I'm having unintentional vegan moments at the moment, since Mini-M and I still can't have any dairy. And web browsing for suitable recipes means I end up on some seriously hardcore vegan blogs, full of recipes containing 'cheez' and epic quantities of nutritional yeast. And to be honest I'm not quite desperate enough to make imitation cheese just yet - can't help but thinking it would be a sad disappointment, as non-dairy 'chocolate' has been.
I'm also a bit scared by a lot of the raw vegan food out there - particularly those recipes that call for a dehydrator. But every so often I find recipes which tickle my fancy, like this one for raw carrot & walnut pesto on Veggie num num - a fab source for vegetarian recipes of all kinds.
Since I'm completely unable to follow a recipe to the letter, despite my good intentions, I made a few tweaks - here's my version.
Raw Carrot & Walnut Pesto (Serves about 8)
- 3 carrots, peeled and grated
- 100g walnuts
- 60g almonds
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pineapple juice
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
I grated the carrots in the food processor, then leaving the carrots in the mixer bowl, switched over to the regular mixing blade. In a dry frying pan, I toasted the nuts, sesame seeds and spices for a few minutes, watching carefully to make sure they didn't burn. Then I added them to the mixer, along with the tahini, 2tbsp olive oil, pineapple juice and sherry vinegar, and blended well. I added about another tbsp olive oil at this point because it was still very thick, and it did loosen it up a little. I didn't add any more as I didn't want it to be oily, or upset the flavour balance, to the result is still a very gutsy pesto.
Firstly we ate it hot, stirred through pasta spirals. Then because we still had LOTS left, and a giant lettuce, we've mainly been eating carrot pesto & lettuce sandwiches, which is a delicious combination. Sweet, spice, nutty and herby all at once. And with the raw carrots and lots of nuts, protein packed and healthy too :o) It feels slightly hippy rabbit-foody, but in a good way, hence the Peace & Love Sandwiches title!