Greenwala Fridays with Steve!

Below, enjoy another fabulous Greenwala guest post by Steven Todd Smith. To become a member of Greenwala and follow Steve's delicious posts regularly, click here

posted by KissMeImVeganGuy  

While I was shooting a film in upstate New York, we had some great craft services who made a specific vegetarian/vegan meal in addition to the "omnivorous" one.  The cooks weren't used to leaving meat and cheese out, or putting extra/alternative veggies in, but were excited to come up with some fun, simple vegan creations.

One fateful evening........

There was a delicious pasta in pesto sauce as the "vegetarian/vegan" option.  Admiring how creamy it looked, I received confirmation from my good friend (also vegan) that the cooks knew what wasn't supposed to be used in the veg meals and that we were good to go.  Now, it's been a year and a half since I've had cheese* (*from an animal source), but I had a strange feeling as I ate my pesto pasta.... and a little bit more of a feeling when I was done.... and some more of a feeling when most my cast mates agreed that there was cheese* in the pesto.... that there was cheese* in the pesto.  Sometimes it's all about trust, and, when you don't prepare the meal yourself (or go specifically to a vegan restaurant), you're taking a bit of a chance.

Either way, I had to come back home and make some pesto of my own!  I had to remember that I could have delicious green, creamy pesto without the use of cheese*!

And, indeed, I did!

And you can, too!  If you've never made vegan pesto before, or if you usually use some sort of cheese*, I highly recommend you try it!  Still delicious, still pesto!  Super simple!

 Photo courtesy of Healthy, Happy Life

When I make vegan pesto, I use: basil, cashews, walnuts, garlic cloves, olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and water.  In the blender/food processor.  Presto.  Vegan Pesto.  That's.  All. 

Cheese?  Don't need it - you got the cashews to give creaminess and the nutritional yeast to give a nutty, parmesan-y flavor.  Course you could use vegan parmesan if you want - you can probably find shakers at your supermarket, definitely at Whole Foods or your closest health food store.  And you can add more, subsitute different ingredients if you want: pine nuts (traditional), almonds, spinach, cilantro, whatever.

Have fun, give your own twist, and enjoy all of your favorite flavors, keepin' it vegan!

Check out a couple of my favorite recipes from Healthy, Happy Life 

Steven Todd Smith is an actor, Life Nutrition Counselor, animal activist, and vegan who loves to make a difference and have fun doing it.  He is a guest blogger at Kiss Me, I'm Vegan! and has a health counseling practice in the works.


I really like the pesto recipe - and the idea of using cashews instead of cheese. Awesome!
mandy said…
i add a little miso to mine too. i don't usually need water.
blessedmama said…
Well, your pesto sounds much more appetizing than one that uses icky animal-based cheese in it. And, it's such a pretty color, too!
Welby Way said…
Both recipes look delicious, but lordy so many ingredients!