Sunday, April 30, 2006

Lemon Artichoke Pesto with Bowtie Pasta and toasted Pinenuts

Today I decided I wanted artichokes. I didn't know what dish to make, but all I knew was that I wanted artichokes. So I perused the vast internet of knowledge looking for a good artichoke recipe, and I came upon a few artichoke pesto meals. Okay, that got me interested. I tweaked a few of the recipes I found, and made this dish: Lemon Artichoke Pesto with Bowtie Pasta and toasted Pinenuts. Yum. After I took the picture of my pesto, I added about a handful more of the pinenuts to the bowl, and I am glad I did. I love toasted pinenuts, and they add a fantastic crunch and flavor. Maybe next time I will blend up half of the them with the pesto, and reserve the rest to add to the top.
I didn't bother trying this dish on my kids, as they were giving me the evil eye as I was making it. Anything green on top of pasta is a sin, according to them. I blended up a cup of garden vegetable pasta sauce to add to their bowtie pasta (which they call their little butterflies!). I like to blend their sauces a bit to get rid of any chunkage that might deter them from actually eating it. And plus, I can hide a bunch of different veggies that they would normally scurry away from in the sauce and they are none the wiser....for now.
My husband, John, who we will refer to as the OMNI, said this pesto looked and smelled really good, but has not tried it yet. He had to run to Home Depot for a rake. Whatever.

Lemon Artichoke Pesto w/ Toasted Pinenuts

1 cup canned artichoke hearts, quartered
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes (or more as desired)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
pinenuts, toasted

Blend first seven ingredients, adding olive oil for desired consistency. Top with toasted pinenuts. Devour.

I ate this with a side of steamed baby carrots and a big bowl of kiwi, apple and grapes and a glass of lime-ade. I am satiated now that I have eaten my artichokes, and am pleased with the outcome of this recipe.

Brooke-o-meter, on a scale of one to 10 peas:
8 peas, with room for improvement

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Welcome to the first post of my new blog...Vegan Taste Test! As of early February, I became a vegan, after many, many years as a vegetarian. Because of this, there are many vegan foods, products and recipes that I have not tried yet! So I have decided to become a guinea pig of sorts (why are guinea pigs referred to in this manner? I must google that question....) and try new vegan prepackaged products and rate them on my scale: how kid-friendly is it (I have two vegetarian/almost vegan kids, ages 3 and 7), how adult-friendly is it (my tastes are pretty average, yet somewhat daring) and how well does the product rate with my meat-eating husband. I am also going to rate the vegan recipes I make...some from cookbooks, some from other websites and blogs that I read daily, some I make up on my own (be scared). I don't want to limit my taste testing to food products alone, so I will also rate cruelty-free cleaning, hygiene and cosmetic products on occasion....and maybe some of those cool vegan boots I keep checking out online.
Now, keep in mind, I am in no way an expert or a university-trained taste tester. I am merely your average (within reason) stay at home mom who likes a variety of foods, and am willing to go the distance and try as many vegan products as I can. I will be extremely honest, and hopefully a bit humorous, in my reports. If you have suggestions on any products or recipes you would like to me try, please feel free to shoot me a comment. I can't guarantee I will make/buy/try everything requested, but I will make a concerted effort!
Have a good day, and come back again tomorrow to see which product I have tried!

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