Pesto Hemp Dressing & My Pressure Cooker Battle

I’m sure glad I have a new salad dressing recipe to share with you, because I am still fighting with my pressure cooker (read more below). I am officially obsessed with making hemp seed-based dressings and sauces now. Here are my reasons. Hemp seeds can be used raw so you don’t have to worry about any acrylamides or AGEs. Also, hemp seeds don’t seem to be as allergenic as nuts and are a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (see this article). Therefore, I am making all kinds of dressings and sauces with hemp seeds.

Oh yeah, and if you’re wondering where I buy my hemp seeds, I get the Nutiva brand from the Vitacost website (use this link here if you’re a new customer and we’ll both save $10!).

About two weeks ago, I posted a recipe for a Tangy Green Hemp Sauce that I’ve been pouring over water-sauteed veggies and greens. The sauce looks like this:

I love this sauce but wanted to try a slightly different version for a salad dressing. Also, I wanted to make it raw (except for the nutritional yeast, that is) and I’ve been wanting to experiment with apple cider vinegar. The ingredients are pretty simple: hemp seeds, vinegar, basil, nutritional yeast, onion, dates, more herbs and some non-dairy milk. It all got combined in my high-speed blender:

The dressing:

Ohhhh, it was so yummy! I used it on my salad yesterday for lunch:

Here’s the recipe:

Now onto my less-than-successful experience with the pressure cooker. What IS it with this appliance that keeps befuddling me? Well, I know one reason why I keep messing up my pressure cooker meals and that is because I’m not following all of the rules (rules…who needs rules?!?). Yeah, I’m not a big fan of rules, but I’m gonna have to start following them, I guess. <sigh>

I broke this one last night by not meeting the “minimum” requirement:

As a consequence, my pot did not come up to full pressure and the lentils I were trying to cook did not get cooked all the way (pressure cooker: 1, Carrie: 0). The good news is that I was just able to finish cooking the soup on the stovetop. Ha ha, take that pressure cooker (pressure cooker: 1, Carrie: 1)!

Bad news: I did not end up saving much time and I was frustrated by the whole experience (pressure cooker: 2, Carrie: 1). But, the soup ended up tasting really good and dinner was salvaged.

Final score: even.

Don’t worry, I’m not even close to giving up using my pressure cooker. The stories about time savings and delicious meals are too enticing for me to stop now. Besides, I just spent a lot of money on this new set which is probably my biggest motivation. I will prevail! Have a great Friday and I’ll be back either tomorrow or Sunday with a new post.


  1. Gina says

    Carrie, the pesto hemp dressing looks yummy! I like the idea of the basil in it and I can’t wait to try it for myself. Where I shop, it seems like the hemp seeds are very expensive so I might give the Vitacost site a try. Kudos to you for continuing on with your learning of the pressure cooker. You’re braver than I. I haven’t bought one yet because they scare me. 🙂
    Have an awesome weekend!

    • says

      Hi Susan, aka Nutridude’s mom! I love Nutridude’s blog but will re-visit his post on pressure cookers! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Dawn says

    Carrie–Don’t give up! I was unsure when I first started using my pressure cooker. I persevered and now I absolutely love it. I cooked chick peas from dry the other day and then made hummus that was the creamiest texture I have ever achieved at home. I use a KitchenAid food processor to make it –no VitaMix yet. Anyway–back to the pressure cooker. For sure fill it up to the minimum level–you will get good results. And is your stove electric? You may have to adjust how you use the pressure cooker if you don’t have a gas stove where the flame=heat levels can be instantly changed. I have to use two “eyes” (that’s Southern for burners) –moving my cooker from one to the other for part of the cooking. But it still takes much less time to cook yummy plant-stong food.
    And I think you cook for two like me, right? If filling the cooker to the minimum still makes too much for y’all –consider freezing the leftovers.
    Thanks for your great blog!

    • says

      Hi Dawn! Thanks for the moral support, I won’t give up! 🙂 I’m so glad to hear that you love yours. I know I will too, once I get the hang of it. I am definitely going to follow the recipe directions on my next attempt which I hope will be this week. I do cook for two but I don’t mind making big batches of soups because they always freeze so well. I love your Southern accent, btw, ha ha!

  3. Paula says

    Pressure cooking is a lot of trial and error. I haven’t used mine in such a long time. I’ve seen several including one on QVC that even allows for the lid to be removed during cooking. I am thinking it might be time to look into cooking again with pressure. Maybe the newer ones are even better. How did you determine which to purchase?

    • says

      Hi Paula! I did a fair amount of research before purchasing mine. My main influence was The Veggie Queen pressure cooking book where she describes all the different types and lists the B/R/K as one of her faves. I also have an electric version but wanted the flexibility of a stove-top version. I hope to use it again this coming week. Wish me luck…

  4. says

    Old pressure cookers were unsafe because technology was just not advanced enough, but modern ones are equipped with safety functions that make them not only efficient kitchen gadgets, but also safe.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *