Cilantro Pesto

At the vegetable market in my neighborhood, the bunches of cilantro are huge! So I’ll buy it for a simple salsa or to use as a garnish in a recipe, then I find myself rushing to use all of it before it goes bad. Problem solved: pesto! This was my first time making pesto without basil, and it turned out really good. I was kind of hesitant at first because I’m one of those people who thinks cilantro tastes a little like soap and can only take it in small doses. But this did not have that effect at all. It think it’s because the nutritional yeast gives it that nutty flavor and balances it out perfectly.

  • 2 cups loosely packed cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yest
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • juice of half a lemon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Process it all up! I left it a little chunky but you can blend it for longer if you want it to be smoother.

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Lentil Jalapeno Hummus

I know, lentils and jalapeno again. But since it’s after the holidays and I’m totally broke, I’m trying to use up stuff I have in my cupboard, and hummus is always cheap and easy to make. And I discovered an awesome cheap fruit and vegetable market in my neighborhood that has a million types of peppers. So since I recently started to experiment with hummus made from other beans besides chickpeas (split pea is good too) I thought I’d try lentils because they cook fast and don’t require soaking (great news if you hate canned beans, like me!) And the cumin and jalapeno give it a spicy kick!

I like making a big batch of hummus at the beginning of the week and then I pretty much eat it with anything. Scoop some on a salad, put it in a sandwich, or just with veggies or crackers. It fills you up but isn’t as starchy and carby as chickpeas are.

  • 1 cup dry green lentils boiled in plenty of water with a clove of crushed garlic and pinch of sea salt until soft (about 40 min)
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • parsley for garnish (optional)

Blend all ingredients in the food processor (it blends better and will come out creamier if you process it right after you cook the lentils) and garnish with parsley.