Hemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables

April 8, 2015

Hemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeHemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeHemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipe

Six months and two weeks ago Scott and I were living in a tiny rooftop apartment, minutes from the beach, in sunny southern California. We had great friends, family, community, and church. However, we were in a rut. I served in a restaurant five days a week dreaming of this blog I wanted to start, while Scott worked a forty hour job as an inventory/orders manager at a small-brand surf shop in Laguna Beach. We had no extra money, were constantly tired from work, and feeling drained from the relentless heat because of the drought. We felt like kids having fun riding our bikes and enjoying the beach in our limited free time, but weren’t growing vocationally and needed a change. Six months and two weeks ago I found this apartment online through searching on AirBnB for a place to stay on our trip to Denver (which I had planned for our anniversary). I asked Scott if instead of going on a vacation to Colorado – if he would like to move there. Since one of my superpowers is being convincing and could make a cow believe it were a duck if I wanted to, Scott agreed. We applied for the apartment that week, were approved practically immediately, and now had three weeks till our move-in date in Denver, Colorado. In those three weeks we quit our jobs, sold both of our cars, all our furniture, and most of our possessions. We packed up a small moving truck with our mattress, bikes, and a few boxes of items we kept. Five months and three weeks ago Scott and I climbed into that moving truck and drove it here to Denver. We had nothing awaiting us. No jobs. No family. No friends. Just this apartment and a sense of adventure. I had never been to Denver. We arrived, we explored, we freaked out, we almost moved back to California thinking what the heck were we thinking. But then, we stayed.

A week and a half into being here Scott was offered a job at the company I had dreamt of him working at for so long. That company just so happened to be a half mile down the street from our doorstep. We had no idea until after our move, and with not having a car, it felt like a miracle. Scott told me I should pursue my dream of starting, growing, and running Faring Well full-time. I almost cried. His love and willingness to sacrifice and support me has always been overwhelming, but this was really something. A month after moving to Denver I launched Faring Well. It has now been four months and three weeks since my first post. I could never have imagined I would be here now. I’m overwhelmed by all the wonderful blogger relationships I’ve been graced with, the amount of work I’ve been able to pour myself into for this space, the amazing partnerships with companies that have developed and are still developing, a Saveur nomination, and all the connections I’ve made with so many of you wonderful readers who kindly stop by this space. We have survived our first snowy winter experience, and although we struggle with contentment as we miss our California home, I’m reminded as I reflect on all that has happened how incredibly blessed we are to have all that we do. So much has happened, and will continue to happen, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch it unfold. One day at a time. With our history, who knows where we could be three weeks from now. And as long as I’ve got him, I’m down for whatever is in store. The good and the bad, life is incredible.

Segueing now onto another incredible topic, your donut memories. Last week was my favorite blogging week thus far. I had the greatest time reading and responding to all of your sweet memories involving donuts which you left in the comments feed of last week’s recipe post, as well as your comments on Saturday’s post about trying new things. You guys are the best and I so value the fact you choose firstly to stop by this space, then you take another few moments out of your day to read my post, and then grace me with your thoughts via comments on my posts. It just derails me every time that you find this space valuable enough to spend a portion of your time here, and it gives me every bit of encouragement I need to keep pouring myself into Faring Well. Thank you from the deep, deep center of my heart. And congratulations to Melissa for winning the donut pan I had the giveaway for this past week. I honestly wanted to give one to everyone who commented, and hope to one day be able to have an Oprah-moment and do so. But until then, here is another recipe.

Hemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeHemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeHemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeHemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipe

A few weeks ago Scott did that thing where he told me he “pinned a pin for me on Pinterest”, which actually means “I found a recipe I want you to make for me” in the cutest, shy way. It was pasta shells tossed in pesto. “It just looks really good,” he said. Knowing Scott and his love for pesto, I wasn’t surprised. But I was surprised that with the insane amount of pesto I’m use to making for him there has yet to be a pesto-centered recipe on this blog. I do have a delicious recipe for kale pesto that I drizzled over the best pizza of my life. However, to Scott, it isn’t pesto unless it’s made from basil. So I made this for him. The best pesto, with all the basil, tossed with a gluten free penne pasta (they were out of shell pasta at the market, but you bet I’ll be making this one again with shells for my man to recreate his Pinterest dream), and topped with roasted summery vegetables. I know we just finally made it to spring and I’m pulling out summer on you, but the market was overflowing with these babies last week and I just couldn’t resist. This pasta is one of my favorites made from an organic, non-GMO blend of quinoa and corn flours. Add in the roasted vegetables and omega-packed flax oil, hemp seed pesto – and you have one vibrant, healthy, flavorful meal that is perfect for the warmer days ahead in spring and summer.

Hemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipeHemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto w/ Penne & Roasted Vegetables | Faring Well | #vegan #recipe

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!

Tid-bits: I used my favorite gluten free quinoa-corn blend pasta for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever kind you prefer. You can also change up the vegetables depending on the season.

Serves 4 for a main course, or up to 6 as a side.

8 ounce box of gluten free penne pasta

Hemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto
2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons hemp seeds hulled
2 tablespoons cold pressed flax oil
2 tablespoons olive oil*
juice of one large lemon
2 small, or 1 large clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt

Roasted Veggies
4 to 5 cups of raw veggies
I used:
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 zuchinni
1/2 yellow onion
about 12 cherry tomatoes
light drizzle of olive oil
salt & pepper

*If you are looking to reduce the amount of oil in this recipe, you can replace the olive oil in the pesto with either water, additional lemon juice, or a mixture of the two.

Preheat the oven to 425F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Rinse all of your veggies and chop into equal sized pieces (mine were roughly 2 inches in size, and I simply halved the cherry tomatoes). Toss veggies in a medium size bowl with a light drizzle of a teaspoon or two of olive oil, and give them a few dashes of salt and pepper. Spread your veggies out on the parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to give them plenty of space otherwise they will steam instead of roast, and place in the preheated oven. Roast for 45 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package. When finished, rinse and drain the pasta, transfer to a medium size mixing bowl, and set aside.

Combine the listed ingredients for the pesto in a small food processor bowl, a high speed blender, or a small bowl and use a stick blender to puree until smooth. Toss the pasta with the pesto.

When the vegetables are done roasting, top the pesto pasta with the vegetables and serve right away. Garnish with additional leaves of fresh basil, if desired. This dish is best eaten fresh, but can be refrigerated for leftovers the next day as well.

  • Sharon April 8, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks Sharon <3 excited for you to make and enjoy it too!

  • Millie | Add A Little April 8, 2015 at 6:39 am

    This looks amazing and pesto with roast veggies are one of my favourite simple meals! Pesto goes so well with pasta and mushrooms too so I really recommend you try it out – the earthiness takes it to a whole new level!

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Sounds YUM! Thank you Millie!

  • Kathryn April 8, 2015 at 6:42 am

    I have such admiration for people like you guys who are able to take that big leap into the unknown and just go with it. I fear that my man and I are far too cautious to ever have that kind of adventure (we are accountants after all…). It’s always so inspiring to see how much life can change for people if they do have that courage though. Also, I’m kinda with Scott that pesto = basil. I’m pretty sure this is going to get made over and over again this summer.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Admiration/confusion, its a fine line ;) haha just kidding. Really, thank you! Where life can take you is truly amazing. Its constantly just “happening” and there is so much to “happen” upon – I love it! And hey, even accountants can have a little adventure ;) its all about where your heart pulls you! And I think you and Scott are right, basil is just the way to go. No messing around. Gonna spin that record allllll summer long.

  • betty | le jus d'orange April 8, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Aww This post made me smile so much!!! What a heart warming story, and I really admire you and your man for having the courage to pursue your dreams. I recently made a big change in my career (basically, what I went to school for and got a degree in has no relevance in my life now. Eek), which was intimidating, scary, and at times I wanted to hide in a corner. But reading about stories like this gives me inspiration <3. This pasta looks amazing by the way!!!

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      You are just the sweetest Betty! And I totally hear you – what I went to school for and got a degree in has zero relevance in my life now, but it was a great experience, so hey! Everything amounts to something ;). Glad to have given you a little inspo and thank you about the pasta!! <3

  • Anna April 8, 2015 at 7:16 am

    thanks for sharing your story!! it was really inspiring <3


    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      You are so welcome <3 I'm so glad you enjoyed it Anna!

  • Sarah April 8, 2015 at 7:30 am

    This post was really inspiring for me to read. Right now I have a well-paying job as a data consultant, but in my spare time I’m working on the launch of my own website. One day it’s my dream to run my little food blog full time! Your story really gives me hope for that dream :)

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      YEAH – keep the hope and the spirit alive – anything can happen!!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan April 8, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Ah, I’m so excited for you and love the work you are doing in this space! My man is far too cautious to do what you guys did, but one day, you never know! I hope to make the same leap to full time blogging as you did, what a wonderful way to live out your passion. Love and hugs to you dear! xo

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      So much love and hugs back at you Abby! Thank you, you are so sweet and I wish you and your guy the BEST!

  • valentina | sweet kabocha April 8, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Reading your story has been amazing. I love sudden changes in life and your bravery has been enviable. I think I’m a bit like you – if life here doesn’t go in the right direction, it’s time to change – and moving is something probable in the next months. I hope to at least. By the way, adding roast veggies to a pasta+pesto dish is a wonderful idea, can’t wait to make it for my man ;)

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Thank you Valentina, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and am excited for you and your next big step! Which is of course making the pasta first, then the big move ;) (haha, kidding, but really – enjoy every bit/bite!)

  • Caitlin April 8, 2015 at 9:14 am

    i am so inspired by your lust for adventure, excitement, and ability to leave everything in the pursuit of happiness. you are an amazing woman and have an amazing man by your side.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Caitlin, thank you so much. I have done nothing to earn or “become” the way I am – so I cannot take any credit. Just simply living it out, and you are right – I do have an amazing man and am oh so crazy thankful for him. Big hugs to you and your guy – would be so great to meet you both one day!

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High April 8, 2015 at 9:22 am

    It’s so wonderful hearing about the beginnings of this blog! It’s always scary taking the sort of chance/risk that you guys did, but it obviously paid off. Your blog is wonderful, and you and Scott sound like you’re having the time of your lives. Also, it’s so cute that he knows how to use Pinterest. My boyf just does not get it at all lol lol lol.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Michelle, thank you! You are way too sweet and your comment meant so much. It has been quite the ride, with ups and downs, but the ups wouldn’t be as great without the downs! That’s why I like roller-coasters ;). I absolutely swoon over your blog and am all excited you enjoy mine (!!!). As for my boy and Pinterest – ha! He is almost as hooked as me. Almost. Too funny about your bf-pinterest-confusion!!

  • Lindsey April 8, 2015 at 11:42 am

    heck yes! i am fully behind having the gusto to quit your job, move to a new city, and start over in a sense. when i was in my mid-twenties i had a similar experience and moved out west. it was one of the most gratifying and pivotal experiences in my life. and by the sound of it, you and your man are totally embracing it all. love all that you share here, jessie! looking so forward to seeing all that you do and create :) xo

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      That is so awesome Lindsey! Just the best way to grow and learn. Plus experience all that life has to offer to the fullest. Thank you so much for your kind words, they encourage me so much!! <3

  • Rebecca@Figs and Pigs April 8, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    What a lovely post your story is wonderful. My boyfriend and I took a risk and moved to Edinburgh miles away from all our friends and family, but we fell in love with the city and have now been here five years. Pesto pasta is the best quick and comforting meal my fail safe.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you so much Rebecca, so so kind of you. Wonderful to hear about your adventure as well! And as for pesto pasta, it is a fail safe around here too ;)

  • Lane | Green Spirit Adventures April 8, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Your story about the move to Denver is incredible! I love that you were both so willing to take that chance and I’m so happy it has all worked out as amazingly as it did. :) Congrats on the Saveur nomination!!! You totally deserve it and I’m voting for you! I know I’ve told you before, but I’m absolutely obsessed with your blog. And to think you’ve been writing this blog for less than five months – you’re brilliant! I’m crazy excited to see all of the goodness you bring us in the future!
    I’m drooling over this recipe. It’s pretty cold and dreary here right now, so a little burst of summer is very welcome. I love anything with pesto and I actually have a ton of brown rice pasta sitting in my cupboard… so this dish might be on the menu soon.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Lane! I always love your comments. Thank you for being so awesome and always making me smile! It brings me so much joy to know you have loved coming to this space and get so much from it. Super encouraging. You are wayyy too sweet with all the congrats and love! Bah! And as for that pasta calling your name – brighten up your dreary neck of the woods with this dish soon lady! I think it will help a bit ;) <3

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche April 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I loved reading this post – what a journey so far! And delicious roast veg penne too.. you definitely have got me craving for a bowl.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you Thalia! So so sweet of you. I’m glad you enjoyed it and that it has you craving!!

  • Sasha Swerdloff April 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Moving and leaving behind what we know can be so hard, but it seems that there is always something serendipitous and wonderful that comes from it. We moved to Seattle about a year ago and also “freaked out” for a while. But I now know that we moved here so that I could discover what it is I am truly meant to be doing. I have made so many wonderful connections here that have helped me develop my blog and photography skills. It is a reminder to let go of expectations and be open to new possibilities.

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      That’s so wonderful to hear, Sasha. And so true! The second you let go you open yourself up to so many more possibilities. Its wonderful. Glad you are experiencing the same in Seattle :)

  • Allyson April 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    how beautiful is this. Love the flavors and colors

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Thanks so much Allyson! I super appreciate it.

  • Heidi April 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    HI, I’m a fairly new reader of your blog and am really enjoying it. However, I don’t have the best
    eyesight and find the small type and faint/light coloring of text really hard to read. I usually end up
    admiring the photos and stopping there. Any chance you could darken the letters and have them just
    a wee bit bigger??? I hate to sound all complainer like, as I really do like your blog, but thought I’d ask
    just in case. Thanks for your time, and all the joy you get out of cooking really does come across.


    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      I’m so sorry Heidi! That is a major bummer to hear. Unfortunately it is not something I’m looking to change at the moment… But the next time I spruce up the design of my blog I absolutely will take that into account. I believe you can zoom in on the web page (for Macs its the keys “command-plus”) and I believe it may be something similar on PCs (such as “control-plus”). I so appreciate your kind words and hope we can find a way for the recipes to be more readable for you in the meantime. <3

      • Heidi April 8, 2015 at 10:49 pm


        I didn’t know about the zoom feature! Wow, thank you, That actually solved my problem of reading the text.
        Looking forward to more good posts.

        • Faring Well April 9, 2015 at 7:33 am

          Oh yay I’m so glad it worked! High fives!

  • Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life April 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    You are such an inspiring couple. Taking that chance on each other, with each other, is a sign of a beautiful love and respect for each other. Your journey with this blog is a source of inspiration to me, and though this is my first time commenting, I do enjoy reading each post and pouring over your gorgeous photographs. I can’t wait to make this pasta for my love and talk about taking chances soon ourselves :)

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Amy, I am so grateful you wrote me here, thank you! It means so much to hear that from you. And I am beyond ecstatic that you have enjoyed my posts so far. I hope you and your man get to enjoy this pasta soon, and get to grow together by taking some great chances with one another! <3

  • shelley April 8, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    This post makes my heart smile :) With a potential big move looming over our heads, its really encouraging to hear your story and know that through it all, life remains incredible. Thanks for wise words lady, and for this stunner of a recipe x

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      Aw I’m so glad, Shelly. Your comment just made me smile too. Super glad to have been encouraging in some way, life is just amazing. I hope the best for you guys in your upcoming move and that it is just the greatest adventure! <3

  • Sumit Agrawal April 8, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Love the combinations of color, The ingredients you have used , just amazing in taste and full of nutritions.
    loving it

    • Faring Well April 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks so much Sumit!

  • Jodi April 9, 2015 at 1:32 am

    A million hugs and high fives and pesto/rocket related puns for this post, Jessie! Matt and I are right in the middle of those three weeks where we are packing up our things and quitting jobs and disconnecting phone lines and all those things that you forgot you even had in the first place. It can be a bit overwhelming at times but you just know that there are far, far better thing ahead than any we leave behind. Just in love with this crazy wonderful life and happy that we have connected in it. Cheers to following your heart and living a life of adventures. Big love xo

    • Faring Well April 9, 2015 at 7:35 am

      I loved this, thank you Jodi. So many hugs and pesto/rocket puns. I’m so excited for you and Matt and cannot wait to see where this ope road takes you two! Life is so exciting. Super pumped that you two are embracing it to the fullest, and am thrilled to have connected with you too so we can share in each other’s journeys. Hope you had theeee best day off yesterday exploring your little market and having your toast. Hugs!!

  • Anne-So bio April 9, 2015 at 7:30 am

    very nice this recipe ! I like pesto, but i never do it with hemp seed hulled ! I will try ! For the vegetables, I add some paprika, fresh thyme, brown sugar and garlic, it’s so good ! It’s delicious and my children love it ! Many thank for the recipe ! Have a nice day !

    Sorry for ma bad english, I’m french from Bretagne !!!! Near the sea too ! Near St Malo ! :-)

    • Faring Well April 9, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Thanks so much for the recipe love! All your additions sound delish, hope you are having a lovely day!

  • Ingrid April 9, 2015 at 9:52 am

    So much love for this. I really respect you and Scott for making these life changing decisions. You can be proud of yourselves. I wish I was more like that! This pasta sounds like something my man would also love. I think I might make it this weekend! Thanks. :)


    • Faring Well April 9, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Thanks so much Ingrid, so sweet of you to say. Hope you and your guy get to enjoy this soon! <3

  • Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation April 10, 2015 at 2:12 am

    It’s beautiful to hear that you followed your heart and just did what you felt you needed to. Thank you for being so inspiring. It’s kinda what I needed to hear right now.
    As for this dish OMG it looks to die for delicious. I must give this a go soon :)

    • Faring Well April 10, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Thank you so much Kimberly, I’m so glad it resonated with you! And goodness thank you for the recipe love <3 I hope you get to try it soon too!

  • Valentina @Hortus April 10, 2015 at 2:24 am

    This post is SO inspirational! I’m so happy things turned out for the best for you guys. It’s not easy at all to get out of a life rut. Your blog is amazing and I can’t wait to see it grow!
    This pasta is…is….well, it’s with pesto, how could it not hit you in the face with the deliciousness stick?!
    Good luck for the Saveur awards! <3

    • Faring Well April 10, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Goodness thank you Valentina, you are the sweetest and I just super appreciated this comment! I love getting hit in the face with the deliciousness stick too, hehe. And thanks for the good luck wishes! <3

  • lynsey | lynseylovesfood April 12, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    this is such a lovely post. so happy for you both!! life is amazing when you take a chance. Big love as this blog grows can’t wait to see what it holds in store! xo

    • Faring Well April 13, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Thank you so much Lynsey! So so sweet of you. Really appreciate it and am really excited too! xo

  • Alanna April 27, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Your photos are just stunning! I could go for a big bowl of this glossy pasta right about now. And I love hearing the story of you guys took a leap of faith and started your blog (which is fabulous!). Serious kudos!

    • Faring Well April 28, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Alanna! Kind of flipping out that you just wrote me – your blog is so amazing! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, really appreciate them. Hope you have a wonderful day! <3

  • Maria August 5, 2015 at 8:16 am

    This looks so good! I know what hemp seeds are but what do you mean by hulled hemp seeds?

    • Faring Well August 5, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Thanks Maria! Most all hemp seeds sold are hulled, in the “hemp heart” form. But I just list it to be clear cause I’m not sure how they are packaged around the world ;)

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