They say that having a child changes your life. And by golly, does it. In fact in more ways than one.
The moment I realised that I was carrying a child, my life began to change little by little, unbeknownst to me. I began being more conscious of what I was feeding myself (and her), showing more interest in fixing my meals, rather than simply delivery-dialing. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like I went cold turkey on my sweet desserts and fast foods;- as a matter of fact, I craved for more beef burgers than I could have ever cared to imagine, myself being a fan of white meat than red. Perhaps it was my subconscious telling me to watch my diet, or perhaps it was merely the willingness to spend time in the kitchen as opposed to being stuck on the bed, but whatever the reason was, my pregnancy had taught me two things;- to look deeper into what was going to land on my plate, and that sometimes, cooking isn’t all that time-consuming or horridly death-defying as my mind had made it out to be.
Thanks to the eating and cooking habits I had picked up during my pregnancy, I am now more inclined to whip my own meals, and in fact, more often than not, I look forward to cooking up a storm, particularly for Sunday brunches with the mister. Being a SAHM (stay at home mom) however, despite the general misconception, means that my days are almost always either hectic or jam-packed with activities;- and by activities, I really mean chores. It is then that I turn to the convenience of making meals out of leftovers (much like my Surplus Sundays), and cutting corners (and time) around some of my favourite dishes.
One of my personal time-saving favourites is a bowl of this spinach-cashew pesto, tucked away in the refrigerator, waiting for one of those long days when you feel like having something hearty for dinner, yet you’re much too tired to even think about what to cook. Boil pasta on one side of the stove, cook quinoa on the other, stir in your pesto, et voila, dinner in fifteen minutes! Or twenty, if you’ve found that your lil one has got a poopy nappy. True story.
The best thing about this pesto, besides its sheer simplicity and ease, is the availability of the ingredients. I had opted for spinach and cashew because they are relatively easier and cheaper to obtain compared to say, basil and pine nuts. You could of course use other greens and nuts, but combining something I love (cashew nuts) with something I need (spinach is a galactagogue) is honestly a dream come true for me. The star here is the cashew, I must say;- its creaminess lends a perfect creamy texture to quinoa and pasta, without needing any pinch of mozzarella. If you must though, feel free to add mozzarella to your dish along with the pesto, before stirring it all in.
Vegan Spinach-Cashew Pesto
1 cup spinach
1⁄2 cup cashew nuts
about 1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Using a food processor or just your knife, finely chop and combine the spinach and cashew nuts.
Drizzle in the olive oil bit by bit until it becomes a paste to your desired pesto consistency.
Season to taste. Serve with pasta, quinoa (pictured above), toast, potatoes, anything!
Store refrigerated for up to 4 days.