Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spoiling loved ones & Green Vegetable Pesto

It was Dads bday last weekend, we got him a massage for his pressie which he loved but had problems accepting. He's sick and deserves a nice treat. Do you have people in your life like that? they're hard to buy for but when you get it right they love it but feel guilty or whatever and have issues accepting it? It confuses me... I spent ages trying to think of a gift, finally thought of something good, saved up and then instead of saying thanks and getting excited he spends 5 minutes trying to convince us we shouldn't have spent money on him? 

Anyway- we took him out for lunch to his favourite little Italian cafe and I improvised a nice vegan meal. I should have taken photos! oops, next time. Dad got the roast, Hubby got pumpkin gnocchi and we all shared the antipasto platter, I got a green salad nicked dads asparagus and some eggplant dip, the roast marinated eggplant, capsicum and some olives off the antipasto platter and added them to my salad. Yum. Pretty good seeing as I was preparing myself to just have a cup of tea. 

The men got dessert, chocolate gelato and we snuck a mini baked cheesecake into the order for his birthday cake :) He tries to eat so healthy 100% of the time.. but what's a birthday without a cake?! I offered to bake one but then he said he wouldn't eat it so the single serve was a nice compromise. I hope you all enjoy a birthday treat too! if not- drop me a line and I'll talk you into it! 

I decided to enjoy myself with a nice sweet treat too- I made a:
Pear and Chia drink
1/4 pear
1tsp chia seeds soaked to make chia gel
1/2 cup mineral water
1/2 glass of ice
stevia to taste
  • soak chia seeds in water
  • skin pear
  • combine and blend
  • half fill a glass with ice cubes
  • half fill with mixture
  • top up with mineral water and enjoy!
I had 2 and felt great. Sugar + bubbles = happy :)

As promised here's my pesto-ish recipe, its addictive- you have been warned! I forgot to take a photo of it straight but I used it in the two pics below. Ah who am I kidding, you all know what pesto looks like! 

Green Vegetable Pesto
Makes 16 serves (under 100 cals per heaped tbsp serve)
2 cups peas (frozen)
2 cups edamame (frozen)
1 cup water
1 cup pine nuts (not toasted)
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup oregano (whole leaves) 
1/4 cup mint 
1/4 cup sage
paw paw seeds or pepper to taste
  • cook peas and edamame in boiling water- drain
  • blend peas, edamame, herbs and water
  • add pine nuts and blend well
  • slowly add the baby spinach and blend well
  • season to taste with ground dried paw paw seeds or pepper
It's very thick like a dip so you can use it for whatever dish you wish by just adding the appropriate amount of liquid. Its a much lower calorie and healthier version of the original and to be honest an improvement! (sorry nonna) mmmm pesto, yep now I want some for dinner.

So far I've made this:
Vegetable and Millet Pesto Stew
(or as the husband named it green mush)
1 cup cooked millet
1 zucchini
2 tbsp pesto
1 cup vegetable stock
Handful of oregano and mint
  • cook millet
  • chop zucchini
  • combine all ingredients and cook until the vegetables are tender/to your liking
I know it doesn't look like much but when it tastes this good who cares? Its fresh but hearty and full of flavour. I'll be enjoying it again.

Good thing I made a nice big batch so I have some in the freezer for later and some more in the fridge to play with! It will taste awesome with some raw veg as a dip or as a spread in a sandwich or in a stirfry or on a spoon or.. well you get the picture!

Hope you give this a go- you can always switch up the veggies and herbs and make your own veggie pesto. Its amazingly versatile- like hummus. So now there's pesto and hummus on my list to make some more healthy versions, if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them :)

All the best xxx
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1 comment:

  1. well yes, my father is the same type of person. but I have learned by now that he is just a very simple man does not want luxuries and affection translated in money.. that's just him so on his bdays I just get him a bowl of super healthy nuts and a big hug :)
    happy birthday to your dad sweetie !!!
    have a wonderful week


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