As we head into the spring season, I find myself looking forward to longer days, warmer nights and plenty of San Diego sunshine. The only issue I have with the clocks rolling forward an hour is the disruption that takes place in my meal routine. As I work through the day, 5:00 p.m. creeps up on me quickly with its dinner bell ringing in my ear. Luckily, today’s meal was inspired by my leftover baked potatoes and soaked cashews from earlier in the day. A quick meal in the Kelly house typically starts with leftovers and a little ingenuity. Our Smashed Potatoes and Cashew Hemp Pesto is a quick and easy dish, made in under 15 minutes, and perfect for spring.
Making a batch of vegan pesto is simple and can be customized to fit your needs. Use your favorite nuts, seeds, protein powder and flavorings to create a pesto your family will love. The basics of vegan pesto start with soaked nuts or seeds, basil, sea salt, nutritional yeast, fresh garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. Add all ingredients to your high-speed blender (Vitamix) and away you go. Adjust seasonings as desired and you’ll have a pesto ready for a week of snacking and quick bites.
Yellow Potatoes: I purchased my organic potatoes from Trader Joe’s.
Ranting about TJ’s produce: Most organic produce I purchase from Trader Joe’s needs to be used up quickly. Although the price point at TJ’s is good, typically when I purchase a bag of organic produce (avocados, lemons, limes, potatoes, etc.), there is one or two in the bag that is either bad (moldy) or very close to unusable. Such an annoying issue and one that affects my grocery budget. When I’m forced to toss a moldy lemon from the bag I just brought home, I’ve added to my bottom line food budget, both annoying and expensive. The single produce items available at my local Trader Joe’s are mostly conventional. They tend to group the organic items into bags. If you have experienced the same issues with Trader Joe’s, leave a note in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.
Organic Basil: Purchased from Trader Joe’s. This specific package of basil was so fresh and tasted amazing. I typically plant basil in the garden but due to a series of health events in our family this past month, the planting has not taken place. Adding that one to my to-do list this week. 🙂
Hemp Seeds: Nutiva hemp seeds are rich in protein, omega-fatty acids and fiber. A healthy addition to my spring pesto.
Organic Raw Whole Cashews: Packaged by Nutcracker Brands, Inc. out of El Paso, TX and sold at my local Costco. Each package contains 2 lbs 8oz.
Nutritional Yeast: Love the cheesy taste Bragg nutritional yeast gives my homemade pesto.
- 4-6 Pre-baked organic yellow potatoes. I typically choose smaller potatoes as they are easier to handle when adding to a hot skillet.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Himalayan sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
- 1 package organic basil from Trader Joes. About 2 cups packed leaves.
- 2 Tablespoons Bragg nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 cup soaked cashews, soaked at least 2 hours or overnight
- 1/4 cup raw shelled hemp seeds
- 2 small cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lemon (start with 1/2 lemon and taste. I like my pesto with a little more lemon than your average pesto)
- 1/2 cup of organic extra-virgin olive oil
- Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package organic arugula
- Prepare cooled, baked potatoes by smashing them with your clean hand. Creating a pancake form.
- Add 2 Tablespoon coconut oil to an iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add smashed potatoes, cooking 3-4 minutes per side or until warmed through and slightly browned on the outside.
- Using a high-speed blender (Vitamix), add cashes, hemp seeds, basil, nutritional yeast, garlic and lemon juice. Begin running the blender on low and slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides as needed. If you find your pesto too thick, simply add a little more oil. Add sea salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Serve warmed potatoes on a bed of fresh, organic arugula and a dollop of pesto.
- vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free
- All recipes and images are protected under copyright laws and owned by Kris Kelly and Goofy Foot Foods.