Gourmet dinners are getting a little few and far between over here—when I do feel like cooking I prefer to channel my energy into brownies or some other sweet. My current fave brownies are these from Oh She Glows—so good! I think I’ll make some more tonight since tonight has been declared leftover night. We’ve had a lot of 90 second brown rice, bags of Gardein veggie nuggets of some variety, and frozen organic broccoli from Costco. Costco is killing it right now with their frozen organic produce, already prepared brown rice, tofu, etc.—it’s a busy mama vegan girl’s dream! The artichokes I used for this recipe even came from Costco!
Despite the scarcity of true homemade meals, they have been delicious, and relatively easy too! I’ve made this pesto a few times in the last couple of weeks, and have frozen quite a bit of the sauce too for post baby (everything that I make these days is done in double quantity—thank goodness for our extra upright freezer!)!
This recipe was shared with me by a friend, and originally appeard on PaleOMG. I’ve made a couple of tweaks to make it vegan, and suit my family’s tastes. While we serve this on pasta—GF or regular—you could serve it with spaghetti squash, toss roasted potatoes in it, or even toss raw zucchini noodles in it in the summer. I don’t see any reason you couldn’t even make the sauce raw by omitting the sauté steps if you wanted to, although I like the flavor created by sautéing!
This recipe makes enough for 2 pounds of pasta—either make the whole batch and freeze, or simply divide the recipe in half! Trust me though, you will want more and will be so glad to have little cubes of frozen pesto sauce in your freezer!
Lemon Artichoke Pesto
½ cup walnuts
1 jar of artichoke hearts (I get the 33 ounce jar from Costco in water, see above)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 veggie boullion cube (I like Rapunzel’s brand)
½ c warm water
½ cup fresh basil, super packed (this is 1 whole box of basil—the larger size you’ll see at the grocery store)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
3-5 cups of spinach (optional)
Toast the walnuts in a skillet. Once toasted, place them in the food processor and set aside. Place 1 T olive oil in the skillet and add the artichokes. Start browning them. Then add the garlic and let the garlic cook through. Add the artichokes and garlic to the food processor. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor. Begin to blend, stopping to scrape down the sides. You can loosen up the sauce to your preference by gradually adding more water or olive oil—your choice! Once blended to pesto consistency—mostly pureed but not completely perfectly smooth—add to whatever you like—pasta, veggie noodles, potatoes, etc.! This is a double batch, so I freeze half of mine in a silicone ice cube tray and save for a later use. Just thaw and toss! I serve my pasta with Gardein veggie nuggets.
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