Wednesday, May 10, 2006

miso pesto, harira and apricot blondies

This week I made three recipes from Nava Atlas's website.

Spinach miso pesto with noodles (Robina's adaptation, which is also based on the same recipe

18 oz baby spinach
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons miso
3 cloves garlic (I love garlic, but this might be too much for some)
10 oz bag of soba noodles (I already had these in my pantry, but I bet it would
work well w/Udon or even whole wheat spaghetti)

1. Steam the spinach until wilted, let cool for a bit and then squeeze out as much
of the water as possible

2. Place the spinach, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, miso and garlic in a food processor and pulse until a coarse mixture is formed. Taste and adjust as needed - I added a little more basil than the original 1/2 cup.

3. Make the noodles, and top the noodles with the pesto.

I found that this made A LOT of pesto, way more than I needed for the pasta.
I had enough of the pesto left over (after taking out three servings worth - basically a big T) to fill an ice cube tray. Freezing the left over pesto and then transferring it to a plastic bag ensures some more quick and easy meals in the future!

Harira based on this recipe
This is a really really easy soup that I love to make. The whole thing, including chopping, rinsing and waiting, took 45 minutes or so.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 large celery stalks, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup dried red lentils
2 teaspoons turmeric
3 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
10 oz package of cherry or other small tomatoes, diced (I just used a food processor)
16 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1. In a soup pot, heat the oil and add the onions. Saute over medium heat until
translucent and then add the celery and garlic. Saute until the onions are golden.

2. Add 6 cups of water, the lentils and spices to the onion mixture. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently until the lentils are slightly tender (about 30 minutes).

3. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas (add more water if the soup is too think for your liking), and continue to simmer over low heat. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro and season with salt and pepper (or more lemon juice!).

I had a big bowl of this with some garlic naan from Trader Joes. Perfect.

Apricot Blondies
I am always on the lookout for healthyish deserts, and this one seemed to fit the bill. I am still torn as to whether or not there was too much apricot flavor in these - Anthony hates apricots and liked these, where as I love apricots and felt that the dried apricot was a little too sweet. The original recipe is here.

1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons of cinnamon (I added this on the top right before the oven, but next
time I'll add it into the batter itself)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 single serving container of lowfat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup soymilk, or as needed
3/4 cup finely diced dried apricots
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (the first 6 ingredients) and stir

3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the wet ingredients (the next three and enough soymilk to make the batter smooth, but still slightly stiff). Stir until completely combined. Add in the apricots, chocolate chips and walnuts.

4. Transfer to the baking dish and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let cool in the dish before cutting.

This recipe made 9 really moist and somewhat decadent blondies - I think I need to experiment more with the apricots, though.


jess meller said...


pat and i made the miso pesto with soba noodles the other night for dinner! it was so delicious and EASY. we cut the amount of spinach in half though which made the perfect amount of pesto for the noodles and we had enough left over for a lunch. so good!

tal said...

i am glad you guys liked it! i still have a small bag full of pesto cubes in the my freezer because the recipe makes so much.

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