Friday, August 28, 2015

Eggplant Caprese with Balsamic Pesto

I am in love with pestos.  They make everything tastes good.  They can be used for meat, fish, bread, tortillas and on vegetables.  I have posted several uses for pesto.  One is using Healthier Spinach Pesto for a breakfast fare and another one Carrot Green and Kale Balsamic Pesto was spread on roasted carrots. In this post I am featuring another use of the latter pesto, namely, in the preparation of a popular Italian appetizer, caprese.

Pino's Contemporary Italian Restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA features a similar dish in their menu.  The olive oil and balsamic vinegar is usually doused on the eggplant prior to being roasted in the oven.  The use of the Carrot Green and Kale Balsamic Pesto or other pesto which has olive oil and balsamic vinegar already in it shortens the steps involved in the preparation and ensures for the taste of ingredients to be embedded together with the herbs on the eggplant.  Extra olive oil and or balsamic and basil leaves can be added if desired and you do not mind the calories.

Eggplant Caprese with Balsamic Pesto

(Adapted from Shape Magazine)


  • 1 medium eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thickness 
  • 1 large, firm tomato, cut crosswise into round pieces, 1/2  inch thickness
  • Olive oil spray
  • kosher salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • 8 slices fresh, whole milk Mozzarella (4 oz.)
  • 2 recipes of Carrot Green and Kale Balsamic Pesto (recipe in this blog post)
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place 8 eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. Brush the pesto (see recipe in this blog) on  the eggplant pieces.
  3. Bake the eggplant slices for 10 minutes. Turn them over, brush the eggplant with more of the pesto, and bake for another 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Season tomato with salt and pepper.
  5. Prepare the eggplant caprese stacks:  Place a slice of cooked eggplant on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  On top place a tomato slice, two basil leaves (optional), a slice of mozzarella and finally a second slice of cooked eggplant.  Do the same procedure with the three other stacks.
  6. Bake the prepared stacks in the oven for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Salmon with Amazing Three Ingredient Sauce

Salmon with the easy Amazing Three Ingredient Sauce

I was in Maryland this past weekend visiting my friends, Seville and Bob. I
always looked forward to staying at their beautiful, comfortable place and basked in their hospitality and warm friendship.

Seville and Bob at their kitchen where I love to cook when I visit.

Seville and I go way back when I worked for her at the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).  I consider her my first mentor.  She was actually the one responsible for my pursuing further studies here in the United States which I recounted in a past blog post.  We became roommates for about a year when I started at the George Washington University.  I have visited her ever since the 1990's when my children were still young and have visited her almost every year these past six years either alone, with my family or friends.  Seville and Bob are gifted with very generous hearts.

Left to right: Myself, my husband, Bob, aka the picky taster, with Bob and Seville who hosted us during our visit summer 2009.

We have actually held the reunions of the Chemistry Department of PAEC twice at her place.  She generously provided accommodation for all of us who attended at her house prompting one of us to call her place the Wadleigh Hotel.   (see pictures below of the 2012 reunion).

Left to right, sitting:  France, Susan, Nini, Hani and Julie. Left to right, standing, Bob and Seville.

Some of the PAASE members joined us at one of the parties during the reunion.

The wines I brought from a vineyard in Indiana County, PA are in the background.

Bob and Seville posing beside the gift I brought now beautifully incorporated into their patio.

The group during the crab fest.  Seville and Bob love to serve crabs to their guests.  We loved it of course.  My mouth is watering recalling these crabs.

During my last visit with Seville and Bob this past weekend, Seville and I attended the summer picnic for the members of an organization I belong to, PAASE, that was held at Art and Leah's place  located also in Maryland.  I had a wonderful time at this picnic (see pictures below).  The view gave all those attending a serene and relaxing afternoon. 

Left to right:  Me, Seville, Marge and Leah at the pier.

The view of the bay.

The baby of one of the young postdocs sleeping in hammock.

The view we enjoyed all afternoon.

Rich and Liza.

Some of the attendees.  Note Dr. Revilleza sleeping.  It was hard not to be this relaxed in such serene atmosphere.

When I visit Seville and Bob, I love to cook in their spacious kitchen. During this particular visit, I decided to prepare salmon and after going through their pantry I came up with three ingredients, mustard, fruit spread and maple syrup, which I had a strong inkling would go together to create an amazing sauce.  I played around with the proportions of the three ingredients and  came up with this incredible tasting sauce.  I tested it with Seville's husband, Bob, first and Natalie, Bob's sister, who happened to be there for lunch at Seville's place.  They both liked it.  Seville had it later that night and she loved its "gourmet" taste.

The three ingredients for the amazing sauce: mustard, fruit spread and maple syrup.

Seville even ate the sauce with barbecue pork for breakfast.  It is just good with anything especially with salmon.  This is an easy recipe and very accommodating.  Just use any fruit spread and any type of mustard.  I have tried it before with other types of either ingredients and the combination always was amazing.  You can skip the maple syrup if that suits your diet or taste.  I liked its addition which was reminiscent of the caramel coated salmon I had in Alaska during my visit there recently. 

Salmon with Amazing Three Ingredient Sauce 

  • Salmon 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
Season the salmon with salt and pepper.  Pan fry the salmon in olive oil in a skillet at medium heat. Do not overcook.  There is always carry over heat once you take out the salmon from the pan to the serving plate. Serve with the Amazing Three Ingredient Sauce.

Amazing Three Ingredient Sauce

  • 1 part stone ground mustard or any other type of mustard
  • 1 part black cherry spread or any fruit spread
  • 1 to 2 parts maple syrup

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork. Place a small small amount of this amazing sauce over the cooked salmon or any meat or vegetables.  So good.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Rice Casserole

This casserole will remind you of an often repeated scene in the popular show, Leave It to Beaver, with Mrs. Cleaver, wearing pearls, lipstick and petticoated dress,  baking and serving a casserole to her family.  In my case I made this casserole wearing a duster and served it later in my gym outfit to my husband Bob, my picky taster, not once but twice and he loved it every time.  I did not have to heat up the house either by cooking it in the oven like Mrs Cleaver.  I used my slow cooker where I just added all the ingredients and forgot it while I blogged, shopped and did Zumba in the gym.

The challenge is finding the right ratio of rice to liquid.  You want the rice cooked but not overcooked.  When cooking a rice dish in the slow cooker you cannot use the ratio of rice to liquid that one uses when cooking rice by other means like in the stove, oven or rice cooker or you would get an unevenly cooked rice with some still uncooked while others fully cooked. I used a ratio of 1 cup brown rice to 3 cups liquid.  The resulting consistency of the rice using this ratio in this dish is more reminiscent of risotto than that of a fluffy pilaf.  This is complemented by the refreshing taste from the lemon and green onions plus the wonderful meaty texture of the mushroom and crunch from the celery. Of course everything is good with cheese so do increase the amount suggested or add another kind like Parmesan.

Btw, to give a face to my picky taster, my husband Bob, here are his pictures in the last opera he was in, Madame Butterfly, as the strict and scary uncle of the heroine.  He is a chemist in his day job and a baritone in his spare time or most of the time.  He loves to sing.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushroom Rice Casserole


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (about 1 lb), whole or cubed
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 cups water 
  • 2 chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup sliced mushroom, fresh or canned, drained
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut into half inch pieces
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup minced dry onions
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheese of your choice, divided 
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
Place all the ingredients using half of the cheese and half of the green onions in the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  I cooked mine in an Aroma brand rice cooker/slow cooker for two hours at slow cooker setting.

At the end of cooking if there some liquid left, add the cornstarch to thicken the mixture.  Add the rest of the cheese and green onions on top.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Greens and Kale Balsamic Pesto

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Greens and Kale Balsamic Pesto

I fell in love with the carrots with their green tops attached to them while shopping for groceries at Walmart. 

I forgot to photograph the ones I bought from Walmart. They were just as beautiful as these ones in this image I obtained from the web,

I just saw a recipe for roasted carrots with chimichurri sauce made of carrot greens at the gorgeous website Love and Lemons.  I decided to follow suit and roast these carrots.  Instead of chimichurri I decided to drizzle the carrots with a combination of carrot green and kale in a pesto that has also basil, olive oil and the wonderful addition of balsamic vinegar.  I did not have enough carrot greens so I resorted to adding the last of my kale from a bag I bought at Sam's.  (I have been doing a lot of food shopping and food market hopping lately). 

The result is earthy and delicious.  Not at all weird.  I tested it with my son-in-law and and my daughter and they gave it the thumbs up.  The roasted carrots were very sweet and made doubly delicous by the pesto. You will see more use of this versatile pesto in future recipes.  I like that it has the olive oil and balsamic vinegar within the pesto which will be good for recipes calling for them. 

Carrot Greens and Kale Balsamic Pesto

  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1 loose cup carrot greens, stems removed 
  • 1 loose cup kale, stems removed 
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • Cut the greens of the carrots leaving a quarter inch of their stem on. Remove the stem from the carrot greens. Set aside the carrots for roasting (see below).

    Remove the stems from the kale leaves.

    Blanch the carrot greens and kale and then pat dry with paper towel or towel.  Mix them with the rest of the ingredients in a mini processor. Pulse the mixture till well blended.

    Place over roasted carrots (see below) or other vegetables.  You can also spread it on crostini, fish, chicken, pork or beef.

    Roasted Carrots with  Carrot Green and Kale Balsamic Pesto

    • 1 bunch of carrots with green tops
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • Carrot Green and Kale Balsamic Pesto (recipe above)

    Remove the greens from the carrots with quarter inch of the stem left on on carrots. You can leave the skin on the carrots. Use the greens for the pesto above.

    Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. 

    Serve with the Carrot Green and Kale Balsamic Pesto or other Pesto.

    Slow Cooker Peking Chicken with Steamed Buns (Cuapao)

    Slow Cooker Peking Chicken with Steamed Buns (Cuapao)

    The slow cooker Peking chicken can be used two ways in a veggie rice bowl dish or in the steamed bun snack called Cuapao.  Another slow cooker two meals in one recipe.

    I have eaten Peking duck mostly in the Chinese restaurants in the Philippines which our family used to frequent on special occasions like our piano recitals. I do remember the crackling skin of the Peking duck and the sweet, salty taste of the sauce.  I also do recall the thin pancakes that were served on the side to eat the duck with.  The last time I ate it was in my sister-in-law's (Pinky) Sunday dinner at her family's home in Quezon City.  Pinky's sister, Pamela, brought a special take out version of the Peking duck.  The skin was actually separated from the meat part.  This was convenient since Filipinos cherish the skin particularly and this ensures that everybody gets to relish this part of the duck.

    The special Peking Duck Pamela brought to the family gathering.  Left to right, the lettuce for preparing the wrap, the crackling skin with special topping and the meat wrapped in lumpia wrapper similar to the egg roll wrapper.  The sauce is shown above this trio.

    The Peking Duck Wrap from store bought Peking Duck brought by Pamela.
    This is the picture of my brother Benjie's wife, Pinky's family, the Singsons.  The matriarch of the family the wonderful Angie Singson is in the middle of the second row in black.  My brother Benjie and wife Pinky are on the top row second and first from the right respectively.  Pamela who brought the special Peking Duck is second from the left top row. They take yearly pictures of the family during one of their gatherings.  Each family even take turns posing without being prompted, like clockwork.  So heartwarming and amazing. 
    I have heard of stories of how the skin of a duck is made crispy.   One friend told me (and I hope I remember this correctly since it has been more than 40 years ago) that the best way to make the skin crispy was to inflate it first using air and then let the skin dry by hanging the inflated chicken on a hook. The same source continued her tale by saying they hanged the duck using clips on the rack while they were roasted to allow the oil to drip.  After hearing this, one would feel like just buying this Peking duck or just getting it at the nearest Chinese restaurant rather than preparing it yourself.  But wait, there is a very easy way. Read on. 

    I did have a craving for the taste of Peking duck especially its sauce but I would not go into all that trouble described by my friend to make it.  For one thing I did not happen to have any duck in my freezer and for me it was the sauce rather than the crackling skin that I wanted.  Since that is the case, I decided skinless, boneless chicken thighs would suffice. I also felt I can trust my slow cooker to do the cooking of this dish. 

    I found a recipe that I felt might be close to the sauce I want in the Filipino Cookbook of Pittsburgh edited by Antoinette Angeles.  It was actually the recipe for the filling for Filipino steamed bun snack called Pork Siopao.  I tweaked it a bit here and there by substituting chicken for ground pork and increasing the amount of sugar.  Its ingredients were pretty close to the ones described by Jaden in her highly informative and delightful Steamy Kitchen website.  Jaden's recipe for Peking Chicken was done in the stove top. 

    This recipe is another two meals from one crock pot dish.  By itself, it can be eaten as is with rice or noodles and either raw or steamed vegetables.

    Slow Cooker Peking Chicken used in a Rice Bowl dish with raw or steamed napa cabbage, peppers, brocolli and green onions.

    The cooked chicken can also be used to stuff steamed buns.  I know iit sounds daunting to prepare steamed buns but wait till you hear what you can use.  Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit Dough in a can!

    Slow Cooker Peking Chicken with Steamed Buns (Cuapao)

    Jaden of Steamy Kitchen tells a delightful story of how she discovered this method from her own mother and it took her 7 years before she finally used correctly what her mother suggested, the very American Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit Dough in a can.  It did not work for her the first time since she used crescent dough in a can.   (Note: do not use any other kind of dough like crescent rolls or pizza etc.)

    We are using the open faced steamed buns which we call in the Philippines, Cuapao.  The original and more popular Filipino steamed bun, Siopao, is different in that the filling is totally enclosed in the dough.  Nowadays, one can find in the restaurants and fast food places in the Philippines the open faced version.  (This actually made Jaden of Steamy Kitchen to tell her children that the Chinese invented the hamburger. lol)  This open version rather than the enclosed one is what I am opting as the the other meal from this crock pot dish.  Instructions for the steamed bun using Pillsbury Biscuit dough is in Steamy Kitchen.  An alternative made from scratch recipe for the dough for any steamed bunswhether Cuapao or Siopao is given in Panlasang Pinoy

    Slow Cooker Peking Chicken with Steamed Buns (Cuapao)

    • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or breasts) 
    • 1 tsp ginger, minced
    • 3 tbsp green onions, chopped
    • 2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
    • 6 tsps sugar (I used Splenda)
    • 2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 3-4 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 can refrigerated biscuit dough (I used Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuit dough)
    Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker except the refrigerated biscuit dough.  Cook for 6 hours in the slow cooker at low setting and 3 hours at high setting.

    To prepare the Peking Chicken Steamed Buns (Cuapao).

    Prepare the steamed buns using the refrigerated biscuit dough following the directions in Steamy Kitchen.

    You can either shred the cooked chicken or cut a thin slice about the length of the steamed bun.  Split the bun but not all the way through and place the chicken inside the steamed bun.  Add about a tsp or so of the sauce on the bun itself.  Top with shredded napa cabbage, peppers, green onions and if you like jalapeno peppers.  You can use also shredded carrots, cucumbers. green cabbage. 
    I steamed the refrigerated dough using the steamer bowl of my rice cooker/slow cooker set at steamer setting.  You can also just place water in a wok and place a bamboo steamer on top. Be sure to place the buns on top of a piece of wax paper before steaming.  See Steamy Kitchen's step by step directions and video.
    This is how the dough looks after being steamed. 

    You can heat the whole thing in the microwave if you are starting with a cold bun for about 20 or 30 seconds for the sauce to be absorbed by the bun.  I actually made the steamed bun the day I made the chicken and refrigerated it and then prepared the Cuapao the next day.  You can also use it after you made the buns but I will still heat it a bit.  Of course I ate the rice bowl version with the veggies the same day I made the chicken.  I almost ate the whole thing.  So so good. 

    Your two meals in one chicken preparation in your slow cooker.

    Friday, August 14, 2015

    Slow Cooker Stuffed Banana Peppers

    I could not resist buying from a farm stand.  It always evokes freshness and deliciousness at its peak.  That was what happened as I passed by one on my way home from Baden, PA where I attended a tea party for the Sisters of St. Joseph tendered by their associate prayer partners.  

    I intended to buy only tomatoes but I could not help myself from buying the beautiful banana peppers in their radiant light green color staring at me.  I do not have any recipe in mind except for including them in Sinigang, a Filipino piquant soup dish.  Since I have just made this Filipino dish just a few days ago, I was planning to just freeze these beauties in the freezer till needed.  I decided to leave them in the counter for a while to decorate my kitchen but also because I find them too pretty to go directly to the freezer.  I wanted to wait for something to come up in my head as to what to do with them.   These shiny green elongated vegetables stared at me for four days in my counter until it hit me.  Why don't I try making stuffed banana peppers? 

    Of all the Italian appetizers, Stuffed Banana Peppers is my favorite.  I always look for them everytime I go to any church festival where they are usually served.  Esta Esta Restaurant in Monroeville used to serve this during the St. Bernadette Festival in the past and most recently during this Church's 50th birthday. 

    I have not prepared them before so I searched for the best recipe I could find online and saw one in the wonderful AllRecipes website.  It was called Bob's Stuffed Banana Peppers.  The reviews sounded amazing and the ingredients for me spelled delicious. 

    I looked over the steps given in the direction in this recipe from AllRecipes and for me they look daunting.  They included cooking the peppers first in boiling water before stuffing them, sauteing some ingredients and then baking the stuffed peppers in the oven.  I felt confident that I could skip these steps if I use the slow cooker where the slow cooking will help cook the peppers and sauce efficiently at the same time.  The sauteing of some ingredients can be done if desired but I also felt I can skip that but it is an option for you all who are more motivated. 

    I could hardly wait to sample the finished cooked product after I return from an errand.  I actually burned my mouth.  The result was these beautiful and delicious well cooked stuffed banana peppers comparable to the ones from Esta Esta Restaurant that I adore.  Awesome.

    These dish is especially good with a salad doused with Ranch Dressing which has milk in it that will help cool down the mouth as one savors the spicy and amazing Stuffed Banana Peppers.  This recipe was made more convenient to prepare, thanks to the slow cooker.  Three cheers for this marvelous kitchen tool.  Enjoy this delicious, spicy dish as an appetizer or even as a meal.  I even had it for breakfast.  Yes it was calling my name.

    Slow Cooker Stuffed Banana Peppers

    (Adapted from AllRecipes)


    • 14 banana peppers (see Note 1)
    For the Sauce
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup chopped celery
    • 1 -28 oz can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 - 8 oz tamato sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp dried basil
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    • chopped edible part of the cut stem (optional)
    For the Filling
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
    • 1 lb hot Italian sausage (see note 4)
    • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup of the sauce prepared above
    Preparing the Banana Peppers (See Note 2)

    Cut about half an inch (see note 3) of the tops of the banana pepper and remove the seeds and ribs .  You can cut off any edible part of the stem and include them in the sauce if you like.  Wash the peppers with running water.  Set aside.

    Preparing the Sauce

    Mix all the ingredients of the sauce right in the slow cooker bowl.  Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce for the filling.

    Preparing the Filling

    In a large mixing bowl, combine with a fork,  the egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan. Add to this mixture the hot sausage, bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of the sauce and thoroughly mix the ingredients. 


    Fill each pepper with the filling.  Carefully stack the stuffed peppers on top of the sauce in the bowl of the slow cooker.

    Slow Cooking

    Cook the stuffed pepper in the sauce in the slow cooker for 4 hours at high setting or 8 hours at low.  I used an Aroma Brand Rice cooker/slow cooker and cooked mine for 2 hours at slow cooker setting.

     for 14 servings

    for 8 servings


    Tuesday, August 11, 2015

    Mediterranean Breakfast Egg with Pesto and Tahini Paste

    This stacked breakfast fare featuring hardboiled egg, tomato, avocado, spinach basil pesto and tahini paste is fashioned after the Jewish breakfast sandwich called Sabich.  Their version also has fried eggplant and hummus.  I saw it on TV being prepared by the Wolf and Bear Truck Eatery chef in the show Eat St.  I decided to put my own spin on it by following what my taste buds were craving and decided to spread pesto instead of hummus and use a round slice of the luscious tomatoes I had just bought from a farm stand instead of the fried eggplant. 

    One can eat this stacked breakfast beauty without any bread or tortilla or the traditional pita for a low carb breakfast and it will still be satisfying.  On a tortilla, one can roll it up and have a portable breakfast.  The same convenience is true if they are placed on a pita bread.  Whatever way you decide to eat the combination of delicious ingredients in this Mediterranean breakfast fare, rest assured you will be starting your day healthy and with much joy. It is delicious.

    Mediterranean Breakfast Egg with Pesto and Tahini Paste

    (one serving)

    • one tomato
    • two slices of avocado
    • three slices of hard boiled egg
    • one tbsp pesto (I used the Healthier Spinach Basil Pesto from this blog)
    • 2 tsps tahini paste
    • bread or tortilla or pita bread (optional)
    Place the tomato on a plate and layer the rest of the ingredients on top according to your preference or the ones shown in the pictures above and below.  One can also stack the ingredients on a piece of toast or tortilla or pita bread if you do not mind the carbs and calories.

    The nutrition facts given below do not include the bread, tortilla or pita bread. 



    Healthier Spinach Basil Pesto

    This pesto is made healthier by what it has and does not have.  It does have the herb, basil in this case, the garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil, albeit less than usual, found in most pestos.   PLUS it has the healthy addition of the superfood, spinach.   What it does not have are the nuts. 

    I drew inspiration for this approach of skipping nuts from the Skinny Basil Pesto recipe found in the wonderful source of healthy recipes, the Skinny Taste blog.  I trust Gina, the author of the blog, and she stated that her skinny version was actually good and liked by her family without the high calorie nuts or high amount of olive oil.    That is all I wanted to hear.  I have never made pesto before but I have eaten dishes with it in them.  To attempt to make a healthier version is doubly challenging,  so I needed the goddess of healthy recipes, Gina, as a guide.  No regrets.  The resulting adapted version of her recipe is really good.

    I decided to incorporate the spinach in place of some of the basil in her recipe.  My husband is not fond of basil plus I feel good adding the superfood, spinach, in the mix.  I used two kinds of basil from my little herb garden that is still thriving at the deck of my house beyond my and especially my husband's expectations.  (This is my first successful attempt in growing herbs.  Several herbs have not survived in the past, thus my husband's skepticism.) 

    My thriving herb garden I am so proud of.  From left to right, oregano, mint, spicy global basil, rosemary, basil and lavender.  All still alive!

    Spicy global basil

    The ever familiar variety of basil.

    I added more garlic than what was called for in the original recipe to give the pesto more zing to it.  I love the resulting overall garlicky not so salty but still flavorful taste of this pesto even though the basil was just a whisper.  This is my first attempt in making a pesto and will not be my last.  I envision this to be good on everything.  Pasta, crostini, fish, chicken and even eggs.  A future recipe is coming up using this in a breakfast dish.  Yes breakfast!

    Healthier Spinach Basil Pesto

    (5 servings)

    (Adapted from  Skinny Taste

    • 1/4 cup basil
    • 1 cup spinach leaves, cleaned
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    Place all the ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse till uniformly mixed but not watery.