Meatless Monday is back... It's 7 PM after a long day of work and all I want is something quick and easy to make for dinner. My go-to is always Quinoa Pasta: these organic, tricolor pagoda-shaped noodles made of quinoa flour, corn flour, and either dried spinach, beets, and red bell peppers (depending on which color noodle you eat). Quinoa, known as a grain but technically a seed, is one of the only non-meat foods to be recognized as a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids found in meat. In its pasta form, it takes only 6 minutes to cook and is exactly the comfort-food I am craving. Major problem though... I'm out of olive oil for the finish.
After much brainstorming and ingredient scouring, parsley popped into my mind. Known for its antimicrobial properties from its essential oil (containing apiol, myristicin, and b-phellandrene active components), its gentle diuretic effect, and ability to soothe an angry uterus during that special time (you hear me, ladies), I decided to take a stab at Parsley Pesto.
Pursuant to the theme of "quick and easy," I have chosen only 6 ingredients to make this delicious, nutritious, gluten-free, vegan pesto recipe.
- 2 cups of fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic
- 3/4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 tablespoon salt
- Pepper optional to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until you get a nice, smooth, liquid finish. For the parsley, I chose mostly the leaves and avoided as much of the stems as possibly. Ideally, soak your cashew nuts in 1/2 inch water for at least 15 minutes to soften them up before blending (you can leave them in water overnight if you plan that much in advance... I usually don't). Add as many spices as you want in the end for taste if you have a favorite mix at home. Otherwise, salt and a little pepper will do the trick!