Here are 2 recipes that can serve as tasty garnishes at lunchtime.

Lemony Vedic Pesto

Serves 4 or more

Try this vegan pesto as a topping or garnish on lentil or bean stews, pasta, or cooked vegetables. It’s also great on bread or crackers. It’s best fresh but can be stored for several days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Adding lemon zest kicks it up a notch.

1 large handful fresh basil (large stems removed)

1 large handful fresh parsley

¼ cup pine nuts, walnuts, or unsalted almonds

½ cup nutritional yeast (available in health food sections of larger supermarkets)

Lemon zest from 1 lemon (optional). With a microplane this takes 10 seconds, or use a potato peeler—peel off just the outer part of the peel (not the bitter white part) and slice peel finely with a sharp knife.

Juice from 1 lemon

½ cup olive oil + 1 T extra oil if using asafetida

Several pinches asafetida or 1 clove peeled and minced garlic

Wash basil and parsley, drain in colander, then roll in tea towel or paper towel to dry. Place the basil, parsley, nuts, nutritional yeast, optional lemon zest and lemon juice into a food processor with a steel blade. Add ½ cup olive oil and garlic if using. If you are using asafetida, it must be activated by heat. To do this, place 1 T of olive oil and the asafetida into your smallest saucepan. I actually just carefully hold a stainless steel measuring cup by it’s long handle an inch above the burner to do this. Heat on medium for a minute until the oil just starts to form tiny bubbles, and you see the asafetida powder sizzle slightly for a few seconds. Remove pan from heat and add the mixture to the food processor.

Pulse mixture several times to get a medium, but not completely smooth texture.

Store in covered container until served.

Green Sauce

Serves 4 or more

This sauce is tridoshic, or balancing for all of the doshas. Everyone seems to love it, even kids! Green sauce enhances digestion but must be eaten the same day it’s made. This is great as a topping on dal dishes, cooked veggies, or pasta. If you are craving fresh dill, you can substitute it for the cilantro for a delicious variation.

1 large handful fresh cilantro (fresh dill can be substituted)

1 large handful fresh parsley

¼ cup grated unsweetened coconut

¼ cup water

Juice from 1 lemon

1 tsp salt

Dash cayenne (optional)

Wash the cilantro and parsley, drain and place into a food processor with a steel blade. Add the coconut, water, lemon juice, salt, and optional cayenne. Pulse a few times until medium texture.

Place in a small covered container and serve the same day.