Amazing vegan pesto with brown rice, white beans and broccoli

Regrettably, I have no photos of this delectable dinner. Why? Because I was so excited to eat it, I completely forgot to photograph first. Other than my lapse as a photographer, though, this meal was a major success. And as unusual as this is, we actually have leftovers. So the photo here is what this dish looks like the next day. I used a recipe for vegan pesto from Healthy, Happy Life, but combined it with short-grain brown rice, white beans, and broccoli. The result was a lot like a risotto, and you don’t miss the butter, cream, or cheese.

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Vegan pesto (original recipe here: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2013/06/20-minute-pesto-pasta-night.html)

Ingredients

1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds or pistachio nuts (I used pumpkin seeds)

1/3 cup raw walnuts

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp white miso paste

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 cloves raw garlic

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (for the cheesy flavor)

1/4 cup water (recipe calls for 1/3 cup pasta water, but I didn’t have that because I made rice)

2 large lemons, juiced, plus a bit of lemon zest to taste

1 Tbsp agave (or maple syrup)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Method

grind the pumpkin seeds in a food processor.

add all the other ingredients except the water.

as you start to process, add the water until desired consistency is attained.

tada! a delightful pesto that’s nutrition-packed without the caloric burden of cheese or tons of oil.

Vegan pesto with brown rice, white beans, and broccoli

Method

To complete the meal, prepare brown rice, pasta, or any grain of your choice. (I had pre-cooked my rice the day before).

Steam broccoli florets until just tender (you don’t want to overcook)

Drain and rinse a can of white beans

Combine beans, rice, and pesto in skillet over low-med heat, stirring to coat rice and beans with pesto.

Add broccoli florets and a splash of the water used to steam them.

Stir, and continue cooking until everything is melded and the broccoli is perfectly cooked.

Plate and serve!

This is an awesome make-ahead meal because you can have your broc chopped and ready to be steamed, your rice made ahead (like I did) and pull the whole thing together in just a matter of minutes. The only problem is that now I want to make this again right away and I used all my basil!

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