Tag Archives: pesto

Aioli and Eggplant

I think I’m getting back in my groove. I haven’t had slow roasted sweet potatoes in two days!!



I actually had something completely different that included a mini giveaway planned for today – but then I had to tackle some eggplant in the fridge.

See, I’m nearing eggplant burnout. My mom buys me eggplant every time she goes to the store. I’m not complaining – I mean, it’s really very sweet of her. But eggplant isn’t very forgiving of being forgotten about. There’s a fragile couple of days between the time an eggplant is purchased and the time you use it. And then it turns all soft, mushy, bruised and ugly.

Naturally, this creates an added bit of pressure for me to use it quickly…and as someone who’s getting rather sick of eggplant, I am not as enthusiastic about using it right off the bat, and I’m not about to start groveling at my mother’s feet, begging her for the love of all that is sacred to stop buying me eggplant. That’d just appear ungrateful.



My heart almost stopped as I heard she was going grocery shopping today and I still had half an eggplant in my fridge from a week ago. I could only imagine being bombarded with another eggplant. Luckily, she didn’t.

I almost decided that I was going to make my first-ever baba ghanoush, but after a little bit of dwelling decided I was in the mood for pasta, and so eggplant “parm” won me over.

With white bean aioli “meatballs.”



Why? Well, I was out of hummus…and wanted to make hummus…but then saw a V-Con recipe for white bean aioli. Okay. So then I wanted chickpea balls of sorts. And was too lazy for both. So I still did both…but the lazy girl’s way. Are you following this?




I definitely had a driver error with the breadcrumbs. The crackers got nice and crumby, but I should have processed the bread longer. It was a bit chunky, and as such, didn’t stick as well.

Between that and the fact that my skillet is warped and all the oil went to the bottom left corner, my “frying of the eggplant” was a bit of a still-delicious fail.


Whatever. All that matters is how good it still tasted. I love the aioli. And the aioli balls. And the final eggplant product. And…everything.



Note: I have refused to make my own hummus because I am 100% committed to Cedar’s. I know I’ll never be able to produce something so creamy and flavorful, so I don’t try. I figured making aioli was a good almost-hummus. I don’t keep tahini around, anyway.

White Bean Aioli

Adapted from Veganomicon

  • 1 can small white beans, drained
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • pinch ground pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
  • 2 T. sundried tomato pesto (I like Bella Sun Luci)
  • 2 T. basil oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

In a small frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil and pesto and then add in the garlic, lightly browning it. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine beans, lemon juice, sea salt and peppers. Blend until smooth. Add in the oil, pesto and garlic. Blend until smooth.

White Bean Aioli Balls

  • 1/3 c. white bean aioli
  • 3 T. breadcrumbs (I used home-made that were rather course)
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1/8 c. diced scallion

Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls by the tablespoon and bake at 350* for 35 minutes on a sprayed baking sheet. They should be browned on the bottom.

This recipe only makes about 6 -  but could easily be doubled. I just wasn’t sure if it would work!

Breaded Eggplant

  • 1/3 c. Kashi Fire-Roasted Veggie Crackers
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/2 of a large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2” thick rounds
  • salt
  • 1 T. flax + 3 T. warm water
  • 1 T. olive oil

Place the eggplant on a paper towel or strainer and sprinkle with salt. Set aside and prepare breadcrumbs: blend crackers and toasted bread until very fine.

In a small bowl, stir together flax and water.

Begin heating olive oil in nonstick pan. Dip eggplant slices first in flax egg, then in breadcrumbs. Fry in olive oil and repeat until all the slices are browed on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes at 350*



Do you make your own hummus or buy it?


Filed under dinner, recipe, vegan

Haircuts and…Waffles.

For being so cute, this guy sure is a trouble maker!

Actually, it was probably more Mel than him, but I found these two in the wrong paddock. It mad for a fun early-morning-cold-fence-fixing routine, which just made waffles even more appreciated.

Gingerbread waffles are getting closer and closer!

Even though I know the waffles themselves still need more ginger – what I am certain of is how to top them! And the answer is sauteed apples and cranberries with a sprinkle of ground clove and a drizzle of maple. Oh, yum.

The battler is so attractive, isn’t it? Note th sarcasm.

I also use a mapley chia-kefir icing for these rather than peanut butter. Maple + ginger = much better than peanut butter + ginger, I’d think…even though I’ll tak epeanut butter any day of the week 😉

Lately, I’ve been completely perplexed as to how people do tutorial in-motion photos. Like, really?! I’m right-handed. It’s hard enough to drizzle something with my left hand, let alone think about drizzling and snapping the photo at the same time. What gives?!

I cannot wait until Green Mountain releases their Holiday coffee flavors. I will probably bathe in gingerbread coffee! Golden French Toast is also to die for.

Today followed a slightly different routine. I was in desperate need of a haircut. As in “I haven’t cut my hair in over a year, I need to do something.” So, I sacrificed my ride on Teddie, and instead went and got it done. Even though I’m “in town” for work every other day, stopping and getting a hair cut after work is not my idea of fun.

Don’t get me wrong – driving an hour just to get my hair cut isn’t my idea of fun either, especially since an hour there means an hour back. But it just had to get done, so I’ll take you guys with me!

These were taken while driving, so don’t judge the blur and composition problems! I was safe though, I promise. I just put it on Program and shot!

This is that cute little farmstand I mentioned the other day, that has all of the mapley goodness! I don’t know why I haven’t been going here more often.

I drive by this barn everyday, and everyday I love looking at it. Look at how crooked it is!

Oh, look, a horse farm! Oh, wait – that’s Teddie & Co.! Don’t worry, I stopped and said “hi, Teddie!” and brushed him and grazed him on my way back.

Spoiled rotten little pony!

Oh look, we’re finally nearing civilization!

…or not. Yeah, this is our mall. If I want to go clothing shopping, I have the choices of American Eagle and PacSun. And JCPenney. And Old Navy. Uhh, yeah…pretty poopy, if you ask me. I mean, I’d be happy with just an H&M at least! Too much to ask for.

Ironically, we have four hair places. Two walk-in chains and two nice ones. I judge who will trim my hair based on the hairstyles of the employees. I know that’s awful, but I said it. Ironically, the cheapest place always wins?

This was a couple of days ago…

And here I am now…

Haha, jus’ kiddin’, that’s actually me last summer when I put time and effort into my hair styling. I miss it. I actually don’t have an after picture because I came home and ate lunch, did homework, and messed with the ponies rather than playing with my hair.

…but I tricked you, yeah?!

Oh yeah, lunch. Lunch was all planned in my head and I even picked up some yummy local goat cheese while I was out to complete it. So my world came crashing down when I discovered I bought really old goat cheese. It smelled a little funky, but you know me, and you know I didn’t just throw it out.

If I have a set plan, I’m sticking to it, come Hell or stank goat cheese!

So,  my sandwich “do this” of the day?!

Oven-toast a slice of bread.

Sautee sliced red onion in a pan with a bit of olive oil.

Add in black beans, and mash about half of them.

Spread a layer of goat cheese on toasted bread, followed  by sweet basil-pesto tapenade.

Top with the beans.

So good!

And, speaking of ponies. They’re still alive, I promise!! And look at how good they’re looking!

Georgie is the one looking at us, taken tonight…

And here she was when she came. Okay, so she’s a little fat now, but I wouldn’t say out of the standards of a typical Haflinger and since we’re going in to winter we’re not too worried about it. When she came, you can see how sunken-in she was: in her flanks and her topline especially along her back. I wish I had a better picture of her when she came!

And here’s Maya tonight… (sorry for the awful pic – I had crazy shadows and George was right behind her, making her look like she had an even larger belly, a pair of legs coming out of her stomach, and a pair of ears coming out her neck!)

And Maya when she came. She was potbellied and sunken-in, too – so while they were far from grossly under-weight, they weren’t healthy looking, either. She’s gone from being pot-bellied and chubby to, over the past couple weeks especially, really toning up. I don’t consider her fat anymore, but normal! For a while she just seemed like she had such a huge belly on her but I’ve been saying to my mom how good she looks lately, not just plain fat.

And now for the real cliff-hanger: I made somthing involving this for dinner tonight and it was fan. tas. tic.

Stick around and I’ll show you tomorrow 😉

Do you spend more of your time in the country or the city? Which do you prefer?


Filed under breakfast, dinner, lunch

10 Things for 10/10/10

Happy 10/10/10!! I feel like for this occasion, I ought to present to you ten things. I haven’t really planned this and the idea just barely struck me, so I’m not sure how I’ll do, but lets see!

1. Apparently I’m not alone in not knowing much about tech-y things. I appreciate both the suggestion comments and the comments telling me I’m not alone, though, so I’ll still tell you what that dough blob was.

Yep – we have a winner! Handmade bread! As in, I was the breadmaker. Not the machine. There she is pre-bake…

…and here she is post-bake. Don’t be fooled, though. This mission did not go off without a hitch. For one, I put the oats on top way too late in the game, and they fell right off.

See? Oh, well. I’ll know for next time. And now I’ll share with you my “what was I thinking?!” moment. So, I’m following this recipe on the back of a Bob’s Red Mill vital wheat gluten package for honey oatmeal bread. I follow the destructions easily enough (or so I thought,) put it in the oven for the first rise, and go out and take care of the horses. While I’m out there shoveling poo, I start thinking to myself how odd it is that they still call it “oatmeal bread,” when steel-cut oats were used, and aren’t quite traditional oatmeal.

And then it hit me.

The recipe called for Scottish oats, not steel-cut oats. For whatever reason, I was going about it thinking that Scottish oats were steel-cut oats. I don’t know why. I’ll blame it on the fact that they both started with”S.”

I don’t know why I think about food while shoveling horse poop, but I just do, okay? And that kinda burst my bubble right then and there, because I was feelin’ good about this bread.

Anyways, long story short, it still worked, but I think had I used rolled oats instead of steel cut, it would have rose more the second time. As it is, it makes a perfect size for banana, cashew butter, and maple cream sandwiches.


2. Maple cream. Nothing more needs to be said about it.

I was planning on going to this event called “Art in the Park” yesterday, with a bunch of Made-In-Vermont stuff – art, food, crafts, etc. But I spent so much time with Teddie that I didn’t leave there until 1, and by then just wanted to get home. I had work to do, and my mom had to work so I was in charge of the horses.

As a “happy medium,” I stopped at a little farm stand that I all too often forget about and found a bunch of fun things…but only a couple for me 😉

It’s so good spread on toast! And super super sweet, so a little goes a loooong way. But, you know us Vermonters.

We do bathe in maple syrup, after all.

3. Buttercup squash.

Some squashies were among the other things I found, and I couldn’t resist the still-covered-in-dirt buttercup and butternut squash. They had some other kinds I’d never seen nor heard about before, too…and was so tempted, but only had so much cash on me, and they couldn’t run a card. Ironically, that’s exactly how much I ended up spending! I lucked out. I sort of have this paranoia that I’ll not have enough money when checking out or something.


I stuffed one like so, and my mom had (half of) the other (huge) half. She’s a new buttercup fan, too.

4. really adorable spatulas.

I was making some Birdseed Bars, and found this absolutely adorable [random] mini spatula in our drawer. I’ve never seen it before, and have no idea where it came from…but is it not adorable?

5. gingerbread waffles .

I have been working towards perfecting my gingerbread waffles. I wish I could say I have perfected them and could share it with you – but I haven’t.

I’m pretty picky about my ginger-stuff. I want wham! ginger flavor. Ginger bread, ginger snaps, ginger cookies, ginger bars…whatever. Not necessarily “ow, I burnt my tongue!” type ginger…but…I don’t know where I’m going with this.

But what I do know is that while these are pretty fab (and am not minding taste-testing!) they’re not “wham!” ginger enough. I know I can do better, and sometimes ya just gotta keep pushing yourself 😉

I did discover that they’re way better with chopped, sauteed apples over mashed banana, though. But they’d be even better with apples and cranberries, which leads me toooo…

6. fresh cranberries .


I’ve been waiting for them to once again make their appearance in my grocery aisles, and they finally have! Hot cranberry oats were a huge phase of mine, and while I’m still goin’ the overnight route, it should be fun to see how they are in overnighters 😉

7. Teddie.

We had so much fun yesterday, going all over the fields, down little random trails, just having fun! He’s like – the pony I never had as a kid. Naughty, but safe.

…and today was spent dedicated to him. Well, this afternoon, anyway. My mom and I went to a really nice tack auction, and he now has a new rain sheet to rip to shreds and roll in poop in, some saddle pads, and a new bridle to chew up. Because that’s kind of how he rolls.

8. baking tempeh.

I have no excuse for this, but I usually just…don’t do much with tempeh. I throw it in a sandwich, quickly pan-fry it, and that’s about it. Rarely will I marinate and bake it. Well, I’m changing that!

I rubbed this tempeh with pesto (we’ll get to that next!) and then baked it with the broccoli. Such a texture and flavor change!

9. pesto.

I love the sweet basil pesto tapenade I made from Veganomicon (by the way – does anyone know how long stuff like that will stay in the fridge for?) but was feeling like I should make a more “normal” flavored pesto. I found one of interest in Moosewood’s Low Fat Favorites cookbook, but switched it up a bit. Namely, added oil 😛

…with the help of Bella Sun Luci, that is! I used some of the sundried tomato halves they sent me. Even if you hate sundried tomatoes, you should by these at least to smell every day. It is heavenly, really.

Ugly Pesto

  • 1 c. packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. sundried tomatoes – the kind packed in oil
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes
  • 2 T. sunflower kernels
  • 1/2 t. salt

Combine all in a blender, blend until smooth!

Don’t look at me like that. I told you it was ugly. But good! I enjoy it mixed with greek yogurt, too, for a creamy pesto. If you’ve ever had pesto mayo, you know where I’m coming from 😉

10. livin, enjoying this beautiful weather, and feeling grateful for life!

What are ten things you did/thought/felt/realized/discovered this weekend?! I know ten is a lot…but believe you me, I do enjoy reading everything you guys write 😉


Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

Sundried Tomato Pesto Wraps

I made tortillas today. That’s pronounced with an “-l” sound, not an “-e” sound, in case you were wondering. Every since Napoleon Dynamite (God, I hate that movie) I’ve always said quesedilla, tortilla, etc. with an “ill-uh” not “eey-uh.”

Anyways – you should be proud of me. Because these are, pardon my French, damn good tortillas. Or wraps, I don’t really know what they’re called, but I think tortillas, even though I always call flexible breads such as this wraps. I mean…they wrap.

I had a sudden epiphany last night, as I was thinking about how I needed to make another loaf of bread today, that maybe I was sick of bread. Maybe I wanted to make something else. I don’t necessarily think I’m sick of bread, but after seeing some delicious wraps in the blogosphere (I’m looking at you and you) I decided wraps it was.

We won’t get into the fact that at the last minute I thought maybe I’d prefer making pitas. Once I realized that was more of a process involving a couple hours, I stuck to wraps.

I found this lovely recipe, and adapted it like so:

Whole-Grain Pesto Wraps

for 8-10 wraps

  • 1/4 c. oats (I used rolled – doesn’t matter what you use, though)
  • 1/4 c. bulgur (dry)
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds (or pumpkin or something similar)
  • 1 1/2 + 2 T. WW flour
  • 3 T. milled flax
  • 2 T. wheat bran (optional – this is what I kneaded in when I realized I needed more dry ingredient…you could use flour, or might not even need any)
  • 1 t. garlic salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 3 T. Bella Sun Luci Sundried Tomato Pesto (see  note)
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1/4 t. baking powder

Note: Okay, okay – I went there. I specified a name brand for an otherwise generic ingredient. As a kid, I never could comprehend why it had to be “Kraft Mayonnaise” and not Hellmann’s. I hate mayonnaise and I don’t know why I used that for an example, but I digress. This Bella Sun Luci pesto is reaaaallly, really good. If you don’t have it, you should get it, but if you can’t find it, any pesto that is not healthified will work. You want one with lots of oil. I don’t even want to suggest you sub with just oil because then all the flavor will be gone. These rely on the pesto!

1. In a food processor or blender, grind your first two ingredients – the oats and sunflower seeds. You’ll want a pretty fine grind – this took me a couple minutes. Once it resembles a consistency sort of like a medium grind cornmeal, add in the bulghur and then pulse a couple more times. This should measure almost a full cup. Dump into a large mixing bowl.

Add in the rest of your dry ingredients.

2. Add in the pesto and water. Stir until clumpy, and then knead until combined. Form into a ball.

I love the random pine nut from the pesto front and center.

It shouldn’t be too sticky, and not too dry. You should easily be able to form it into a ball. If it’s too sticky, add some more flour. Too dry, add some more water.

Wrap the dough ball in cling wrap, and let sit for ten minutes.

3. After it’s sat, divide the dough ball into 8-10 pieces. (I got 9, I think?) Roll into balls, and place back in the bowl. Cover with the cling wrap again, and let sit another ten minutes.

4. Clear off your workspace, and get out your rolling pin and large drying pan/griddle/skillet. I used a nonstick large frying pan. Turn on the burner for the pan to medium-low. Dust your work surface with flour, as well as your rolling pin. Grab a dough ball, and flatten it a bit before rolling out from the center in all directions.

Apologies for th epop-up flash photography!

You’ll want to get it reaaaalllly thin! Thinner than you may think is possible. It will almost be a little see-through. Mine were sort of haphahazardly divided so I had some much larger than a paper plate and some smaller than one – but I’ll say about the size of a paper plate is the target here.

Spread it out on the pan, and start rolling out your next dough ball, though keep an eye on your wrap in the burner. They don’t cook super fast – about the time it takes to roll one out, actually! But when it feels a little stiffer in the pan, flip it.

If you’re using them as wraps, you won’t want them really brown or golden because they’ll probably break rather than wrap. So go for lightly golden!

When they are done, remove to a paper plate. let cool fully before transferring to an airtight container or bag. I’m storing mine in the fridge. They’ll probably need to be microwaved for a couple seconds before use, though so far they’re staying surprisingly supple. I say surprisingly because I’m remembering once when I attempted making Roti and I did something wrong, and I yielded a bunch of really flat rocks that weren’t good for much of anything.

As you can imagine, I’m still a little bitter about the Roti experience. These, however, I am not bitter about.

These are good. They even got a “good” from the mama-kins. It was a “these would be really good if you hadn’t used whole wheat everything,” sort of good, but as I’ve mentioned before – she’s a work in progress in that area.

I can’t wait to get my hands on some basil pesto to make them with, and I bet pureeing some spinach would be pretty fun, too 🙂

Aaaand, not to keep tooting my own horn (that’s a lie – I’m definitely tooting my own horn right now and I don’t even have any shame. I just made wraps, for Pete’s sake!) but the rest of today was pretty stellar too.

Waffles with pear, raisins, and peanut butter sauce

Which is sort of ironic because I woke up to rain. It bummed me out. I was so bummed out I almost didn’t want to go to the barn again, which put me in a “that’s that. He’s got to come here. blah blah blah. The rain is falling and the apocalypse is coming. blah blah blah.” mood. I knew I had to, though. He’s my Teddie monster. I love that little guy. It’d been too long since I gave him a cookie. A really good belly rub. A kiss on his pretty little cheek.

By too long I mean a day and a half, but it feels like a lot longer when you miss a riding day! I didn’t even really plan to ride him – but by the time I did some errands in town the sun was shining and I’ll be darned if it wasn’t getting hot outside again. So I took him for a [really fun] ride to the outdoor, around the meadows, and a short [because his little legs get tuckered out pretty quick] gallop up the hills. Short as in about ten strides before he’s out of breath and has to stop.

But he’s all cute and excited before he realizes it’s a lot of work, so we have fun anyways 😉

Since I wasn’t really planning on riding, and if I did for not much more than fifteen minutes or so [I rode at least for half an hour] I didn’t think to bring a snack. By the time I got home, I was starved. With no bread and wraps made after this lunch, I wasn’t complaining that a green monster was what needed to happen.

I think this is my most-epic of all green monsters. Freya, is it epic enough to call it an epic greenie?! I’ll tell you one thing – I didn’t want it to end.


  • frozen banana
  • peach
  • three (?) handfuls baby spinach
  • splash of almond milk
  • vanilla chobani
  • acai powder
  • flax oil
  • cashews

Adorned with:

  • wheat germ
  • raspberries
  • puffed rice
  • chopped medjool date
  • puffins (original)
  • peanut butter sauce
  • a drizzle of honey

and I think that’s everything? I’m telling you – what took this above and beyond the usual was definitely the frozen banana, peanut butter sauce, and cereals on top. Holy wow.

The afternoon was filling with wrap making, horse cleaning and other general nonsense. I started “classes” today, too. In quotations because sadly, they’re all online. I really only wanted two or three online, and two or so in the classroom. I mean, it’d be sort of nice to meet new people.

There’s always next semester. Or I can go lurk in the library.

nah .

Oh yeah, and I made some Chunks of Energy-esque bars. I just sort of threw everything that sounded good in the processor, though…not really following anything.

And dinner was another concoction all its’ own, based on this bean and plantain burger recipe.

Mash: 1/2 c. black beans, 1/2 of a baked sweet potato, 1/2 of a diced plantain.

Add in: 1/4 of a diced red pepper, 1 1/2 t. curry powder, salt, 1 T. quick oats, 1 T. VWG. Bake: 450 for 25 minutes, flipping once.

Serveed on a bed of baby spinach with millet (!!!), fresh garden tomato, mozzarella, corn, and BBQ sauce. Sorry, no clever dressing today.

Yes, there is millet under there somewhere…

Since I had time (re: patience) I knew I had to give it another go. And yes, I did make sure to keep it right next to the quinoa so I knew I was grabbing the millet and not the quinoa 😉 Since I had the time/patience it actually cooked as it was supposed to. Nice and fluffy! I would like to make a “fun” dish with it next. Or breakfast. Daniel’s got a great recipe for me to give a shot though!

Wraps or Bread? Favorite kind of wrap?

Ever had a plantain? What did you think of it? They’re pretty neat little guys, aren’t they? Offering just as much nutritional bennies as a banana (and we already know there ae oodles!) but with less sugar and sodium. And you can’t eat them raw. Which sort of makes me want to try eating one raw…



Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Pesto-Barley Primavera

Pesto-Barley Primavera

serves: 2-3 as a main, 4-6 as a side

Prepare the Barley:

  • 1/2 c. natural pearled barley
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • salt

Combine in medium saucepan, and allow barley to simmer for at least an hour. You may need to add more water. Season with salt, to taste.

While the barley is cooking, combine:

  • 2 T. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. sundried-tomato & pepita pesto
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • splash almond milk (optional – I used a drizzle just to thin)

Set aside.

The rest:

  • kale
  • 1/2 of one carrot
  • 1/4 c. chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 of one zucchini, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1/4 c. shredded almond mozzarella

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add to it the veggies, a splash of water, and cover until kale is wilted.
  2. Add to this the tuna and combine, followed by the cooked barley.
  3. Once mixed thoroughly, stir in the pesto sauce and then the almond mozzarella until all is combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Filed under cooking, dinner, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe