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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Confessions of a Blog-Geek & Chef A.J. Spinach Dip with Pasta

Ok, so here's the thing.....I'm a geek.  A blog geek.  Not convinced?  Let me show you this picture:



You know what that is?  That's a map I pulled out of Nat. Geo.  I stuck it on some pressboard, hung it on the wall of my workout room and those little pins???  Those are all the countries that I have had hits from on my blog.  Well, all the ones since I decided it would be really cool to have a map...of the world....on my wall....with pins in it.  I think of it like a kind of one-way pen-pal system in the blogosphere.  (And occasionally a two-way system when I get comments, which are wonderful things).

For those of you non-bloggers, there is a 'stats' tab on the dashboard of blogger and you can track the audience that views your blog, by country.  I remember the first country outside the USA that I got a hit from.  Canada.  Maybe not so far away, but native home to my favorite band, Rush, so also cool in that regard.  Australia soon followed.  My grandfather was born outside of Sidney....another cool thing.  From there it was Russia here and France there and I felt like a kid at Xmas checking my stats over morning tea.....I had to text my husband when I got Romania......and Albania (which I had to google to even know where it was).  Venezula was super cool too.  Viet Nam???  Seriously, someone in Vietnam read my blog???  It boggles the blogging mind.

I wish blogger would track the hits from the states in the U.S. ---it would be cool to try to get all 50....and daydream about someone in Utah reading my blog....or Montana, my favorite state.

When I first started this blog, I had no idea that ANYone would read it, or have an interest in following it.  The fact that I have a few followers is so special to me.  I guess we all want to make a difference in the world, and it gives me endless joy to think that I may be making a small one....and besides that, I can now pick out Croatia on a map.


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Chef A.J.'s Spinach Dip Lasagna

Chef A.J. knows a few things about food, vegan whole food, in an unprocessed format.  I am back to cooking my way through her book, although I long ago took the pressure off myself to do this in an orderly manner.  Let's face it....I am too easily distracted to do something that systematic.  So, I've been making a few things from her book "Unprocessed" which I highly recommend.  It is a no frills book (which as I have noted before) I think is actually pretty cool...it's like the book itself is unprocessed, but for people who want color glossy pictures, they should know going into it that this book does not have those things.  What it does have is some damn good recipes....like her spinach dip that is also the filling in her famous Disappearing Lasagna.  I decided to use it with pasta shells in simple layers and let me tell you, this stuff is just awesome.

More about A.J. here:  http://www.eatunprocessed.com/

Link to A.J.'s book on Amazon here: 
http://www.amazon.com/Unprocessed-achieve-vibrant-health-weight/dp/1456576097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335635120&sr=8-1

I've been so fortunate this year to have been harvesting DAILY from my garden, fresh spinach and kale for my daily smoothies.  I can barely keep up with the spinach, so thought it would be a perfect time to whip up this dip.









Put down a layer of this green goodness, toss cooked pasta on top, and cover with pasta sauce.  (Note:  I think you could skip the step of pre-cooking the pasta as long as you cover it completely with sauce; pasta will cook in the oven).

I added a layer of mushrooms and onions to my husband's batch.

Peppers and onions for mine...not a big mushroom fan.

A mismash of pasta on top of veggies---I keep a big glass jar in the cabinet and save up remnants of pasta---casseroles put them to good use.


 I sprinkled on top a mix of grated raw cashews and nutritional yeast.  Oh yes....yummy in any country.



Husband said "very good, Honey" as he went back for seconds.  Ok, it doesn't get any better than that.  Thanks, A.J.


Sue, embracing-my-inner-blog-geek, in Ohio


10 comments:

  1. Thank you r posting this. Where are you in Ohio? I will be teaching there at leasr three times this year, once in Dublin, once in Athens and once in
    Columbus.

    Love & Kale,
    Chef AJ
    Www.EatUnprcessed.com.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, hi, Chef A.J.! Honored to have you find me on here. I am about 50 miles from Cols....am planning on attending the conference in Athens, which I went to last year. It was WONDERFUL. I will check your web-site to see when you are hitting Dublin and C'bus. Ohio is ready for your message!!!
      Wishing you much success and so grateful for your work,
      Sue

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  2. Just wanted to say you have a follower in Connecticut. I saw chef AJ at the CT Veg Fest yesterday. She was great. The food she made was delicious and her talk was enlightening.
    Vickie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vicki! I'm putting a pin in Connecticut! Thanks so much. Am glad you got to see A.J. I'll see her in Sept. and am very much looking forward to it.
      Best to you,
      Sue

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  3. Hello from Japan! I teach vegan cookery here, without oil as much as possible, so I appreciate blogs like yours! This recipe looks great; I'll have to try duplicating it soon! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello!!! That is incredibly cool that you teach vegan cooking. I would LOVE to hear more about that. Are the Japanese people responsive to your recipes? I would think giving up oil might be a problem, or no? If you ever have time/desire to exchange a few e-mails, would love to ask you some questions. sunnyhawklane@gmail.com

      Best of luck to you!!!
      Sue

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  4. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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  5. thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. :-). I'll be catching up my blog soon. Such a busy summer!
      Sue

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