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Monday, August 28, 2006

Pesto Pasta & Fruit Bars

We had another great weekend. The rain passed and it was bright and sunny. We enjoyed some Mexican food with my cousin, Jessie, on Friday night; went shopping at the Mall of America on Saturday night (best time to go and beat the crowds); and rode our bikes to a family get-together on Sunday. We really need to go to the grocery store so we can make some meals this week. Here's some stuff we made from food on hand:

This meal was quite simple. I had made some basil pesto from the abundance of basil in our crop share. I was inspired by Vicki over at Vegetarian Family on this one. We used some noodles we bought from the Amish Market in Wisconsin, topped it with the pesto and cut up some of the gold cherry tomatoes from our crop share.

Really, quite simple and easy. Next time I’ll use a bit less pesto, but otherwise this was tasty and fresh.

I also recently made some fruit bars. After reading the ingredients in the Larabars, I thought, “I can do this!”. So, I pounded and pounded and pounded a package of dates until they were totally smooshed. Then I pounded in some dried fruit like cherries, cranberries, raisins, apricots, and blueberries. Finally, I added a bit of lemon juice and some cashews.

It was all pressed into a small baking pan and set in the fridge to firm up before cutting into bars.

They are a great grab and go treat or energizer full of fruit and nuts! Since Ryan starts classes again this week, this is perfect to eat during his classes.


  1. Pesto and yellow tomatoes...interesting combo! I wanna know your proportions for your powerbar :)

  2. Jeff - I didn't really go with a recipe, but here's approximates:

    1 pkg dates (from produce dept)
    1 pkg (about 1 cup) of mixed dried fruit
    1/2 cup unsalted cashews
    1 tbsp lemon juice

    Next time I'd use more mixed dried fruit because it's quite date-y and maybe a bit of apple juice. The date flavor mellowed a bit after sitting in the fridge though.

    Good luck!


  3. These look really good! I am going to have to try these soon! :)

    Love your blog!


  4. The pesto dish looks good and the bars are a great idea. The bars seem like a great thing to make when you want to get out some aggression after a bad day!

  5. aw that's cute of you to make ryan a snack for the start of school. richard starts school this week too. i need to start planning how i'm going to feed him while he's there hehe

  6. Those bars do get expensive - thanks for the recipe :)


  7. Crystal, I totally make my own larabar style bars sometimes! Yum. I usually smoosh up the dates using a fork, and then stir in all of the other tasty ingredients once they are fully pureed. I just hate wrapping them up in plastic wrap! Me and plastic wrap have a long-standing difficult relationship. :) I think plastic wrap hates me! ;-)

  8. Those bars look amazing. Was that really all you did? I'm going to have to try them!

  9. You made your own "Larabars" - WOW!!!

    Really cool.

    Love what you did w/Vicki's inspiring food post. Lookin' good!!

  10. Your larabars look so much better than Larabars.

  11. No beet recipes from me. I don't usually eat them (can't quite get used to the taste) so I was curious about how you were going to use them. Thinking maybe something might sway me into trying them again.

  12. You continue to amaze me! Who needs to see a nutritionist when I have you in the family :) Now if I could just sneak in when you're sleeping and grab some tasty treats and dinners . . . ahhhh!!! Then I would truly be in heaven.

    Love You,

    Mom (a/k/a Diane)

  13. The fruit bars look delicious :) I've never had a Larabar before. WTG on creating one at home.

  14. Emmy - thanks! Larabars are really good - just fruit and some nuts. I like the apple pie and cherry pie ones.

    Diane - hopefully I can remember to bring one on Wed. night

    Crystal - I agree, beets are a bit "natural" tasting :) But, I did like them with the other salad ingredients. Maybe you'll transform!

    Urban Vegan - thanks!!

    Kleo - when I saw what Vicki made, I knew I had to make the pasta! It was so easy and good.

    Megan - that's really all there was to it. But, it was a huge workout for sure to get the dates smashed up

    Catherine - WAX PAPER! That's what you need to use. I hear you on the plastic wrap. Wax paper worked really well to cover the bars and then to wrap them. I can't believe you can simply mash them with a fork - I had to use a kitchen hammer.

    Mikaela - good luck on making these. They are pretty simple and good.

    Teddy - Ryan had to do a PB sandwich last night. Hopefully he'll get some more sophisticated things in the coming evenings. Post about what you send with Richard for me :)

    Annie - totally gets out the agression. Not sure what my neighbors thought while I was pounding away, but oh well.

    Nikk - thanks! I'll have to check out your site too. Visit again soon.

  15. your bar looks amazing, , i will try the sauce soon too, looks simple and so good!.
    a question the juce is for moist or for flavor or both?
    thanks for your food posts.

  16. I've never heard of a Larabar, but I think I'll try making them. I eat raisins and apricots at work, but they're always slipping out of my hand as I walk around, so a bar of dried fruit would be perfect.

  17. I use a small food processor for dates and nuts.

    Your bars look very good. I think we should officially call them "CrystalBars."

  18. What kind of dates did you get?


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