Lemon & Basil Pesto (Dairy Free)

Basil

My house is in chaos this weekend…I’m getting new flooring laid downstairs, there is clutter and dust everywhere!  This is proving a bit of a challenge for me as I’m a tad obsessive when it comes to cleaning but I keep telling myself that it’ll be worth it in the end.

Knowing that access to the kitchen would be somewhat limited I decided to whip up a quick batch of this pesto, so as soon as the workers left I could cook some gluten-free pasta and have a quick, simple but oh so yummy dinner.  This pesto works well not only with pasta but I’ve used it over chicken and veggies, in sandwiches or just drizzled over tomatoes and topped with some crumbled goats cheese.

When I first started making pesto I’d sometimes find it a bit garlicky (garlicky obviously isn’t a word judging by the big red line under it, but I’m ignoring it!).  I had read somewhere that if you chop up the clove of garlic and soak it in lemon juice for 10-15 minutes the garlic won’t be as pungent.  I tried this trick and it works!  I will be testing this trick in other recipes where I use raw garlic to make sure it wasn’t a one off…I’ll update you on my findings 🙂

You can make this pesto in a blender but I prefer a pestle and mortar.  It’s a bit of a stress relief bashing it all up plus it’s quite a good workout for the arms (just remember to alternate arms!).

Ingredients

-1 clove of garlic

-2 cups fresh basil, roughly torn

-1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil

-2 Tbsp. pine nuts

-juice and zest of 1 lemon

-salt and Pepper

How to Make

If soaking your garlic clove first; finely chop the garlic and cover with lemon juice for 10-15 minutes. Then drain.

To toast your pine nuts, heat a frying pan on a medium heat and toast the nuts until browned, keep an eye on them as they can go from brown to burnt quite quickly.

If making your pesto in a blender, place all ingredients in the blender and blend/pulse until the desired consistency, you may need to add more oil if you prefer a amore runny consistency.

If using a pestle and mortar, bash up the chopped garlic clove with a pinch of salt into a paste. Next add the basil and bash until the leaves break down. You may need to do the leaves in batches to make room in the mortar.

Add the oil and mix well then add the pine nuts.  I don’t crush all the pine nuts  as I like some crunch.

Add the lemon juice and zest, mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pesto

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy 🙂

Granola

Granola. I like it.  I like it a lot!

Some shop bought granolas can be quite generous with added sugars, so I set out to try and make a granola which was still full of flavour but not loaded with added sugar.  And this is the result.

I love some sprinkled on goats milk yoghurt or I just grab some to nibble on during the day when I need something to keep me going until the next meal.

There are many different combinations of nuts and dried fruits for a granola, try a few different combos and see what you like best.

Ingredients

-1 cup gluten free oats

-1/2 cup raw nuts (cashews, almonds or hazelnuts all work well)

-1/2 cup dried fruit (dates, raisins, cranberries )

-2 tbsp. honey

-2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil

-1 tsp. ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice mix

Granola

How to Make

Preheat oven to 150 C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then spread onto lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes then give the granola a stir/shake.  Bake for a further 5 minutes until the oats are golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Store in an airtight container.

Granola1

Enjoy 🙂

A glass of green goodness!

I love this juice. It’s especially good just now during this heat wave we are experiencing in the UK…not that I’m complaining about the sunshine, I love it!

This juice is super quick to make and lovely and refreshing.  It’s full of goodness and the ginger adds a wee zing.

Ingredients
-3 apples
-1 stick of celery
-A quarter cucumber
-2 large handfuls baby spinach
-1 tbsp. fresh ginger – add more or less to suit your taste.  I like just a subtle kick of ginger, not the burn the mouth amount!

Greens in a glass

Throw all the ingredients into your juicer and juice.  Serve over ice.

DSCF1137

Enjoy 🙂

Pea and Mint Soup

I must admit I do enjoy a good bowl of soup. This one is simple yet tasty. I tend to make a batch of this up and freeze individual portions so I’ve always got some on hand when I need a quick meal. This soup is also delicious cold, particularly at the moment with the hot weather we’re having.

Pea and Mint soup 1

Ingredients

-1 tbsp. olive oil or rapeseed oil

-1 red onion, roughly chopped

-600g frozen peas

-a generous handful of mint leaves

-700ml vegetable stock, either homemade or from a cube

-salt & pepper to taste

How to Make

In a large saucepan heat the oil and add the chopped onion.  Saute until the onion is soft.

Add the peas and stock.  Cover saucepan with a lid, bring to the boil then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the mint leaves and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Blend until smooth – if you prefer really smooth soup, pass through a sieve.

Season with salt and pepper to taste – you may not need to add any salt as some stock cubes and shop bought stocks can be quite salty, best to check the soup first before adding any.

Pea and Mint soup 2

Enjoy! 🙂