Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pesto Hummus


I could seriously eat it at every meal with any starch, vegetable, or meat around. When I was living at school I would go through at least one 12oz container a week (usually 2 and a week was often only 5 days…). As you can see, I have a problem.

Anyway, despite shopping at Aldi and getting a container for $1.99 each, my habit was adding up. Hummus is so simple to make that I really don’t have a good excuse for not making it myself.  There are 3 main ingredients – garbanzo beans, seed/nut butter, spices. I’ve made a few batches so far this summer that have all been green – while tasty, not the easiest for convincing people hummus is delicious 😉

Pesto HummusPesto Hummus


  • 15oz can garbanzo beans (no salt added)
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, loosely packed
  • 1/2 tsp dried garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter (or tahini)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste (none if you can’t find the no salt added beans)


Place the herbs in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the beans, sunflower butter, and salt. Mix well. Add water to thin the consistency as needed.

*Since this version, I have made a few variations. One included steamed kale. Another included hot red peppers from the garden.

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Nutrition


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Almond Flax Bread

I’ve had tummy troubles since college. Nothing that needs to be discussed here – maybe if you’re lucky I’ll show some pictures of how pregnant I look (despite not being pregnant) when the battle in my tummy is waging on. Until then, just know it isn’t fun 😦 I occasionally try different diets hoping I find the solution to all of my tummy woes, but they always turn out the same – no improvement – just more time spent making special foods with ingredients that cost more and [usually] don’t taste as good. For the last 2-3 weeks I was doing gluten-free, with hopes of some improvement. Prior to starting I was only eating 1-2 servings of wheat each day, so it really wasn’t that much of a change. I did notice I was crazy hungry the first week. It was the oddest feeling – I was hungry but all of the veggies I was eating made me so full, so I was always dancing a fine line of hunger and pain. I decided I needed to make a bread substitute.

I didn’t want to buy the $6/loaf brick loaf of gluten-free bread at the store, so I set out on a search for a homemade version. I made a loaf with my banana bar recipe that was actually really good. I wanted to try a 100% grain-free recipe and stumbled on this beauty – Dark “Rye” Bread.

The recipe was simple enough and the ingredients were all things I had on-hand. The fresh product was delicious! The recipe she posted only fills the pan 1/2 way (note she used a mini pan that I don’t have), so I had to make a 2nd loaf and double the recipe. After it sat out for 3 days, I realized why she used a small loaf…this bread goes rancid quickly. It makes sense, the base is just fat (flax and almond meal). If you make this recipe, I have a few words of advice – don’t double the recipe. Make a single batch in a large pan and eat it as a snack OR invest in a mini loaf pan. A 3rd option I just thought of would be to make muffins with the dough.

almond flax bread 2

Almond Flax Bread
Recipe from Elana’s Pantry


  • 1 cup finely ground almonds
  • 3/4 cup flax seed, ground (I bought it whole and ground what I needed)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 eggs (you could get away with less yolk – I was fine with 2 whole and 1 white)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1-2 tbsp seeds (I used whole flax)


  1. Preheat over to 350F. Generously spray or grease a baking pan (I didn’t do this enough the first time around and my loaf stuck to the bottom and broke in half)
  2. Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Whisk wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined. Let stand for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour ingredients into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Cool completely before removing. The loaf is very tender. Once cool, slice thinly and store in the refrigerator.

If you notice the bread gets a funny taste and appears stringy when you break it apart, that means it has gone bad because the fats have begun to go rancid. You need to throw it out at this point…there is no hope 😦

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Nutrition


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CSA Week #8


This week is full of tasty veggies that will need some preparation (no lettuce and very few “snacking” veggies in their plain-old-raw-form). Here’s what’s in the box and what I plan to do with it:

  • Basil
    • Basil hummus and/or herby bread with basil (see recipes below). We have a ton of basil in the garden too, so I should be able to make both recipes.
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
    • Sauteed and added to an egg bake
  • Cabbage
    • Pickled cabbage (canned); depending how much I get, I may do half with the recipe linked here and another half with an Asian twist (sesame seed oil and soy sauce in place of mustard seed and celery seed).
  • Cucumbers
    • Slice for snacking with hummus
  • Kale
  • Pickling Cucumbers
  • Raspberries
    • Eat with yogurt
  • Sugar Snap Peas
    • Eat with hummus
  • Sweet Corn
  • Summer squash
    • Thinly sliced, sautéed, and incorporated into the swiss chard tartlets below
  • Tomatoes (slicers OR romas OR cherry tomatoes)
    • It all depends on what we get!

I still have some Swiss chard left from last week. I want to make this Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin, but it seems to heavy for the summer. I think I’ll save that recipe for the fall and include sage. Instead, I might make this garlic chard and Parmesan bread for the family get together we have this weekend. I would probably make it longer and then slice it for pinwheel servings. Otherwise, these little rainbow chard tartlets with rosemary almond meal crust are super cute and seem easy to make.

We also got a few of the first zucchini from our garden! I am going to make Zucchini Oat Brownies.

So many vegetables but so little time! To make matters more complicated, I leave for my Psychiatry rotation on Sunday and will be living 2 hours away for the month of August. Talk about poor timing – J is going to have veggies coming out of places he didn’t know existed! Thankfully the produce is local (10 miles away for the CSA and our backyard) and fresh, so it should last until the weekend when I can come home and help make food for the week.


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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Nutrition


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Sausage and Kale Pizza

This recipe was something we quickly threw together on a Sunday afternoon for lunch. We had a ton of kale left from the CSA and there was a chance we’d be getting more on Tuesday. Originally I thought I’d make kale brownies again, but opted to make real food instead. For some reason, when I think of kale, I instantly think of sausage. While we didn’t have any sausage on hand, we had (and still have) plenty of ground beef. The end product was actually quite delicious and super filling – definitely a man’s pizza.

Kale and Sausage Pizza

Sausage and Kale Pizza


  • 1 premade whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Prepare pan with cooking spray.
  2. Brown meat with onion.
  3. Roll out the pizza dough and press into the prepared pan.
  4. Thinly spread the pizza sauce over the prepared dough. Add kale and beef. Top with cheese.
  5. Bake in the own for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Nutrition


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Three Bean Salad

This salad is super easy and delicious. I made it up the other weekend before going to my parents for family night. I don’t know if it is the traditional three bean salad because I’ve never looked up the recipe, but J said it reminded him of it. I am horrible at measuring things, so the dressing is just an estimate,

3 bean salad

Three Bean Salad

-1 pound green beans, cleaned and trimmed
-1 pound yellow beans, cleaned and trimmed
-1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
-1 red onion, sliced thinly and quartered
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
– pepper

1. Place the beans lengthwise into a food processor feed tube (I have no idea what this thing is called) and slice thinly.
2. Combine all of the vegetables into a large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Pour over vegetables. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 day before serving.


Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Nutrition


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cabbage and beet slaw

I was really excited when I read the CSA email this week and saw it was cabbage or broccoli. please let it be broccoli, please let it be broccoli. I had my fingers crossed when I walked up to get my box – yes, it contained broccoli. But wait, what that huge thing in the bottom. Oh, it’s cabbage.

Don’t get me wrong, I like cabbage. I am just getting sick of it. I can eat it each week, but the problem is one head is SOOO much cabbage. I know, I know, I can freeze it for cabbage soup in the fall. I just needed a moment to be over dramatic.

This week’s box also contained beets, which I have had a recent love obsession with. I had been a little sad the last two times because the beets were more golden than red. Not this time – bright red and juicy, leaving my hands stained for the better part of the day.

I knew I’d make a slaw with the cabbage, so I did a search to see if there were any cabbage and beet slaw recipes. I had already roasted the beets, which was a bummer once I started to read recipes that called for raw beets. I found a great recipe at The Kitchn that I sounded perfect. I had all the ingredients on hand and it would go well with the shredded beef sandwiches I was making for a trip this weekend.

I also found a few recipes I saved for later – a Ukrainian dish called borscht. Turns out the Russian astronauts even take it with them to space (in a tube…I’m sure that’s appetizing). I had never heard of it before, but it looks like something J would love. I found a summer version and a traditional version.

Cabbage and Beet SaladCabbage and Beet Slaw
Recipe from from The Kitchn (more or less)


  • 4 beets, trimmed, roasted, and peeled (see how to roast them here)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar (I did a small handful, so this is just a guess)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  1. Slice beets into matchstick-size pieces. I sliced mine into circles first and then just stacked them to slice them into rectangles. 
  2. Add cabbage and beets to a large bowl. I used an ice cream tub to make for easy mixing.
  3. Whisk vinegar, sugar, and mustard in small bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over the cabbage mixture. Mix well. I put the top on the tub and shook it like crazy. Make sure to coat everything.
  5. Place slaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating. You want the vinegar to have some time to work with the cabbage and give it that awesome slaw flavor.

note: the mixture may seem dry at first, but after it sits for a day some liquid from the cabbage will come out and you will have adequate liquid. If it is still dry 1 day later, add some more vinegar. 

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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Nutrition


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CSA Week #7

csa week 7In this week’s box:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers (normal and pickling)
  • Green Beans
  • Yellow wax beans
  • Herbs – sage, thyme, parsley
  • Raspberries
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Sweet Corn
  • Swiss Chard
  • Summer squash

Last night I spent a few hours getting things cleaned and cooked for the week. Here’s what I did:

  • Beets – roasted at 350F for 1 hour; peeled and sliced. How will I use them? Well, that is still TBD. I think I am going to use them in a beet and cabbage slaw like this one.
  • Cabbage – sitting in the crisper until I make some slaw for our trip this weekend.
  • Broccoli – sauteed and added to an egg bake.
  • Cucumbers – 2 are sliced and ready to eat; the other two are hanging out in the crisper.
  • Pickling cucumbers – sitting in the crisper until I decide to pickle them. I think I’ll make some garlic dill pickles, but I’m not positive. I have so many other herbs that I might try to use some of those instead.
  • Green Beans – these are in the crisper until I get a chance to make 3 bean salad again (for this weekend). I made some last weekend and it turned out awesome. I’ll post the recipe soon!
  • Yellow wax beans – ditto to the GBs
  • Herbs (sage, thyme, parsley)
    • Sage and Parsley joined their counterparts from last week in the basement where they are drying
    • The thyme is still in a sealed container in the refrigerator with the thyme from last week (which is still surprisingly fresh). Who would have thought I’d ever have so much thyme, ahahaha…ok enough with the lame jokes.
  • Raspberries – 1/2 were eaten before they made it to their current home in the refrigerator. The farm told me I was supposed to eat them all in 24 hours, so I am just trying to be a good girl 🙂
  • Sugar Snap Peas – cleaned and put in the refrigerator to be snacked on all week long.
  • Sweet Corn – chucked, washed, and roasted in foil. I did this in the oven at 350F x 30 minutes.
  • Swiss Chard – TBD; sitting in the refrigerator with a bag loosely place around the leaves at the moment. I think I am going to make this Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
  • Summer squash – sauteed with the broccoli and English peas from last week. Added to a delicious egg bake.
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Nutrition


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