Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles

Oh my goodness, today is my second day back from Cabo, Mexico. It's raining here in San Diego and kind of cold. I am happy to be home safe and sound with kiddos. I did miss them. But I have to be honest I am kind of missing the sunshine, pool time, warm air, ocean views and the no kid vibe. I had four nights away. That's four more than I have had in almost 3 years. Whoa!

Mint & Ginger Pesto Over Kelp Noodles | #glutenfree #vegan #rawvegan @julinovotny

But as promised to you all on instagram, I spent my first work day back perfecting my pesto for the kelp noodle dish. It's a little sweet, kind of tangy, definitely garlicy, toasty from the almonds but also super duper fresh thanks to the mint.

Usually pesto is super savory and oily but this recipe is more asian in style. I prefer this style sauce when working with kelp noodles. 

Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | @julinovotny #purektichen
Mint Ginger Pesto over Kelp Noodles | raw vegan gluten free
Kelp Noodles with Mint Pesto | Pure Kitchen Blog | @julinovotny

I have been making kelp noodle recipes for years now. But just the other day, the brilliant Meredith Baird shared a really handy dandy trick: soak the kelp noodles first in baking soda. WHAAAA? Why didn't I know this? It helps the noodles to soften. Kind of the same way marinating kale in lemon and a dash of olive oil helps them soften and become more palatable. I love all these vegan (raw) cooking tricks. Thanks Meredith!

Kelp Noodle Recipe with Mint Pesto. Delicious. Super healthy. Detox Food. Raw Vegan. Gluten-free.
mint pesto with ginger and toasted almonds.

Mint Pesto is so good. Like completely different than basil or kale pesto. But so freakin' good. It's unique in it's flavor. You really have to try it at least once to see what I'm talking about. 

I made my pesto with garlic and ginger and a bit of raw honey too. I like it a touch sweet. 

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MINT GINGER PESTO OVER KELP NOODLES

serves 2-3

cook time 10-15 minutes max

INGREDIENTS

For the pesto:

  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil (I used lime flavored but you don't have to)
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped & toasted
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeño, chopped (or less if you don't like spice, but use a little for flavor)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Noodle Salad (or other crunchy veggies):

  • 1/2 cup raw carrots, chopped or shaved or julienned
  • 1/2 cup raw corn kernels, cut straight from the cob
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1, 12 oz package, kelp noodles
  • 1 tsp baking soda 

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto:

  1. In a food processor add all of the ingredients. Note: You can use raw almonds or toasted. I like the toasty flavor so I toast my almonds first in the oven or toaster oven for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  2. Process the ingredients by pulsing for about 1 minute. 
  3. Scrape sides of the bowl. Set aside pesto. 

For the noodles + veggies:

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the kelp noodles with juice of just half a lemon and the baking soda. This will soften the noodles. Using your hands you'll want to mix the noodles well until coated in lemon and baking soda. Set them aside while you prep the rest of the dish. Keep checking on them and mixing by hand so they continue to soften. When ready, you'll want to rinse them first. 
  2. After you are finished prepping the carrots and corn, add the avocado oil, sea salt, and juice of half a lemon. Toss until well coated. 
  3. Add this mixture to the noodles (don't forget to rinse them first and dry them). Top with the mint pesto. 
  4. Serve. Garnish with more mint and toasted almonds. 

Magical No-Cook Creamy Marinara

I have shared a variation of this magical tomato sauce a few times on the blog already. But never have I given up my original secret recipe...until now!

No Cook Marinara Ready in Minutes | Weekly Must Make Recipe | Vegan #puremamas Recipe

I have many exciting, delicious and healthy recipes accumulated here on the blog, but some of them I have made only twice ever; which is crazy to think because so many are so good. But I am constantly coming up with new ideas that old ones rarely make a comeback.

However, this recipe is different. I have made it over 200 times - not kidding by the way (!!) We make it every week; sometimes twice a week. I use it on pasta, over zucchini noodles, as a pizza sauce or lasagna sauce. It is a great go-to when I have unexpected guests because I usually always have the ingredients in my pantry and fridge.

Tip: I often make a batch of this for babysitters because then all they have to do is boil up some pasta for the kids and then add this sauce. Super easy. Super healthy. I love to pair it with a green smoothie (try my easy green drinks or try my green milk recipe) that way the kids get loads of veggies, protein and fruit in one meal. Smoothie plus this pasta recipe takes less than 20 minutes to whip up. 

Super Easy, Quick, Healthy, No Cook (raw vegan) Marinara Recipe that the entire family will love! | #vegan #puremamas
Raw Vegan Marinara Pasta Recipe | Easy, Healthy, No Cook Sauce | #puremamas Recipe

But usually, this marinara is made weekly for my kids. There is something about the no-chucks that makes it a win for the whole family. And the fact that it takes such little time to whip up. I will never forget the first time they saw what I put into the blender before making it and they were shocked: "you put all that into the sauce?" 

When baby sitters and friends and family taste this pasta they almost instantly ask for the recipe. Or I get a text the next day "where can I find the marinara recipe from last night?" It’s got a really clean and "magical" feeling because it’s flavorful and it’s raw (meaning, made with fresh raw ingredients, not cooked). 

Fresh Homemade Marinara Recipe - A No Cook Sauce - Raw Vegan - Healthy, Simple and Kid APPROVED! #puremamas

I know people argue that cooking tomatoes is a healthier way of eating them. But I’m still having a hard time accepting these findings - I feel like fresh tomatoes are so amazing and why cook those fresh flavors away? I find the taste of raw tomatoes to be much more desirable and there is something about cooked/stewed/canned tomatoes that is much more acidic tasting.

Fact: my son doesn’t do well with cooked tomatoes and when he was a baby he threw up his spaghetti almost instantaneously - until I created this sauce. Now he eats it all the time and loves spaghetti again. Thank goodness. Is there a connection? Not sure. But I like to think so. 

Kid Friendly Marinara that The Whole Family Will Love! Magical Marinara Recipe #puremamas #vegan #plant-based

Additionally, cooking (roasting, stewing or even using canned tomatoes) tomato sauce takes so much longer. First you heat the oil and soften the garlic and other veggies. Then add the canned tomatoes, blah blah. When you’re in a hurry, you want homemade (as opposed to popping open a jar), but don't have time to cook, this recipe is your savior. 

Raw Vegan Family Friendly Marinara Recipe | Plant-based | Healthy #dairyfree #glutenfree #puremamas

The list of ingredients might seem like a laundry list but in fact once you make this a few times you won’t need to measure anymore. Guessing works well and playing around with your own measurements is fun, too. But stick with the recipe until you have a good grasp on proportions. And then you'll be able to whip it up any night in just minutes. 

Magical Tomato Sauce

Yields approx 18oz sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups chopped raw tomatoes or cherry/baby tomatoes (not chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup miso paste
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar or 2 heaping Tbsp cane sugar or honey
  • 2 large cloves raw garlic (or preferably a heaping tsp of Majestic Garlic spread)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 squirt (1 Tbsp) sriracha (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a high speed blender jar add all of the ingredients. Blend on medium and then high until everything is creamy and no chunks remain.
  2. Top your favorite noodles with the wonderful sauce and garnish with cashew parmesan cheese and tons of fresh basil.

  3. Enjoy!

Variations: You can add fresh basil and/or oregano to the sauce before blending for added flavors and nutrients. If you do not have issues with dairy, feel free to add parmesan cheese. Trying to eat less dairy but can't give up parmesan cheese - I recommend starting with this Go Veggie parm, it's AMAZING! 

Also, try this sauce in your next lasagna. It's a game changer. 

no cook marinara sauce #vegan #gluten-free #familyfriendly | ready in minutes | recipe via #puremamas

Thanks in advance for trying any of my recipes. I would love to see what your final dishes look like - please tag me on social or leave me a comment. I so appreciate all the feedback. Good or bad. Questions or thoughts! Everything is welcome. @julinovotny on Instagram or tag #puremamas 

Fall Kale Apple Salad || Avocado Dressing

It’s just about Thanksgiving already, and I'm trying to keep it healthy around here, which isn't too hard when I keep the pantry filled with things like winter squash, apples, citrus, onions, kale, rice, tofu, beans and toasted nuts and seeds. 

FallKaleAppleSalad_puremamas

But come next week, I'm sure there will be cookies, candy, meat and dairy looming. In that case, this kale and apple salad makes a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving menu. It's fresh, full of seasonal (Autumn), local produce like apples, kale and onions. Not to mention, it’s also high in antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats. No grains, refined sugar, dairy, cream or mayonnaise in this recipe. It will add a lovely punch of color to your overall Thanksgiving table as well. 

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Have you noticed that most of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes are white or brown? Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, onions, rolls, rice, and even marshmallow yams and creamed corn are dull in color. 

Make it your job this year to be sure to balance each white/brown dish with something colorful, bright and fresh. There are so many ways to make lasting memories with healthy plant-based foods (no just unhealthy foods) like roasted brussels sprouts or carrots, chopped kale salad, butter lettuce salads, baked acorn squash, steamed asparagus, mashed sweet potatoes and so on. 

kaleapplesalad.jpg
kaleapplesalad.jpg

AVOCADO DRESSING RECIPE

Yields ½  cup dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado, peel removed, core removed

  • 1 lemon juice only

  • 1 Tbsp tahini

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey

  • ½ tsp sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a Vitamix or high speed blender, blend well until smooth (as shown in photo).

kaleapplesalad2_puremamas.jpg

KALE & APPLE SALAD RECIPE

yields: 2 large dinner salads or 4 side dishes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head lacinato kale or 6 cups baby kale

  • 1 lemon, juice only

  • 1½  crispy cold granny smith apple

  • ½ cup raisins

  • 3 scallions

  • 1½ cup almond slivers

  • 2 small shallots

  • Drizzle of honey

  • 1 tsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. On a baking dish, place the slivered almonds. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

  3. Remove apple cores or cut in half and slice around the core and seeds. Chop apple into small pieces or wedges. Set aside and sprinkle with lemon juice from half the lemon.

  4. If you’re using lacinato kale, remove thick stems and chop the leaves very finely. Put kale in a bowl, sprinkle with half the lemon juice. Toss and set aside.

  5. Chop shallots into thin slices, and coat with olive oil and honey. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Check on them every five minutes, tossing to prevent burning.

  6. Meanwhile, chop scallions into thin slices as garnish.

  7. In a large salad bowl, combine all of the ingredients together and toss.

  8. Add the avocado dressing and toss again.

Raw Vegan Alfredo Sauce Over Kelp Noodles

I've been meaning to test out a few vegan Fettuccine Alfredo recipes lately but haven't really made it a priority because to be honest, I don't even know if I have ever really liked the traditional sauce. I can't put my finger on why it always turned me off, because I was a macaroni and cheese addict. You'd think they would go hand in hand for me. But nope

Matcha {superfood} Frappe

Boy oh boy have things been busy. Between moving homes (which is really the worst thing ever), and renovating the house - summertime for us means three kiddos at home, and a bunch of freelance work. Things have been insane around here, to say the least. 

Somehow I still have some time to cook (we all have to eat at some point still, right?). And today I am on the Honest blog sharing my favorite Summertime cool-off drink: Matcha Frappe.

I first had something similar to this at a new juice bar in my neighborhood. It was $9 or $10 - yikes - so I thought I'd better start making something like it at home. Turns out it's really easy. Essentially it's just homemade almond milk {homemade is the key}, matcha, ice and sweetener of your choice. I love xylitol in this recipe. But coconut sugar works, agave, or even just sugar in the raw. 

For this complete Matcha Superfood Frappe recipe and more details, check out the Honest Company blog ----->