Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette – in a Mason Jar

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is a very easy recipe & you can tweak it any way you desire.   Lose the cheese for a vegan version or add other veggies or pomegranate seeds or nuts.  Go crazy!  The jar is a nice way to bring the salad to work or a picnic.

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Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette – in a Mason Jar

Feeds 2 well as a main course or 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS

Orange Vinaigrette

2 cups cooked wheat berries

1 cup cooked (or canned) black-eyed peas – rinsed

1 cup dried cranberries (or other dry fruit)

1/2 cup red cabbage – chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese – crumbled

1/2 cup red onion – diced

1/2 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Toss that salad!   Add dressing in small increments until you get it like you like it.  MMMMM!

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Pasta with Mint, Feta & Edamame

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is so easy – it comes together faster than it takes for the pasta to cook.  Clean & light and yummy enough that, if you are vegan, you could lose the feta & still have a flavorful dish.

With all the extra time I saved you with this easy recipe – perhaps you should check out MY BOOK on AMAZON???  Reviews are great – and from both men & women!  Why not check it out?

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Pasta with Mint, Feta & Edamame

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta

1 TBS olive oil

3 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS lemon zest

1 cup edamame

1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped

Feta cheese to taste (I used a piece about half the size of a deck of cards)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta according to directions.  Drain & set aside.

Chop the mint & the garlic.  Zest the lemon.

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Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic & saute a minute.  Add the edamame & lemon zest.  Add the pasta & stir to heat through.  Add the feta & mint and some S&P to taste.  Go light on the salt as feta can be very salty.

And that is all she wrote!  It’s just that easy.  Say – and guess what?

Exciting news! I’ll be performing live in a charity production of Eve Ensler’s critically-acclaimed play, “The Vagina Monologues” at the Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles (3269 Casitas Ave 
LA, CA 90039). 

The shows will be performed on May 16th, 17th & 18th at 8pm. Each night will feature a different cast of twenty actresses, from TV, films and theatre, and will be directed by LA Talk Radio’s Sheena Metal (“The Sheena Metal Experience”). 

Proceeds go to the anti-abuse charities V-DAY (http://www.vday.org/) and PROTECT (http://www.protect.org/). This wonderful play, equal parts comedic and dramatic, is a celebration of the female spirit and the human condition that is not to be missed and I hope to see you there.

For more info on the shows, the charities and to get your tickets visit:http://www.vdayatwater.com/ or email: sheena@sheenametalexperience.com.

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Pizza with Roasted Red & Golden Beets, Garlic Fried Brussels Sprouts, Pistachios, Feta & Honey

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – well – it’s pizza again!  This one was inspired simply by the existing produce in my house.  The result has a lot going on but, overall, it is a rather sweet pizza.  I used feta cheese but I think goat cheese might be a nicer fit – or maybe even brie.  Whatever you choose to use – you are in for a treat!

Speaking of treats – look how cute my Memphis is!!!

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And speaking of cute – my badass boyfriend, Miles Miller, completed principal photography on his first feature film – All the Birds Have Flown South.  I will keep you posted as that develops – but behold the vision that is my boy, Miles!

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Pizza with Roasted Red & Yellow Beets, Garlic Fried Brussels Sprouts, Pistachios, Feta & Honey

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I make THIS)

1-2 beets (red and/or golden)

Feta Cheese

10 Brussels sprouts – cut or shaved thin

4 garlic cloves – chopped

Olive oil

Pistachios – chopped

Honey

Fresh mozzarella – sliced

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450.

Place the beets on a sheet of foil (separately – if using two colors) & drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap them up & roast for abut 45 minutes.  Allow them to cool & then peel them under cold running water.  Slice thinly & set aside.

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Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a saute pan.  Pan fry the Brussels sprouts over high heat until soft & beginning to crisp – not long – a few minutes, tops.  Add the garlic & heat another minute – then set aside.

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Grease a pizza pan.

Roll out your dough.  Place it on the cooking sheet & top with sliced beets, Brussels sprouts, crumbled feta cheese, pistachios & sliced mozzarella.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil & cook at 450 for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese & crust are cooked to your liking.  Drizzle with honey & slice it up.  Pour some wine.  Or stick a straw in a bottle.  Eat & drink yourself into a food coma & then go on to Amazon.com & buy my book!   The phrase “I could not put it down!” has been uttered by a conspicuous number of folks – both male & female.  Why not find out for yourself?

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Roasted Cauliflower “Pizza” with Spinach, Feta & Parmesan

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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First of all – I saw this article about ten vegetables & herbs you can buy once & regrow yourself.  HERE it is.  Well – I found myself with scallions the other day & decided to try it out.  These pictures were taken on January 28 after about two days in the water.

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I was so excited – I decided to try it with a browning romaine stump.

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That is about two day’s growth.  Here they are now.

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Isn’t that awesome?  I guess I need to pot them in soil soon but I am very fucking excited about this shit.

Another thing I am excited about is my book!  www.bathingbook.com

Here is my friend Baxter – about to crack open his copy!

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If a little rescue mutt can get it together to buy & read my book, what excuse do you have?  It’s REALLY FUCKING FUNNY – I promise.  Literally laugh out loud funny.  Trust.

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OK – so now on to my faux pizza.  I was too lazy to make cauliflower crust so I just used the cauliflower plain.  I don’t really know what else to call this but pizza.  It was light & delicious & really easy.  Try it!

Oh – and I used this basil oil I got at TJ Maxx.  TJ Maxx is great for discounted fancy food items.

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Roasted Cauliflower “Pizza” with Spinach & Parmesan

INGREDIENTS

Slices of raw cauliflower

Spinach

Feta cheese

Parmesan

Garlic

Olive oil

S&P

Crushed red pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450.   Grease a cooking sheet with cooking spray or use parchment paper.  I ADORE parchment paper!  Nothing sticks & clean up is easier.

Drizzle olive oil on some sliced cauliflower arranged as you want on the cooking sheet.  Add some S&P.  Cook for about 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, mix up some spinach with Parmesan & crushed garlic & some S&P.  When the cauliflower is tender & browning, take it out & top it with the spinach mix.  Crumble some feta on there.

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Cook another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted & browning.

Top with more feta or Parmesan & lots & lots of crushed red pepper.  Maybe drizzle a bit of nice olive oil on there?  Voila!

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Mixed Mushroom & Blue Cheese Galette in Sour Cream Pastry with Smoky Eggplant Faux Bacon (Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Wow.  Last night I was just not myself.  I blame the overpowering stench of the decomposing rat in my walls somewhere – somewhere near my kitchen.  I am not sure how many of you have had this experience but it is wildly unpleasant & sometimes can linger for a week or more.  Once that smell is in your olfactory memory bank, you never forget it.  In fact, if you are in the early days of said decomposition – you feel like that smell is on your upper lip & you start smelling it everywhere.  I got in my car yesterday & swore I smelled it.  I took my car to to the car wash as a concession to my paranoia.  They found no dead rats.  I swore I smelled it as I strolled the aisles at my glorious Super King.  I wondered how super markets are NOT overrun with rats.  All that food & produce.  How are rats not all over it at night?  Why do I have to store my flour etc in my fridge & freezer to avoid those little bugs that get in them – but stores can have stuff on the shelves forever & nothing invades?  I’m not a dirty girl.  My house isn’t dirty.  Anyway – I digress.

I decided that, rather than concede defeat & eat out last night, I would cook a lot of aromatic foods & try to combat the vile stench that way.  And I am happy to say, I was largely successful.  Today, I baked some sweet potatoes & now I smell autumn & holidays more than – you know what.

So – I made this galette last night.  It is basically an open-faced pie without the benefit of a pie plate to shape it.  They can be made sweet or savory.  This one is, obviously, savory.  I used a mix of crimini, portobello & oyster.  You can use any mix you like or use all white mushrooms.  It doesn’t matter.  I used blue cheese.  You can use goat cheese or feta or gorgonzola – your call.  I made the crust from scratch.  You can use a pre-made crust – or even a filo pastry.  Don’t get intimidated.  Just do whatever works for you.

I also made a faux bacon from eggplant slices.  It doesn’t taste like bacon AT ALL but it is smoky and oddly satisfying.  And the eggplant I used looked like a gorgeous leopard.  Not sure why.  I ate a bunch just standing there at the stove – trying to fill my head with other sensory experiences than dead rat.  Then – perhaps all doped up on the toxic fumes that had filled my house all day –  I FORGOT to use it in the galette recipe!  So – I just took bites of it as I ate my slice of galette & it was very yummy.  So – I will include the faux bacon as a potential ingredient but it certainly is not necessary.  If you are a whore for real bacon – feel free to fry some up & crumble it into the mushrooms when they are done.

Finally – I want to note that photographing cooked mushrooms is a tricky business.  They tend to get very dark & photograph as inky muck – so – be kind.

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Mixed Mushroom & Blue Cheese Galette in Sour Cream Pastry with Smoky Eggplant Faux Bacon (Vegetarian)

INGREDIENTS

For the Sour Cream Pastry Crust

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1/4 pound) of butter – cut into small cubes & then FROZEN

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 ice water

For the Mixed Mushroom & Blue Cheese filling

Between 1-1.5 lbs mixed mushrooms (I used crimini, portobello & oyster) – sliced thin or coarsely chopped

4 TBS butter

4 garlic cloves – minced

3 scallions – sliced (white and green parts)

1/2 cup sherry (or dry white wine)

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

4 ounces blue cheese (or goat cheese or feta or gorgonzola or other) – crumbled

S&P

For the Smoky Eggplant Faux Bacon

1/2 large eggplant – sliced 1/8 thick

2 TBS soy sauce

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

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DIRECTIONS

For the Sour Cream Pastry Crust

Combine salt & flour in a bowl (I did all this in my food processor but it can be done in a bowl, too).  Add the butter & mix or pulse until just combined & it resembles a coarse meal.

Whisk the sour cream, ice water & lemon juice together.

With a wooden spoon (or pulsing in the food processor), slowly add the sour cream mixture until you get large lumps.  Collect into a large ball of dough & wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least an hour.

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For the Mixed Mushroom & Blue Cheese filling

In a large saute pan, melt 2 TBS of the butter (half the butter) over high heat.  Add the mushrooms and a scant pinch of salt & fry them over high heat until they release their liquid & then most of it has evaporated off.  Add the garlic & scallions & saute until the mushrooms begin to brown & sear a bit.  Add the sherry & cook it off then lower the heat to medium.  Add the second 2 TBS butter & the herbs & saute until well combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat & allow to cool.

Crumble the cheese & set aside.

Parsley – chopped – as garnish

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For the Smoky Eggplant Faux Bacon

Heat the oven to 425 & prepare a cooking sheet with cooking spray.  Place the eggplant in a single layer & bake 8 minutes on one side & flip & cook another 3-5 – until it begins to brown.  You might need to do this in several shifts to cook all your eggplant.  Remove from the oven & allow to cool a bit.  Lower the oven temperature to 350.

Mix the soy sauce & liquid smoke in a bowl.  Dunk each slice of cooked eggplant in the liquid & put back on the cooking sheet.  Cook another 3-5 minutes.

Eat it like it is – or layer it into your galette.

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To assemble the galette

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

On a floured surface – roll your sour cream pastry out to about a 12 inch circle.

Place the crust on a cooking sheet treated with cooking spray or topped with parchment paper or foil treated with cooking spray.

If you are using the faux bacon – layer it on the crust leaving 1.5 inch border (to be folded over later).

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Drop 2/3 of the cheese onto the crust leaving that 1.5 inch border (to be folded over later). Top with the mushroom mixture (leaving that border) & then fold the edges over the top – pleating if you can – leaving the center uncovered.

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Bake for 30 minutes or so & then top with the remaining cheese crumbles.  Bake another 5-10 minutes or until your crust is golden.

Remove from the oven & allow it to rest 5 minutes or so before cutting into it.

Garnish with chopped parsley & indulge!!!

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Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta Open-Faced Quesadilla Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes & Feta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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These pizzas or open-faced quesadillas are the easiest thing ever & they cook up really fast – so it leaves time to get fancy with your toppings.  Not that roasting tomatoes or sauteing kale are complicated adventures but they are extra steps beyond a simple sauce & cheese (for pizza) or solomente cheese – in the case of quesadillas.   The quantity of the ingredients for these gets difficult to define as everyone likes a different level of cheese & ratio of vegetables etc.  What I can say is that a head of kale wilts down to a quantity likely to be sufficient for 3-4 of these medium-sized tortillas.  I can’t be sure because I kept eating it out of the pan while I waited for the tomatoes to roast.  I roasted a few grape tomatoes & one Roma – for no other reason than those were the ones that needed cooking most urgently.  At any rate, with pizza and quesadillas, there is really no proper recipe, but rather a suggestion of toppings & fillings.

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Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta Open-Faced Quesadilla Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes & Feta

INGREDIENTS

Tomatoes – cut into a large dice (cherry & grape tomatoes – halved)

Kale – ribs removed & chopped

Mushrooms (I used about 10-15 to a single head of kale) – sliced

Garlic (I used 3 cloves) – chopped

Crushed red pepper (I used about 1 tsp)

Olive oil

Ricotta cheese

Feta cheese

Tortillas

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the tomatoes in a little olive oil & some S&P.  Roast them on a parchment paper-lined cooking sheet for about 20 minutes or until they go from A to B – as shown below.

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Set the tomatoes aside.

Remove the ribs from the kale & chop it.

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Heat about 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large pan.

Add the chopped garlic & saute about 30 seconds & then add the mushrooms and crushed red pepper.  Saute over med-high heat, stirring often, until they they begin to brown.  Add the kale & saute until it wilts – only a few minutes.

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Add S&P to taste.

Now – I added a step here where I baked the tortillas first before I topped them.  I had seen another recipe that suggested this so I tried it.  I am not really sure what it achieves.  They do puff & brown nicely – but then they get a little brittle for handling & the edges get too cooked after the final round of baking.  So – if you want to try it – simply poke them all over with a fork & put them on a greased cooking sheet in the 400 degree oven for about 6 minutes or until they come out like below.  Or – you can just start topping the tortilla raw & bake it up.

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Then simply slather a little ricotta on there.

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Add some of the kale-mushroom mix & the feta & the roasted tomatoes.

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Then – simply cook them up in a 400 degree oven for about 6 minutes or until it looks like mine below.  Divvy that shit up or eat it all yourself.  I ain’t judging.  🙂

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Lavash Wrap with Arugula, Avocado & Whipped Feta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This isn’t really a recipe.  It is just a delicious & REALLY light lunch idea.  Not quite as light as THIS recent lunch of mine

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…yeah.  That’s right.   A tofu dog & a mustard dip.  I live large.  Don’t hate.

But I loved this silly wrap & you might, too.  I also love when dogs sit “sloppy” – like this:

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I also love that I can shop for gourmet (a generous adjective, perhaps) food items at TJ Maxx.  Look at what I scored there yesterday.

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It is way cheaper to buy nice olive oil there.  And I got a few flavored oils, too!  And I got a new cookie sheet (under all the items) to replace this thing – which I am embarrassed to own.

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Here is something I do NOT like.

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How is that OK?  REALLY drives home why I do not eat meat.  So fucking nasty.

Anyway – on to the wrap.  This isn’t really a recipe & you can wrap lavash around whatever you want – even chunks of some poor pig who can watch you while you do it.  I went pretty clean, though, and opted for undressed arugula, tomato, avocado & whipped feta.  It was delicious!  Other ideas for such a wrap is to smear your lavash with cilantro pesto, or collard green pesto, Swiss chard pesto, broccoli & goat cheese pesto, broccoli rabe & pistachio pesto, dill & lemon & almond pesto, spinach pecan pesto, spinach & kale pesto, kale pesto, pea pesto or evenspinach & pea pesto.  I make a LOT of pesto!  Jeez.

PS – Whipped feta is made by simply blending 8 oz of feta with 3 oz cream cheese & just enough water to get them to blend in your food processor or other tool you use to whip things.

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