Pesto is probably one of my all-time favorite foods. Growing up, we used to eat it a lot. Pastas, salads, dressings, & dips all were wonderfully accompanied by this basil-based condiment. My mom used to homemake her pesto, so I have pretty high standards when it comes to pesto. There is nothing better than fresh basil when making your pesto–not to mention that basil may be my favorite smell in the whole world. Sadly, being away from home, my pesto standards were severely compromised when I had to start buying store-made pesto. I made it work for me, but was always disappointed at the sodium laden, oil-heavy, far less than fresh pesto that I had to succumb to.
I know, I know. This all sounds really dramatic. But it sadly got worse when I discovered my dairy intolerance. About a year into my college career I took a food allergy test to try and pinpoint the source of all my stomach discomforts. Dairy, unfortunately, was one of the main culprits. This was pretty hard to swallow for me, first and foremost because I am absolutely crazy in love with cheese. All kinds of cheese. My family also introduced me to what I like to call “diva cheese”, which were just very fancy and exotic cheeses. But this love affair sadly had to come to an end. As did my pesto obsession.
All is well that ends well though, right? Since I have gotten into cooking and testing recipes, pesto was one of the things I was determined to master. I am not sure if I have truly “mastered” it, so to say, but this recipe is everything I desire in a quality pesto. After seeing a lot of vegan, dairy-free recipes that substitute nutritional yeast for cheese, I knew this had to be the missing link between my pesto fantasies and reality. So here it is, the culmination of my forever sought after pesto goals. All this to say, don’t ever give up on your dreams, y’all. If you dream of traveling the world. Travel it. If you dream of becoming a professional mountain climber. Climb those mountains. And if your dream is smaller scale, and you dream of creating the best dairy-free pesto. Start blending. You are capable of far more than you think.
Just a couple of tasty things I spread my pesto onto. And believe me, there’s plenty more where that came from.
This is an example of a typical meal prep for me! Pesto is a huge component of it, because it adds so much to any and every meal. Check out my instagram for more meal prep ideas or check out my post on meal prep!
- 3 cups basil, firmly packed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup cashew
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- Wash, dry, and de-stem your basil.
- Place all your ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender and mix until reached desired consistency.