the carob powder I’ve had in my fridge for way too long.  Due to having various other odds and ends in my fridge, this turned out to be a rather elective recipe.  Never fear, it tastes spectacular.  I like the slight caramel taste carob powder lends to this treat.  I can’t wait to try this with cocoa powder to continue striving for that ultimate brownie experience.


½ cup cooked black beans
½ cup cooked garbanzo beans
¼ cup raw almonds
¼ cup hemp seeds
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
½ cup sugar
1 cup carob powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup brewed coffee (less if you used a wet sugar)

Let oven warm up to 325° F.  Prepare a 9×9” baking pan with oil and set aside.

Add beans, nuts and seeds to food processor.  Process until a paste forms.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and process until uniform.  Add wet ingredients and process until smooth; don’t be afraid to let it go awhile.  Pour into prepared pan and put in oven.  Cook until it doesn’t jiggle and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only crumbs (and not raw batter), about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and if you can stand it, let it sit for a day or so to let the flavors develop.