Rich, Delicious, Eat-a-Spoonful Pestos & Tomato Sauce/Soup

After being given a monstrous amount of three types of amazing Basil, grown by a friend with ten green fingers, I had to get creative before it all died.  I like to make cheese-free pestos because they stay better longer in the fridge so I can have a massive sauce making party with my Vitamix.  Let the celebration begin!


Cashew Lemon Basil Pesto
*makes about 3/4 of a pint jar*

1 cup basil leaves
1-3 cloves garlic (depends on your taste)
1 cup raw cashews
1 medium lemon (juice only)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup virgin olive oil

~Put basil, garlic, cashews, lemon juice, salt & pepper into Vitamix and blend at about 5 while using the tamper to push the ingredients down into the blades.

~When everything is looking blended up, remove tamper and start to steadily drizzle the olive oil into the mixture.  Start with 1/4 cup, use the tamper to help it mix well then continue to add oil until you reach desired consistency. I like the richness of using the whole 1/2 cup.

~This will keep for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.  After I jar it, I like to squeeze a little lemon juice on top. This creates a layer of juice that will protect the pesto from the air inside the airtight container and help slow the browning process.  When I want to serve, I simply pour the juice out into a cup, get the needed pesto out, smooth the top of the pesto down and pour that same lemon juice back on top.

Macadamia Nut Basil Pesto
*makes about 3/4 of a pint jar*

1 cup basil leaves
1-3 cloves garlic (depends on your taste)
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
1 medium lime (juice only)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup virgin olive oil

~The instructions are the same as above however this pesto keeps a bit longer and theres no need to put any juice on top of it.  It doesn’t brown like the first one.  Not sure if its the macadamias or the lime.  Science project time!

What can you do with pesto?  Possibilities are limitless like our imaginations, so have fun with it!  My favorites:

eat a spoonful straight from the jar
spread on whole wheat artisan bread
use as a base for freshly made salad dressing by taking about a tablespoon of pesto and adding a little water and some balsamic vinegar (to taste)
use on pasta or spaghetti squash
i’ve heard people use it as a sauce to make pizza, baked tofu and spread on meats like chicken but I haven’t tried any of those personally

Tomato Sauce/Soup
*makes almost 1 quart*

2 six oz cans of tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
2-4 tbs fresh basil leaves – chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp raw cane sugar
2 tbs oil or ghee
salt & pepper (to taste)

~Heat oil in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat and saute the garlic for a few minutes.

~Add in the two cans of tomato paste and three paste cans of water.  Continue to stir until everything is mixed well.

~Add basil, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt & pepper. The sugar helps calm the acidity of the tomatoes. Stir well & lower heat.

~Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Taste & adjust seasonings as needed.

~Use like you would any tomato pasta sauce or eat it as soup with your favorite leafy green sides.

Most of all, have FUN and enJOY!


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