My favorite vegan spinach pesto

Today’s run: 12 miles. Go me! Music: the last two movements of Brahms 4, all of Mahler 5, and a little bit of Mahler 6. It was pretty warm out today – about 60 degrees when I started the run, which was at about 6:30. Ugh. This does not bode well for a summer of good running. I want to run another marathon in the fall, but I fear that I will not be able to train sufficicently in the brutal southern heat. Bleh. Even at 5 a.m. in August, it is already 70 degrees, which is still SO hot for this Yankee girl. I didn’t get out as early as I wanted to this morning; I prefer to do my entire run in the dark, if possible. However, we are working on sleep training our youngest daughter, and she did not wake up for her normal 5 a.m. nursing session, so I waited until 6:30 to wake her up and nurse her (lucky for my husband, she and the 3-year old slept until 7:45 after that). She’s almost a year and a half old; I don’t mind nursing until she is 2 or 3, but I was getting awfully tired of the 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. nursing sessions that she demanded. She seems to have dropped all but one session in the middle of the night, which is really not bad, as it gives me more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. I’ll take it!

Exciting news: I ran into another runner on my run! That shouldn’t really be exciting, especially considering I was out for there 12 miles, but it is. The small-town rural southern area in which we live is not exactly known for its activity level, unless you count running from your car to one of the many weekend BBQ festivals as activity. As far as I can tell, there are 3 other runners in this town, and I know all of them. Two are sisters, one of whom is married to another local lawyer. The third, who I ran into this morning, is the dad of the only other rescued greyhound in town. Small world, eh? Anyways, we waved at each other as we crossed paths (he was running in the opposite direction as me). I ran into him at the coffee shop later this morning (again, small world, eh?) and we started talking about running. He was doing a 9-miler this morning; the longest he’s done is a half marathon but he wants to do a full sometime. We started talking about forming a running club, but I’m not sure it’d be a club with just the two of us. I enjoy my solo runs; I get a lot of thinking done while running,  but I would also enjoy having someone to run with every few months.

After the run, the girls and I walked to the town square (well, they mostly rode in the double stroller) and we did some errands, ending up at the coffee shop and the library. I rarely allow myself two coffees in a week, but I decided to splurge and got an iced coffee. There is something just so refreshing about iced coffee, and for some reason I can drink it with just soymilk; with hot coffee I need soymilk and sugar. Weird, huh? We are really lucky to have a coffee shop; it was opened a few years ago by a young Mennonite woman, and everyone who works there is Mennonite. They always have soymilk, which is unusual here in the south. We love having it so close, and it’s right next to the library, so we always stop there too. Now that I have discovered the joys of iced coffee, I suspect that I’m going to be guzzling a lot of them this summer, particularly if this wretched heat keeps up. I may just have to cave and buy a coffee machine so that we can have coffee at home.

By the time we got home it was almost lunch time. My husband made the girls some cast iron skillet tofu (recipe posted under main meals, I think – super easy and yummy) and I made some of my favorite thing ever, spinach pesto. I needed some green veg, and I realized it was St. Patrick’s day, so I thought this was appropriate. I had it over brown rice, but I usually serve it over pasta. My husband had some on a Boca burger. Seriously, this is the BEST recipe I think I’ve ever made, so you need to go make it! Everyone I serve it to loves it. It is cheap, easy, HEALTHY, raw, kid-friendly, etc. Make it now!

Spinach Pesto

1 clove garlic

1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt, to taste (I use a lot because I love salt)

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach

1/4 to 1/2 cup raw nuts * – usually I use almonds or cashews, but use whatever you have.

2 – 4 tablespoons olive oil *

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, completely optional


Put all ingredients in a blender or a bowl. I use the immersion blender for this so I use a bowl, but if you have a good blender or food processor, use that. Whatever. If you’re using an immersion blender, you might think at first that it won’t work, but trust me, it will! Just keep blending and pushing everything around. I put the nuts in first and then the spinach on top of the nuts, and the oil on top of the spinach, so that the oil helps blend the spinach and the nuts don’t fly everywhere.

Blend until it is of desired consistency. Eat and enjoy.

This is the first time EVER that I have added nutritional yeast to this recipe. It was fine, but it is completely fine without it, too.

* In terms of nuts and oil, it is perfectly yummy and creamy with 1/4 cup nuts and 2 tablespoons oil; however, the more nuts and oil you use, the richer, creamier, and tastier it will be (duh!). I’m sure I’ve even used less than 1/4 cup nuts when I don’t have enough, so use what you have. Trust me, this recipe is delicious and VERY forgiving. Oh, and very quick. YUM.


2 responses to “My favorite vegan spinach pesto

  1. So you’re the cast iron vegan! Sorry it took me so long to get over here and check out your blog. I very much enjoyed reading your spinach pesto post while I sat and pounded some green myself (steamed broccoli w/olive oil lemon zest and chopped pepitas and a large salad). I love how much you talk about running and I am jealous of your twelve miles. I am not that fit yet. Many thanks for the incentive though. Did you make the horchata? The recipe looks great. I might even replace the sugar with agave. Thanks for providing this great glimpse into your life and also referencing some great blogs I never would have found. Stay cool!

    • Hi J! Nice to see you! Eh, don’t be impressed by my running. I’m pretty slow 🙂 I have not yet made the horchata. It really seemed like a weekend treat to me so I will probably set everything soaking on Friday and make some on Saturday. I love Averie’s blog – it used to be mostly vegan and now is not, but she usually gives vegan options and she comes up with some seriously delicious-looking desserts. You shoudl really check out – one of my favorite vegan blogs and cookbook authors ever. Good stuff.

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