creamy pesto dip.
July 17, 2008

For me, summer=lots of basil, especially when you subscribe to a Community-Supported Agriculture program that provides you with fresh produce each week.  I really love pesto, especially on pasta and fresh tomatoes (also from the CSA!), but there’s only so much of those two things a girl can eat.  Anyways, after eating a lackluster lunch today (cottage cheese and an nutrition bar-oops), I really needed an afternoon snack, and this is what I came up with.

Creamy Pesto Dip


I would . . .

You could . . .

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil


¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup pine nuts

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon bottled lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil


Pinch of salt


8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

8 ounces any sort of cream cheese

½ cup reduced fat sour cream

½ cup any sort of sour cream


Coarsely chop basil and walnuts in food processor.  Add lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt.  Puree in processor until smooth (because there is very little liquid at this point, “smooth” is a relative term).  Add sour cream and cream cheese.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to serving dish.

To make a decorative pattern like the star in the picture, place a clean cookie cutter on the dip.  Sprinkle paprika (or another spice) inside the cookie cutter, remove, and voila!


1 1/2 cups of dip

Recipe Extras 

Sex It Up By:



chopped green onions, fresh grated parmesan cheese

Calling it

Crudités with Garlicky Cream of Basil Dip  

Cooking Tip:

Mincing fresh garlic by hand can leave your hands a bit smelly.  Afterwards, try rubbing your hands on stainless steel to remove the odor (but it has to be real stainless steel to work).


sweet and spicy barbecued beans.
July 15, 2008

We belong to a Community-Supported Agriculture program (CSA), which means we get a box full of fresh produce every week.  Our CSA is Roots Farm of Winterville, GA.  I originally heard about it in a local newspaper, and although we are by no means green (working on that one!), we are very attracted to the concept of eating organically and locally, both for health, sustainability, and decreased environmental impact.  We arranged to split a weekly share of produce with a neighbor (who we found out attends our church, after the fact!), and this is our second year.  Even though we split our share, we often find ourselves with more vegetables than we know what to do with.  Kale and other leafy greens are no exception.  And there’s only so many times in a week where you can have “sauteed greens,” so this side dish was a way to use up some of our kale excess.  Although the beans may not look particularly spectacular, they actually taste awesome.  The reason?  BBQ sauce!!


Sweet and Spicy Barbecued Beans (adapted from Cooking Light)


I would . . . You could . . .
2 teaspoons olive oil 2t vegetable or canola oil (but olive is healthiest!)
1 cup chopped onion  
4 garlic cloves, minced more or less to taste
8 cups chopped kale (about 3/4 pound) whatever you have, but not more than 8 cups
1/2 cup water  
1/2 cup hickory barbecue sauce (such as Kraft)  
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard  
1 tablespoon cider vinegar  
2 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce other hot sauce, more or less to taste
2 (16-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained 2 (16-ounce) cans canellini beans


Preheat oven to 350°.Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; spoon into a 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


6 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

Recipe Extras

Sex It Up By:  


3 slices cooked bacon before baking

Calling it

Hickory-Smoked Beans with Kale Accents
Cooking Tip: You can use canola or vegetable oil in place of olive, but olive oil has more heart-healthy fats and a richer flavor.