When people try to cut down their meat intake, they often assume that a life of stir-fries will lie ahead of them.  This is definitely not the case!  One of the main things that changes a vegetarian meal is the sauce.  Pesto is a great sauce option that adds taste and nutrients to your meal.  The traditional pesto includes parmesan, basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive and salt.  The last three ingredients are staples but the cheese isn’t always necessary.  As long as you have a nut or a seed and a fresh herb, you’re set!

In this dish I cooked onions, red peppers, mushrooms and broccoli then mixed it with brown rice and fresh pesto.  It’s a very simple meal but it tastes delicious.  It’s also dairy and gluten free so will be easy on your digestive system.  Personally, I love almonds as the nut base in my pesto.  They are high in calcium, protein and healthy fats.  Make sure to soak them for a few hours before to increase nutrient absorption in the body.

Brown Rice Pesto
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice

Cook the garlic and onion in olive oil for about 3-5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 more minutes.  Add the rest of the vegetables and cook while the brown rice is cooking.  Stir everything together once cooked.

Basil Almond Pesto
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup fresh basil (packed tightly)
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Blend everything together in the food processor then add to the vegetables and rice.  Enjoy!

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