Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago

I’m watching Ever After as I work on this post. See?


Photo editing is fun. But photo editing whilst watching the beautiful Drew Barrymore play a strong-minded, philosophical, introspective Cinderella in a period piece set in France? WAY fun.

The library scene. And the scene when she shows up in that sparkling, white gown with the translucent butterfly wings? I die. And then… oh gosh, just go & watch.

So… back to pasta. And pesto.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

I promised a pesto recipe! And here it is!

It’s a versatile recipe so make it your own.

You could substitute goat’s cheese & the veggies of your choice. Kale would be an excellent substitute.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

This pasta was yummmmy.
The lemon gives it a WHAM of brightness.
The peas add little POPs of sweetness.
And the cheese provides a savory KAPOW of saltiness.
So basically what I’m saying is this pesto pasta is the equivalent of a comic book superhero.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach, and Asiago

1 Pound Fusilli Pasta
1 Cup Garlic Scape Basil Pesto (or to taste)
1 Cup Peas, fresh or frozen
1 Cup Cooked Spinach
1/2 Cup Grated & Sliced Asiago Cheese
2 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1/2 to 1 Lemon, according to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, a dash of salt, & a drizzle of olive oil to the boiling water. Cook pasta according to directions. Add the peas 3 minutes before pasta is finished. If the spinach is frozen, add to the boiling water 1 minute before pasta is finished. Strain the pasta & peas and return to hot pot.

 Add pesto, grated cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly to coat all of the pasta. I like to do a stir/toss combo.

Stir spinach in now if freshly cooked. Top with pine nuts.

Eat by the heaping spoonful.

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Peas, Spinach and Asiago | Pumpkin Honey

Pairs well with Lemonade or Iced Mint Tea.

So tell me, what do you like to do with your pesto??


Lemon Poppyseed Muffins!

I can’t get enough lemon! I think it’s because citrus (although in season in winter) is very Spring. Lemons, limes, grapefruit… all so glorious. And right now we all know we can’t wait for Spring. I love the sunshine & the longer days & the tulips & the daffodils! And did I mention the sunshine? Tuesday March 20, 2012 is the first day of Spring this year! I think we should all throw Spring parties & make lemon poppyseed muffins! : )

Last night was my second “gentle” yoga class. I swear, it is not gentle. I can feel last night in my arms, my shoulders, my back, my booty, and my legs. And I love it. The instructor is really great and I’m definitely the youngest person in the class but everyone has a great sense of humor. I also can’t wait to do some yoga outside since the weather is getting nicer everyday.

In other news, Stephen’s Spring Break start this weekend so he’s coming back down to Annapolis tomorrow. We’re going to spend some time in DC & make lots of yummy food before heading up to Kutztown on Thursday (which means I get to visit Echo Hill, my favorite!). I’m excited! The weather here is supposed to be in the 50s all week and mostly sunny.

Anyway, I felt like giving myself a reward (lemon poppyseed muffins) for all my workouts this week & I wanted to make a treat for Stephen… he loves muffins. I’m so excited about them I think they deserve an exclamation point! I’ve been wanting to make yummy vegan muffins for weeks now. And today it’s 64F outside! Lemon Poppyseed is perfect. Even though it rained the last two days, I still feel like we’ve had so much sunshine lately. And today is just gorgeous. These muffins are perfect for today. They’re perfectly light & moist & flavorful. I’ve had two and I’m desperately trying to resist eating a third.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins!

Makes 12 Muffins

  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp Vegan Butter (melted)
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Soy (or Almond) Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 1/4 Cups AP Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Poppyseeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with 12 muffin papers.

Combine melted butter, vegetable/canola oil, milk, lemon juice & lemon zest. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add sugar & maple syrup & stir again! Add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt and stir until batter is smooth. It will be a very light batter. (at least for me! I’m used to making bran-muffins). Add the poppyseeds and stir to combine.

Pour batter evenly amongst 12 muffin papers, about 3/4 full. I used a 1/4 cup to measure.

Half way through baking increase temperature to 375F. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Let cool (or not) and enjoy with butter, vegan lemon curd, hot tea, or a cold glass of (coconut) milk! 🙂

And don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine!

Lemon Coconut Cake

My mom LOVES lemon, much like she loves ginger. So every year when I ask what kind of birthday cake she’d like she requests something lemon. And what goes better with lemon cake than coconut? I did some serious searching for vegan lemon coconut cakes and I really didn’t find much. The best, simplest (and probably tastiest!) recipe I found came from Epicurean Vegan (thankyou!). She has some seriously incredible looking recipes… this was the first I tried. It was so simple and it looked so beautiful I was like “damn, I’m gonna make that cake.” And I did! I did make some tweaks because of the ingredients I had. I had a whole can of cream of coconut, you know… the kind you use to make Pina Coladas. And I had sweetened shredded coconut I couldn’t not use. And I bought some beautiful organic lemons from Fresh Market.

The original recipe is for a bundt cake and I do have a bundt cake pan but I’ve never used it… it reminds me of the Sydney Opera House to be honest. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… I’ve just never had the urge to make a bundt cake. It was a gift from my dad (thanks dad, I’ll use it one day!).

Anyway, I wanted to make a more traditional birthday cake so I broke it down into two layers and totally winged it with the frosting. I made sure coconut oil icing had been done before & then I did my thing. The measurements for the icing are estimates as I really just eyeballed my ingredients as I threw them in. I knew it was a winner when dad came home, tried it without my approval, and said “oh man, that’s delicious!” Even though he’s had INCREDIBLE vegan desserts from Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA & vegan doughnuts in Las Vegas he still does that “but it’s vegan?” (and makes a face) thing.

Anyway, the major point here is that the cake was delicious and every person who ate it Saturday night agreed. These cake-eaters were all non-vegans by the way (besides Stephen). It was moist, it was coconuty & lemony, the frosting was fluffy. It was pretty damn good if I do say so myself. Dad & Stephen both had seconds. As only my second attempt at a vegan cake thus far, I couldn’t have hope for better and it’ll definitely be hard to top.

For mam’s birthday we enjoyed dinner & drinks at one of our favorite restaurants EVER… Old Stein Inn. Dear Old Stein Inn, I love you. Thank you for your incredible fried pickles & potato pancakes (with applesauce) & red cabbage & franziskaner hefeweisen on tap. I shall take pictures of all that you have to offer one of these days to show the people of blogosphere world. Until then, enjoy my lemon coconut cake. NOM.

Lemon Coconut Cake

  1. Adapted from Epicurean Vegan
  2. Makes a 2 layer cake using 9inch rounds.
  • 1-1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 C Canola/Veg Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Cream of Coconut
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3 Cups Flour (I actually used 2 cups AP, 1 Cup + 2Tbsp Cake)
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9″ round cake pans. Dust with flour and tap off any excess.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, canola/veg oil, melted coconut oil, coconut milk, cream of coconut, soy milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir to combine.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine, tiny lumps are okay but you want to mix thoroughly.  Add the shredded coconut and stir one last time to combine!

Distribute batter evenly amongst the two pans. Bake for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye out, the cake is done when it springs back when lightly poked.

Slide a knife around the edges of the pan to make sure it’s loose. Flip onto cooling rack & let sit.

Lemon Glaze

  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup (or 2 lemons) Lemon Juice
Combine granulated sugar & lemon juice in small saucepan over medium/low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Take off heat & let cool slightly. When cake is no longer hot (but still warm) gently poke several times with a fork. Make sure to poke the sides of the cake that will be facing upward. Lather glaze onto cake. It should soak up in front of your eyes (much like tres leches cake).

Coconut Icing:

  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 Box + 1/4 Box Confectioner’s Sugar (this is how I remember dumping it into the bowl, for everyone normal out there… about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Coconut
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk

Beat coconut oil (not melted) and vegetable shortening until soft & fluffy. Alternate between adding powdered sugar & liquids until your icing is creamy & fluffy. This may require slightly more coconut milk. Wait until cake is completely cooled before frosting! You don’t want your icing to melt!

I probably should have made two. It was really divine.