Pressure Cooker Vegan Lentil Soup

On the myriad cooking shows I watch they often use pressure cookers. I've often wondered to myself if I need one and if I did have one, what exactly I would make with it. 

I never did buy one for myself. I always figured I had the time to wait for the same thing to happen via the stovetop. 

But for some strange reason, my mother bought one. She doesn't even like to cook. Perhaps that factored into her decision. 

When she fell ill, I found myself with the desire to make good use of this appliance on her behalf. It felt therapeutic to create sustenance from this device that she'd bought so soon before she'd become sick. 
Since it's summer and hot, I thought to myself, I can make a complex broth based soup without making the house hot simmering it on the stovetop for a long time. 

My absolute favorite soup meal is lentil soup. It's just the ultimate vegan chicken noodle soup analog. It's the food of memories, childhood and comfort. It will give you a big hug. 


Plant Based Arugula and Basil Pesto

I love the unique bite of arugula. It's a no-brainer for a pesto.

Pesto needn't be limited to being a pasta sauce. Although it's great when used that way.

Try it on toast, baked potatoes, vegetables. Go nuts with it.

A good pesto works as a sauce, garnish, dip, spread. It just makes whatever you pair it with that much better.

Plant based pesto is pretty easy to pull off. Just swap out the cheese. Nutritional yeast is the universal vegan cheese substitute. Not only does it provide complete protein and numerous b vitamins, it also boasts an umami cheese like flavor that vegans have been using for ages to reimagine some of their favorite recipes as cruelty free.

2 cups arugula
1/2 cup basil
3/4 cup almonds
3 tbls nutritional yeast flakes
5 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, deseeded
1 serrano, deseeded
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Buzz it all up in the food processor until your desired consistency is achieved.

For best results, allow to rest a few hours.