Sun-Dried Tomato Arugula Pesto

Sun-Dried Tomato & Arugula Pesto

SunDried Tomato Arugula Pesto

SunDried Tomato Arugula Pesto



1 8.5 oz Jar Organic Sundried Tomatoes In Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Organic Lemon (zest and juice)
1 – 1 1/2 Cups Arugula
3 Green Onions (stems only)
Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

In a food processor, add Sun Dried Tomatoes in the Olive Oil and Garlic and pulse until roughly chopped.  Season with Salt and Pepper.   Add Arugula and blend until roughly chopped (you may have to take the top on once and scrape down the sides and maybe add a touch more arugula). Add Green Onions and mix until chopped. Season with Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Crushed Red Pepper, Salt and Pepper. Give the food processor another quick pulse to combine. TASTE FOR FLAVOR AND SEASONINGS!!! Adjust as needed.


let me break it down for you!

In a food processor, add Sun Dried Tomatoes in the Olive Oil and Garlic and pulse until roughly chopped.

SunDried Tomatoes & Garlic

SunDried Tomatoes, Garlic, Salt & Pepper


Add Arugula.

Gorgeous, Green Peppery Arugula

Gorgeous, Green Peppery Arugula


Blend until Roughly Chopped.

Always taste for seasoning! Not too much pepper because the arugula is naturally peppery!

Always taste for seasoning! Not too much pepper because the arugula is naturally peppery!


Add Green Onions and pulse until chopped.

Green Onion Stems or Scallions are perfection

Green Onion Stems or Scallions add the perfect flavor


Season with Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Crushed Red Pepper, Salt and Pepper. Give the food processor another quick pulse to combine.

Add Seasonings and adjust as needed

Add Seasonings and adjust as needed


Now, you have a simple, mouthwatering, Perfect Pesto!

A Killer Flavor Combination

A Killer Flavor Combination






Perfect with Chicken, Pork, Pasta, or as an appetizer...the possibilities are Endless!!!

Perfect with Chicken, Pork, Pasta, or as an appetizer…the possibilities are Endless!!!

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Eat, Drink & Be Kari



Mediterranean Pan-Seared Halibut with Zoodles

This dish is light, simple & flavorful.  A gorgeous take on the flavors from the Mediterranean with a healthy twist…..Zoodles. Or, Zucchini Noodles.  Welcome to a whole new world without pasta. YOU WON’T EVEN MISS THE PASTA!!! I PROMISE!

And the Sauce……



The SAUCE……..

Mediterranean pan-seared Halibut with zoodles


Heat Non-Stick Pan to  Med-High.  Season Halibut with Sea Salt and Fresh Groud Pepper. Sear in Coconut Oil about 3 mins per side. Remove from pan and lightly tent with foil.  Using the SAME Hot Pan, add your Garlic and sauté 2 minutes or until fragrant, being careful not to let the garlic burn!  Add in the White Wine, Artichokes, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to med-low.  Simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce is just reduced.  (Taste for seasoning.  Might need to add Fresh Ground Pepper, but not a lot of salt because of the brininess of the olives and capers!)  Add in Zoodles and cook 2 minutes or al dente.  This step will not take long….just long enough to heat the Zoodles through.  Finish with a pat of Butter, a spritz of Lemon, and some fresh Parsley.  Plate Zoodles and Sauce.  Top with Halibut, and a bit more Sauce.  Serve with fresh  torn Basil (and Pine Nuts, if desired).

Eat. Drink. Be

Eat. Drink. Be

All about zoodles

So, a Spiralizer takes……. NOT MUCH PRACTICE AT ALL!!! It is super convenient, simple to use, and pretty easy to clean.  I strongly suggest investing in one asap.  You can also use it for other veggies too….cucumbers, carrots, etc.  It really opens up some RAW and Healthy options for you! The best way I have learned, is to start at the bottom of the Zucchini, and hold the top part were it was attached to the plant.  It seems like less waste that way.  If you are nervous at first, I suggest watching a video online!  You’ll be shocked and amazed how quick and easy it is!  I think that’s what I had to do my first time! #NoShame

Also, I’ve found the easiest method is to lay out a few sheets of Paper Towels and Spiralize right onto the Paper Towel.  This helps absorb any extra moisture from the Zoodles, and its perfect for storage.  I will spriralize a few extra Zucchini because the Zoodles keep beautifully for about 5 days!!!! Simply roll the leftover Zoodles up in the paper towels, place in a ziplock bag, and store in the refrigerator to eat on all week!!!! It doesn’t get any easier than that!!!


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Sage Butter Pork Chops with Beet Puree and Swiss Chard

This recipe popped up on my email the other day from and it looked absolutely GORGEOUS! Take a look….

C John Kernick

© John Kernick

See, I told you!!! The vibrant colors. The simple, rustic plating. It was also right down the hubbys alley! So, I got the ingredients and gave it a go….and the outcome was mouthwatering delicious. The meat was succulent, savory perfection atop the sweet, rustic beet (and potato!!!!) purée.  The combo was killer, and I can not WAIT to make the purée again and again. Honestly, it was the star of the show. I had no idea it was going to turn out bright magenta and my favorite item on the plate. Surprisingly, my hubby agreed. The beet purée was his favorite as well. I followed the Food and Wine recipe as closely as I was able, but I did make a few adjustments. Here is the basic recipe from Food & Wine:

Pork Chops in Sage Butter with Beet Purée and Swiss Chard


2 large red beets (1 pound), halved
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (1/2 pound)
1 stick unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Four 12-ounce bone-in pork rib chops, cut 1 inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sage sprig
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 pounds Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves chopped


In a large saucepan, combine the beets and potatoes. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the beets and potatoes are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and potatoes, and then coarsely chop; transfer to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Rub the pork chops all over with 2 tablespoons of the olive 
oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat until golden brown on the bottom, 7 to 8 minutes.Turn the chops and add the garlic, sage and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook until the chops are golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the pork chops to plates and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the butter into the skillet; season with salt. Strain the sage butter through a fine sieve over the pork chops. Reserve the crispy sage leaves and discard the garlic.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chard in large handfuls; let each batch wilt slightly before adding more. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the chard is wilted, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the pork chops with the beet puree and Swiss 
chard and garnish with the crispy sage leaves.

The beet puree can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.
Pair this dish with a lightly earthy Burgundy.

Ok, so there is the original recipe. I only changed up a few things. A few simple additions to brighten the flavors of the purée a bit and a small addition to the lemon-butter sauce made this recipe a bit more Karified….you know I can’t follow a recipe if my life depended on it! I’ll make the final adjustments and share the version with you all! But, I had to give credit to the F&W peeps for this creative, vibrant, luscious, rustic dinner and share the recipe with y’all asap!!! TRY THE BEET PURÉE….YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!!






Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Baked Salt & Vinegar

Kale Chips

Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips


Baked Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

  • 1 Bunch Organic Leafy Kale
  • 1-2 tsp Organic Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2-3 T EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Salt

Preheat Oven to 300°.  Line 1 or 2 Large Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper, depending on amount of Kale you are using.  You want to have a single layer of kale chips, and no overlapping pieces.  Wash Kale and rip into large pieces, removing the stalk.  Place into Salad Spinner and spin until dry.  In a large bowl, add kale and splash with vinegar.  Massage Kale pieces with your hands for about 30 seconds to completely coat the kale with vinegar.  Next, drizzle the EVOO and add the Salt & Pepper.  Massage again for about 15 seconds to coat.  Spread out on Baking Sheet(s) and Bake about 15-20 mins.  Slow and Low is the key.  Watch closely for tips starting to brown and crisp.  That’s when you know they are ready.  The vinegar really needs to evaporate off, so turn the pans halfway through if your oven has any hot spots.  Also, the last 3 mins, you can take a thin, flat spatula and get under the chips and flip them if the vinegar is still lingering.  Just, BE GENTLE…as these delicious chips are now light and airy and delicate!  (and be careful when opening the oven bc of the fumes from the evaporating vinegar!!! Whew!)  Even if there is still a tad of vinegar still shimmering on the chips, DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM.  The Kale Chips will “harden” a set up some more after taking them out of the oven.  If you overcook them, they will be too delicate and paper thin and crumble.  If this happens, I suggest using the Kale Crumbles on top of soup or mixed into a salad!  Happy Kale Chip Making!!!!

Fresh out of the Oven!

Fresh out of the Oven!

image image image image




Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Caesar w/ Homemade Salt & Pepper Croutons 



LAST WEEK LIVING IN THE APARTMENT!!! Hopefully the food and pics will get better when we get moved in and settled!  I’ve been using my iPhone for pics and cooking with very little equipment.  Man, I can’t WAIT to move in!!!!  Anywho, this sammy was pretty darn good, and VERY easy to make!  You can also do the chicken and onions on the grill.  Enjoy!

Ingredients Ready!!!

Ingredients Ready!!!


2 Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Seasoned with Rub

1 Organic Vidalia Onion, Sliced

4 Organic Garlic Cloves, Whole

Organic EVOO, S&P

Spicy & Smokey Rub:

2 T Organic Chili Powder

1 T Organic Smoked Spanish Paprika

1 T Organic Ground Cumin

1 T Organic Ground Black Pepper

1 T Organic Salt

1/2 T Organic Ground Coriander

1/2 T Organic Garlic Powder

1/4 T Organic Ground Cinnamon

1/4 T Organic Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Go ahead and season your meat a few hours before cooking.  Add a dash of EVOO and REALLY GET IN THERE!!! Give it a GOOD RUB and don’t be scared to use your hands!!! You can always wash them when your’e done!  Be sure to let the chicken come to room temp (30 mins or so) before cooking.

Lay O

Lay Onions in Skillet, Top with Garlic Clove, EVOO, S&P

Preheat Oven 300 or 325

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Roast

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Slow Roast

We are going to cook slow and low for a hour, hour and a half or so

MEANWHILE…….Get your bread leftover from last nights supper!


Cube Local Rustic Wheat Sourdough to make Croutons!

Toss with EVOO and Seasoning of Choice.  I used a combo of:

ORGANIC: Salt, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Black Pepper, Thyme, Savory, Mustard Powder & White Pepper

Put in Oven and Bake until Crisp.  Turn & Toss Once.  Takes about 15 mins…

Sooooo Good!!!

Sooooo Good!!!

Now, Let’s Check on the Chicken!

Done & DONE!!!

Done & DONE!!!

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Onion Jus

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Smokey Onion Jus

TIP: Let the Spicy Smokey Chicken Rest for about 5 mins BEFROE slicing!



Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Garlicy Onion & Jus

Garlicy Onion Jus

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Side View looks DELISH!!!!

Side View looks DELISH!!!!


20130612-081426.jpg Kari



Bangin’ Broccoli


This is a great way to cook Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy, asparagus, etc

This is a great way to cook Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy, Asparagus, etc

Banging Broccoli

Preheat Oven 500°.  Make sure rack is on the bottom,  lowest position.  Put a large non-stick baking sheet into the oven to preheat.

Take a couple of heads of Broccoli.  Wash and peel outer stem (knife or veggie peeler).

Cut Head into Florets.

 Cut Stalk into long strips, trying to cut a flat side to lay flat-side-down on hot baking sheet.

Toss Florets and Stalks with 2-3 Tablespoons EVOO to coat evenly.

Season with 1/2 tsp salt Pink Sea Salt and 1/2 tsp Sugar.

Rub it in, Rub it in!!!! (seriously, get int there with your hands and give the broccoli and little massage and make sure its all got a nice even coating)

Get out Baking Sheet, CAREFULLY!  It should be super hot!

VERY QUICKLY transfer Broccoli to baking sheet making sure the flattest side is face down, touching the baking sheet.


When you get it out the bottom should be blackened and top just crisp.

I left this one in a min too long….but it was still delish!!!


Squeeze fresh lemon overtop before serving!





You can use tons of different veggies, and cook them the same way.  Just  don’t leave out the sugar!!! The sugar helps with the caramelization process.  You can always simply change up the taste by experimenting with different ingredients.



Here are some ideas!

SUGAR SWITCH:  Brown Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, Honey, Agave

SALT SWITCH: Table Salt, Lemon Salt, Sea Salt, Smoked Salt, Garlic Salt

FLAVOR BOOST: Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Cinnamon, Cayenne, WHOLE GARLIC CLOVES

Here are a few of my Favorite Oils to use!

*Example: Roasted Brussel Sprouts tossed in EVOO, Brown Sugar, Lemon Salt & Crushed Red Pepper Flakes





Skinny Mustard Hashbrown Casserole

Skinny Mustard Hashbrown Casserole

No Cream of Crap Soup, No Mayonnaise, No Sour Cream, No Butter

No Cream of Crap Soup, No Mayonnaise, No Sour Cream, No Butter



Skinny Mustard HashBrown Casserole

1 bag (20 oz) frozen shredded HashBrown Potatoes

1 cup Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup low-sodium broth (i used veggie..chicken would be fine too)

1/4 cup 2% Milk  (use at least 2%….need the fat to work as a binder)

1 heaping T good Grainy Mustard

1/3 Onion (i used red…whatever you have on hand) grated in for juice, then dice a bit up

2-3 cloves minced Garlic (or you can grate this in too)

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp Dry Ground Mustard

1/2 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt

1 cup FRESHLY GRATED Shredded Cheese (i used a nice quality sharp cheddar…. don’t use cheap, pre-shredded or low-fat cheese!!! Trust me,  it won’t melt right and the HB consistency will be off)

Mix all together in a bowl.  Spray glass or ceramic dish…DO NOT USE METAL!!! Never use metal pans when working with yogurt!!! The acidity will affect the taste….not in a good way!

Pour in GLASS or CERAMIC dish and bake 350 for at least an hour.

I also topped mine with smoked sweet paprika before baking.  You could use chili powder, reg paprika, etc…

***if you don’t have fresh garlic or onions you can substitute 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp onion powder***

This SKINNY version was soon tasty….and, even better the next day!



Breakfast is served!


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Bon Appétit!!!

Southern Tomato Gravy

Southern Tomato Gravy

Southern Tomato Gravy

Southern Tomato Gravy

This gravy is to die for.



Throw-yourself-under-a-bus.  Jump-off-the-side-of-a-building.  Go-on-a-long-walk-off-a-short-pier.


That said, once you make it, you will not be able to stop.

It is addictive.

You will start trying to make up dishes to create just to smother in this groovy gravy.

It’s that ridiculous.

Enough said.

Fair warning..

Here ya go.


Over Awesome Thick Bone In Pork Chops

Over Awesome Thick Bone In Pork Chops


So….. Yeah….. Underneath all that gorgeous gravy is a HUGE Bone In Pork Chop.  I should have taken the picture BEFORE I put on the actual amount of gravy on that my husband (and I!!!!) used.  Whoops!  I know I should be embarrassed….but I’m not.  Oh, just you wait.  You’ll see….you cant even help it.  Its. Just. That. Good.  On the healthy plus side, I did serve it with a HEAPING portion of super garlicky lemony kale.  Excellent pairing!  Absolutely fantastic.  Oh, and we might, MIGHT have had some fresh sliced local sourdough….with a beautiful plate of oil and vinegar to dip it in.  But, somehow we both ended up moping our plates clean with the bread instead.  Sorry, but Gravy trumps Oil and Vinegar.



We threw these bad boys on the smoker….and they turned out PERFECT.



Be sure to let your meat rest for at least 5 mins when it comes off the grill!!!

Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions

Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions

Your Veg getting gorgeous in the Cast Iron Skillet.

It's Gravy, Baby!

It’s Gravy, Baby!


Before Serving, Add Parsley and Adjust Seasonings!

There's a whole lotta LOVE on this plate!

There’s a whole lotta LOVE on this plate!

A plateful of southern food at it's finest!

A plateful of southern food at it’s finest!


Southern Tomato Gravy

2 tsp Good Organic EVOO

1 Vidalia Onion chopped (white/yellow)

1 Orange Bell Pepper chopped  (red/yellow)

1 Cup Baby Heirloom Tomatoes chopped or quartered (grape/cherry)

2-3 Organic Garlic Cloves minced

1 Jalapeño or Red Chile diced (optional, or 1/2 tsp cayanne)

2 T King Arthur All Purpose Flour

2 T Good Organic Butter (bacon grease!!!!)

4 T Organic Parsley chopped

1/2 Cup White Wine (one that you would drink yourself! Don’t be a cheapie!!)

3/4  Cup Organic Heavy Whipping Cream (half&half/whole milk/combination)

1 T Worcestershire Sauce

Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Pepper

*Preheat Cast Iron Skillet over Med.  Chop Onion, Pepper(s) and Tomatoes.  Heat 2 tsp EVOO in CI Skillet.  Add Veggie and season with Salt &  Coarse Ground Pepper.  Turn to Med-Low and sauté for 5 mins or until starting to soften.  Add Garlic.  Cook another 2 mins or until garlic is fragrant.  Add 2 TBSP Butter & Flour and cook for 2-3 mins mixing around and stirring with a wooden spoon.  Be sure to do this step or your gravy will not taste as good!!! When the flour is cooked out, add the wine.  Mix and scrape the bottom of the skillet to start to incorporate the liquid.  Let it bubble and add a little more.  Then start to add your Cream slowly.  Mix. Add. Stir. Wait. Mix. Add. Stir. Wait.  Until it starts to get nice and thick. When it gets to the desired consistency, turn to low.  Add Worcestershire and 3 T Parsley. Taste for seasoning. Adjust. Serve.  Garnish with Parsley.

Groovy Gravy Tips

  • As always, make it your own.  If you do not like heat and spice, completely omit the jalapeño, chile or cayenne.  No biggie.  Depending on who and what I am serving it with, I sometimes leave it out myself!
  • Most recipes use Rotel or canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes, so that is always an option if you don’t have fresh on hand.  I prefer to use all fresh, organic local or homegrown ingredients whenever possible.  Just be sure to wash and slice your tomatoes first and spread them out on a paper towel.  Sprinkle with SALT and let them sit for a bit to release excess moisture!  It jacks this gravy up to a whole new level of homemade fresh deliciousness!!!
  • If you want to change up the flavor a bit, try adding some fresh basil or thyme to it…….then if you thin it out a tad more….with a little more white wine, it becomes an AMAZING pasta sauce in the summer.  I’d use a nice Red Wine in the winter to make it more of a ragu type sauce!
  • Making a Good Gravy starts with a Roux.  The secret to Roux is super easy.  Equal Parts of FAT and FLOUR.  You can mix this up in different combinations, but basically use:  FAT = butter, oil, grease etc and FLOUR = white, whole wheat, etc  The standard measurements is 2 T each.
  • If ya wanna rock it out and really blow the socks off guests, I highly recommend to try it, what I like to call, Grandma-Style by replacing the 2 T Butter with….wait for it…..BACON GREASE.  That’s right, I said it…  Bacon. Grease.  The fatty goodness that all our grands and great grands and their great great grands would have used.  It adds a HUGE amount of deep sweet smokey flavor that just can’t be matched.  I’m not saying that this might or might not have been the way that I may or may not have prepared it.  But if you happen to keep it bottled up in a mason jar like some kind of prize, use it NOW!
  • As far as the Heavy Whipping Cream….you’re making a Gravy, not a weight-watchers special.  Now, to keep it Grandma-Style…you gotta use the cream.  If your’e making it for company or for a special occasion…cream. But, if you want to cut some calories and still have it jam packed full of flavor use Whole Milk or Half and Half instead and just 2 TBSP of Cream.  Or try and mix them 50/50. I never like Fat Free ingredients because they are usually jacked up full of other harmful fillers and ingredients.  Just my opinion.


Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits


The next morning there may have been some  Grandma- Style Southern Tomato Gravy leftover.

There may have also been some Sausage Gravy left from breakfast a few days ago.

They might have met each other.

They might have liked it.

They might have fallen in love.


Groovy Gravy

Groovy Gravy

Yes.  That might have actually happened.

I’m calling it Groovy Gravy.

And, damn, is it GOOD!!!!

Breakfast is Served!

Breakfast is Served!

Groovy Gravy

Groovy Gravy


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