Pesto is such a staple in our house now. How did we live without it when we were kids? It is the most delicious condiment, not just for tossing through pasta for an easy mid-week meal (although of course that’s how it normally gets used up here), my daughter is obsessed with smearing a thick layer of pesto on toast for breakfast. Use it to stuff mushrooms, stir through boiled new potatoes or freshly steamed greens, add to sandwiches, dunk your chips in it… how else do you use pesto? We would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.
I love that it’s a hit with the kids. It is beyond satisfying, watching them gleefully gobble up so many healthy ingredients. Nuts or seeds, raw herbs or other leafy greens like this kale version, olive oil, lemon juice, raw garlic… all super good! Home made pesto is the best-o. You’ve got to give it a try. For ease, use a food processor.
Ingredients (fills an old jam jar)
100g kale (or use a mix of kale and basil or any herbs or greens you like eg nettles, spinach, fennel fronds, parsley, dill…)
100g pumpkin seeds (or any nut or seed you prefer)
the juice of half a lemon (or a couple of tbsp of good vinegar)
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
a big pinch of salt
100ml olive oil
Place all the ingredients into a food processor but only half the olive oil.
Pulse until roughly combined then blend whilst drizzling in the other 50ml of olive oil until you achieve a beautiful pesto consistency – not too smooth.
Scoop out into a clean jar and refrigerate. Use within the week.
We have been focusing on heart health this week and creating recipes specifically designed to boost the health of our hearts. Have a read of our blog here outlining the 5 foods to include in your diet to boost heart health. Leafy greens, whole grains, healthy fats, legumes and antioxidant rich foods are all powerful ingredients in the fight against heart disease. Using this information, we have started making these balanced ‘heart health bowls’ regularly. They are so easy to put together and so delicious! There are endless combinations you can make yourselves, but this formula for a balanced bowl ensures you are hitting all five food groups. Do you have any good combos you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.
seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic, herbs or spices to taste)
Cook your wholegrain according to package instructions. Most grains cook with a 1:2 grain:water ratio.
Cook your beans or lentils or use a ready cooked tin for ease. I like to drain the tin of beans/lentils and warm it up in a pan with some olive oil, garlic and tomatoes, simply seasoned with salt and pepper.
Cook your leafy greens and antioxidant rich foods, or serve them raw if you prefer. I usually lightly steam kale and roast beetroot, but in summer I prefer a cold bowl so use salad leaves, raw grated beetroots, shredded cabbage or a handful of berries in the bowl.
Plate up and add some nuts, seeds or other essential healthy fats. Construct your bowls with a combination of the grains, greens, beans and beets and top with some toasted seeds or nuts or a generous drizzle of good olive oil. You can add healthy fats in the form of a dressing too. Try mixing tahini, lemon juice, olive oil etc or a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Halloween is long gone but pumpkins are still very much in season. Want some extra-flavoursome pumpkins? Add a few of our kuri squashes to your next order. But, if you’ve got some decorative pumpkins with tough skins that still need eating, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and roast until soft. Then scoop out the flesh and make this tasty risotto. Risotto is the perfect one-pot, soothing, feed-a-crowd, mid-week-meal don’t you think?
Ingredients (serves 6)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 onions, peeled and diced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp thyme
400g risotto rice
the juice of a lemon or a large glass of white wine
700g roasted pumpkin
2 stock cubes dissolved in 1 lite of just-boiled water
salt and pepper to taste
nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds and more olive oil to serve
Heat the oil and butter in a wide, heavy bottomed pan/pot.
Add the diced onion and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon until soft and starting to turn golden brown.
Then add the garlic, bay leaves and thyme and stir until fragrant.
Pour the rice into the pan and stir to coat it in the flavours and fat. Then add the lemon juice or white wine. Stir for a minute or so until the pan is nearly dry again.
Start adding the vegetable stock, a ladle at a time, stirring pretty constantly until the stock is nearly all absorbed before adding the next ladle.
Once half the stock is used up, add the roasted pumpkin and stir it in with another ladle of stock. Use the back of the wooden spoon to smoosh the pumpkin into a rough purée as you go. Keep adding stock until the rice is cooked through and creamy. You may run out and need to add water.
Taste the risotto and adjust the seasoning if needed with salt and pepper. Then serve with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of good, peppery olive oil.
My super seedy crackers are easy to make and packed full of toasty, nutty flavour and incredible nutrients. They contain all these amazing ingredients which can be added to your next veg order. Did you know that our nuts and seeds come in compostable bags?
So you can see why I love including these crackers in my diet and in my kids lunchboxes. They make a brilliant afternoon snack too! Scoop up hummus with them (find the recipe here), pop on a slice of cheese (we stock an amazing range or organic dairy and vegan cheeses here), or eat with soups.
Ingredients (makes around 32 crackers)
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
50g porridge oats
25g chia seeds
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Turn your oven on to 150C and find your largest baking sheet. You may need to use two depending on the size of your oven. I used one sheet approximately 38x46cm as a guide. You’ll also need to line your tray with a sheet of baking parchment and have another sheet of parchment ready. Find a mixing bowl and wooden spoon or spatular.
Measure the seeds, oats, flour and salt into your mixing bowl. Stir well to evenly disperse the ingredients.
Then add the olive oil and water and mix well until there are no dry clumps. Leave the bowl to stand for about 20 minutes to allow the chia seeds and linseeds to absorb the liquid.
After 20 minutes your mixture should be thickened and spreadable. Scrape it out onto the lined baking tray and use the spoon/spatular to spread it as evenly as you can. A good tip is to avoid the edges, don’t worry about getting it perfect yet, the next step will ensure your crackers are thin and even.
Place the second piece of baking parchment over the sticky cracker dough. Use your hands to spread the dough out into a thin, even layer. Make sure there are no thicker bits anywhere as these will take longer to cook. The layer should be about 3mm thick all over.
Then carefully peel off the top layer of parchment and use a knife to score the cracker dough to the size and shape you prefer.
Put the tray in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until toasty and dried out. Allow the crackers to cool completely before snapping them apart from each other and storing them in an airtight container. They should stay fresh at room temperature for 2 weeks, in the fridge for 1 month or frozen for 3 months.
The flavours in this simple salad work so well together. Sweet, earthy beetroots, tangy natural yoghurt, nutty tahini and crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve it in layers like the photo above, or mix it up for a shocking pink platter. This salad goes well with a BBQ or as part of a buffet spread, or even as a meal in it’s own right with some bread to scoop up the juices.
3 beetroot, leafy greens included
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp natural yoghurt
3 tbsp tahini
1 clove of garlic
the zest of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
50g pumpkin seeds, toasted
a handful of fresh herbs, chopped (eg chives, dill or parsley…)
Give the beetroot and leaves a good wash. Then chop the leaves off and boil the beetroots whole, in plenty of water until they are cooked through. This can take 30-40 minutes so keep an eye on the pan and top up with more water as needed.
Once they are cooked (you can test this by inserting a small sharp knife into the beetroots), drain and cover with cold water. Then using your hands, rub the skin off. Use a knife for any tough bits.
Allow the beetroots to finish cooling while you get on with the rest of the salad.
Separate the bright stalks from the green leaves and chop them into bites. Sauté with a tbsp of olive oil and a tiny pinch of salt and pepper until soft. Then roughly chop the leaves and add them to the pan to cook for just a few minutes. Then set to one side to cool while you make the yoghurt dressing.
Stir the yogurt and tahini together with a tbsp of olive oil. Grate or crush in the clove of garlic and add the zest of 1/2 the lemon. Stir and taste. Add a touch of salt and pepper if needed.
Then plate up the salad. Spread 1/3rd of the yoghurt dressing on a platter and scatter over the sautéed beetroot leaves. Drizzle with more dressing, then slice the beetroots and add them to the platter. Drizzle with the remainder of the dressing, then scatter over the toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped herbs and the zest of the other half of the lemon.
Weekends are for brunching and here is one of our favourites. The combination of fresh, vibrant green pesto, soft, wobbly scrambled tofu and juicy, umami mushrooms is just perfect!
You can make your own pesto very easily if you have a food processor or blender – I used my kale and pumpkin seed pesto that I’m making on repeat this time – or you can of course use a ready made one for ease. We sell a few organic jars of pesto in the grocery section of our shop. The scramble is simply a gently sautéed pack of organic silken tofu seasoned with salt, pepper and some chopped sun-dried tomatoes. And those gorgeous, meaty mushrooms are marinated with our new packs of umami paste then grilled.
What’s your favourite brunch? Are you a sweet or savoury person? Let us know in the comments.
Cut bread and pop it in the toaster ready to go. Heat up a griddle pan (or fire up the grill in your oven).
Slice the mushrooms in half and mix them with the umami paste and a drizzle of olive oil in a bowl. Then push them onto skewers and place them in a hot griddle pan (or on a tray under your grill) to cook whilst you get on with the scramble.
Heat up a knob of butter (or tbsp of olive oil) in a medium-high heated frying pan. Open your pack of silken tofu, drain off any excess liquid and then pop it in the pan. Break it up gently with a wooden spoon or a spatular.
Season the scrambling tofu with salt and pepper and then add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Keep the scramble moving and cook it for 5 minutes or so until it’s warmed through, but don’t break it up too much. It’s nice when there are still some larger pieces.
Meanwhile turn the mushrooms in the grill to cook the other side and then toast the bread.
Spread the toast with a thick layer of pesto, then divide the scramble and mushrooms between the plates.
The new season kale coming out of our fields and tunnels is so stunning! We are adding it to all our meals. Don’t forget to add some to your next order! Here’s a quick and easy kale pesto recipe which is so handy, not just for pesto pasta, but for sandwiches and wraps, to spread on toast and top with scrambled egg/tofu, to toss through freshly boiled new potatoes… My recipe is dairy and nut free to make it allergen friendly (I use pumpkin seeds which are incredibly nutritious and ours come in compostable bags), but as always, tweak it to your liking with different nuts/seeds and cheese. And do share how you love to eat your pesto in the comments below.
Ingredients (makes a jar like the one pictured above)
100g kale – rinsed
100g pumpkin seeds – toasted
1 clove of garlic – peeled
1 pinch of salt
1/2 a lemon – zest and juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
100ml extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for a thin layer on top at the end)
Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor.
Pulse until the ingredients come together into a rough, textured sauce.
Taste for seasoning and add more olive oil, lemon juice or salt as desired.
Spoon into a clean jar and top with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresher for longer.
Keep in the fridge and use within a week, or freeze for longer storage.
These simple seeds are so savoury, crunchy and moreish! The perfect salad or soup sprinkle. Here’s a quick video tutorial to show you the easy method. Otherwise read on below. You can buy organic seeds and soy sauce (or gluten free tamari) from our website along with the best organic fruit and veg. We deliver to every address in Ireland.
seeds of your choice (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or a mix)
soy sauce (or tarmari if you are avoiding gluten)
Measure out your seeds into the jar you’d like to store them in. Make sure you leave some space in the jar though as they will expand as they are toasted.
Tip the seeds into a dry frying pan on a high heat. Keep them moving with a wooden spoon and toast them until they are taking on some colour, starting to crackle and pop and smell incredible!
Once they are toasted well, add a splash of soy sauce and quickly stir to coat all the seeds in the salty seasoning.
Take the pan off the heat and let the seeds completely cool down before returning them to the jar and securing the lid.
They should stay fresh for at least a month in the jar. Sprinkle them on salads and soups or eat them as a snack. Enjoy!
One of the most common ingredients that get wasted are salad leaves. The mixed bags of salad leaves really don’t stay fresh long, really they should be eaten within 3 days. So if you don’t get around to eating a salad, perhaps the weather changed and you were more in the mood for a hot meal, there are a few ways you can use them up in a different way. Whatever you do, don’t throw that bag of slightly sad looking leaves away! Salad leaves can be blended into a soup in place of spinach or watercress or make this very flexible salad bag pesto! If you have any fresh herbs around the place, chuck some of those in too.
Read more about food waste in my blog post on the subject here. Liz x
mixed salad leaves (and odds an ends of fresh herbs if available)
sunflower and pumpkin seeds (or any nuts or seeds you like)
nutritional yeast (or odds and ends of cheese)
I’ve deliberated not given amounts as pesto is a very fluid recipe. You can taste and adjust it as you go. You should aim to have around half the volume of the mixture as nuts or seeds. So if you have about a mug full of salad leaves that need using, toast about half a mug of nuts or seeds.
Toast the nuts or seeds in a dry frying pan to bring out their flavour. Allow them to cool.
The put them in a food processor. I used a blender because my food processor is broken – it works ok but I prefer a food processor for pesto because I don’t want the mixture to be too smooth in the end.
Add a crushed or grated glove of garlic, a shake of nutritional yeast, a big pinch of salt and all the salad leaves.
Then add lemon juice (you can add the zest of the lemon too if you like, or save it in the freezer for something else). Start with a small amount of lemon juice, you can always add more later.
Add a very generous amount of olive oil. A quality extra virgin olive oil is best for pesto.
Pulse the mixture, scrape down the sides and pulse again until you reach a loose, rough paste. Add more olive oil as you go if needed.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt of lemon juice as you like. Then store in a clean jar in the fridge. To make it last longer, cover it with a thin layer of olive oil to protect it from the air. Use it up within a week.
Pesto is not just for pasta! Use it for a dip, stir it into hummus or mayo, spread it into wraps or sandwiches, toss it through roasted veg or steamed greens, dollop it on your grainy salads…
Introducing the slightly more laborious, but much more exciting cousin of macaroni cheese! Béchamel Baked Butternut Gnocchi! This is comfort food at it’s finest.
My vegan béchamel sauce is very simple to put together, and for this I’ve simply whisked it up and poured it over sautéed celery and leek. Then I popped in lots of freshly boiled butternut gnocchi (not as tricky to make as it seems), scattered over some tangy capers and crushed pumpkin seeds and baked it until the béchamel was bubbling and thickened! I got some gorgeous cherry tomatoes in my box last week so I placed them on top to roast in the oven. Their bright acidity is the perfect foil to the creamy richness of the béchamel and gnocchi.
I’d love to see your photos if you make this dish. Share them with us over on our friendly facebook group or tag us @greenearthorganics1 on Instagram and don’t forget to share this blog post with your friends. Liz x
enough plain flour to bring it into a dough (this varies depending on the water content and size of your squash)
salt, pepper and optional herbs or spices (sage/rosemary/thyme/chilli flakes…)
Pre-heat your oven to 200C.
Cut a small butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and bake it – cut side down – in a hot oven (200C) until the flesh is soft all the way through. Test it with a small knife, it should easily slide into the soft, roasted butternut. (This normally takes 30 minutes or so. While it’s in the oven, get on with the sauce and preparing the toppings below.)
Allow the squash to cool to the point where you can easily handle it, then scoop out all the roasted flesh and mash or blend it into a smooth purée.
Find your biggest pot, 2/3rds fill it with water and get it on the stove to heat up to a rolling boil while you make the gnocchi.
Season the purée with salt and pepper and taste to check the seasoning. It should be slightly too salty as you are going to fold in a fair bit of flour. You can also add optional extra flavours at this stage. For example chilli flakes and sage or rosemary and lemon zest… or just leave it plain, that’s delicious too!
Then stir in enough flour to turn the purée into a soft dough. You can use plain flour (make sure there are no raising agents in it) or strong bread flour or even a gluten free plain flour blend. Gnocchi works best with white flour rather than wholemeal.
The amount of flour varies depending on the size and moisture content of your squash. Just start with a mug or so, gently fold it in and keep going until it’s the right consistency to be tipped out onto a floured work surface and very briefly kneaded. You want to work it as little as possible to keep it tender, but just enough to bring it together into a manageable ball of dough. It should be soft and sticky, get a helper to keep dusting the work surface and your hands with flour to make it more manageable.
Cut the ball of dough into 4, then roll one of the quarters into a thick snake. Chop the snake into little bites. If you want to make little traditional looking grooves in the gnocchi you can stamp each bite with a fork or you can roll them over a gnocchi board if you have one… or simply roll them into balls.
Then drop the gnocchi into the now boiling water in batches. Gently loosen them from the bottom of the pot with a slotted spoon. When they rise to the top of the water they are done and can be scooped out and placed in the sauce below. I do them in batches of one snake at a time, then while that batch is boiling I get the next snake ready.
Keep going until all your gnocchi dough is used up. If you make too much for the bake, then you can cool down and keep the excess boiled gnocchi in the fridge/freezer and use it another day (pan fry it with a little olive oil or butter and serve with pesto and salad?)
In an oven and hob safe, large, wide pan, sauté the sliced celery, leek and garlic with the butter or olive oil and some salt and pepper until soft. Then turn off the heat. (If you don’t have an oven and hob safe large dish like this, you can just sauté the veg and tip it into a roasting tray instead.)
Then whisk the flour, milk, mustard, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large jug or mixing bowl and pour the mixture over the sautéed celery and leeks.
Boil the gnocchi in batches as above and pop them into the dish on top of the sauce.
In a small blender or large pestle and mortar, crush/blend the handful of pumpkin seeds with a small handful of nutritional yeast for a crunchy, savoury topping. Scatter this over the gnocchi and sauce.
Sprinkle over the capers and cherry tomatoes then pop the dish into the oven (with an optional drizzle of olive oil) to bake until the gnocchi are burnished golden brown and the sauce is thick and bubbling. This should take around 20-30 minutes.
Serve with a simple green salad and an ice cold glass of white wine and enjoy!