[donotprint] I’ve always been a fan of pesto…well as far back as I can remember when it entered my food repertoire which was decidedly late in to my teens!
It’s one of those things that people have a tendency to pick up ready made. They have a jar on hand for convenience and fail to consider the ingredient list which unless it’s fresh is likely contain unnecessary ingredients. A straightforward olive oil pesto is incredibly easy to make but I’m not a fan of consuming large amounts of oil; I’d rather my food packed as much nutritional punch as possible.
Making a protein rich pesto that tastes incredible too turned out to be a cinch; and one which I patted myself on the back for quite a few times as devoured the previous bowl full! First up was the delicious and nutritious silken tofu basil and toasted sunflower seed pesto. I was mightily surprised at just how good it was and so decided it would be imprudent of me not to make another equally sensational tasting variety.
Sundried tomatoes are a store cupboard staple which I forgot to mention! I buy them from The Happy Pear in a bag as opposed to oil; you merely soak them for about 20-30 minutes in boiling water to soften them up a little and adding to whatever you fancy. So much healthier!
I stuck with the silken tofu base for the creamy pesto sauce and added in toasted almonds, nutritional yeast and sundried tomatoes along with a little seasoning. The end result was awesome! I’m not sure I could pick between this one the green variety! The almond flavour shone through perfectly; I wasn’t sure if they would hold their own against the intensity of the sundried tomatoes but the combination worked a treat. The combined waft of toasted almonds and sundried tomatoes was decidedly alluring!
Served up with wholegrain spelt spaghetti it was every bit as delicious as the aroma promised. I tossed through some sliced roasted red pepper and wilted spinach and finished it off with yet more toasted almonds.
A meal in minutes quite literally! Rather than the sundried tomatoes being a mere flavour sensation (the value of which should in no way be underestimated!) they are little nuggets of goodness. A good source of Vitamins C, E, K, B1, B2 and B3 , as well as being notably high in potassium as well as being rich in fibre they pack more of a nutrient punch that people might estimate!
As if I needed an excuse to load up on them…a firm favourite addition to a hell of lot of dishes (and one my favourite pizza toppings!) sundried tomatoes get to be the star of the show on this occasion!
What’s your favourite way to enjoy sundried tomatoes? [/donotprint]
Vegan Sundried Tomato Almond Protein Pesto
Servings – 1
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 10 minutes
- 100g (3.5oz) firm silken tofu
- 2 tbsp toasted almonds roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 roasted clove of garlic (roast for 25 –30 minutes at 180C/350F whenever you have the oven on!)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes chopped (approx. 4-5 sundried tomatoes)
Pasta & Veggies
- 1/2 a roasted red pepper sliced
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 2-3 soaked sundried tomatoes sliced
- 1/2 cup uncooked fusilli wholegrain spelt pasta
- 1/2 tbsp toasted chopped almonds
- Fresh basil to garnish
- Cover spelt pasta with boiling water and cook for 8 – 10 minutes depending on how al dente you like it.
- Meanwhile blend together all pesto ingredients in a food processor or using a hand/stick blender until perfectly smooth. Add a little more water if you find it’s too thick.
- Place spinach in a colander, pour over boiling water and immediately rinse under cold water to prevent further cooking. Squeeze to remove excess water.
- Drain pasta, pour over sauce, add in red pepper, spinach and sundried tomatoes and stir well to combine. Place back in to your empty pot to heat through for 2-3 minutes. Alternatively prepare pasta and veggies, allow to cool or rinse under cold water before combining with sauce for a delicious pasta salad. Once mixed together chilled it will keep perfectly in the fridge for a day or two.
- Serve topped with toasted almonds and fresh basil.