Green Powerhouse Pesto Plate

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After fretting over a recipe to make for St. Patrick’s Day and then having a few gluten-free/vegan cakes crash and burn, Eric suggested that I switch things up and make pesto. It’s green, right? He was onto something, that clever man. I peered into the fridge and found zucchini, avocado, and spinach. Also green. They were also not growing fur which is always a miracle in this house. On the counter, green lentils and millet. I don’t really believe in fate, but this was the perfect combo for a healthy green dish!

I’ve had a few requests to show you some of the meals I’m eating while on the allergy elimination diet. It was rough at first and I had no idea what to eat for a while. It’s getting easier though and I’m determined not to let this challenge translate into boring, bland meals. Last week’s recipe was an example and so is this dish today. Let’s hope I can keep this enthusiasm going!

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This isn’t actually “pesto” per say since it’s nut-free, but it’s close enough. I adapted my beloved creamy avocado dressing for this one. It’s a simple blend of avocado, basil, extra virgin olive oil, lemon, sea salt, and garlic. The dressing has a nice zip to it, kicking up the dish several notches which is always a good thing when cooking with millet. I like it in generous supply on my plate as you can probably see!

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Green Powerhouse Pesto Plate

vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free

Email, text, or print this recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced (or vegetable of choice)
  • 3 handfuls spinach

 

For the pesto:

  • 1/2 large avocado (about 1/3-1/2 cup flesh)
  • 2 small or 1 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste (I used just over 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves (one entire 40-gram package)

 

1. Rinse and drain lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Add to a medium pot along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer uncovered for 25-40 minutes. When lentils are tender, remove from heat and drain water if necessary.

2. At the same time, cook the millet. Rinse and drain in a fine mesh sieve and add to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth, bring to a low boil, and reduce heat to low-medium. Cover with tight fitting lid and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and leave lid on to steam for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the zucchini in a skillet with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper for about 5-10 minutes, or until much of the water has cooked off. Add a few handfuls of spinach into the skillet and cook until wilted.

4. To prepare the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Adjust salt to taste.

5. To assemble: Toss the millet and lentils together in one pot and season with Herbamare and pepper. Portion onto plates followed by the zucchini and spinach mixture. Now spoon on a generous amount of dressing and serve!

For nutritional info, see here.

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Three cheers for a gorgeous spring-like weekend, long walks, and an extra hour of photography day light! I don’t know about you, but I have full blown spring fever.

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PS- Keep those entries for the VVC giveaway coming in. I’m happy to see how many of you are in the area or within driving distance.

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{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley March 11, 2013

You’re beginning to freak me out. 2 weeks ago we both posted an almond pulp recipe on the same day and today pesto?? Umm, and it’s a warm millet salad? This is just too weird! :)

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Angela March 11, 2013

hah I know! We need to open a restaurant together or something ;)

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Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} March 11, 2013

If you two open up a restaurant I would go there daily! Two of my favorite bloggers :)

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Ella March 11, 2013

lol. I just literally laughed out loud when I read the part where you talked about how it’s a miracle in your house when fur is not growing on food. I know what you mean!

I look forward to making this….and with no fur…:-)

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SusanF March 11, 2013

I have been wondering what to do for St. Patrick’s Day this year and here you go and solve all of my problems for me. Thanks so much!

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Meredith March 11, 2013

This looks delicious! Might have to make this on the weekend :)

On another note, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog – do you have any tips and tricks for newbies? :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 11, 2013

Oh man, I could talk your ear off about blogging! hah. Is there anything you have questions about specifically?

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Meredith March 11, 2013

:) I guess I’m more wondering about the technical aspects – what software to use, how to get started, etc. I’m a bit technically challenged :)

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Angela March 14, 2013

Hey Meredith, I just wanted to let you know I didn’t forget about your question! I’m just giving it some more thought as I need to remember what I used when I started. :) Will get back to you shortly!

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Meredith March 14, 2013

No problem Angela! Thank you for being so thoughtful :)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 11, 2013

I love millet – it has such a great texture. Must do buy some more. I also love the idea of mixing avocado with basil for a creamy pesto! I did some a couple of weeks ago but used Greek to cream it up. Great vegan option!

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Allison March 11, 2013

Yum! Totally saving this recipe :)

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 11, 2013

This is so full of lovely green goodness! Yum!

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Moi Contre La Vie March 11, 2013

Yum. I love very little in the Spring more than fresh pesto, can’t wait to make this. Such a delicious twist on an old classic!

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} March 11, 2013

Wow this looks awesome! Love the idea of a pesto dressing. And as the Irish aren’t known for their healthy vegan cuisine, I think a St. Paddy’s-themed salad is alllllways a good thing!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 11, 2013

Good improvisation! This looks healthy and tasty! I am excited about the sun setting earlier too, but I still want that extra hour back. :)

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 11, 2013

I meant sun setting later. See what losing an hour does to me?

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nikki March 11, 2014

Yummy pesto

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Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} March 11, 2013

This certainly does look like a powerhouse meal! I love millet and I’ve been making a lot of avocado/basil cream sauce. That stuff is good on anything! I definitely can feel Spring coming around here, it was 60 degrees for my half-marathon yesterday. Perfect running temperature!

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Kari@Loaves n Dishes March 11, 2013

I feel stronger just looking at this pretty plate!

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Beth March 11, 2013

Oh my goodness! I am also doing the allergy elimination challenge, except for sensitivities rather than allergies. And guess what’s on my elimination list? Avocados! (As well as tea, cinnamon, mushrooms, spinach, oregano, rye, barley, to name a few). So I won’t be able to try this for 3 more weeks. And I know what you mean about not knowing what to eat — the first few days I had no idea what to eat and lost 2 lbs. So I had to look at my list of “sensitive foods” and realize that anything NOT on that list was OK! That has helped a lot. Good luck with yours, and let us know how it goes.

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Sara March 11, 2013

This looks scrumptious, as always!
Combining some of my favorite veggies, must be a winner ;-)

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 11, 2013

So much green! So much deliciousness!

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Stacey March 11, 2013

OMG! This looks AMAZING!!! I want to stuff my face into the picture on my screen.

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Rebecca March 11, 2013

Yum! Was looking for a “simple but elegant” idea for topping my quinoa and beets tonight, this avocado sauce would be perfect! (I ate it every single day with pasta per your recipe one year at the cannes film festival – got me through in one piece but after 15 days of it, put it aside and forgot about it…until today! haha merci beaucoup for the reminder :) i’m back living in the US now so looking forward to glowing even more thanks to your fab recipes! xx

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Katy @KatysKitchen March 11, 2013

I really like this recipe, simple but healthy and satisfying. You can never go wrong with avocado.

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Pat S. March 11, 2013

I love avocado, I think it goes great with everything! I will have to give this recipe a try, thanks.

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Yaron March 11, 2013

Looks so great!!! I’d love to taste this…
If I may suggest a twist, you can add lime juice – It’s wonderful with avocado.

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Tanya @ playful and hungry March 11, 2013

Avocado dressings are awesome!
Just wondering, are you gluten intolerant? Cause there are so many gluten free recipes on you blog…

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Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} March 11, 2013

Oh I love this! Putting this on my list of recipes to try. :-)

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Heidi kokborg March 11, 2013

Yum! I am definitely going to make this tomorrow! I absolutely love love love avocados and zucchinies so this dish is like a match made in heaven for me! Thank you Ange :)

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Renard Moreau March 11, 2013

[ Smiles ] “Green Powerhouse;” I LOVE the sound of that!

Thank you for posting another great recipe!

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Jennifer March 11, 2013

I saw a couple mentions of elimination diets – are you both following a specific one (like Conscious Cleanse, or something along those lines) or is it something that you developed yourself or your health practitioner? I’m asking as I am interested in doing one myself, but am in need of more info. Thx!

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Beth March 12, 2013

Jennifer: In working with a sports dietitian, we did some bloodwork to identify food sensitivities, so I am eliminating the things that showed up. I’m 10 days into a 28-day challenge, and I’m already noticing a difference in how I feel. Some of the things that showed up for me were things I ate/drank every day, like tea and cinnamon. Other things I ate often, but not daily.

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Anna @ Your Healthy Place March 11, 2013

So green! Love it – I am such a fan of pesto but it gets boring if you have the same type all the time, so I love finding new variations :).

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corinne March 11, 2013

Oh my my! I’ve been making this pesto that’s heavy on Italian Parsley and it’s been amazing. I’ll definitely try adding avos to it for a creamy alternative. Thank you!

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Vegan Radhika Sarohia March 11, 2013

“They were also not growing fur which is always a miracle in this house.”

^ Not growing fur?! As a Los Angeles native I’ve never heard of spinach and avocado being furry…what kind of vegetables do you Canadians have up there hehe:p

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Vegan Radhika Sarohia March 11, 2013

This looks totally delicious by the way. Those are some appetizing photos!:)
I love love love basil and I could specifically live on pesto, pretty much. Pesto is one of my favourite things ever, but only homemade. I season it exactly to taste and heap it on spaghettic squash with tomatoes in the fall. Then I go to town and eat the entire thing in one sitting [ridiculous but I can't stop!:p]

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Averie @ Averie Cooks March 11, 2013

Such a vibrant, healthy, and green looking gorgeous salad! Sorry about your vegan baking cake fails. I had a couple caketastrophes last week as well…ugh, hate it when that happens! Happy St Paddy’s Day with all this green going on!

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Sonal March 11, 2013

Yumm I love a good pesto recipe especially one that doesn’t have so much oil. Thanks, that plate looks delicious!! :)

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Moni @ {Meals Meals} March 11, 2013

Oh wow Angela… You nailed this one. What a nice alternative for St. patties day. I love how vibrant this looks too! Moni xx

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Lauren Deck March 11, 2013

Hi Angela, Do you use a specific site to build recipes and produce nutrional facts? I am on a specific meal plan, and want to see how it changes the nut facts if i alter something… Thank you!

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Shel@PeachyPalate March 11, 2013

Absolutely gorgeous!! Millet is on my favourite grains by far. Have to recreate this one!

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Paige @ A Healthy Tale March 11, 2013

Wow! That looks so fresh test filling at the same time. I know whats in my next shopping list!

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Lauren March 11, 2013

This looks amazing! Hello, tomorrow’s dinner!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 11, 2013

Ooh yes, you are speaking to a pesto addict over here (and a recently-turned avocado lover too!) This sounds delicious Ange, and I would have never thought to make pesto with avocado but that’s a genius idea! I agree with you on the sunny weekends – this past one was gorgeous!! Hopefully all of our snow and rain disappears soon!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery March 11, 2013

This recipe looks so good! There’s an amazing Italian restaurant near where I live that serves homemade pesto with their bread at the beginning of the meal. The pesto is almost whipped–light and fluffy and so delicious on just about anything :)

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Caitlin March 11, 2013

what a beautiful, healthful dish! i love lots of green in my dinners so this one looks absolutely perfect ;) glad to hear your elimination diet is going strong and you’re enthusiasm to not give in ;)

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Tania March 11, 2013

I made this for dinner tonight and had empty plates all around…including three kids ages 8, 7, & 4! Even my “I don’t like zucchini” 4 year old finished her dinner because the pesto sauce made everything taste so yummy! Thanks, again, for another fantastic meal! (We eat dinner made from your recipes at least 4 or more times a week! Everything is so delicious!)

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