Green Powerhouse Pesto Plate

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on March 11, 2013


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!


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!


Green Powerhouse Pesto Plate

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

Email, text, or print this recipe

Yield: 4 servings


  • 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.



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.


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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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

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Christy S. March 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Made this recipe today. It was perfect for St. Patrick’s day! My guys gobbled it up. Even my teenage boys loved it. The pesto is divine; i did sube the zucchini for broccoli. This dish has me thinking I will experiment with other veggies and grains. Thanks for this versatile and easy entree. This is one you can almost do without a recipe… Clean up the fridge with. Love those!


The Vegan Cookie Fairy March 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

Just made this and it is simply delicious. I used a jar of a ready-made vegan pesto to make things simpler. Thanks for this awesome recipe :)


Cookie and Kate March 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

This is my favorite kind of dish, Angela! Tons of green, loads of flavor. Looks fantastic.


Cristal March 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I made this last night for my husband and 1 year old son and it was amazing! We are not vegan but we are incorporating more vegetarian and vegan meals into our diet these days for a variety of reasons and i think this one is going to be a staple. Num!


Rebecca March 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Loved this recipe!! I made mine with ol’ brown lentils and brown rice pasta (that’s all I had on hand), added mushrooms to the saute (they were in bad need of being used) and threw in a ton of garlic for the sauce (my cubemates at the office are gonna HATE me tomorrow)! This is a definite keeper. I even abstained from eating out of the pot (mostly) so that I could sit down, eat it slow and really enjoy it. Kind of hard since I was coming down off of a heavy workout, but so worth it! Tons of leftovers, too. Thanks for an awesome twist on pesto!


Jamie March 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I am currently going gluten free and have been looking for recipes. A lot of them can be a bit bland but this looks incredible. I will be making this tomorrow.


Jackie March 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm

YUM. Made this today. Thanks for reintroducing me to millet. Don’t think I’ve had that stuff since i was like 8.


Vildan March 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

Hi Angela,
Do you think quiona could be used in lieu of millet? Any thoughts? I have so much quiona in my pantry:) Thanks!!! You are awesome:)


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Yes Im sure that would work great, enjoy!


Jamie March 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I’m also on an elimination diet of sorts. After eliminating all top 8 (top 5 I guess for us vegans!), my breast fed son’s GI specialist recommended I eliminate avocado too. Sure enough, it did the trick for him! I had no idea avo was a high allergen/ irritant.

Anyway, this recipe looks delish, and just wanted to pass along our experience with avo in case you don’t get the results you’re hoping for on your current elim diet! Good luck!


Angela June 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

Thank you for the tip Jamie! I have since re-added avocado back into my diet (it was a suspected food) and thankfully no troubles that I’ve seen so far (whew). I still don’t know what caused it! I may never know I guess…hah.


Daphne March 26, 2013 at 11:22 am

I have had this great dish 2 days straight. And my 17 year old cleaned his plate!! Now, I am looking at those Raspberry Thumbprint Macaroons with excitement for the upcoming Easter weekend! Wowzer!!


IanW March 28, 2013 at 5:31 am

Avocados have always been one of my favorites. And you have certainly done justice to them here. One of my most enjoyable uses for an avocado is as a replacement for butter or margarine on bread, muffins or crumpets – with a lightly toasted cheese topping and a grind of black pepper and sea salt


Lauren March 30, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Have just discovered your blog and I’m loving everything I’ve read so far. Your journey is inspiring and your recipes look yummy


Kathy April 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I had the same experience as Tania – clean plate club all the way around with this delicious dish! I made another batch just for myself and had it for lunch all week. Seemed like the pesto lasted fine too.


Jacquelyn April 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I made this dish tonight and it was awesome! =) I didn’t put the lentils in it though… We aren’t a big fan of them so I just did 2 cups of the millet cooked in broth and it was wonderful. Thanks!


Julie April 17, 2013 at 9:06 am

This was last night’s dinner and we both enjoyed it! Boyfriend didn’t even say “would be better with chicken” like usual :) My only substitution was to replace millet with quinoa. Next time I want to add chopped sundried tomatoes — even though it ruins the green theme. The dressing/sauce was fantastic. Thanks for another healthy, satisfying recipe.


merry April 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I made this dish last night and it was a hit with my family! I always turn to your blog when I need something new.


Tricia May 5, 2013 at 2:37 am

This is my new favorite recipe!!! THANK YOU for helping me be healthy!!!


Krista Cannon May 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

My husband made this for us a few nights ago for the first time. I was really skeptical about it because I had never eaten anything like it before. It is now one of my absolute favorite meals. I really couldn’t believe how good it was. Thanks for the recipe!


Ingrid Burkett May 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm

We have three boys, ages 9 and 6 (twins). All of them devoured this dish, and that is quite an accomplishment! My oldest said that most kids would take one look and say “No way!” but that they would really be missing out. Dishes like this have helped my children overcome the hangup that many kids have with seeing more than one ingredient mixed together in a dish. We make a lot of your recipes, and my husband and I think they’ve all been “keepers”….. It is all so delicious!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Aw, thank you Ingrid. I’m so happy to hear that! What an honour :)


Kelley June 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Just made this–so easy and absolutely delish! I put it the leftovers in a wrap for lunch tomorrow :)


Erica August 13, 2013 at 9:02 am

I made this last night, and it was delightful! I didn’t read the instructions too closely, and accidentally blended the spinach into the avocado dressing (I did that with a stick blender, since I only have a mini food processor – worked great!). I think it came out delicious! :D


Jessica August 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

This recipe looks amazing, as all your recipes do. Just wondering what I could substitute the avocado with, if anything? I love avocado, but unfortunately it gives me the worst stomach pains!


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 17, 2013 at 9:07 am

I dont know of anything off the top of my head, but if I think of anything I will let you know!


Sam September 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm

This is solid gold! I’m in love with millet from the beginning. Millet flour, teff pancakes, here I come!


Megha September 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

Angela dear

what could we substitute the avocado with to make it creamier ?
we dont get great tasting avocados here in India..they are all imported..i want to use something local


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

What about soaked cashews?


Kate October 12, 2013 at 7:22 am

Hi Angela, I’ve made this recipe twice in the last two days and I absolutely love it!!! Thanks for the gorgeous recipes and the inspiration! I just discovered your blog and I
I cant stop looking at the beautiful recipes and photography!! Keep up the awesome work :)


Amy November 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm

:) I am making this this week. We are trying to add more avocados to our diet. They are packed with nutrition and they are great for fertility. However, I lack creativity with avocados and they usually end up..mushy because I neglect to eat them. Thanks for a great recipe!


Amy November 29, 2013 at 12:20 am

Hi Angela,

Just wanted to drop in and say thanks for posting such an amazing recipe! I have made this so many times, always to huge compliments from whoever tastes it! It has definitely become one of my go-to super green weekly dishes. Thanks for all the inspiration, your ideas really touch others, even as far as here in South Africa (where I stay and where there is little vegan inspiration).


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2013 at 8:47 am

Thank you so much Amy!


Jenifer January 12, 2014 at 7:12 pm

My daughter and I had this for dinner tonight. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. I didn’t have any millet in the house so I used barley. This is definitely one of my new favorites. The dressing is to die for. Thanks!


Mike Luque March 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm

What a fantastic looking recipe. And way better for St. Patrick’s day than green dye in lo quality beer!


Vilmachu March 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

this was sooooooooo yummy! :) m m mmmmm


Kathryn April 15, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I made this dish last night; my boyfriend and I loved it. I was super excited to get leftovers for lunch. I think that the avocado pesto was phenomenal. Thanks for this recipe!


Gee May 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I really want to make this. But, everytime I try I’m missing an ingredient. Darn. I’ll succeed one day. I love your site! I reference it all the time for ideas.


Katie July 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Picked up squash and basil at the farmer’s market this morning and love how it all turned out! Added another clover of garlic, upped the spinach, cut the millet/lentil mixture down by 1/4, and we ended up with very full, happy stomachs. I think next time I’ll cut the millet/lentil mixture down to 1/2 and up the spinach even more (admittedly, we love spinach.)

We needed to get back on track after a week of beach vacation eating and this *exactly* what we needed.


Kamille July 10, 2014 at 6:40 pm

I just made this and the taste is great! But I was wondering, the sauce is that yucky brown color and I only made it about 10 minutes ago. Is there anything I can do to avoid that in the future? Thanks so much!


Yumi March 26, 2015 at 6:49 pm

I made this for St. Patrick’s Day instead if the ol’ traditional Corned Beef and cabbage. I have turned completely vegan for health reasons and am loving it 100%. Especially Angela’s recipes. This one was so easy and tasted so so so good! I used vegetable broth in the millet and I think I added to much because it was a bit mushy. So next time I am going to use water and less of it. It was still fine though. I think next time I want to add mushrooms to the zucchini and spinach. This recipe can totally be modified with whatever veggies you like. The pesto was my favorite part!! Super easy to make. I put a little more garlic because my fiancé and I love garlic. I will make this again and again. Thank you so much Angela!


Nina November 18, 2015 at 8:33 am

This was amazing and simple to make! I added a sprig of fresh thyme and rosemary to the water for cooking the lentils. Then I used the liquid (2 T) from cooking the lentils to put in pesto. We also added some sauteed onions. Didn’t put any oil in pesto and just drizzled some over the top of lentil/rice/veg before adding pesto. We will be making this tasty meal again…thanks!


Francyne Dufault-Dick December 10, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Oh my goodness! So in love with the few recipes I have been introduced to so far! I am asking for your cookbook for Christmas. In the meantime, could you suggest a substitute for the avocado in this pesto? I am anaphylactic to avocado, but also realise that sometimes it is the texture and fat in this fruit that makes the recipe. Thanks in advance!


Suzy Andrews February 20, 2017 at 4:47 am

Millet is difficult to find in NL – are there alternatives? Would quinoa work? Thanks


Angela Liddon February 21, 2017 at 11:39 am

Yes, I think quinoa would be lovely!


jill September 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm

This was delicious! My first time cooking with millet and the sauce is addicting. Will be a repeat.


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