Monday, August 4, 2014

Herb Pestos

In the summer, we enjoy lots of fresh herb pestos!  And then I freeze quite a few to continue enjoying all winter.

Basically, a pesto is just fresh herb leaves processed with oil.  To make pesto from mint, that's all I do - process mint leaves with enough olive oil to make a paste, add salt and pepper, and serve.  For basil pesto, I add a few more ingredients.

So what do you do with pesto?  Add to cooked pasta (with meat, olives, roasted red peppers, white beans, and whatever else you think sounds good), mix with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread, mix with chevre for an appetizer spread, use instead of pizza sauce on pizzas, mix with oil and lemon juice or vinegar for a salad dressing, add to ground meat for hamburgers ..... mint pesto is wonderful on lamb burgers!  Here's my recipe for basil pesto.

Basil Pesto

6 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soaked and toasted almond slivers
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper

This is easier with a food processor, but a blender will also work.

Combine 3 cups of the basil leaves with the rest of the ingredients and process until well blended.  Add the remaining basil and process again. 

If you can use Parmesan, you can also add 1/2 cup finely grated (or microplaned). 

Monday, July 28, 2014


Jovial rice pasta

Sugar change:
I've changed sugars after finding out that it's a common practice to use Round Up to dessicate sugar cane before processing.  This leaves glyphosate residues and glyphosates negatively affect bacteria, including the good bacteria in our gut - and I need all the help I can get to keep my gut healthy!  Organic sugars are not processed in this way, so I've switched to C&H organic cane sugar and Trader Joe's organic cane sugar.  I'm working at changing the recipes to organic sugar.

Marinated Flank Steak

If you've been eating grass fed beef, you've probably noticed that it has a different texture from grain finished, store beef.  Marinating is one way to tenderize it - this recipe works great to get a steak ready for the grill or you can broil it in the oven.

Marinated Flank Steak

1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2T lemon juice
2T olive oil
1T honey
3 cloves garlic
1 large shallot
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Put everything in the blender and liquify.  Put flank steak in a Ziploc bag, pour marinade over, and put in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.  Grill outside or broil in the oven to medium rare and cut into thin strips on the bias.  We serve it on rice, salad greens, or cooked greens.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Quinoa Biscotti

There's nothing better on a winter evening than biscotti and something hot to drink.  These are delicious!  And if you can eat it, would probably be great with half dipped in melted chocolate.

Quinoa Biscotti

1 3/4 cups quinoa flour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup toasted almond slivers or pieces ( or 3/4 cup dried fruit pieces)
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup organic sugar
2T ground flax mixed with 6T water and cooked in microwave 1 min. or 2  eggs
1 T homemade vanilla

For quinoa flour, I grind sprouted, dried quinoa in a small blender (TriBest Personal Blender).  I usually use TruRoots sprouted quinoa.  If you don't have allergies you're trying to avoid cross contamination with, there are already ground quinoa flours you can buy.

Combine all ingredients and knead a few times until well mixed.  Divide dough into two pieces.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and press each section of dough into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle that is about 1 inch high.  Bake at 300 degrees for 25 - 28 minutes or until set in the center and a nice golden color.  Cool until still warm, but not too hot to handle.

Cut crosswise into pieces about 3/4 inch thick.  Turn slices so a cut edge is down and rebake (still at 300 degrees) for about 15 minutes until edges are golden.  Cool completely.