On Benefits of Basil and a Vegan Pesto Recipe

To all basil lovers! Basil, king of herbs, the sacred plant, is back in the menu. Check out how much more there is about it, except the obvious good looks.

Mr. Basil has it all.

Health* – Anti-bacterial  properties, not only for the digestion track, but also used as an extracted oil, for example. Good source of vitamin A, vitamin  K, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium. Makes nice tea and has a slight relieving effect on nausia.

*this is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes, but as general information.

Beauty – Because of its anti-inflammatory effect, basil may have positive effect on skin problems such as acne and other skin infections. Nice additive to any homemade vegan cosmetics.

Food – Combines well with any tomato based dishes, from pasta sauce to salad, olives and pretty much everything typical for the sub-tropical areas. Good seasoning for pasta or bread dough. It is best to add it in the end of cooking as it’s aroma evaporates very quickly when heated. Can be stored frozen and this is a better way to keep its taste and aroma properties than drying. I prefer it fresh (or frozen when fresh is not available).

Other – Rumor has it basil is an efficient mosquito repellent if grown by a window, because of its strong scent.

Is there a better way to enjoy the flavour of fresh basil than make a pesto and put it on everything? Here’s how:

Ingredients of the Vegan Pesto Recipe (one small jar):

6-7 stems of fresh basil

3-4 cloves of garlic

30g walnuts

4 tbsp olive oil

a pinch of salt

Remove the basil leaves from the stems and put with the garlic, the walnuts, the salt and two tbsp of the olive oil in a food processor and reduce to a paste. Move the paste in a small jar where you’ll be keeping it and pour the remaining olive oil for conservation. Keep refrigerated, it will last long enough to eat it all.

Vegan is Good!

Tofu Wraps with Tahini-Orange Dressing

…and some sprouts and carrots.

The title goes a bit further than expected, but this is all you’ll find on the picture. The ingredients are served separately and then everyone can make their own wraps according to their own taste.

Something new and pleasantly surprising to me was the tahini-orange juice dressing. Found an example of a recipe in a fellow vegan food blog and applied it here. The result was delicious.

So here’s what you need for 2:

100g tofu (diced)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

paprika, grounded black pepper

2-3 tbsp vegetable oil

100g sprouts (I took broccoli, but any would do)

1 carrot (graped)

for the Tahini-Orange Sauce

2 tbsp tahini

the juice of 1 orange

and finally

6 tortilla wraps

How to prepare the tofu:

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the spice. fry the tofu in the flavoured oil until all sides get a brownish-golden colour. Put on a large plate.

The Sauce:

Put the tahini and the orange juice in a bowl and mix with spoon until it gets really smooth. Use 3/4 to cover the fried tofu in the plate.

And finally – mix the sprouts and the carrots and put them by the tofu.

To make a nice wrap – use a spoon to put the amount you’d like of the ingredients in the tortilla.

If you have any tortillas left, just dip them in the remaining sauce… yumm!

Vegan is Good!

Homemade Mustard with Horseradish

Homemade mustard is so much better than the one from the shop. And, as it turns out – easy to make.

200 g peeled horseradish
50 g white mustard seeds
1-2 tbls olive oil
1-2 tbls white wine
3 cloves
grounded black pepper

Chop the horseradish in small cubicles, put all the ingredients in a jar and blend until a mustard like substance is obtained (the seeds will not disappear entirely). If the mixture is too dry, add some wine or olive oil. This is delicious even on a piece of grilled bread.
Also – an excellent seasoning for tomato and/or lettuce salad.
Enjoy vegan food!

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