Brazil Nut Pesto [dairy free!]

I literally cannot stop making this pesto. I want to eat it on everything, it's that good. Seriously. I've mixed it into my Cauliflower Rice Bowls, served it atop Zucchini Noodles and mashed it with tuna for a spin on classic tuna salad. 

What makes this pesto so delicious, and different from any other recipe out there?

First, Brazil nuts stand in for pine nuts in this recipe. Brazil nuts are high in selenium, which is a critical nutrient the body needs to help fight inflammation. Research also shows that selenium is proven to lift mood and fight depression, which is so important this time of year when the winter blues are in full swing.

This pesto is also dairy free! To get the cheesy, tangy flavor that Parmesan cheese lends to a traditional pesto recipe, we rely on the incredible nutritional yeast. For anyone new to nutritional yeast (commonly known as "nooch"), it's a deactivated yeast similar to the yeast used to brew beer, that is packed with vitamins, including B vitamins. Nutritional yeast is completely dairy, gluten, and grain free, which makes it a great way to flavor any vegan or paleo dish (try it sprinkled on roasted veggies, or mixed into a salad like my Crunchy Romaine + Nori Salad).

Did I mention that it's delicious? Because all health stuff aside, that's the most important thing... right?!

Brazil Nut Pesto // vegan, gluten free, paleo, dairy free

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup raw Brazil nuts
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil, washed and dried
  • 2-3 cloves raw garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon (or more... taste test! I like a LOT of lemon)
  • 3/4-1 cup good quality olive oil
  • sea salt + pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add Brazil nuts, nutritional yeast and garlic to your food processor or Vitamix blender and pulse a few times, or until nuts are chopped.
  2. Add in basil and lemon juice, pulse a few more times to chop up the basil.
  3. Slowly add in olive oil, blending or pulsing as you go.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? I want to hear from you! What did you serve it with, and how did you like it?? Leave me a comment below, or better yet, post a photo to social media. Make sure to tag me @EmilyNachazel so that I don't miss it!

Okay, I'm off to make another batch!

Raw Sweet Corn Salad with Basil

For me, fresh sweet corn = summer.  Sadly, corn has got itself a bad rep these days, as uncertainty and fear grows behind High Fructose Corn Syrup and Genetically Modified crops.  

I love corn, but I'm careful about where I get it and how often I eat it.  I steer clear of processed foods as most contain corn-derived ingredients.  I won't get into the politics and details behind WHY we have an over-abundance of corn in our diets (if you are interested, read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma), but my advice on corn is similar to my advice with all foods: eat the food as close to it's natural, raw, unprocessed state as possible, and eat everything in moderation (i.e. eat a variety of veggies!). 

This all being said, I LOVE fresh corn.  I try to buy mine from the farmer's market or another local, reputable source.  When it's fresh, corn is naturally sweet, creamy, and bursting with juicy goodness.  My favorite way to enjoy corn is this simple raw salad because it highlights all the natural deliciousness of this veggie.  

Many people with digestion issues like IBS think they should avoid corn.  Here's the deal: the outer kernel of the corn is mostly indigestible - thats why you see it come out the other side looking mostly intact.  While this can cause digestive upset like bloating and gas, the insoluble fiber and prebiotics in the corn feed good bacteria in your gut and actually strengthen your digestion.  My advice? Try it for yourself - make sure you CHEW your food thoroughly and slowly, and notice how you feel.

Raw Corn Salad with Basil // raw, vegan, gluten free

Ingredients:

- 4 ears raw sweet corn

- 1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

- 1/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil

- juice of 1 lime

- sea salt and pepper 

Note: I cannot stress enough how important it is to get SUPER fresh corn for this salad because fresh corn has the best flavor. 

Instructions:

1. Prep the corn - Shuck cobs and remove kernels from the corn (here's an easy tutorial).  Place corn kernels into a large bowl.

2. Add in other ingredients - Add in all your other ingredients and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

I love to serve this salad on top of a bed of greens with avocado and some sort of protein.  I also like to wrap it up in lettuce cups for a light summer dinner!

Have you ever tried raw sweet corn?