Edamame Pesto + 2 Great Summer Salads

With all the rain we've been having, my veggie and herb plants are growing like crazy. This year I planted tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, parsley, strawberries, and catnip in containers. The last time I planted tomatoes, my dog sniffed them until they were ripe enough for him then ate them off the vine! He loves tomatoes. This year I tried a configuration so that he can't get to them.
My little container garden, wet but thriving from all the rain

This week I needed to cut back my basil so decided to make a pesto sauce. Since most pesto sauces have lots of nuts and oil in them and aren't light, I wanted to try something lighter so made an Edamame Pesto from one of my favorite vegan cookbooks, Appetite for Reduction. Soybeans are used in place of nuts. They create a creamy saucy texture when pureed. And there's only only 1 teaspoon of oil in the recipe. In addition to the sauce being really light, it's also packed with protein and makes pasta more filling. I used it with whole wheat spaghetti and sauteed mushrooms and red onions (for a bit of sweetness). It's really good and filling. I would also use the Edamame Pesto as a spread on crackers or crusty bread.

I also wanted to mention two really great summer salads I made recently. I have made both many times and really love them. The first is a Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Toasted Cumin Seeds (recipe here from an older blog post). It's a really great main-dish salad that's filling, light, and refreshing. It has quinoa, black beans, scallions, tomatoes, and toasted cumin seeds (which really make the salad) in a light lime dressing. The second is an Argentinian Hearts of Palm Salad (recipe here from an older blog post). It's a Weight Watchers recipe and is one of my all-time favorite salads with hearts of palm, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. I think I could eat this salad every day and not grow tired of it.

Here's the pesto recipe. Enjoy!

Edamame Pesto

Pulse the basil and garlic in a food processor to get them chopped up. Then add the remaining ingredients, blending until smooth. Add vegetable broth until you get the consistency you want (more broth for a sauce, less broth for a spread).
Sorry for the blurry bad picture, but this is all I took of the
pasta with edamame pesto sauce.