Vegetarian Family

A Peek @ Food We Eat & Things We Do!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Pesto, Pancakes, Pineapple, & Peanut Butter

Look under "P" in Webster's and you'll find it all. This is 'Classic Pesto' from VwaV, pg. 132. This recipe had two strikes against it before I began: 1. Art isn't a huge pesto fan. 2. I don't like walnuts. I made it anyway. We had an abundance of the ingredients and I wanted something different for the soba noodles. The pesto was a big hit & rated super delicious. I skipped the nutritional yeast, but plan to add it next time.

The basil and tomatoes for the pesto dish came from our organic garden! Look how grown in it is
compared to when we first planted it. It is such a joy to cook what you grow.

And, the walnuts for the pesto came from our walnut tree! Here you see Jolie really making the squirrels work to get the walnuts. The squirrels rule the tree-top & down below the walnut shells are furiously flying. We have walnut trees sprouting up all over the yard from them forgetting their stash. Even after the squirrels and crows have had their fill of walnuts, we still have a bunch left over.

Because I don't care for the taste of walnuts, I usually end up doing something silly them. We had a dinner party and guests each received walnut-mouse wine charms. Art's is blue & mine is brown, and everybody else took their unique colored mice home with them.
When Liv's birthday party theme was "ducks", I made walnut-duck party favors. People's names were written in sharpie on the back. Or, I'll just glitter pen people's names on walnuts as a place marker. But now, I look at the walnuts & I visualize P*E*S*T*O!

These are 'Banana Bliss Pancakes' from Vive le Vegan! pg. 19. I followed the recipe exactly and we just put a little Earth Balance on top. They are quite satisfying and next time I'll plan ahead and make the blueberry maple syrup on the next page for some added sweetness.

Last night, I made 'Pineapple Lemon Bars' from Vive pg. 135. We were out of lemon, so these are technically 'Pineapple Lime Bars' and there's some coconut in the recipe too. Instead of arrowroot powder, I used corn starch; and I opted for the wheat free version and used spelt flour. We ate them warm from the oven and they were good. This morning, I ate one for breakfast and it was amazing. To us, these are best chilled. This is my kind of breakfast bar.

Back up one page, and you get 'Peanut "Better" Cookies'. Again, I followed the recipe exactly -- utilizing the spelt flour option. I really like the quantity that this recipe yields. 12 cookies - one pan - not too much - just enough. The title fits. These are better peanut butter cookies. And it's a wholesome cookie that I can feel really good about giving the girls, who by the way, LOVED them.


Blogger KleoPatra said...

Oh Vicki, i love your walnuts! HOW CUTE ARE THOSE? I also don't care for walnuts, but what you did with 'em... i think i'm in love!!

Your banana bliss pancakes look so fluffy and light! And again with the cool mosaic tile in the background. I ate veg*n waffles with blueberries and maple syrup the other morning... yummy!

Way to use lime with those pineapple bars. Isn't variety the spice (and sweetness!) of life? Great breakfast treat! Do you drink coffee? I don't but i would think that if one drinks it, coffee (or tea) would go well with these babies...

Jolie is so intent/intense in that photo. She must be goin' to town back in the yard. Such a great, great yard and garden! When Peter and i took Heidi and Mattie with us to Balboa Park yesterday (and today) we had 'em on leashes most of the time, and it was a good thing 'cause they were really Jonesin' to get the squirrels like i have never before seen! Crazed curs :o)

The pesto dish looks great. I'm not huge on pesto either but i sure like the look of this. Great white bowl, too. I want to touch the circular lines... It's like artwork, that photo of the food.

I made peanut butter cookies last night as well... not vegan, although there weren't any added eggs on my part... and not from scratch... and as it would befit me (and my laziness) in not making them from scratch, yours look soooooooo much better!

11:13 PM  
Blogger raising_kahne said...

Yummy. I <3 anything peanut butter, and those look awesome! I have to make these soon!

I also have one(very random and crazy) question. I personally would be thrilled if I could afford everything organic, but I cant. haha The majority of fruits and veggies I buy are organic, including things like peanut butter, beans,most bread, rice, and quite a bit of other stuff. My question is what should I definatelly buy organic? I dont know if you can buy almost everything organic or not, but I thought you probabaly had more knowledge on this than I! Also, about oils(olive, sesame, safflower, etc.) is there some that I should definately make sure are organic?

Sorry to ramble on like this, I know I sound crazy! : )

p.s. Those Pineapple Lime bars look awesome!

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Vegan Diva said...

The pesto pasta looks really good. It sounds like something my husband would enjoy. Loved the pic of your garden. I enjoy gardening. Right now I have a container garden. The walnut-mice are so cute! You're other treats look yummy as well, especially the cookies made with spelt flour.

6:14 AM  
Blogger raising_kahne said...

Oh, one more thing to add on the is-it-safe-to-use-non-organic-list: Spices and herbs(onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, dried parsley, oregano, cinamon, cumin, paprika, etc.) do they usually have things in them that are unsafe(or nasty) like some conventional produce does?? Sorry Im asking so much, but I havent really found any organic spices and such, and have never read about them. lol

7:04 AM  
Blogger madeinalaska said...

wow that pesto looks really good!after all i am a carb additic! actually all of the food does! silly squirrels huh? does yours tease your dogs? we have some that live in our trees and sometimes they just torment our poor dogs...

hey raising kahne.. about those organic spices they all taste way better then non organic! do you have a costco by you? ours sells some pretty good organic spices.. or i wonder if in your bulk section they have organic spices.. that is a very cost effective way to buy spice or not, its the way to go...sorry to but in here Vicky, i hope you don't mind

7:41 AM  
Blogger JAM*tacular said...

*Love* the walnut creatures, especially the mice. Very clever :) Hmmm, there must be a walnut tree somewhere in my neighborhood...

8:04 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hey, Raising Kahne, grow your own organic veggies! And I agree--one benefit of organic food that I found out on my own when I started using it was the *flavor.* It tastes SO much better! Start with what you can afford and work up from there.

One thing to think about (though if you can't afford it, you can't afford it) is that the true price of conventionally grown food is much higher than what you pay for it. If you think pesticides on your food is bad, think about the farm worker who is around high quantities of them every day. The average age of death of a farm worker in the US is 49. Plus, conventional farming kills off the biodiversity, leaving the environment impoverished, which is bad for our plants (which is probably a good portion of where that flavor is lost in conventional farming).

9:56 AM  
Blogger Luna said...

hi vicki!pasto con pesto ;-) i love pesto but i can't imagine it with walnuts...isn't it to bitter?we usually use pine-seed and in some cases(but i don't like it) almonds!but i will try with walnuts and then make mice for my two cats ;-)

11:28 AM  
Blogger Shananigans said...

This all looks soooo good! I love walnuts and try to work them into just about everything I bake. Too bad you’re not too fond of them, and you’re the one with the walnut tree lol! I’ve put walnuts in pesto a few times when I was out of pine nuts, I think they taste fine but nothing is as good as pine nuts. Since you grew so many of the ingredients yourself, it had to taste just awesome.

I love lemon bars, and I’d love to try and make a vegan batch of them so thanks for the inspiration. My mom’s recipe included some ridiculous number of eggs, like 6 I think for a pan. Yikes!

1:26 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Those mouse-walnuts are so cute! I think I've seen turtles made out of walnut shells and other nuts.

Everything out of Vive looks so good! The banana pancakes look really fluffy. The pineapple lemon bars sound really yummy, I should make them soon. Though I didn't make mine wheat-free, I've made those peanut butter cookies before and they *are* really good! Yours look perfect.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hey Vicki, everything looks AWESOME!

What kind of soba noodles do you buy? Mine are a dark brown/almost greyish color (appetizing, I realize.) I think they are buckwheat . . . do they make plain soba noodles?

4:55 PM  
Blogger EatPeacePlease said...

I love the walnut idea! It's so cute. Everything looks great, especially those cookies. Yum.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What great walnuts! I wish I could come over and take them off your hands. I love making walnut tofu loafs in the winter...they taste like xmas dinner!

7:41 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

How awesome that you have both walnuts and basil in your yard!!

The food looks amazing...

I've been eyeing the Pineapple lemon bars.. they look soo good.. Soon, I will be baking! hmm.. I'm kind of afraid of vegan baking.. because for so long I have not been tempted to eat baked goods because I've always hated eggs... and now, all of a sudden, there are all of these options... oy..

Oh well, at least it will be better for my kids!

8:40 PM  
Blogger funwithyourfood said...

you've had the oven going girl. aren't you hot?!
those are cute walnuts :)


9:51 PM  
Anonymous tara said...

Cookies everywhere! I love it. Spelt flour does somethng amazing to cookies, in my opinion. I still haven't tried that peanut better cookie recipe, but I'll have to.

Dreena's blueberry maple syrup recipe is excellent. You'll love it.

I really need to try those lemon bars, too. Everyone who's made them (that I've seen) has raved about them.

Great pictures of great food.

And ADORABLE walnuts! :D

8:29 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Everything looks awesome! I want to make those Pineapple Lemon Bars asap!! If you haven't already, you should make the Rasberry Coconut Squares (another Dreena recipe). They are delish.

10:31 AM  
Blogger Tanya Kristine said...

lordy. you have been BUSY! and i loved the VwaV walnut pesto...had a really nice flavor and i'm not the biggest pesto fan either.

my next up is the coconut lime cookies. why is it lime, if you've had it in the fridge a hwile, turn ROCK hard??/

1:25 PM  
Blogger Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Those walnut ducks are super cute!!

I just made some pesto to use up our large amount of basil (we used pine nuts instead of walnuts). we've been wondering what do to with the pesto and your dish is a wonderful simple idea. Thanks!


4:42 PM  
Blogger Carrie™ said...

I made those Peanut Better Cookies using spelt flour and I really liked them done that way. They're not sicky sweet either.
Your garden looks awesome! Isn't it amazing what comes from little tiny seeds?
Great post Vicki!

8:06 PM  
Blogger Harmonia said...

I seriously have to get my hands on the pesto recipe!


Blogger is giving me trouble on commenting all of a sudden so...this is Harmonia. Sorry about that.

Hope to see you in Veggin' Out when you have time!

6:47 AM  
Blogger theONLYtania said...

Wow, those peanut better cookies look perfect! I might have to make them soon. Same with the pancakes.

And I keep seeing everyone make the pineapple lemon bars. I've got a long list of baked goods just waiting to be made now!

7:20 AM  
Blogger Urban Vegan said...

my god you are Prolific.

1:01 PM  
Blogger KleoPatra said...

P.S. You wrote about Leonora's on my blog to someone there who posted about Vegan Express. I HAVE BEEN THERE! I could NOT remember the name, so thank you for the reminder!! I was dating that awful monster who lived part-time in L.A. and i went there w/him a few times. Such great food!!! Did you ever get to Orean Express in Pasadena? More great eats up there in LA-LA land...

4:38 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

yes i did, kleo! orean express is awesome cuz it's drive-thru --- or in your case, walk through! :o)

5:44 PM  
Blogger Melissa West said...

Vicki! I am jealous about the walnut tree! I love walnuts. This reminds me of an episode of take home chef where there was a woman with a lemon tree in her backyard. She never used them except to put them down the garbage disposal to freshen things up!

2:47 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Hi Vicki!
Thanks for visiting my blog! I made the pesto from VwaV and I used pine nuts instead. I did add nutritional yeast- it made it creamier. It was fantastic with penne, sundried tom, black olives and mushrooms. My omni brother tried it and said it was the best he had ever tasted...

9:32 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Hi Karen!
I should try the pasta with pine nuts (after walnut season is over) & then I would have some nuts left over for Dreena's cannellini yam hummus -- I never have them on hand. your recipe sounds delicious -- isn't it rewarding pleasing omnis?

9:57 AM  
Blogger Allie said...

Hello Vicki,

I'm in Boise too - I love your garden and the cookies looks amazing. I'll have to try that recipe for my hubby and toddler.

It's warming to spring and I'm heading out to the yard.

-Allie Hobbs

9:52 AM  
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