Posts Tagged ‘basil’

Last night’s dinner was so delicious and summery.


It was also so easy I was able to make it while doing a grad school chat.

  1. Slice zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes
  2. Place zucchini and eggplant on a foiled cookie sheet, sprayed with pam, and sprinkle with my favorite seasoning, Garlic Wine Seasoning from The Melting Pot restaurant.
  3. Broil for about 10 min, or until browned how you like them. I would have had Brady grill them but he was playing basketball after work and I didn’t want to wait until 9pm to eat!
  4. When veggies are done, slice some fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.
  5. Layer eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. Add cheese and basil. Drizzle with balsamic and EVOO!
  6. Enjoy

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Today was a good day. I ran about 6 miles with Katie this morning, after a delicious mug of iced coffee.

Then I …

  • watered the plants, especially the garden
  • weeded
  • vacuumed the whole house
  • dusted the down stairs
  • cleaned out my hair stuff – headbands and ribbons I don’t use anymore
  • folded laundry and put it away
  • washed the kitchen floor
  • cleaned the bathrooms
  • wrote a few belated thank you notes
  • unloaded the dishwasher
  • painted the mudroom
  • wrote a grad school paper on Increasing Reading Comprehension

I didn’t really leave the house today because I had a ton to do and if I went anywhere, chances are, I would have ended up shopping!

Somewhere in the middle of the list of things I was doing, I stopped for lunch. The perfect lunch. A repeat from last night’s dinner with the addition of some sprialized beets.


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In the collard greens:

  • hummus
  • guac
  • refried beans
  • spiralized beets
  • mango salsa
  • a spoonful of rice
  • spicy taco sauce

Lunch Dessert:


Cherries, Strawberries and AB

Then I had a purple monster(blueberries, banana, Vega Smoothie Infusion, almond milk) around 3:30pm, while I was working on the paper. It was the perfect day to sit outside on the deck and write, warm and sunny but not hot and sweaty.


Then Janelle, Brady’s sister, and I rode on the bike path for about an hour. When we got home, we were hungry!

I have an obsession with cookbooks and cooking magazines, as I assume many people who read food blogs do, and Brady called me out on it this weekend. We were driving to the lake and as always, I was looking through a magazine ripping out recipes I want to try. Brady looked over at what I was doing and said “why don’t you every make any of the those recipes, you are always finding them.” True. Very True.

So tonight I made my own adaptation of Cous Cous Cakes from this month’s Cooking Light. We enjoyed these little cakes/piles of whole grain goodness, with salmon.


Balsamic Honey Salmon

  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey dijon mustard
  • honey
  • salt and pepper

Cover salmon with the listed ingredients and marinate all day!

Quinoa Cakes – adapted from Cooking Light’s CousCous Cakes

  • 1 c. quinoa cooked in 2 c. water
  • 4 fresh basil leaves chopped into little pieces
  • 3 small peppers, chopped into little pieces
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 laughing cow light cheese wedges
  • salt and pepper
  1. Mix cooked quinoa with above ingredients.
  2. Spoon quinoa mixture into a sprayed frying pan.
  3. Let quinoa cook until golden brown on one side and the egg white is cooked.
  4. Serve warm!

* I believe these should be fried a little bit, but I didn’t want to do that so they fell apart. Next time, I will put them on for longer before flipping them!


This recipe was great and I am excited to try some of the other 4083508243 recipes I have ripped out over the past few years!

I am off to do an online grad school chat and visit our neighbors new baby!


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I forgot how much I love my sprializer until I broke it out a few times this week! For this delicious creation I sprialized some raw zucchini.

I then took the raw zuc. noodles and covered them with Almost Oil-less Pesto and mixed in a diced tomato and some thawed artichoke hearts. I then topped it with fresh parmesan cheese.


Isn’t it pretty?! It was one of the most fresh tasting dinners I have had in a while and I loved how most of it was raw! I have been reading a lot about the raw diet and while I am not going to ever eat completely raw, I really believe there are a lot of benefits to this eating approach. Summer is the perfect time for preparing raw foods!

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I LOVE pesto and all things basil! At the moment I have 4 basil plants growing, one in the ground and three in pots. I know, it is a little excessive, but to make pesto you need a ton of basil.

This picture is pretty ugly, but you can imagine how delicious this creamy spread tastes!


Almost Oil-less Basil Pesto Recipe/Ingredient List

  • huge bunch of fresh basil
  • handful of raw almonds
  • big splash of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil – I don’t know if you even need this.
  • handful of fresh parmesan
  • salt and pepper

Blend everything in the magic bullet or a small food processor. Add more of anything you like. This recipe is based on taste preference.   

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This week has flown by. I can’t believe it is already Friday, not that I am complaining, but I really don’t know where the week went. Brady was out of town all week so I didn’t spend much time on dinner – I did eat lots of yummy food though. 🙂 I spent the evenings writing 2 grad school papers, making cookie favors (pics to come) for the wedding we have tomorrow, wrapping presents (Katie’s shower yesterday, wedding this weekend, Mother’s Day) and now I am in Cleveland for a family friend’s funeral before Brady’s cousins wedding tomorrow.

One of the delicious dinners I made for myself which included all of the summer foods in my fridge.

Caprese Salad with a Tofu Twist


  • 1/4 block of tofu drained and cut into cubes
  • 1 zucchini cut into little pieces
  • 1 summer squash cut into little pieces
  • handful of fresh mushrooms, cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp. homemade balsamic vinegrette dressing

Cook the veggies together with the dressing until tender and as soft as you like. In another pan, cook the tofu cubes with a little dressing. When they are slightly crunchy on the outside, add into the veggies and cook together for a minute.

Slice fresh tomato and mozzarella and a little basil and toss together!


Have a great Friday!

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Last night our good friends John and Ashley came over for dinner! It was pouring rain and gross outside so we decided against the cookout and opted for make your own pizzas! John and Ash brought a delicious bottle of Riesling, that tasted like summer!

While we sipped, we made two great pizzas – a his and a hers. Then we started on the sides while the pizzas were cooking!

Classic Tomato Basil

Jen and Kate’s Famous Strawberry Salad:


Boy’s Pizza


White crust with black olives, pepperoni, avocado and mozzarella.

Girl’s Pizza


Wheat crust with zucchini, squash, broccoli and goat cheese.

John and Ash brought dessert too – angel food cake with fresh berries and whipped cream!


It was a great, relaxing night of catching up with two of our favorite friends!!

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Tomato Basil Stacks

Tomato – Basil Stacks


Tomato Basil Stacks

  • sliced tomato
  • fresh basil
  • fresh mozzarella
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

Cut tomato into slices and layer with mozzarella. Cover with strips of basil and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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All growing up and all through college, even now, my family has always had Sunday Night Dinner.  It is a time when anyone home (friends and family) is able to share dinner,  tell funny stories and  teach my mom something new (and sometimes inappropriate – Cindy!!).   It always worked well in my house because my dad traveled during the week, my mom worked late  some nights and we always had some sort of weeknight activity or sport.  At all college breaks and during summer we would look forward to Sunday Night Dinner with everyone, the more the merrier!

Since we can not partake in the Sunday Night Dinners when we are not in Cleveland, we often have our own!  Sometimes we have friends over, sometimes we go to Brady’s parents, sometimes we just make something cozy at home and get prepped for the week.

Tonight we have a great Sunday Night Dinner.  Our close friends Jen and Duke, and Micca and Josh (and baby Reese) came over!  I wanted to make something easy, healthy and fresh.  It had to be easy and almost ready when they came because we had a 7 month old baby to play with!!  I LOVE babies!  I mean really love them!  If dinner was not almost done, we would have had to get pizza because I would have been distracted!

The menu was inspired by a Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller show I watched earlier in the week.  Here is what I did:

Tomato Basil Chicken over Italian Robusto Quinoa

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in tomato basil marinade
  • 1 c. skinless garlic
  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 chicken boullion cubes
  • 1/2 c. chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 c. arugula
  • 1/4 c. fresh parm.
  1. Set oven to 415 degrees and bake chicken for 30 minutes or until it is cooked in all the way through.
  2. Wrap garlic cloves in foil and bake with chicken until tender
  3. In a sauce pot, add water, boullion, and quinoa.
  4. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until quinoa is cooked.
  5. When quinoa is hot and still on the stove, add arugula, garlic, roasted red peppers, parm, and tomatoes.
  6. Stir and heat all together.
  7. Place quinoa on a serving dish and place cooked chicken on top.  Serve together.

This dish was great!  It had a lot of flavors and was very filling, thanks to all the protein and fiber from the chicken and quinoa.


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This is wonderful!! I ate it on salad, pretzels, carrots, and a sandwich! So easy to make. Perfect for a party, a snack or a meal!

Tomato Basil Hummus

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • fresh pesto (oil-free and made with almonds and the end of my basil


Mix all together in the little mini Cuisineart food processor! For the brides, this is the best kitchen gadget! Make sure you register for it – Crate and Barrel: $29.95 (or something) Way worth it! Thanks Katie!!

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We had a great time last night and all day today with our friends! It’s not easy acting like you are in college, while really living in the real world. 🙂

For our sunday dinner I wanted to make something I knew would be good, and also try something new.  I decided on:

Italian Herb Shishkabobs

Italian Herb Shishkabobs

  • chicken (cut into chunks)
  • green peppers
  • sweet peppers
  • onions
  • summer squash
  • Italian herbs – basil, oregano, thyme,
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. olive oil

Mix all veggies with spices, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Repeat the same with the chicken.

Caprese Bulgar (new recipe, soo good!)

Caprese Bulgar

  • 1 c. bulgar cooked with 2 c. water
  • 6 med. tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. small cubed fresh mozzarella
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 chopped fresh basil

Mix all fresh ingredients into hot bulgar.  Add extra salt and pepper as needed.  The cheese will melt  a little with the hot bulgar, making the dish stick together.

Spinach-Berry- Goat Cheese Salad (the usual) 🙂

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