Tag Archives: vegan

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

Mexican Lentil Salad and Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap

29 Jun

This past weekend marked my fifth half marathon. It was a women-only race, which was incredibly empowering! The course was new to me, as it was in Madison, WI.

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Yep, this was my first race away from home, and I loved it. We got an Airbnb to stay in the night before, and so I could pickup my packet without hassle. Chris and I also got to enjoy the food and drink that Madison has to offer!

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Madison is just 90 minutes from home, and it’s an easy drive. We ate a vegan lunch at the Green Owl Cafe, after which I picked up a handful of macarons from the Chocotarian, and then we enjoyed a few brews from One Barrel Brewing Company. A new brewery opened that weekend, so we went to check it out: Funk Factory Geuzeria. Afterward, we drove out to Mt. Horeb (about another 30 minutes), to re-visit The Grumpy Troll for delicious pizza and a variety of beers (samplers for me!).

Chris and I have this tendency to stumble upon brewpubs. So of course, we stumbled upon another one, the Brew Haus, and had to stop in for one; we were not disappointed, and then called it quits for the night.

The race was well-organized and started on time (I hate when they don’t!). The first mile included at least one incline, so that was a good indication of the rest of the route. My body, mind and spirit were on board with the day’s challenge.

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The weather was beautiful, the views were new, and the women were encouraging. I struggled a bit toward the end when my thighs started to feel the strain, but I pushed through.

Especially at the finish line. As I was about to turn the corner for the last tiny stretch, I told myself to gun it. All power to the engines, full steam ahead. I felt so GOOD. I wanted to finish strong, and I succeeded!

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Admittedly, my time was not what I had been training for. But every other aspect was on target. Mentally, physically, and emotionally: I felt strong, courageous, and happy.

In fact, for the first time in a while, I had FUN during this race. I smiled almost the whole time. I high-fived other runners and cheered them on. We finished off the day with more beer, more delicious food, and finally a drive back home. It was by far my favorite race experience, and I hope my next one is just as enjoyable!

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Ok, now to the recipe. This simple salad is layered with complex flavors and textures. It’s high in protein, full of fresh vegetables, and dressed with a blend of olive oil and lime juice. The spice level is easily customizable, and this recipe can be scaled for larger gatherings or parties!

Mexican Lentil Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Also, don’t forget to enter the #cookoutweek giveaway by July 1 at 11:59 PM est for your chance to win this prize pack, valued at over $400! Enter by following our sponsors and bloggers on social media via a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mexican Lentil Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Mexican Lentil Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 C brown lentils
  • 4 C vegetable broth, beer, water, or a combination
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium English cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 C corn kernels
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 C salsa
  • 1/2 C nondairy sour cream
  • pepitas

In a large pot, bring your liquid of choice to a boil with the lentils and spices. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer lentils to a mixing bowl and stir in the jalapeno, bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and corn. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, hot sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir this into the lentil-veggie mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight.

Serve with nondairy sour cream, salsa, pepitas. You could also serve this with tortilla chips or stuffed into a pita pocket.

 

Jerk Tempeh with Black Beans and Quinoa

27 Jun

I don’t know about you, but the warm weather always makes me want spicy food. Apparently, warming foods, those made with spicy ingredients, actually help to regulate the body’s internal temperature when our climate becomes warmer. How does it work?

Jerk Tempeh with Black Beans and Quinoa | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

“Chilis like cayenne, jalapeño, and habanero peppers get their heat from the chemical capsaicin, which acts as an irritant for certain animals—including humans. When you ingest capsaicin, it triggers a neural response from your body.

“As Yale professor Barry Green explained in Scientific American: ‘…spicy foods excite the receptors in the skin that normally respond to heat…The central nervous system reacts to whatever the sensory system tells it is going on. Therefore, the pattern of activity from pain and warm nerve fibers triggers both the sensations and the physical reactions of heat, including vasodilation, sweating, and flushing.’

“The ‘burn’ you feel in your mouth from eating spicy food can be followed by a similar warming sensation across the rest of your body, causing you to sweat as you eat. Sweating is one of the primary methods the human body has to regulate its temperature—specifically, it’s the evaporation of sweat that removes heat from your body. So as long as you stay hydrated while eating spicy food, the perspiration that comes from enjoying a good three-alarm chili will force your body to cool itself quickly and more efficiently.” – Quartz’s Jean-Luc Bouchard.

Jerk Tempeh with Black Beans and Quinoa | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Well, bring on the hot sauces, dried spices, and jalapeños! This recipe for jerk tempeh with black beans and quinoa can easily be modified to your preferred spice level. In the mood for a good sweat? Kick it up a notch when you make the black beans and quinoa! The recipe, as listed, will result in a dish that has just enough heat.

Jerk Tempeh with Black Beans and Quinoa | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This also comes together quickly, so you can spend more time sweating while eating, than sweating while cooking 😉 Prepared jerk sauce, of which I used a version from an African-Jamaican fusion restaurant in Milwaukee (shout-out to Irie Zulu!), makes this dinner come together in a flash. No need to marinade the tempeh – the sauce will bake in after 15 minutes in the oven. And the stove top black beans and quinoa take 25 minutes, tops. A healthy, hearty, delicious dinner really can be ready in 30 minutes!

This recipe was also created as part of #CookoutWeek 2017. Be sure to enter the giveaway by July 1 at 11:59 PM est for your chance to win this prize pack, valued at over $400! Enter by following our sponsors and bloggers on social media via a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jerk Tempeh with Black Beans and Quinoa | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Jerk Tempeh with Black Beans and Quinoa

Serves 4

  • 2 packages tempeh
  • 1/2 C prepared Jamaican Jerk sauce
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 C uncooked quinoa
  • 1-1/2 C vegetable stock or wheat beer
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 C cooked black beans

Preheat oven to 350. Line a small baking sheet with foil and grease with a spray oil.

In a stock pot, heat the avocado oil over medium-high. Add the minced onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute for five minutes. Add in the uncooked quinoa and saute another two minutes.

Then, add the stock or beer, bring to a boil, cover with the lid, and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

While the quinoa cooks, cut the block of tempeh in half so you have two thin blocks. Then, cut them into bite-sized triangles. Transfer to the prepare baking sheet. Spoon about 1/2 tsp of the Jamaican Jerk sauce onto each piece and spread around with the back of the spoon. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, then remove, flip the pieces over with a spatula, and spoon another 1/2 tsp of the sauce on the other side of each piece. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Once the quinoa finishes cooking, stir in the spices and black beans.

Divide the black beans & quinoa equally among four plates, and then add the jerk tempeh. Serve with fresh vegetables.

An InLinkz Link-up

As one of the bonus entries in the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post…what dish do you look forward to most at a cookout? I love my Oma’s potato salad!

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