Cilantro Pepita Pesto Vinaigrette

We may be nearing the end of the official VeganMofo but for me every day is VeganMofo! I hope you enjoyed all the recipes I’ve posted so far. I have something special planned for the finale but until then there is this: Cilantro Pepita Pesto Vinaigrette, that’s a mouthful isn’t it?

This recipe was inspired by a salad I use to get before I was vegan.

Cilantro Pepita Pesto Vinaigrette on a Garden Chop Salad. © The Queen V Kitchen 2013

Cilantro Pepita Pesto Vinaigrette on a Garden Chop Salad. © The Queen V Kitchen 2013

Cilantro Pepita Pesto Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cilantro
  • 1/3 cup Pepitas
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Vegan Parmesan
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Water

Directions

  1. Place everything except oil and water into your food processor.
  2. Blend on high and scrape down sides for about a minute.
  3. Turn to low-speed and slowly drizzle in the oil.
  4. Scrape down sides and add water and blend until you reach a thick dressing type consistency. You can add more water if needed, a little at a time.
  5. That’s it!
  6. Enjoy on your favorite salad, over steamed veggies or use as a dip.

My favorite Salad is a Garden Chop. Simple to prepare and it looks so pretty on a plate. Just take between a 1/4 -1/2 cup of your favorite veggies and arrange in a row, you can even put a bed of greens down first. In the picture above I used Heirloom Tomatoes, Pearl CousCous, Black Olives, Chickpeas, Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Hearts. You can use whatever you have on hand, dried fruit and seeds are a great addition too.

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Pepita Cheese Sauce

I’m slowing my roll with VeganMofo so I won’t be posting every day but on this 16th day I’d like to share with you my Pepita Cheese Sauce Recipe.

When I first became Vegan I would make cheese sauce using my old method of making a roux, adding in lots of Almond Milk, bags of Daiya and Blocks of Follow your Heart Cheese. It was a daunting and expensive task, not to mention probably not the healthiest. Then a friend shared a simple recipe with me. I couldn’t believe based on the ingredients that it would taste anything like cheese, but it did and I’ve used it ever since!

I’ve made some changes to it to suit my taste. I’m sure this would work with any nut or seed you have on hand but the Pepitas give it a nice earthy undertone that I like and despite their green color I’m still able to achieve that orangey cheese hue. You can use this sauce on everything from Nachos to Baked Potatoes and as a base for Cheesy Broccoli soup or my personal favorite, just eating it with a spoon. If your feeling particularly nostalgic you can add some pickled Jalapeno Juice to the sauce and it will become strangely reminiscent of movie theater nacho cheese.

Pepita Cheese Sauce on Nachos © The Queen V Kitchen 2013

Pepita Cheese Sauce on Nachos © The Queen V Kitchen 2013

Pepita Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • Almost a 1/2 cup of Raw Pepitas
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup roasted Red Peppers
  • 3 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 TBSP Cornstarch
  • 1+ TBSP Lemon Juice depending on taste
  • 1 tsp. Tumeric Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2  heaping tsp. Onion Powder

Directions

  1. Place everything into your high-speed blender.
  2. Blend until completely smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a sauce pot.
  4. Whisking constantly, heat over medium flame until thickened.
  5. Pour it on to Nachos, Vegetables, Baked Potatoes or just eat it with a spoon.
  6. Enjoy!

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