Enjoy No-oil Vegan Pesto, Spicy, Savory Peanut Sauce, and Savory Vegan Dinner Pie
When my daughter Angela came to visit me, we wanted to spend a lot of relaxed time together. We had not seen each other in over a year, and there are many beautiful places to hang out near my Oregon home.
To my delight, Angela has evolved into an accomplished chef who puts together splendid meals that are both quick to prepare and center on fresh ingredients. We took advantage of the local goodies from the farmers market, with most of the produce we used coming from within half an hour of my house, and harvested within a day or two of when we ate it.
Here are the three top dinners that Angela cooked for us, with recipes below so you can try them yourself. None contains extracted oils. Prepare for intense gourmet
flavors without all the work of gourmet cooking:
- No-oil Vegan Pesto
- Spicy, Savory Peanut Sauce
- Savory Vegan Dinner Pie
In between eating, we enjoyed a day at the coast at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, where we marveled at whales breaching every few minutes. One was so close to shore that we could see almost the whole length of his body when he surfaced.
Our other full day in nature was at Silver Falls State Park, best known for its many waterfalls and glorious forest trails. Before we started hiking, we fortified ourselves with a picnic centered on Savory Vegan Dinner Pie leftovers. It was just as tasty cold
as it had been warm the previous night.
No-oil Vegan Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1/3 cup raw walnuts (pine nuts are also good)
1/2 cup unsweetened, plain soy milk (or other plant milk of your choice, choose a milk without an assertive flavor)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1. Put all above ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth and
creamy. There should still be some texture from the nuts.
- Use the pesto on whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, or any other grain of your choice. Also excellent on baked or steamed potatoes, as a sandwich spread or on a wrap, or any creative use you like for pesto.
Spicy, Savory Peanut Sauce
4 tbsp peanut butter (use another nut butter, such as almond, for a different taste)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into about 10-12 pieces
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 or 2 tsp lime juice plus zest of half of a lime
Sriracha sauce to taste (we use 3 teaspoons)
1/4 tsp cayenne
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar or natural vegan sweetener of your choice
1 cup reduced fat (light) coconut milk
- 1. Put all above ingredients into a food processor, and process until smooth and
- Use the sauce over hot brown rice to heat it, or you can gently heat the sauce over a low heat on the stove. This meal is awesome when you also mix the rice with one to two cups of fresh vegetables of your choice, that have been stir-fried until gently cooked. Stir-fry vegetables in water or vegetable broth, not extracted oil.
Savory Vegan Dinner Pie
Pie crust – use your favorite vegan pie crust recipe, or buy a frozen vegan pie crust that is ready to bake
One package (13.5 to 14 ounces) firm tofu, drained of liquid in the package (but don’t press additional liquid out of the tofu)
1/4 cup unsweetened, plain soy milk (or other plant milk of your choice, choose a milk without an assertive flavor)
1 tbsp cornstarch
Liquid to stir-fry vegetables in: soy sauce, Bragg liquid aminos, or vegetable broth
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 and a half cups spinach or other greens, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup arugula or basil leaves, cut in small pieces
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil) – soften by soaking in hot water for 15 minutes, then cut in small pieces
1/2 cup broccoli or other fresh vegetable, cut in small pieces
1/2 teaspoon diced jalapeno pepper
1 inch fresh ginger, cut in small pieces
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil (unless you are using fresh basil)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of salt, or to taste
- 1. Process the tofu, plant milk, and cornstarch in a food processor or blender until very smooth
- Stir-fry the onion for a few minutes in the liquid of your choice, as noted above. Use two tablespoons of the liquid, and add a bit more as needed as liquid evaporates so the vegetables don’t stick or burn. Add remaining ingredients listed above, and continue stir frying until the greens have wilted and the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
- Pour the stir-fried vegetables and spices (step two) into the tofu mixture noted in step one. Mix together thoroughly by hand.
- Pour the mixture from step three into your pie crust
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes. Watch it toward the end – the pie filling should become golden on top and firm when you touch it.
- Let the pie cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing it. Leftovers eaten cold are excellent the next day.
If you enjoyed this article, definitely check out all of Angela’s recipes above, or any of these other tasty plant-based recipes.
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Post written by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods. This book let’s you know all the health advantages of a whole foods, plant-based diet – and this includes the delicious experience of flavorful foods you might not have tried before.