Tag Archives: pesto

Vegan Pesto Butter

18 Jul

Disclosure: I received products from Sweese in exchange for a review. Opinions are 100% my own.

I have a confession. In early March, I stopped eating dairy entirely. I determined that something was causing distress in my stomach and through some minor experimentation, deduced that dairy was to blame. My love affair with Wisconsin cheeses, Greek yogurt, salted Amish butter, and cream cheese had to come to an end. No more whipped cream, no more cheese platters, no more cheesy pizza!

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

At first, it was nearly impossible. Cheese and all manner of dairy products had been engrained in my life since the beginning. I’m a Wisconsinite, so naturally, dairy is one of the biggest food groups here, following beer and preceded by bratwurst (of which I now only eat the meatless varieties). Buttered toast, yogurt parfaits, and creamy frostings quickly became a thing of the past. I had to learn how to navigate ingredient lists to ensure no dairy resided in the products I was used to buying. And more importantly, I had to learn how to be around others who still enjoy all the dairy goodness that my state has to offer (looking at you, boyfriend).

Yes, at first, it was hard. It took about two months for my incessant cravings to subside. I played around with dairy-free alternatives to cream cheese (YUM), block cheeses (gross), shredded cheese (passable), and coffee creamer (took a while to find one I like). I have been using Westsoy Soy Milk for a few years now, so at least that wasn’t difficult. And I know how to substitute coconut products for dairy rather well (thanks to canned coconut milk and coconut oil!!).

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

But the one thing that never left my cravings: buttered toast. It’s simple, comforting, quick, and cheap. Carbs + fat = super satisfying for a pre-run breakfast or even a snack. Sprinkle on some cinnamon, and you’ve got a sweet tooth fix. However, the dairy-free butter alternatives are LOADED with gross chemicals and coloring agents and who knows what else. Yes, I bought a small container of the stuff, and yes, I used it all up, but I swore that once it was gone, I’d develop a homemade alternative that I could feel good about eating, and that would TASTE good.

And, serendipitously, I was contacted by Sweese around the same time. This company makes home and kitchen essentials that are functional AND stylish. Designs are simple and sleek, and pair form with function. Sweese kindly sent me a butter keeper and mortar & pestle set for testing, review, and GIVEAWAY.

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

So, of course, I developed a recipe to put them both to use! Adorably, the porcelain butter keeper’s cork lid states “Alles in Butter,” which translates from German to mean “everything is ok” or “smooth sailing.” With my German heritage, this greatly appealed to me! The porcelain mortar is beautiful in its pristine whiteness, and the wooden pestle fits perfectly in my hand.

What better way to put both of these items to the test than to make VEGAN pesto butter?! Yes, non-dairy butter that’s blended with a vegan version of pesto! I cannot tell you how ABSOLUTELY SCRUMPTIOUS this is. It’s salty, savory, creamy, and fatty. Everything you want in a spread to make your toast extra delicious.

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

It’s also crazy-easy. The vegan butter is made up of three ingredients, which I know you have on-hand already. And the pesto simply requires a bit of elbow grease and some fresh ingredients. In no time, you can have a healthy, dairy-free, melt-in-your-mouth spread that’ll keep well in this porcelain butter keeper (or really, any airtight container).

If you want YOUR OWN butter keeper, be sure to enter the giveaway! Just a few steps and you can be in the running to win. But don’t wait to make this recipe – your toast, bagels, and all manner of foods need this vegan pesto butter!

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This giveaway is open to everyone in the US, ages 18 and up. Giveaway closes at midnight on July 25, 2017. Complete all three steps to be entered to win:

  1. Comment on this blog post telling me what you’d like to keep in this porcelain dish.
  2. Pin this post and follow me on Pinterest.
  3. Tweet this post and follow me on Twitter.


Vegan Butter,
from Bare Root Girl

Makes about 1 cup of vegan butter

  • 1/2 C unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Measure ingredients into a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave until the coconut oil has melted completely. Stir to combine. Pour into the bowl of your stand mixer, and refrigerate for about an hour. You want it to turn opaque, instead of looking transparent.

Once this has set in the fridge, use the balloon whisk on your stand mixer. Turn it on low speed and whisk for 30 seconds. Then turn it up to high speed and mix for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture doubles in volume.

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Vegan Pesto, recipe adapted from Food52 and method from Italyum

Makes about 1/2 C pesto

  • 1/2 C tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp walnut halves or another nut of choice (pine nuts and almonds both work)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (I like Kal brand)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Layer the basil, nuts, garlic, and salt in the mortar. Use the pestle to press and grind the ingredients together until a paste begins to form. This will take some elbow grease! Be sure to thoroughly grind down the nuts and garlic – you won’t want large chunks of these in the final product.

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Add the lemon juice and nutritional yeast and continue using the pestle to grind the mixture completely. Pour in the olive oil and use a spoon to stir and combine well. Taste the pesto (on bread or a pita is the best way) to make sure the ingredients are balanced to your liking. Adjust as necessary.

Vegan Pesto Butter

Stir the pesto into the whipped vegan butter until completely incorporated. Transfer to your favorite butter dish or any container that has an airtight lid. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours. Keep the vegan pesto butter stored in the refrigerator and enjoy!

This butter tastes great simply slathered on bread or a pita, used on sandwiches, or mixed into pasta for a twist on “butter noodles.” Use it on savory pancakes or even roast potatoes with it! The possibilities are endless.

Vegan Pesto Butter | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Black Bean Pesto Pasta

2 Jun

This week seems to have me dashing between post-work activities. Whether that’s from the mall to yoga class, or from a run, to the shower, to orchestra rehearsal, I haven’t gotten much time at home!

But that’s no excuse for not cooking. Yep, you heard me: being “busy” does not automatically translate into “picking up something for dinner.” There is almost always time to whip up a healthy meal, and this recipe is a perfect example of that!

Black Bean Pesto Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

OK, it’s really more of a suggested pairing than a proper recipe. But, there is heat involved and mixing. So that counts, right? Regardless its classification, this pasta is DELISH. Black beans provide a ton of fiber and protein, whole wheat pasta is a nice load of carbs for when you’re running around, and the pesto adds the perfect flavor. I keep a jar of my favorite brand in the fridge for a quick flavor boost.

Black Bean Pesto Pasta
Serves 4

  • 8 oz shell pasta – whole wheat or gluten free, as desired
  • 1 15 oz can (or 1-1/2 C cooked from dry) black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3 tbsp prepared vegan pesto sauce

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions.

Drain the cooked pasta and return to the warm pot. Mix in the black beans and pesto sauce.

Serve pasta garnished with fresh chives or chiffonade basil.

Black Bean Pesto Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Oregano-Basil Lemon Pesto

25 Sep

Fresh herb season is coming to an end, which is sad. Put your flowering oregano and basil plants to use with this fragrant, flavorful pesto.

Oregano-Basil Lemon Pesto | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The combination of oregano and basil, with lemon juice, makes for an amazing pairing, that is bright and vibrant on the tongue. The fresh garlic and chili flakes add a bit of kick, and the walnuts add a nice deep nutty flavor.

I tossed this with some whole wheat gnocchi, and topped that with pan-fried leftover “meat”balls. But do with it what you will! And if you have a large abundance of oregano and basil, make extra batches of this, store in the freezer, and pull it out for a hint of summer on those cold late-winter days.

Oregano-Basil Lemon Pesto | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Oregano-Basil Lemon Pesto, adapted from This is How I Cook

Makes about 1 cup of pesto (8 servings)

  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 C walnut halves or pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 c grated parmesan just cut 4 1″ chunks off your block of parmesan
  • 1 C lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 C lightly packed fresh oregano leaves
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes

Rinse the basil and oregano and remove the leaves from their stems.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. You’ll need to scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice in the process.

Taste to see if you need to add anything, perhaps olive oil or some more salt and/or pepper. Blend until it’s to your liking.

Store in a glass container in the fridge, or use right away. This will stay fresh in your fridge, in an air-tight container, for up to a week.

Need ideas? Toss it with fresh whole wheat gnocchi, smear some on a grilled cheese sandwich, toss it into potatoes and roast in the oven, or mix with plain Greek yogurt for a herby veggie dip!

Oregano-Basil Lemon Pesto | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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