Meatless Monday …week 15…100% Plant Based Pesto…

Good morning and welcome to Meatless Monday’s…

Meatless Mondays here is just for scheduling purposes it can be any day and not just one day a week…I am gearing up for 2 days…

Food choices are very personal and learned behaviour can be very difficult to change… there is so much evidence now around our food choices that I believe it is vital for me and my family to make some changes…

Why you may well ask…  we have a healthy diet anyway…but for a sustainable future not for me but for my kids and their kid’s action should be taken now…

The fact and it is fact that it will make us healthier makes it a no-brainer really…

How is introducing more plant-based meals going in your kitchen… Going well or meeting with some opposition?...

I am meeting opposition in my family they love their meat and are very resistant to change…they try what I make and generally like it BUT see it as just that…

This means I am going to have to rethink…I am going to be sneaky and am going to be using meat for flavour thus am gradually cutting down the meat I use in chilli for example and ramp up the vegetables…that part is easy as we are a family who loves all veg so if they see more mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and other vegetables they won’t think it’s strange.

I will use the same process when making burgers and meatballs by gradually making vegetables the biggest portion.

My mother always used to make a huge pot of soup/stew using a ham hock or a turkey leg she would add split peas, butter beans add potatoes, make dumplings or serve with freshly baked bread…when all my kids were young I used to do the same and they still talk about that big pot of deliciousness even now…

Pesto is a good one for me…as it can be used with your favourite pasta, topping for roasted vegetables, wrap/sandwich spread, or dip for veggies and crackers. Nutritious and delicious, this recipe is sure to be a Meatless Monday favourite.

100% plant-based it uses ingredients that are in my store cupboard…


  •  2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, pan-toasted
  • ¼ cup shelled, roasted, unsalted pistachios
  • ¼ cup shelled hemp seeds(optional)
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lime/lemon juice
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes…this is a new one for me and so far so good they haven’t commented on this addition they just see as an additional flavouring…told you I was sneaky…lol
  • ¾ tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cooks Tip: we love the zest of limes/lemons and for an extra zing I add a little zest…

Easy to make just blitz all of the above and enjoy!

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional Yeast is a versatile pantry staple that can be used in soups, salads, over popcorn(not tried that one) and even in noodle dough…it also happens to be vegan and replaces parmesan…when you are looking for a cheesy, nutty flavour, in a salad dressing perhaps, or to season roasted vegetables.

It has been around for a while and I have always passed it by in the grocery aisles…one the cost and two I didn’t know much about it…I now have my first packet and am exploring I think it goes a long way so maybe not as expensive as I originally thought.

Also called “Nooch” its structure means it can alter a food’s texture in addition to adding umami flavours.

Yeast geneticist Sudeep Agarwala, who’s a program director and biological engineer at Ginkgo Bioworks, explains, “We know how to control the yeast breathing, so inside of fermentation containers, it’s like a yeast yoga class. They’re all inhaling and all exhaling at the same time.”

Once the yeast matures, which can take up to two weeks depending on the amount of yeast and other factors, it’s heated, pasteurized, and dried, which kills it. (Eating active yeast results in dietary distress!) As its cells die, the proteins that made up its cells break down and amino acids like glutamic acid, which is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, are released. It’s this glutamate that gives nutritional yeast its cheese-like umami flavour. (Nutritional yeast has no added monosodium glutamate or salt.)

The drying process toasts the yeast, which gives it a nutty flavour and leaves it in thin, flat shards, which are broken down into flakes or a powder and then packaged. Sealed airtight and kept in a cool, dark place, it can last up to two years.

As always I like to know everything about what I am using and so far it seems to be safe to use…This article explains some more about nutritional yeast 

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday……Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

Thank you for reading this post If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment and any tips or recipes you want to share… I love to chat and share recipes…Love Carol xx

53 thoughts on “Meatless Monday …week 15…100% Plant Based Pesto…

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  5. OIKOS™-Editorial

    A “yeast yoga class”. Lol, what a wording! 😉 Indeed, a great pesto recipe. I have already successfully implemented it on myself. In order to change eating habits, one must deceive one’s sense of taste; at least at the beginning. Thanks, Carol :-)) xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. acflory

    I love your Meatless Monday posts. 🙂 We started reducing the meat content of our meals a few years back and now we probably only have two or three meals a week where meat is the ‘hero’. The rest are either meatless or low meat. Curiously, pesto is a huge favourite here too. I don’t like pine nuts but I do like pistachios so I may try adding some next time. My recipe is just fresh basil, fresh garlic, a bit of oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a smidgeon of salt. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. acflory

        I don’t know what it is about pinenuts but I really didn’t like pesto for a very long time until a friend made one without the pinenuts. Suddenly I was like “Whoa! This is delicious.” Now it’s one of my favourite dishes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Its funny when you take a dislike to an ingredient it puts you off…and then you discover how different it is just by changing an ingredient I am very much like that as well with some foods…I am glad you have made the discovery though that pesto can be a wonderful thing x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. acflory

        Yeah, taste buds have a mind of their own. I can’t handle anything with oysters in it either. On the plus side, oysters are expensive so that’s probably a very good thing. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Talitha's Travels

    I have started to eat less meat and I find that sometimes the plant-based meals are so much tastier! Not always but it just shows you have to be open to change 😄. I look forward to trying this recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Victoria Zigler

    I use nutritional yeast regularly. I haven’t tried the popcorn thing (keep meaning to, but keep eating the popcorn before I remember to do it) but it does make a wonderful “cheesy” addition to many things, and can help thicken sauces a bit too. I made a lovely – but very quick and simple – cheese and broccoli soup using nutritional yeast and a can of coconut milk for the liquid part of the soup (just coconut milk, nooch, broccoli, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic, which I cooked in the slowcooker).

    At least you’re half way there, since your family loves veggies of all kind. It’s a fight to get any veggies at all in to many of my family, and with some of them even getting them to eat some fruit is a chore. The dogs – Logan especially, though Lilie’s almost as bad – love getting a share of the fruits and veggies (the ones I know are OK for them to have, so offer them some of when I’m preparing food for me, the chinchilla, and the tortoise) but the humans aren’t nearly as enthusiastic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      The soup sounds lovely, Tori..Yes they eat veggies until they come out of their ears its the meat they are reluctant to give a miss…sigh…I hope you are feeling much better now 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Victoria Zigler

        Like I said, you’re half way there. Just keep making amazing meat-free meals, and maybe you’ll win them over eventually. Can but hope, right? 😉

        Anyway, I’m still not 100%, but am loads better than I was. Definitely finally seeing real improvement. And the injury from my second time shutting my hand in a car door is healing well. Thanks for asking. 🙂


  9. petespringerauthor

    I’m a fan of meat, but I try to eat a balanced diet. I eat a lot of salads and fruit. I have definitely cut down on my meat intake the past couple of years. I didn’t even know about nutritional yeast until just now.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Opppps….what a difference a letter makes …Nooch it is not hooch I bet you thought I was making moonshine…haha…Suitably amended..Thank you for spotting the typo, Jim

        Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Dorothy it seems I am trying a few new things lately and they are ok…I think I am stuck in the area where the first vegetarian dishes even in restaurants were quite boring and inevitably very salty 🙂 which is now not the case “)

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. beetleypete

    Pesto sauce on pasta is a regular meat-free meal for me, and always tasty. I had a meat-free Saturday, with a vegetarian pizza. But my stepson is staying for a few days, so it was Sunday roast yesterday, and big dinners this week.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

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