Pesto Recipe

Pesto RecipeBelow is a winter greens pesto recipe from the Whole Foods Market website. I like the fact this pesto recipe includes the stems as there are nutrients in the stems and very often it is advised in recipes to dispose of them. Stems could be composted or taste good in a recipe. I have started growing my own basil as it will grow roots when placed in water. The issue is I do not have basil at this point. Pesto is one of the top dishes I make in my food processor. The food processor is a 1970s invention. A mortar and pestle could be used in place of a food processor and I suppose a blender would also work. A Martha Stewart pesto recipe I make often calls for much more cheese than is recipe (1/2 cup for 4 cups of basil leaves). When I make the recipe with just the basil leaves and not the stems it tastes better, but is more time consuming. This recipe uses lemon juice but the Martha Stewart recipe does not. I just purchased a Meyer lemon tree cutting and have no fruit from it yet. Supposedly it is better for the environment and healthy and feasible to have your own small potted Meyer lemon tree at home. The Martha Stewart pesto recipe also suggests toasting the pine nuts but I rarely do that. The yellow grape tomatoes in the photo are from my summer garden. The squirrels will bite the larger tomatoes but these tend to be left alone. I am looking into a better system for saving the seeds. Tomato seeds especially can be tricky to save. 

Winter Greens Pesto 
Ingredients (makes about 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup nuts or seeds, such as sunflower seeds, walnuts or pine nuts
  • 2 cups firmly packed chopped raw winter greens (stems included), such as kale, chard, collard greens or mustard greens
  • 3 tablespoons grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan or Romano
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a food processor, combine all ingredients until finely chopped. Olive oil can be poured in the machine feed tube while ingredients are chopped. Toss with choice of cooked pasta noodles such as penne or spaghetti. 

Note: Refrigerate sauce and cover with olive oil and then plastic wrap pressed onto the pesto if not using immediately. Pesto can keep for around seven days when tossed with pasta noodles. It is also a good sandwich or roasted vegetables spread. I have watched a few YouTube videos were they place a chicken in a slow cooker with pesto. Pesto tossed with pasta noodles can be frozen and then baked or microwaved later. There are pesto recipes that use sun-dried tomatoes which I have not tried yet but would like to. Pestos made with sunflower seeds will have a thicker texture and adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of water  will create a saucier texture. 

Nutritional Info Per Serving: Serving size: 2 tablespoons, 70 calories (60 from fat), 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 95mg sodium, 3g carbohydrates, (1 g dietary fiber), 2g protein.

Nutritional information for educational purposes only. Use own discretion and follow advice of health-care provider. Check product labels for the most recent ingredient information. 

Source: Accessed 11/28/16 Whole Foods Market ‘Winter Greens Pesto’ 


Buttermilk Drop Biscuits Recipe

This recipe requires five ingredients and I enjoy making these when I have buttermilk at home along with Martha Stewart’s buttermilk mashed potatoes. I found this recipe on a Grit magazine YouTube video. They are not overly complicated and the ingredients are simple and natural. The only thing that might be chemical is the flour and whole wheat flour can definitely be used for half if not all of the flour if desired. I am somewhat surprised these are a homemade staple as growing up we tended to have the store bought bread on the table. I definitely enjoy these and plan to make them in the future again. I tend to always use parchment paper when I bake to avoid burnt biscuits or pans with a great deal of grease stuck to them. I have used buttered pans in the past and it did not work out right. If I have parchment paper I use it as it nearly always prevents burnt cookies, biscuits etc.


  • 3.5 cups flourButtermilk Drop Biscuits Recipe
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Combine all dry ingredients. Cut butter into fine crumbles pieces and add along with buttermilk. Stir until will combined and add more buttermilk if it is not sticky enough. Place nine quarter cups on greased cookie sheet. Place in oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


I found this recipe on a Grit magazine YouTube video. Accessed January 17, 2016. The video is below.

Pasta Amatriciana Recipe

I enjoy this recipe as it comes across as slightly different and healthier than buying spaghetti sauce in a jar. It does give you extra sauce. I like to add mushrooms and extra sausage to it. It is from the back of a Holland House Red Cooking Wine bottle. I have tried this with different wines. The cooking wine is the most affordable, however, I tasted a sip of it and thought it was very bad tasting. Definitely something you would not want to drink by itself. I have also tried it with cans of diced tomatoes and even plum tomatoes. I will stock up with the cans of tomatoes at the store. I have added canned tomatoes to rice in the rice cooker. This is a fairly quick recipe and the website or has lots of similar recipes I am looking forward to trying.

IngredientsPasta Amatriciana

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. bacon, cooked, drained, chopped
  • 2 (28 oz each) cans plum or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup Holland House Red Cooking Wine
  • Ground pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 lb pasta, cooked


Heat oil in heavy pan over medium heat. Saute onion until soft. Stir in garlic and bacon for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, wine and spices. Simmer on low, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta, with cheese. Serves 6.


Holland House Red Wine Cooking Bottle ( or

Websites from some of the ingredients used:

  • (can of mushrooms has recipe for individual quiche biscuits on can)
  • (four cheese pasta sauce)
  • (sun-dried tomato chicken sausage, website has recipes)
  • (can of diced tomatoes, has recipe for tomato beef macaroni inside label)
  • (southwestern chicken patties)

Scrambled Eggs Mexican

Below is a recipe for scrambled eggs Mexican. This would still taste good without the sausage and a quick Internet search brings up many different variations of this recipe many of which do not include the sausage. It is also called huevos a la Mexicana or Mexican-style scrambled eggs and definitely tastes great. For a healthier version the turkey sausage or even a tofu vegan imitation ground beef would work well. As no one wants to watch sausage being made two sites to check out for smart ways to buy and eat meat are and Of course, in moderation it is not bad to eat a little unhealthy and it is difficult to always have a flawlessly healthy diet. A starving person would most likely be happy to eat sausage from grain-fed animals. Pretty much all sausage tastes great, but it is worth it to pay extra for a higher quality meat. Food affects your health. With food what is healthy for some is not healthy for everyone. Some people have too little protein in their diets and others too much. For the photo, guacamole and pico de gallo is added on the side. Greek yogurt instead of sour cream would make a good topping too. This time I used pork sausage, but in the future I would definitely use a healthier sausage such as ground turkey or a imitation vegan tofu version or no meat. This is almost like an omelet and when evaporated milk is used it has a very nice creamy taste. Generally, the more high quality and fresh ingredients used the better the taste, and most food tastes best right off the stove and not a day or more old.


  • 1/2 lb bulk pork sausage
  • 1/2 c onion, chopped fineScrambled Eggs Mexican Ingredients
  • 1/3 c green and red peppers, diced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated


Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. When it no longer has a red color, drain most of the hot grease off the sausage and add the chopped onions, diced peppers, chili powder, and cumin. Continue to cook and stir until onions and pepper are just tender. Meanwhile beat the eggs until light and frothy. Add milk and stir well. Mix in the salt and pepper. Pour over meat mixture. When eggs begin to set, stir gently allowing uncooked eggs to flow to the bottom. Continue to stir gently until eggs are almost completely set. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese and cover for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. Serves 6-8 people.Scrambled Eggs Mexican

Onion, peppers, and seasonings can be varied to taste. Evaporated milk will make eggs creamier.

To reduce fat: Substitute ground turkey for sausage. Will need to add 2 T of oil to brown the turkey. Cholesterol-free egg substitute may be used in place of whole eggs. Skim milk may be used in place of whole milk.

Serving suggestion: Delicious served with warm salsa and a dollop of sour cream.


Christian Light Education. HOME EC LU 1, Introduction to the Kitchen. Sunrise Edition. Christian Light Publications, Inc. Harrisonburg: VA, 2008.

ISBN 0-87813-942-7 – Learn to Cook and Sew … with a Home Economics Course – Home Economics I Christian Light Education LightUnit 1 –

Freeze-Ahead Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna Whole Foods

Serves 8

Below is a recipe for chicken and artichoke lasagna from This was definitely a delicious and filling recipe and I would make it again. It does use three different types of cheeses and for a very healthy recipe you should probably stick to a vegan lasagna recipe. Traditional lasagna recipes use beef and many of the vegetarian recipes use eggplant but still have three types of cheese.  I ended up using extra tomato sauce and cheese and noodles. I doubled the recipe and have one extra dish in the freezer. I have to remember to remove the plastic and cover the baking dish with foil before cooking. I forgot to do that twice before and the plastic melts on the food and ruins it.  The picture to the lower right was never frozen and I put it in the oven at 350°F for about 70 minutes as I wanted the cheese completely melted. At the grocery store all of the rotisserie chickens were around two pounds so I ended up buying two eight pound roaster chickens and cooking those and using them for the recipe. Also ended up using the food processor for chopping the chicken and artichoke hearts and grating the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.Chicken Lasagna Ingredients


  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) container (2 cups) ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) jar tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles (half a box)
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Remove wings and drumsticks from chicken and set aside for another use, such as lunch. Discard skin; pull meat from breast and thighs and chop it. Combine in a bowl with chopped artichokes. In another bowl, stir together ricotta, egg and salt.Freeze-Ahead Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna

In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, pour a thin layer of tomato sauce and top with a layer of noodles. Cover with half the ricotta and sprinkle with some mozzarella. Top with another layer of noodles, a thin layer of sauce and the chicken-artichoke mixture.  Layer noodles, more sauce and remaining ricotta on top, and sprinkle with cheese. Put a final layer of noodles on top, spread with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with plastic wrap, seal tightly with foil, and freeze up to 2 months.

To bake, remove foil, discard plastic and re-cover with foil. Bake at 400°F until bubbling, 60 to 75 minutes. Remove foil, raise heat to 450°F and bake until browned, about 10 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutritional Info:

Per Serving: 430 calories (140 from fat), 16g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 150mg cholesterol, 1420mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 36g protein


Whole Foods Market (accessed Saturday, January 21, 2015)DSC00302

Websites on ingredient boxes:


Freeze-Ahead Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna Word document

Creamy Chicken Biscuits

This recipe for creamy chicken biscuits can be made ahead of time and is good for potlucks and parties. It is a great dish to make with chicken leftovers. Make sure not to overcook the biscuits and use fresh ingredients. Celery goes bad rather quick from my personal experience. It is a good tasting recipe. In this batch I used a balsamic vinaigrette dressing and I was able to taste that rather strongly in the biscuits. Thought maybe it would be good to spread on crackers as a dip also.


  • 1.5 c chopped cooked chickencreamy chicken biscuits ingredients
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 1/2 c celery, chopped
  • 1/2 c salad dressing
  • 2 T onion, chopped
  • 2 t onion salt
  • 2 cans refrigerated biscuits


Please all ingredients except biscuits in food processor. Process until coarsely chopped. Bake biscuits according to package directions. Cool. Split the biscuits horizontally. Spread the chicken spread on bottom half of each biscuit. Top with second half of biscuit. Makes 16 – 20 small sandwiches.

Websites from ingredients

  • calorganicfarms.comcreamy chicken biscuits


Christian Light Education. HOME EC LU 4, Meal Planning, Preparation, and Presentation. Sunrise Edition. Christian Light Publications, Inc. Harrisonburg: VA, 2008.

ISBN 0-87813-942-7 – Learn to Cook and Sew … with a Home Economics Course – Home Economics I Christian Light Education LightUnit 4 –

Low-Cal Minestrone Soup

Below is a recipe for low-cal minestrone soup. The pictures are my own, and I the recipe tasted great to me. I would definitely make this again and it was not too difficult to cook. It is from a Christian Light Publication book cited at the bottom of this post.

IngredientsLow-Cal Minestrone Soup Ingredients

  • 2/3 c chopped onion
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 lb turkey sausage
  • 1/2 c fresh parsley
  • 1/4 t powdered garlic
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 1/2 t salt, or to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6 c chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 c elbow macaroni
  • 1 can northern beans

DirectionsLow-Cal Minestrone Soup

In a large kettle, over low-medium heat, saute onion in oil until tender – about four minutes. Add the next seven ingredients. Cook until sausage is no longer pink. Add the broth and vegetables and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for ten minutes. Add the beans and simmer three or four minutes more or until heated through.

Yield: 16 one-cup servings

Hint: Make chicken broth with 6 c water and 6 t chicken bouillon.

This is a filling soup, but one cup equals only 170 calories.


Christian Light Education. HOME EC LU 4, Meal Planning, Preparation, and Presentation. Sunrise Edition. Christian Light Publications, Inc. Harrisonburg: VA, 2008.

ISBN 0-87813-942-7 – Learn to Cook and Sew … with a Home Economics Course – Home Economics I Christian Light Education LightUnit 4 –

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Below is a recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from a Christian Light Education unit cited at the end of this post. oatmeal chocolate chip cookies ingredientsThe pictures are my own, taken from home. I was happy with the taste of the cookies and would definitely make them again.


  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 1 c margarine (or 1/2 c each of margarine and shortening)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp maple flavoring (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking sodaoatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  • 3 c quick oats
  • 12 oz (2 c) chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • sifted powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl


Cream brown sugar and shortening. Add eggs and continue beating until mixture is well mixed. Add maple and vanilla flavorings. Put flour, salt, baking powder, and soda into sifter. Sift about 1/3 of flour mixture into creamed mixture and beat until well blended. Add another 1/3 of mixture, beat well; then add final third and beat until mixture is blended. Clean sides of bowl often.

Fold in oatmeal, chocolate chips, and walnuts by hand. Roll in balls the size of a large walnut, roll in powdered sugar and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350º F (177º C) or until lightly browned. A cracked or crinkled appearance is normal. After baking, allow cookies to cool one or two minutes on baking sheets before removing to a rack. Makes 4 dozen. oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Metric equivalents:

  • 1/2 c = 120 ml
  • 1 c =225 ml
  • 1 tsp = 5 ml


Christian Light Education. HOME EC LU 1 (Home Economics I LightUnit 1), Introduction to the Kitchen. Sunrise Edition. Christian Light Publications, Inc. Harrisonburg: VA, 2008.

Sausage Patties

Below is a recipe for sausage patties from a Christian Light Education unit. Instead of pork sausage or ground turkey I actually used ground chicken thigh. The pictures are below along with a YouTube video from that uses ground turkey. I thought the recipe still tasted great with the ground chicken instead of the ground turkey. This is nice for breakfast and could work as mini hamburgers for lunch.  Definitely a recipe worth trying and it is not too difficult to make. It just takes a little extra time compared to buying pre-packaged.


  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb pork sausage or ground turkey
  • 1 t each salt, marjoram, sage
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 c quick oats


Beat the egg. Add ground meat, seasonings, and oats. Mix thoroughly. Shape into eight or ten flat patties. Fry over low heat, turning once to brown meat on both sides. For pork, add no oil to the skillet. For turkey, add two tablespoons of oil. Hint: Shape meat into balls then flatten with a metal spatula.


Christian Light Education. HOME EC LU 4, Meal Planning, Preparation, and Presentation. Sunrise Edition. Christian Light Publications, Inc. Harrisonburg: VA, 2008.

ISBN 0-87813-942-7 – Learn to Cook and Sew … with a Home Economics Course – Home Economics I Christian Light Education LightUnit 4 –

sausage pattiesingredients sausage patties

Tuna Salad

Below is a recipe for tuna salad from Christian Light Publications with pictures. The pictures are my own and I took them from home. I have made this recipe before with salmon and still thought it tasted great. I am not that picky though. Of course, the fresher the ingredients the better it tastes. Make sure to use the hard-boiled eggs within around three days. I once made the hard-boiled eggs in advance and had them sit for like a week, putting off making the recipe and they went bad and I had to toss them in the garbage. I found an egg slicer at the dollar store and it cuts hard-boiled eggs very nicely and I enjoy using it. Definitely worth the buy if you can find it and enjoy recipes like this tuna salad occasionally.  Still, it is not necessary.


  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine
  • 1 can (7 oz) tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/8 c minced onion
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1/4 t salt


Soften cream cheese at room temperature for 1 hour. Cream the cream cheese and mix with other ingredients. Chill for one hour. Spread on sandwich buns or bread. Makes 4 – 6 sandwiches depending on size of buns.


Christian Light Education. HOME EC LU 4, Meal Planning, Preparation, and Presentation. Sunrise Edition. Christian Light Publications, Inc. Harrisonburg: VA, 2008.

ISBN 0-87813-942-7 – Learn to Cook and Sew … with a Home Economics Course – Home Economics I Christian Light Education LightUnit 4 –

Tuna Salad IngredientsTuna Salad Sandwich