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Mango Pesto

I made this pesto for a dinner party with a friend who was on the Whole30.  I found this one that fit that criteria and was also quite good.  I never thought of using cucumbers as a dipping device before.  I thought that was a smart idea.  Pending how ripe your mango is may make the pesto more liquidy so you can add more pine nuts to thicken.  I modified the original recipe slightly to what is shown below and I doubled the below for our party of 10.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 0
Total Time: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings
Taste: Good


1.5 packed cups of fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, plus 1 tbs to thicken pesto, plus extra for top garnish
1/3 cup diced mango
juice of 1/2 small lemon when using strong juicer
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
sliced cucumbers, for serving


1. In a food processor, place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, HALF the mango, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until everything is incorporated.

2. Add olive oil and pulse a few more times. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Pour the pesto into a small bowl and stir in the remaining diced mango, extra pine nuts, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes.

4. Serve with sliced cucumbers or crostini

Source: Love and lemons

Tofu Pudding

This is another Scott Jurek recipe (ultra-runner, vegan) used as a protein source after training runs.  Miso contains live active bacteria cultures (like yogurt) so it is a good probiotic which offers some health benefits.  The first time I made it I was hoping Jim didn’t see me because I didn’t want him to know the ingredients of what he was eating to bias the taste.  But he saw me put a big chunk of tofu in the blender and raised eyebrows.  It was surprisingly good I even made it again shortly after.  The first time I used the recommended chia seeds to give it the tapioca type texture, but the second time I used cacao nibs which I think also worked and Jim liked better.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 min
Chill Time: 20 min
Total Time: 25 min
Yield: ~4 servings
Taste: Good


16 ounces silken (soft) tofu, drained
3 tbs maple syrup
3 tbs raw carob powder or cocoa powder
1 tsp miso
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs chia seeds or cocoa nibs
Mint sprigs for garnish


  1. Place the tofu, maple syrup, carob, miso, and vanilla in a blender and blend for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the chia seeds.
  3. Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes, then serve in small bowl garnished with mint.

Source: Scott Jurek

Xocolatl (Date Cacao) Energy Balls

This is a recipe from ultra runner & vegan Scott Jurek’s book.  He uses them as a snack on his runs with the cacao nibs yielding an energy boost with their caffeine.  It’s very similar to my other date ball recipe but is another Whole30 approved recipe with no added sweetener.

I didn’t find Mequite powder which he mentioned can be omitted but adds a subtle sweetness and robust finish.  He also calls for red pepper flakes which I enjoy for an added flavor profile with some heat, but Jim prefers without it.

Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 deg F which makes the consistency of these quite different when refrigerated vs room temperature.  I like them either way.  When cold they are more solid vs room temperature quite soft.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Chill Time: 20 min
Total Time: 55 min
Yield: 6-7 balls
Taste: Good


1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
1/2 cup raw cashews
8 medium dates
1 tsp mesquite powder (optional)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp raw vanilla powder or extract
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid consistency)


  1. Combine all ingredients except coconut oil in a food processor and process for 3 to 5 minutes until chopped to a fine consistency.  Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the melted coconut oil and stir until well combined.
  3. Form into 1-inch round balls and place on waxed paper.  Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes and transfer to an airtight container.
  4. The balls will keep for 2 weeks refrigerated.

Source: Scott Jurek

Roasted Veggie Quinoa Bowl with Miso Turmeric Dressing

I had a large tub of miso I bought for this pudding and was looking for some other uses for it.  I came across this dish which is a great anti-inflammatory and probiotic-rich ingredients with the turmeric and miso dressing.  It is a good simple adaptable recipe that I used with whatever veggies I hand on hand.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Yields: 4
Taste: Good


3 cups broccoli florets (or a mix of whatever veggies you have on hand: carrots, asparagus, peppers, zucchini, etc.)
1/2 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white quinoa
1/3 cup roasted chopped cashews
Optional garnish: thinly sliced green onion, sesame seeds

Miso-Tumeric Dressing
3 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. sesame oil (not toasted)
1 Tbsp. white miso paste
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger


  1. Roasting Vegetable: Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread broccoli and red onion on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, ½ tsp. of the salt, and black pepper. Bake for 23 to 27 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
    Sauteing Vegetables: Add olive oil to a large pan and warm on medium heat.  Once warm, add in vegetables, salt, and black pepper and stir on occasion until veggies are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare quinoa by combining quinoa with 2 cups water and remaining ½ tsp salt in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam, covered, 5 additional minutes; fluff with a fork.
  3. Prepare sauce by whisking vinegar, sesame oil, miso, turmeric, and ginger in a small bowl until smooth.
  4. Add quinoa, veggies and dressing into a large mixing bowl.  Toss to combine and garnish with cashews and green onion, if desired.

    Serving size: ¼th of recipe Calories: 280 Fat: 18 gm Saturated fat: 3 gm Carbohydrates: 23 gm Sugar: 3 gm Sodium: 860 mg Fiber: 5 gm Protein: 8 gm



Garlic Scape Pesto

I received some garlic scapes in a recent CSA box.  Honestly, I’ve never seen or hear of them before.  They are the garlic root stems and similar to a green onion, but a little thicker and more of a garlic flare to them.  I like this pesto as it is not super oily.  I used it on top of grilled salmon and also pasta.  It also used sunflower seeds which are not as expensive as the typical pine nuts found in pesto recipes, but seemed to yield similar results. 
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Total Time: 15 min
Yield: ~ 1 cup
Taste: Good

~10 to 12 garlic scapes
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup basil leaves
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste

1. Place the garlic scapes in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds.
2. Add the sunflower seeds and pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the olive oil and process on high for 15 seconds.
4. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until the ingredients are combined.5. Add the basil and lemon juice, and process until reaching the desired consistency.

6. Add salt to taste and serve immediately.

Source: New York Times Cooking

Yangnyeomjang – Korean Seasoning Sauce

This was a flavorful, not very spicy sauce I used with my recent Korean BBQ dinner I whipped up.  Jim really liked it and it is quite easy.  It can be a dipping sauce, a marinade, or even toss it on some noodles or rice.

Gochugaru is a fermented chili paste of coarsely ground red pepper.  I was surprised to find it at my local grocery store.   I tripled the original recipe for our party of 6 which was too much, doubled would have been good.  Below is the original size.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 0
Total Time: 10 min
Yield: 1/4 cup
Taste: Good


3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons gochugaru
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, crushed or whole
1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 scallion, chopped


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust quantities, if desired

Source:  The Kitchn

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancakes

I have previously made some super simple 2-ingredient sweet potato pancakes.   They are impressive for the ease of them, but I wanted to make a bit heartier denser version for a brinner.  I ended up three-quartering the recipe below to yield 8 pancakes 2-3 servings.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 10-12
Taste: Good

Added pear slices


1 cup mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potato puree
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: fruit, maple syrup for serving


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sweet potatoes, 1 cup of the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract. Whisk in the melted butter, making sure to whisk constantly so you don’t cook the egg if it’s still warm.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the potato mixture until just combined, then stir in the remaining buttermilk until no lumps remain
  3. Heat a large skillet or electric griddle over medium heat and butter it if desired. Add the pancake batter to the skillet 1/4 cup at a time, slightly smoothing it out if needed. Cook until bubbles appear on the tops of the batter rounds (about 2 minutes or so) and then flip, cooking for another minute or two. Remove and repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with optional maple syrup.