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Bleepety-Bleep Pesto!

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This scrumptious pesto has a surprise (protein-packed) ingredient!

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Intrigued by the title of this post?

Well, here’s the deal… I couldn’t bring myself to title this pesto as it should be titled, because doing so would require me to break TWO of my cardinal rules of recipe naming.  Those rules are:

#1- Do not include the word “protein” in a recipe title.  It immediately conjures up images of those awful, fake-tasting vanilla protein powders that pretty much ruin anything you add them to.  (When I see a recipe for “Protein Muffins” or “Protein Oatmeal”… I immediately run screaming.)

#2- Do not include the word “vegan” in a recipe title.  Sadly, people tend to read that word and instantly tune out.  (Unless, of course, they are vegan.  In which case their ears perk up.  But my experience is that the majority of non-vegans view vegan food as the ultimate way to poop on a party.  Correct me if that statement is too judgmental.)

Anyway, that first rule is one I follow willingly, due to my own bad experiences with “protein” recipes.  The second rule (regarding the V-word) is one I resent a bit but have resigned myself to live by anyway… you just can’t argue with the masses.  (Although I’d like to point out that tons of crowd-pleasing foods happen to be vegan… chips and salsa, anyone?)

So… let’s just say that (hypothetically) these rules don’t exist for a moment.  If that were the case, then I would entitle this recipe “Vegan Protein Pesto.”  But WAIT… Since that is not the real title of this recipe, you do not need to run screaming.  Truly, jokes aside, I had to share this pesto with you because it is addictively scrumptious, amazingly simple to make, and (best of all) amped up in the nutrient department!  I honestly can tell NO taste difference between this recipe and my classic pesto, and I am a pesto lover.

Now, let me say, I do not self-identify as a “Vegan.” (Or by any other label, for that matter, except perhaps “Food Lover.”)  But I’ve got to admit that I find thawing meat, preparing meat, and sanitizing my counters and utensils afterward to be rather a drag sometimes.  So for that reason, I welcome any recipe that allows me to get away with the occasional meat-free meal, without sacrificing much-needed dietary protein!

The secret protein-packed ingredient in this pesto is (thankfully) NOT vanilla protein powder… it is HEMP.  I have sung the praises of hemp in greater detail in other posts, but the short version is: Hemp seeds are a high-protein plant food with a delicious, nutty flavor that is seamless to incorporate into a variety of dishes.  Like quinoa, hemp is a complete protein, meaning that it supplies you with all the necessary amino acids one typically has to turn to animal products to find.  And unlike animal protein options, hemp also provides you with healthful fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamins, and complex carbohydrates.  Hemp rocks.

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Can you guess the secret ingredient in this fabulous pesto?

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The reason that hemp blends so seamlessly into pesto is because its flavor is not the least bit intrusive, and its texture and color expertly mimic the Parmesan cheese one normally finds in traditional pesto.  It really is amazing.

I love a good veggie pizza, and hemp just allows me to feel good about making one into a complete meal!

This is one bandwagon I highly recommend you jump on.

You can find my Homemade Sourdough Pizza Crust recipe here, in case you’d like to whip up a protein-packed pesto pizza this weekend.  And for the super-simple recipe for this pesto, just scroll down and you’ll find the printable.

Lots of Love!

Carissa

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Vegan Protein Pesto
 
This pesto is as addictive and scrumptious as its traditional counterpart, but with added nuttiness and protein thanks to the addition of hemp seeds. A great addition to vegetarian pizzas or pasta!
Author:
Ingredients:
  • -2 C. fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • -1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • -3 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • -3-5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • -salt and pepper (to taste)
  • -lemon juice (to taste)
Directions:
  1. In a mini food processor, pulse the basil leaves, garlic, and hemp til slightly broken down. Stream in the olive oil and continue to pulse until mixture has become a smooth paste.
  2. Blend in pinches of salt and pepper to taste, and finally add lemon juice (1 tsp. at a time) to taste.
  3. Enjoy!

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure here.

 

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4 Responses so far.

  1. Shailaja says:

    Maybe I need to bring over some of my VEGAN PROTEIN in hopes to change your mind, lol. You’ll fall in love.

  2. Bla says:

    As a non-vegan foodlover, I could not agree more with your two statements!!

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