6.5.17

One upon a time, a vegetarian blogger couple caught our eye with their healthy and vibrant cooking. A few cookbooks later and Green Kitchen Stories’ nourishing recipes and beautiful photography still thrill us – and our readers (you saw these overnight oats, right?).

Their latest cookbook, Green Kitchen At Home, is a stunning recipe collection full of  useful, fresh, inventive and colorful recipes like this seasonal spring veggie bowl with a few surprising ingredients to punch things up… 

Obviously, nourishing bowls like these can contain a wild mix of ingredients, but we try to make sure that we cover different ingredient types – a protein source or grain, healthy fats, baked veggies, raw veggies and raw fruit, leafy greens, dipping sauces and crunchy toppings – for a delicious and well-balanced bowl. As seasons, produce and availability vary between countries, don’t feel you have to follow the recipes to the letter, but instead use them as a template and freestyle with the best vegetables and fruit you can find.

For us, pesto is more than just a dressing for pasta. It’s a shortcut flavoring option for numerous meals. It can be used on top of a flatbread pizza instead of tomato sauce, mashed with avocado to add flavor and creaminess to a pasta salad, used as a flavor boost on top of frittata muffins or whisked up with oil and lemon to make a salad dressing.

Below is our standard, basic pesto recipe, just like Luise’s Italian nonna makes it. You can use a store-bought option, of course, but homemade always tastes better. We also make a vegan version with nutritional yeast and cashew nuts to keep it creamy instead of the cheese (see tips). The nutritional yeast adds that cheesy flavor, making the two versions very similar.

If you feel like playing around with this recipe, you can add kale, spinach, rocket or even raw broccoli to the herbs. The pine nuts can be substituted with other nuts, and you can even try adding sweet fruit, like mango or raisins, for an interesting flavor twist.

Green Kitchen Stories’ Late Spring Veggie Bowl

Ingredients:

cooked quinoa mixed with Perfect Pesto (see below)
oven-roasted whole baby carrots
steamed or blanched or fresh peas
shaved asparagus
shaved raw radish
lettuce leaves
cubed ripe pear
herbs

To serve:
toasted sunflower seeds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Assemble ingredients, add toppings and serve.

GKS’ PERFECT PESTO
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh basil, leaves and stems picked
2/3 cup Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted
⅓ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, peeled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, season to taste with salt and pepper and blend until well combined.

Store the pesto in the fridge in a sealable glass jar and it will keep for about a week. Alternatively, roll it into a log using a sheet of parchment paper and store it in the freezer.

Tips:
For a vegan alternative, replace the cheese with 1⁄3 cup cashew nuts and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes.

For a nut-free alternative, replace the pine nuts with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.

The pesto can also be prepared in a medium-sized bowl with an immersion (hand) blender or by using a mortar and pestle.


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