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Perfect Pesto

Perfect Pesto

Gadgets

food processor, cheese grater

Ingredients

2 cups basil, packed
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Blend basil and nuts in food processor
Add garlic
Slowly add olive oil while blending
Add cheese and pulse again until blended
Add salt and pepper to taste

My Thoughts

I have searched and searched for the Perfect Pesto and have finally found my true love! My good friend Rachel and I were planning to make Pesto Pasta dinner and she is the one who somehow found this perfect combination. I think it is not only the amount of ingredients, but the order and process they are prepared in, such as slowly adding the olive oil, and adding the cheese at the end and just pulsing.

Try this on pasta, chicken or fish (antibiotic and hormone free) if you are a meat eater, or just eat it with a spoon! Yes, it’s that good, especially if you are a garlic and basil lover!

For those that want to eat as RAW as possible, another option is to spiralize zucchini with a spirilizer to make raw pasta! Then the only non raw ingredient is the cheese, and if you really want to you can leave the cheese out, though I don’t recommend it because it sure makes it tasty!

I usually double the recipe and eat it over a couple of days. You can never have too much pesto in the refrigerator!

By | 2019-09-18T14:50:34-07:00 October 1st, 2012|Food|0 Comments

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Ingredients (serves 2, usually with leftovers)

One can of organic black beans

1 medium sweet potato

Seriously sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

Olive oil

2 quesadillas (the big ones)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Any other spices you like!

Preparation

First, cut sweet potato into small chunks (if organic leave the skin on, if not, peel first). Boil potatoes in water for about 10 minutes, or till you can easily stick a fork through them.) While potatoes are boiling, drain and rinse beans well. Chop onions,sauté in pan with olive oil and spices, then add beans. They just need a few minutes on medium heat. Slice your cheese and get the quesadillas out and ready. Drain sweet potatoes and mash. Spread a nice layer of sweet potatoes on half of each quesadilla, then the beans, then place sliced cheese on top. Close the quesadilla with a little bit of pressure. If you have a big sauté pan you can fit both quesadillas on at once. Burner at medium heat. Occasionally press down on the quesadillas, and continue to check bottom to flip. Wait till it is nice and crispy on bottom. Flip and in minutes you will have an out of this world quesadilla!

My Thoughts

This is one of my (and Derrek’s) favorite meals. It is quite satisfying and filling. I use Publix greenwise black beans, organic sweet potatoes from Jeff at the Saturday Farmer’s Market, and Cabot seriously sharp cheddar cheese from Publix. You can boil and mash extra potatoes so that you can have the same dish the next day with a little less effort. If you are vegan, this would be great without the cheese, with the smooth delicious taste and texture of the sweet potatoes. I haven’t made it without cheese yet, but one of these days I will when I am feeling a little too cheesy!!! Ha ha! Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “she’s already too cheesy”, but I enjoy my cheesiness, and you must too, or else you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Have fun with this delicious dish. Email me any thoughts or experiences you’ve had with making this to: joannadembek@gmail.com

By | 2018-07-06T17:08:08-07:00 October 1st, 2012|Food|0 Comments

Peppermint Dark Chocolate covered Pretzels (gluten and dairy free)

Peppermint Dark Chocolate covered Pretzels (gluten and dairy free)

Ingredients
Gluten free pretzels (I use Glutinos brand)
5 TBS 100% pure cocoa powder (I use raw cacao powder)
2 TBS extra virgin coconut oil
honey (to taste)
2 drops of doterra Peppermint essential oil

Preparation
Heat coconut oil in saute pan until melted
Combine coconut oil, cocoa powder, and honey in a glass bowl
Place bowl in refrigerator for 10 minutes to cool slightly
Add 2 drops of doterra Peppermint essential oil and stir
Dip pretzels into chocolate
Keep choc. covered pretzels in freezer for best crunch and to avoid melting!

My Thoughts

If you want to keep it simple and fast and don’t have any allergies to sugar and dairy, you can substitute the cocoa powder, coconut oil, and honey with:  ghirardelli baking chips (60% cacao) or your favorite chocolate chips. If you choose this method, heat about 1 cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler. I use a glass measuring cup, and place it in a pan with water. Heat and stir until melted. Then add 2 drops of essential oils. Dip pretzels into chocolate. Since this version of the recipe doesn’t call for coconut oil, they are more stable at room temp. I still prefer to keep them in the freezer until eating time though! doTerra Wild Orange essential oil is really yummy in place of the peppermint oil. You can get crazy with it! Try all different flavors. Cinnamon would be delicious too, though I haven’t tried that one yet. You can’t go wrong with peppermint or wild orange. Enjoy! Try some other flavors of oils and let me know about your experiments!

Warning
Most doTerra essential oils are safe for consumption, but many other brands of essential oils out there ARE NOT FOR INTERNAL USE. Make sure you read the label to find out if the oils are safe to eat. To learn where to buy doTerra essential oils, visit my essential oils page.

By | 2019-09-18T14:53:26-07:00 November 8th, 2014|Food|0 Comments

Kale Wrap

Kale Wrap

Ingredients

2 Kale leaves
1/2 avocado
chopped red pepper
chopped onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
sprinkle Celtic Sea salt or Pink Himalayan salt
tahini

Preparation

Clean and dry kale leaves. Cut stem out. Mash avocado, then stir in chopped red peppers, chopped onions, minced garlic, and salt. Place a big scoop of guacamole onto center of each kale leave, and drizzle tahini over it. Then wrap kale leave around it.

My Thoughts

Derrek and I had just come home from a long bike ride, both of us starving. Too hungry to wait for dinner to be cooked. Derrek headed for the refrigerator and grabbed one of the many sweets in the house from the holidays. I stopped him when the bourbon chocolate muffin was just inches from his mouth. I asked him to give me 5 minutes to whip up a healthy snack, and he actually agreed! I had a rough idea of what I was going to make. I told him to leave the kitchen and that it would be a surprise. Secretly I thought that if he watched me prepare the food, or if I told him what I was making, he would automatically decide he wasn’t going to like it. I was probably on point.

I knew we had some guacamole left over from yesterday, and I had a ton of kale that I needed to do something with. I have had kale avocado salads before and knew how great they tasted together. I wanted to put them together in a simple, and non-salad way. Derrek usually turns his nose up at kale, but he loves wraps. Usually ones made from flour, but he’s an adventurous guy, he’ll try just about anything if he is in an open sort of mood. That is the key. I knew I had this small window of opportunity to get him to try something new, without him giving me a hard time. (I also felt it was really important for us to get in some nutritious food on an empty stomach just after exercising.) The other important aspect to getting someone to try something new is to give it some familiarity. He loves guacamole and tahini. I made sure that he would definitely like the inside of the wrap.

The results?
He said it was delicious, and asked for another! A success.
This is great as a quick snack, to bring to a pot luck, or to enjoy as lunch!

By | 2018-07-06T17:07:28-07:00 October 1st, 2012|Food|0 Comments