Walnut + Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes + Olives

Thank goodness for pasta dishes that are ready in 20 minutes.  And that your child devours.  And that are super high in protein and omegas!  I love the simplicity of this dish, and how quick it is to make.  It’s one of those recipes I keep in mind for nights when I’m clueless as to what to cook up.  Sweet basil, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives bring a Mediterranean summery feel that I think we’re all craving right about now!

Fresh Garlic

Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts, but I love using walnuts because, for one, they are much more affordable, and also a rich source of omega-3.  They are great for your brain health, and they kind of look like little brains, don’t they?

I also skipped on the parmesan cheese as I avoid dairy whenever I can (it really doesn’t make me feel well) and tossed in hemp seeds instead.  I know everyone has been loving hemp for a while now, I just recently jumped on the bandwagon, and I am obsessed! I love the nutty, almost sweet flavour (much like a pine nut actually), and their tender crunch.  They are very high in digestible protein and in omegas as well, along with other minerals and vitamins.  They work so well in pesto as they give a very similar texture to the dish as parmesan cheese would.  At one point I thought I even tasted cheese.  All in my head.  

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

 I can’t wait for my summer vegetable garden and my own fresh basil.  I love heading to the backyard, barefoot, and picking it while I’m making dinner.  Nothing better.

Fresh Basil

Walnut + Hemp Seed Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes + Olives
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 500 grams gluten-free pasta
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling pasta
  3. 2 bunches (approx. 2 cups) fresh basil, rinsed
  4. ½ cup walnuts
  5. 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  6. 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1 + 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  9. 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  10. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Begin by cooking your pasta noodles according to packaging instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and pour noodles back into the pot. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Place olive oil, basil, walnuts, hemp seeds, garlic and salt in a food processor. Process all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Spoon pesto into your pot of pasta. Place pot on stove top over low heat. Add cherry tomatoes, olives and black pepper. Toss all ingredients well to combine.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. You can make larger portions of the pesto and freeze it for later.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
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Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

Walnut Hemp Seed Pesto

 

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Banana Nut Crumb Muffins

Banana Nut Crumb Muffins

Everyone in my house is under the weather and being that I found some energy today, I knew we needed a treat to lift our spirits.  I had way too many bananas that were very ripe (we can never get through bananas fast enough it seems), so I knew I wanted to base the recipe around those suckers.  I have a staple, go-to banana muffin recipe which I make without having to think or look at ingredients, but I wanted something more indulgent.  I decided the best way to take them to the next level was with a crumb top.  Everything is better with crumble topping, right? I didn’t want to use up all my newfound energy, so I did not pull out the mixer, and I used only one bowl.  These muffins, I tell you, are so moist, perfectly sweet, filling, and really nicely textured.  They were made for your morning coffee.  Oh, and they are vegan. I must say, they definitely put a smile on some faces today.  Thank goodness for crumble toppings.

 Banana Nut Crumb Muffins

Makes 11 muffins

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Banana Nut Crumb Muffins
Yields 11
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Cook Time
22 min
Cook Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  2. 4 medium ripe bananas
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  4. 2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  8. 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  9. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  10. 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Crumble Top
  1. 1/4 cup raw sugar
  2. 5 tablespoons spelt flour
  3. 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Pour applesauce into a large bowl. Add banana and mash with a fork.
  3. Add brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk for about one minute.
  4. Add vanilla and melted coconut oil and stir.
  5. Add flour and oats and stir with a spatula until just combined. Fold in walnuts.
  6. Divide batter among 11 lined muffin tins, I used silicone muffin cup liners.
  7. Wipe down your mixing bowl and add crumble ingredients. Mash with a fork until you get a crumbly consistency. Spoon crumble over muffin tops.
  8. Bake for 22 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly, then remove from muffin tin and serve. You can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.
  9. Enjoy!
Adapted from The Minimalist Baker
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/

 

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Banana Nut Crumb Muffins IMG_3959-2 Banana Nut Crumb Muffins Banana Nut Crumb Muffins