This vegan cilantro jalapeno pesto is a zippy, Mexico-inspired spread made with pepitas or sunflower seeds, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, nutritional yeast, and more. It’s delightful on spiralized vegetables, pasta, and sandwiches, and as a dip for quesadillas and chips.
This morning, I was listening to an interview with Humble The Poet on Q, an arts and culture show on CBC Radio. Something that was said in the exchange was exactly what I needed to hear, given the head space I’ve been inhabiting lately: “If you can enjoy the rainbow and not the pot of gold, you are a very lucky person.”
I’ve always chased the pot of gold, and as a result, struggled to be present. No matter how hard I try, my default state is to forever be thinking about the next big thing: my next goal; my next achievement; my next move. All for what? This way of thinking certainly hasn’t benefited anyone, including myself. Of course it’s important for us all to set goals and plan for the future, but there comes a point where you realize that if all you are focused on is the pot of gold, you will never see the beauty of the rainbow.
I needed to hear these words today. I’m goal-oriented to a fault, and right now I have two big goals that I’m working towards: running the Boston Marathon in April, and completing the science and math credits that I need to get into a nutritional sciences program. And, to be honest, saving the money required to meet both of these goals. If I have learned anything about myself in the past few years, it’s that if I look too far into the future–at the metaphorical pot of gold–I’ll never find joy in the present moment. It’s the small steps, the methodical daily work, that gets us closer to our end goal. If only I could put this into practice more readily, I would be a much more productive and focused person. So my goal for the next few months is to relax, refocus, and enjoy the rainbow, rather than to be in relentless pursuit of the pot of gold!
This vegan cilantro jalapeno pesto is a recipe that I created way back in August, but as I was going through my photos, I realized that I have a heavy backlog of recipes from the past couple of months that I still need to publish. I’d better do that before my summery recipes are no longer seasonally relevant!
It’s a Mexican variation on my Green Goddess Pesto (which in itself is a decidedly unconventional pesto given the amount of lemon and avocado in it!). It’s made with cilantro, kale, pepitas or sunflower seeds, lime juice, garlic, avocado, nutritional yeast, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. It’s divine on spiralized veggies, pasta, sandwiches (I can imagine it being part of a bomb southwestern grilled cheese), veggie burgers, quesadillas, and chips. Even though it might not be summer anymore, this pesto is made with ingredients that are readily available year-round, and the summery flavours will brighten your mood all fall and winter long!
As long as you have a food processor, this pesto is a snap to prepare, and it makes a generous batch. I think it would pair marvelously with my High Protein Tempeh Chili! If you make this recipe, let me know: leave a comment and a rating below this post, and tag a photo @upbeet.kitchen and #upbeetkitchen on Instagram!
Vegan Cilantro Jalapeno Pesto
A zippy, spicy pesto with Mexican flavours. Delicious on spiralized veggies, pasta, quesadillas, and sandwiches.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Category: raw vegan
- Cuisine: Vegan, Mexican
- 1/2 cup pepitas (raw shelled pumpkin seeds) or raw sunflower seeds
- 2 cups cilantro (about two small bunches- some stems are okay)
- 1 cup chopped green kale
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (yes, that is correct; it might seem like a lot, but it’s worth it)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
- 1 jalapeno, stem removed and finely chopped (include the seeds for a spicier pesto)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- Add all ingredients except for the water in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade.
- Turn on the motor and process until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed with a spatula. With the motor on, add the water through the upper tube. Continue processing until completely smooth and creamy.
- Transfer the pesto to an airtight glass jar or container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Keywords: vegan pesto, cilantro jalapeno pesto, jalapeno recipe, cilantro dip, Mexican pesto, raw vegan pesto recipe
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