Category Archives: fresh vegan food

Going Wild for Pesto

By Livvy Drake

A couple of years I discovered wild garlic pesto and I am hooked!  As soon as I see the shoots coming up in late March,  I make a weekly batch exploring different combinations of nuts and seeds to compliment the fresh, pungent flavour.

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Where I currently live, we have it in the garden so it is easy to collect a bunch, but that kind of does take part of the fun of preparing this dish. One of the added pleasures of making wild garlic pesto is escaping to a wood for a walk, or finding it on a river bank and picking it in it’s natural habitat. Perhaps it is linked to our natural hunter gatherer spirit!

If you have not  discovered wild garlic or made the pesto yet then this post is for you. This recipe makes a delicious pesto, that is dairy free,  cost-effective and full of health and well-being properties… read on to find out more:

 The Recipe for the most Nurturing Wild Garlic Pesto of all

  1. Find a friend, partner or family member to join you for an hour or so
  2. Get on some wellies, walking boots and pack a reusable tote bag in your pocket
  3. Head to a woodland, river or a hedgerow
  4. Sniff the air for a light garlic smell and look out for the green leaves and later in the season white flowers
  5. Pick a bag full of leaves- make sure you leave some for other people and the plant to recover
  6. Enjoy your walk
  7. On your way home grab some optional extras: If you are dairy free include capers, and maybe lemon
  8. When you return home, give the leaves a good wash
  9. Pull out the food processor or blender
  10. Find some nuts or seeds- we recommend, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or cashews.  Why not trial some different batches with each- the fun is in putting your own spin on it.
  11. Make sure you have a good quality light oil – rapeseed is my current favourite as olive oil can often be bitter and overpowering
  12. If you are using a blender chop the leaves in advance
  13. Put in the nuts to blitz up then add in the leaves gradually and drizzle in the oil as it is spinning to mix to a smooth paste. Also add in the extras- I just include capers and occasionally lemon, other people put in Parmesan
  14. Turn blender up high to get everything into a smooth paste
  15. Put into a reused jam jar and store for up to a week
  16. Prepare a fresh salad, with fresh bread or raw vegetable pasta and serve. It works well as a replacement to basil pesto with pasta etc
  17. Sit down and enjoy the fruits of your hunting and gathering!

 Quantities

1 large bunch of wild garlic, washed
1/2 cup of seeds or nuts
2 tbsp of capers and a drop of brine
150mls  light oil (rapeseed is good)
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Salt and pepper (optional)

Interested in more inspiration like this?

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7 Easy Ways to Improve the Chew of a Lunchtime Salad

Now the weather is improving, salad is certainly back on the lunchtime menu (if it ever went away)  but this doesn’t need to be something that comes in a packet from the supermarket.  We will highlight ways to make a delicious taste, sensation at work that will save you money.

At Green Livvy we are not fans of the packaged salads from supermarkets for a couple of reasons

  1. The chemically/synthetic taste – is it chlorine, is it preservatives either way to keep them fresh, pre-packed salads have a nasty after-taste.
  2. The packaging- as you may have guessed, we detest all that plastic packaging!
  3. The cost- of course the convenience of someone making, packaging and transporting a salad costs money, but over a week these costs add up.

The trick to making a a plate of vegetables a tastes sensation, rather than a chewing chore is creating different textures and flavours, so here are 5 suggestions to re-imagine the simple salad:

  1. Choose a base that is peppery- rocket, chinese leaf, kale all fit the bill
  2. Pick different coloured vegetables so it is a visual feast for your eyes
  3. Use a potato peeler to make ribbons- this works well with courgette, carrot, butternut squash. (You could also invest in a spirilizer to do this)
  4. Make julianne stripes of vegetables with this nifty grater– this is the ideal small handy implement to take to work to transform, your lunch time meal
  5. Put root vegetables, beetroot, parsnip, carrot, cauliflower into a food processor to make a rice like texture
  6. Sprout pulses and seeds, n advance – these have a fresh burst of new life with every bite.
  7. Garnish with soft, salty antipasti such as olives, capers, pickled peppers or sundried tomatoes.

This blog entry includes affiliate links to Amazon. We recommend trying to buy things second-hand first and foremost.

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Keep me updated on low waste living tips

Plastic-free Cooking

by Livvy Drake

Every time I undertake the Lent Plastic Challenge, I find that the new recipes and products I discover, far outweigh the the things I go without. Often being ‘busy’ (our favourite word in this modern world), means I forget about the joy found being creativity in the kitchen. But, as the ‘busy’ doesn’t show signs of abating the creativity needs to be quick, easy and …. low packaging.  So here are just some of the alternatives I have discovered over the last few weeks:

  1. Home-made flatbread pizza – choosing a  yeast- free dough took minutes to make and I froze half the dough for mid-week meals.
  2. Roasted carrot curry sauce- A great friend gave me this recipe. Simply roast carrots with spices and blend to a puree
  3. Sweet potato or aubergine chips – Hemp flour, ground almonds, or leftover breadcrumbs are great for a crispy coating
  4. Mint avocado ice-cream – a creamy dream
  5. Coffee grind exfoliating scrub – mixing ‘used’ coffee grinds with coconut oil is a great wake-up experience.

These are just some of the recipes we have been sharing with those who joined the Lent Plastic Challenge, and due to their popularity we are bringing it all together in one place a ‘Low Waste More Living‘cook book.

The book will include:

  • How  to shop to avoid & minimise packaging
  • How to transform fruit & veg (they easiest non-packaged items) into delicious naughty treats.
  • How to prepare fresh food quickly & easily so you can enjoy healthy, convenient food and have time to enjoy living!