Vegan Cuts



Kale pesto, oven-roasted olives + barley risotto

If the color of this pesto doesn’t shout “Spriiiiiing!”, I don’t know what does.

And if the hearty, fragrant, deliciously chewy pairing of it with barley risotto and crispy, salty little olives doesn’t keep you full for a week, I don’t know what will.

This recipe met so many needs at once. It cleaned out a good number of fridge staples still hanging around (I’m currently moving out of my apartment and hate having to throw away food), it set me up with a week’s worth of lunches and, hey, that color? It just made me so happy.

I hope it does all of these things for you, too.

Kale Pesto, oven-roasted olives + barley risotto
Adapted from Keepin’ It Kind
Serves about 5 with a salad

1/2 c raw sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp dried basil (or 3 tbsp fresh)
2 tsp oregano (or 2 tbsp fresh)
dash of smoked paprika
3 1/2 c kale leaves
1 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
2/3 c water
dash of black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2 c barley, soaked 1 hour
3 c low sodium vegetable broth
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 c button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 c frozen peas, broccoli or any extra veggies you’re trying to use up
1/3 c nutritional yeast
2-3 tbsp lime juice, to taste

Oven-roasted olives
1/2 c green olives, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp lime juice
dash of onion powder
dash of dried oregano
dash of black pepper

Preparing the pesto
Combine all ingredients except pepper in a blender or food processor. Pulse until fully combined, adding pepper gradually to taste. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preparing the olives
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, toss to combine and spread onto baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing once about halfway through. 
Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.

Preparing the risotto
Heat the olive oil with the garlic in a large, shallow saucepan over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the barley, ¼ cup vegetable broth, thyme, basil, and oregano. Sauté on medium-low for about 2 minutes or until liquid has mostly cooked away.

Add 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth, mushrooms and peas (or veggies of choice), stir, and cover pan. Let cook about 5 minutes or until the liquid has mostly cooked away. Add ½ cup of broth, stir and cover. Once the liquid has mostly cooked away, add another ½ cup of vegetable broth, stir and cover. Continue this pattern until all broth has been used and the barley is fully cooked and thick, checking/stirring regularly to prevent barley from sticking to the pan. Add the lime juice and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Mix in 1 cup of pesto sauce and stir until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.