Friday, June 1, 2012

Raw, Vegan Pesto Wraps


The last few weeks have been our own version of Kafka, giving me yet another reason to identify with Julia Child. She also lived abroad for her husband's job and wondered what exactly she should do with her time. She also found solace and inspiration in cooking. And as I discovered from My Life in France, she also endured a tenuous existence overseas not knowing when and where she and Paul would be moved next. 

Well, here we are, moving again. This time, back to the United States. My life in Europe is coming to a close far sooner than I anticipated. But as I've adopted a vegan diet lately, I will not miss the butters here. Okay, maybe just a little. 

My dabbling in raw food came at a rough time in life, so I cannot say I did Ani Phyo's book Fat Blast any justice in evaluating it. Though I probably will never find three days of soups and smoothies very appealing, some of her other recipes later in the plan are amazing. Try these wraps as an appetizer or a healthy lunch. This serves two people for lunch or four for an appetizer. 

Yields 8 small rolls

Pesto:
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
1 avocado, mashed
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional 
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced 

Filling:
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in thin spears
1/2 English cucumber, sliced in thin spears
handful bean sprouts or really any vegetable you find appealing

4 large leaves, such as cabbage, lettuce or kale

To make the filling, pulse the pistachios in a food processor until they're finely ground. In a mortar and pestle, mash the avocado, garlic, nutritional yeast, and basil. Add the pistachios to the mortar and pestle and mash until combined.

Remove the tough ribs from the leaves and schmear about one quarter cup of pesto onto the entire leaf. Lay vegetables on it and roll. Make a perpendicular slice to divide the roll. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour.

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