Saturday, July 31, 2010

Upcoming "Managing Weight After Breast Cancer" Teleconference

Managing Weight After Breast Cancer

The Living Beyond Breast Cancer August teleconference will help you learn how to cope with weight changes after treatment.

Speaker: Kathryn A. Allen, MA, RD, CSO

Join Living Beyond Breast Cancer for our next free teleconference, Managing Weight After Breast Cancer, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Tuesday, August 17.

Kathryn A. Allen, MA, RD, CSO, director of nutrition therapy at Moffitt Cancer Center, will help you understand:

• Why breast cancer treatment can prompt changes in weight and bone density
• Dietary and fitness recommendations, whether you are in treatment or you finished initial therapy
• Practical strategies for incorporating healthful eating and fitness into your daily routine

About Our Speaker

Ms. Allen is the director of the department of nutrition and a registered dietitian at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of Moffitt's recently initiated R.E.N.E.W. program for people affected by cancer.

Ms. Allen has extensive experience in the nutrition care of people with cancer, cancer prevention, wellness and health maintenance. She has several publications on body weight, chemoprevention and cancer risk reduction. She is an active member of the American Dietetic Association and Oncology Dietitians Practice Group.

About the Program

Our speaker will give a brief presentation, followed by a question-and-answer period. To participate, you need only a telephone or computer with Adobe Flash Player or Windows Media Player.

Use our online registration form to register for this free weight management teleconference today, or call 610-645-4567.


Please take advantage of this free educational session. I know Kathy and know that she is deeply committed to providing the best possible nutritional care to all cancer patients at her cancer center. Kathy will certainly provide an informative session about the nutrition programs available at her cancer center that help breast cancer patients with weight management in order to reduce the odds of cancer recurrence and death and also optimize their chances for long-term survival and overall health and wellness along with opportunities to ask questions.

Sadly, I think everyone likely knows a friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker who has had a breast cancer diagnosis. However, please feel free to share this hopeful information about this helpful web-based program that is sure to give both "information and inspiration" to all those women who are looking for reliable information and examples of how they can help themselves live life to the fullest beyond breast cancer!

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow, inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, July 30, 2010

Healthy Food Action

Yesterday my husband and I had the pleasure of having a second team of registered dietitians and dietetic students and interns from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI (where I used to work) come out to our farm this week to help harvest garlic (thank you!). One of the interns asked a really good question that made me come up with some thoughtful answers; she was asking why I thought dietetic students/interns really needed their hands in the dirt as part of their professional training.

I ran through some of my usual thoughts on this issue (understanding how much work really goes into producing healthy foods that are the foundation of individual and community health that ultimately preserve or rejuvenate our natural resources needed to produce good food - for starters). She listened, nodded, but then quickly added that having spent a week weeding at the new farm on the grounds of St. Joe's Hospital, she wondered what else she was learning. 

I sifted through a lot of thoughts I wanted to say, but focused on one aspect that led to me say I believe the mantra of all health care professionals should be action that promotes the prevention of disease and the creation of healthy communities, no matter one's individual specialty, which means that one must be politically aware and politically active. Hmmm, not the first thing one learns about in dietetics or any medical-based training and also not the first thing that most of us are eager to be involved with. Nod, nod, nod, agreement all around.

So what to do? Maybe one week of hard work, not even seeing the full cycle of the food production system is enough. I'm not sure about that yet. However, to complement knowing how food is grown, where is an appropriate starting point learning how to be action-oriented regarding the politics of food, agriculture, and the various systems involved from farm to fork, even if one is not politically-inclined by nature?

There is a brand new resource just launched by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy called Healthy Food Action, which will evaluate the various issues at hand to develop recommendations for individual and collective action in order to "make health the future of food and farming". I have signed up to receive updates and "calls to action" and recommend that you do the same.

Even if you are not a health care professional, sign up under Other as a Concerned Food Eater, Lover, Consumer, Citizen, or however you choose to call yourself.  I also added Organic Farmer under the Other category, since I believe farmers who are providing the healthy foods grown with agricultural practices that conserve our country's natural resources are our nation's true front-line health care professionals.

We loved having help on the farm this week, we love who helped us, we love being part of our community's food system on the prevention end of the health care spectrum, and have great hopes for the health, wellness, and vibrancy of our community. However, none of that comes easily, cheaply, or without action.

My favorite line from Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is where she says (paraphrasing here) that "If you accomplished something great today, you did so only because someone else had their hands in the soil growing your food".  Thus, my hopes for student dietitians are these;

(1) By having experiences growing food with your own two hands in the soil (however long or short those experiences may be), I hope you will learn to love and appreciate good food even more than you already do. 

(2) In addition, I hope you will understand and value the hard but committed and caring work that goes into the priority of creating healthy soil and foods that are necessary to develop healthy individuals and communities and then incorporate those priorities into all of your food recommendations and actions no matter where in the food sector your professional interests take you. 

(3) Lastly, because you love good food and understand how its production can lead to healthy communities, you will then learn about and advocate for the policies that will make good food not just the right choice but also the easy choice for the individuals under your professional care and the communities where you live so great things can be accomplished.

I often end my posts with a grace or a lovely quotation of some kind. I depart from that today to end with a quote I found on another blog (that I will surely comment on at some point in the future), which is deeply thought-provoking and very fitting to my thoughts about the importance for being aware of politics and involved in action:

Silence gives consent. 
~~ Thirteenth-century Roman Catholic canon law

I urge all my readers to sign up at the Healthy Food Action website. It is a good place to start with that next action step for "policy and politics". Help shape our individual and collective future in order to "make health the future of food and farming". I have. :-)

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD
The Dyer Family Organic Farm
"Shaping our future from the ground up"

Friday, July 23, 2010

Local Food Means Business!

Michigan's Governor Jennifer M. Granholm Radio Address – Farmers Markets

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

A healthier lifestyle begins with eating better, and that means including more fruits and vegetables in your diet.  If you’re seeking the healthiest and freshest and best-tasting fruits and vegetables, look for ones that are grown right here in Michigan.

Local food is fresher, it tastes better, and it comes from farmland near you.  And because many fruits and vegetables can lose up to 50 percent of their nutrients in just five days’ time, buying locally grown food is a healthier choice.

Michigan food producers offer an abundance of high-quality fruits, vegetables (and beans and legumes), meats and dairy products.  Our state is second only to California in agricultural diversity, making Michigan a key component in the nationwide local foods movement.

To help introduce the public to all the different kinds of wonderful food we produce in Michigan, we partner with local groups like Michigan Food and Farming Systems to host farmers markets on the lawn of the State Capitol.  These markets showcase the wide variety of healthy and delicious Michigan food products.

The first farmers market will be next Thursday, July 22.  The second farmers market will be September 16.  And again, both these farmers markets will be held in front of the State Capitol.

If you can’t attend the markets on the Capitol lawn, try visiting one of the 200 community farmers markets across the state.  For a list of markets, go to the Michigan Farmers Market Association website at (

That website again is M-I-F as in

When you purchase locally produced food, you’re helping to support Michigan farmers who provide beautiful and productive open spaces and habitat and who contribute to our tax base and employ local workers.

Michigan’s agri-food sector employs one million people.  It contributes more than $71 billion annually to the state economy.  Every year, Michigan exports more than $2 billion in agricultural commodities to other states, and another billion dollars worth to countries all over the world.
Buying local foods also boosts the Michigan economy.  If every Michigan household spent just $10 a week of its current grocery budget on locally grown and produced foods, it would generate almost $2 billion to circulate within our state economy every year.

So the next time you go grocery shopping, look for Michigan-grown blueberries, peaches, corn, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.  Not only will the food be fresher and healthier and better tasting, you’ll be helping your neighbors and your community and the Michigan economy.

So for a Pure Michigan experience, buy Michigan-grown and produced foods.

Thank you for listening.

URL to article:

The same is true for your own state. "Local Food Means Business" no matter where you live.

In addition, remember that "healthy soil grows healthy food, which nourishes healthy people who create healthy communities", a quote that I have used often in my blog postings by my professional colleague Angie Tagtow, MS, RD. Thus as a Registered Dietitian, I do recommend preferentially seeking out foods and food products to purchase that are both locally grown and organically grown, i.e., foods grown with agricultural practices that create healthy, living soil that along with clean water systems are the foundation needed to ensure long-term sustainable local food production and healthy communities.

So if you don't have time, space, or interest in growing some, most, or even all of your own food, please promote the economic health, environmental health, and public health of your local community by seeking out and supporting your local farmers (i.e., "know your farmer!") who are working very hard to grow healthy food for you while keeping our soil and water clean and alive to produce delicious, bountiful, beautiful, and healthy food for your community in the decades to come.

A great website to find your local farmers' markets is (check it out!).

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow, inch by inch and row by row!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, July 16, 2010

Unique Dietitian Jobs

I was recently interviewed by a writer for the magazine Today's Dietitian for an article about unique or non-traditional jobs that registered dietitians (RDs) have. I am not the only RD-Farmer and I would guess that several might be interviewed also, but I certainly do have a non-traditional job as an RD.  Knowing that the article will be able to include only snippets of my answers, i.e., the vast majority of my responses will end up on the cutting room floor from editing due to space limitations, I thought I would show you all the questions and my complete thoughts. These were good questions. They made me think, and I enjoyed doing so!

Today’s Dietitian - Unique Jobs in Dietetics Feature

Name: Diana Dyer       
Title/Credentials: Farmer-Author, MS, RD


1. Please describe your job (title and typical job duties) and what makes it unique from more traditional dietetics opportunities.

After nearly 40 years of growing and preserving a lot of our own food, my husband and I took the plunge of doing what we have always wanted to do and finally purchased some property to begin a small organic farm in 2009, growing 40 varieties of organic garlic to sell to local restaurants, personal chefs, and at several farmers' markets, so for a job title, I am a Farmer. I know there are other RD-Farmers, so I am not unique, but it is a small (but growing!) group of RDs who are also commercial farmers.

I am still an RD-Author (my book A Dietitian's Cancer Story has been in print since 1997, with the 13th printing in June, 2010) and I am still frequently invited to speak at cancer meetings and events, maintain a long-standing website at, and write all the content for my three (3) blogs:,, and Recent speaking engagements have focused on the benefits and the importance of developing local sustainable agriculture and food systems. In addition, I have enjoyed having a dietetic student from Michigan State University spending time with me on our farm this summer.

2. Please describe a typical day in this unique dietetics job.

There is NO typical day, which in our case is probably at least partially due to the fact that we are still very new farmers and still on the steep end of the learning curve in terms of the business management side of farming. Planned activities always depends on the projected weather for the day and the week so we can decide whether to start with outside or inside projects (which is always subject to change based on, how can I say this, "crisis management"!).

Barn building, hoop house planning, determination of future crop plantings, the actual planting, maintenance of the crops (i.e. weeding, watering), walking and observing the fields/beds while making notes about how various crops/varieties are growing, record keeping (i.e. time spent on farm chores, income, bill paying), networking, researching, developing the myriad aspects of marketing (logo, business cards, farmers' market displays just for starters), education (recipes, newsletters, queries for suggesting articles about our farm, just for starters), general reading to keep up with my professional interests and dietetic practice groups listservs, cooking (lots), cleaning (not much), laundry (everyday),, etc, etc, keeps us both very busy and sleeping well at night. (This is not even mentioning that we are still repairing and remodeling the house at the farm and we have not even moved in yet, a full year after purchasing it.)

3. What skill sets are needed to perform effectively in this job?

Critical thinking, problem identification, problem solving, and execution, along with creativity are all skills needed to be a "dynamite RD" in any work setting. Being a pioneer critical care/ICU dietitian in the initial years of nutrition support also taught me how to be a team player, network, and market the strengths and attributes that my nutrition knowledge brought to patient care. These same skills are beneficial and will help us both see and make the connections in our local food community in order to make our farm profitable as a local business.

Being a member of Nutrition Entreprenuers' Dietetic Practice Group (NE DPG) has been invaluable since I made a career move ~15 years ago from the ICU to having a private practice (that's a big jump on the health care spectrum and skill set needed!), then subsequently became an author, public speaker, website and blog writer. All those same skills needed to manage my multi-focused business as a nutrition entrepreneur have been beneficial to have under my belt as they are easily transferred to running the business of a farm! Being a member of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (HEN) DPG has provided me with a large group of RDs who hold similar values about the importance and benefits of sustainable farming along with the friendship and professional support to "go for it!".

4. What attracted you to this job and how did you find or pursue it?

My husband and I both love having our hands in the soil, our face in the sun (or rain), feeling the wind in our hair, growing and preserving our own food, and knowing where our food comes from, all of which we have been doing together to some degree even before we were married! We are long-time "farmer wanna-be's" and almost dropped out of graduate school in the 1970's to start an organic farm. We were convinced to stay in school and obtain our professional and graduate degrees, have had multiple conventional jobs and careers over the last several decades, but finally decided we were not getting younger !! and it was now or never to (at last!) have our farm. We view our farming as our next career (not retirement!) and indeed refer to it as our "encore career".

5. What holds your interest in this job?

We like the wide variety of what we need to do. No two days are alike. In addition, we both love being on the steep end of the learning curve as my husband and I apply all our collective skills and knowledge to a new business plus all the interesting people we meet each and every day. We love growing food, knowing where our food comes from, educating people about food, and are committed to helping to both diversify and rebuild Michigan's economy by growing "Good Food" (healthy, green, fair, affordable/accessible) for our local community. We also LOVE the positive feedback we get from people who purchase our food.

6. What challenges do you face in this job and do you think these challenges are similar or different from those encountered by RDs in more traditional jobs?

What is different being an RD-Farmer is needing to fully understand all the factors that allow us to be at the starting point of "we are what we grow" instead of  "we are what we eat" (which is the typical starting point of how dietitians' traditional training has us usually think). Moving that understanding back several steps to "we are what we grow" encompasses all the concepts necessary for creating and maintaining the soil's health, bio-diversity, and sustainability plus all federal, state, and local policies that influence what food is grown and sold. In addition, obviously RD-farmers are running a business so we need to know all aspects of how to do that profitably all the while knowing that extreme and unforseen and uncontrollable weather can undermine all your planning in a minute.

7. Please describe what you enjoy the most (any perks) of this job.

Being outside nearly every day of the year, meeting interesting people who share a passion of good food and good food for all, and educating people about food and nutrition. I also love developing this new business with my husband!

8. What do you enjoy the least?

The sense of "controlled chaos" or disorganization that comes from being a "new" farmer. There are too many things to do with not enough hours in the day to do them all, and they all feel like they should have been done yesterday. (I still insist on cooking our own food and sleeping on most days!) I hope each year gets less disorganized and develops more of a comfortable rhythm.

9. What advice would you give for RDs looking to get into this dietetics niche or break out of traditional dietetics jobs in general?

Get involved (i.e. volunteer) with your all of your dietetic communities (local, state, national/DPGs, your university/internship) and network, network, network. Your RD colleagues and friends will be your biggest fans and marketers when you do something non-traditional!

If you want to be a farmer, start by growing as much of your own food as possible, volunteer to work on a farm or a community garden in your area, get involved in your local food community (i.e., a local Slow Food chapter), start a farmers' market in your hometown or hospital, offer to teach nutrition and/or cooking classes using locally grown foods at your local farmers' markets, your local schools, etc, get involved anywhere and everywhere you can think of where you will meet people who share your interests.

Explore, there are no limits, jump in, create your dream job, and go for it!

10. Other comments:

As an RD, I have now worked at both ends of the health care spectrum, the first 20 years in the ICU's as a nutrition support dietitian with the sickest of the sick, jumping to the wellness sector in order to provide "information and inspiration" to cancer survivors for the next 15 years, and now I have moved even further to the far other end of the spectrum to focus on disease prevention by actually being a farmer and growing the good food that my community needs to become a healthy community.

In my view, farmers are really our front-line health care practitioners by maintaining the healthy soil that grows healthy food that nourishes healthy people who create healthy communities. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a new farmer (even an "old-new farmer"!), and I am both proud and honored to be an RD-farmer who is "walking the talk" by growing, selling, educating, and advocating for healthy food for all within my community. I look forward to the day when (1) all RDs are required to have both knowledge and "hands-in-the-soil" experience in sustainable agriculture and food systems and (2) the farmers who are growing healthy foods to eat are our society's "rock stars" or "celebrities". :-)

Our farm name is very simple - The Dyer Family Organic Farm. However, our 'tag line' ("Shaping our future from the ground up") has a deep meaning to it. Our farm is doing just that, shaping the future of our personal lives plus that of our local community by growing healthy food in healthy soil, literally from the ground up, a grass-roots effort. We are a small part of the process of developing local/regional agriculture and food systems that will produce "Good Food", which in Michigan's newly adopted Good Food Charter is defined as food that is healthy, green, fair, and affordable/accessible.

My "touchstone" as a farmer is the following quotation, which I hope is one that all RDs will find to be a good professional fit in the near future:

"Soil is the tablecloth under the banquet of civilization." 
~~ Steven Stoll, The Larding of the Lean Earth, 2002

I love that image and find both joy and meaning while working every single day as an RD-Farmer.  

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A few farm updates

No time for much talk - I'll try to let a few photos tell a bit of our summer farm update.

(Photo: Barn still under construction - the red roof starting going on yesterday)

(Photo: the garlic field almost ready to begin harvesting the bulbs)

(Photo: our younger son getting the keys to the tractor - woohoo! - to help with pulling out the old landscaping so we can continue to actually see our house while building that burn pile!)

(Photo; The first garlic bulbs out of the ground, drying on pallets in the garage, complete with name tags - remember we have 40 different varieties planted. We are also trying to figure out how to start hanging the garlic here since we had thought the barn would be built before the garlic needed to be dug up - oops!)

(Photo: Michigan's beautiful Mackinac Bridge looking from the Upper Peninsula - i.e., the UP - toward the lower part of our state. We did a quick dash over to Wisconsin last weekend for a family wedding, going through Chicago on the way there and the UP on the way home, which is longer but our preferred route, just so we can see our bridge, swim in the top of Lake Michigan, and eat the vegetarian pasties sold by Suzy's Pasties, just west of St. Ignace.)

Now on to the big crunch of harvesting all 6000+ of our garlic bulbs and finishing all the plans (including home-made beer bottling and table favors of home-made honey) for our younger son's August wedding!

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow, inch by inch and row by row!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Michigan Cottage Food Bill again

Here is the link to the radio interview on Michigan Public Radio.  It's just the script, not the live interview. I have not heard it. The article as written is truly the "bare bones" of the importance of the Cottage Food Bill, which will permit certain low-risk processed food products to be made in a home kitchen (versus a commercial kitchen that has been inspected). The reporter actually spent most of his time talking to my husband, so I was surprised that the article included quotes from me.

A few photos of the event this afternoon:

(Photo: Governor Granholm in center signing Michigan's Cottage Food Bill with Pam Byrnes on left who sponsored the bill in the MIchigan House and Amanda Edmonds on right, Founder and Director of Growing Hope in Ypsilanti, MI, where the signing took place)

(Photo: Michigan's Cottage Food Bill all signed!)

(Photo: Growing Hope - Improving lives and communities through gardening and healthy food access)

(Photo: Ypsilanti-Downtown Farmers' Market Sign - the very first farmers' market where we were vendors, so it will always have a special place in our hearts!)

If there are additional articles I see related to this bill's signing, I'll put up some links for further information when I am not also ready to go to bed! 

Detroit Free Press article article

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cottage Food Bill Signed into Law!

I'll download photos tonight and write up a post about our exciting adventure this afternoon at that time, but short and sweet, Michigan's Cottage Food Bill was signed into law this afternoon. Dick and I were invited guests at the signing and also interviewed by Michigan Public Radio about how this bill will be good for us as farmers.

The interview will likely be cut to one or two sound bites but I think the interviewer was surprised when he asked what we each did prior to becoming farmers. I told him that I am a Registered Dietitian and that being a Registered Dietitian and farmer may sound like a stretch at first but growing healthy food for our community was a natural step for me as farmers are really our front-line health care practitioners by growing the healthy foods that are a necessary foundation help prevent all the debilitating and expensive chronic diseases.

As soon as the interview is available on-line, I'll provide a link, hopefully tonight when I download the photos.

Now to change clothes and head back out to the farm to keep going with harvesting our garlic bulbs and figuring out just how to get the drying process started with this massive quantity since it may still a week or two before our barn is finished - I hope that next year we are more organized as "second year farmers".  :-)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow, inch by inch and row by row!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our Independence Day Meal

Here is what we served. I am sorry there are no photos from my camera, which was left back at the farm, but I have added 3 pix from my husband's camera at the end of the post.

• Grilled chicken (from Back Forty Acres in Chelsea, MI)
• Marinade made by blending our garlic scapes with lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and water
• Grilled garlic scapes (yes, yes, oh my - as great or even better than grilled asparagus!)
• Roasted organic Yukon gold potatoes (not local) with snips of our rosemary plant
• Green salad made with locally grown red leaf lettuce (Our Family Farm, Manchester, MI), cabbage (TantrĂ© Farm, Chelsea, MI), sunflower sprouts and fennel (GardenWorks, Ann Arbor, MI)
• Salad dressing made from olive oil and our home-made chive blossom vinegar
• Dessert was Black Raspberry Pudding Cake, made with our own black raspberries picked at the farm plus organic spelt flour (grown in Nashville, MI by the Jennings Brothers)

Recipe - Black Raspberry Pudding Cake

    •    2 cups blackberries (more or less depending on what you picked and ate!)
    •    1 cup all purpose flour (I used organic spelt flour grown in Michigan - Jennings Bros.)
    •    1 tsp. baking powder
    •    1-1/2 cups sugar
    •    1/2 cup lowfat milk
    •    3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
    •    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    •    1 Tbs. cornstarch
    •    1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place blackberries in the bottom of a buttered 8-inch cake pan or baking dish. Combine flour, baking powder, and half the sugar in a mixing bowl. Add milk, melted butter and vanilla. Using an electric mixer (I just beat by hand with a good wisk), beat until smooth. Spread batter over blackberries. Combine remaining sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle over batter. Pour boiling water over mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes or until tester comes out clean when inserted in center. 

This recipe serves 8-12 people.

This recipe has so much sugar that the small serving size, i.e. 12 versus 8, was plenty for me. However, my husband and younger son both wanted a second piece and I'm sure would have eaten more if we hadn't been already pleasantly full from our delicious meal. Next time I would try to follow my own rule (!) to cut the sugar in half and see what happens.

The blessing we read before eating this delicious and bountiful meal:

To all else thou hast given us, O Lord,
we ask for but one thing more:
Give us 
grateful hearts.
~~ George Herbert (1593-1633)

I hope you also celebrated some food independence over this holiday weekend!

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

 (Photo from Dick Dyer: Chicken pieces with garlic scape marinade and garlic scapes on the grill)

(Photo from Dick Dyer: Grilled garlic scapes ready to eat!)

(Photo from Dick Dyer: Grilled chicken and garlic scapes, ready to devour!)

Friday, July 2, 2010


Here is it - finally - the recipe and photos for my Garlic Scape-Kale Pesto recipe. We are still using what this recipe made earlier in the week; tonight I added a teaspoon to each serving of my stand-by red lentil soup along with serving more pasta tossed with the garlic scape-kale pesto (hard to get enough of that!) and some chopped red peppers from the freezer.

Garlic Scape - Kale Pesto


1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes) cut into ¼-inch slices

3-5 leaves lacinato (dinosaur) kale, tough stems removed and then slice into sideways strips
1/3 cup walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts (toasting these adds a nice twist)
3/4 cup olive oil

~ 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 

1/2 teaspoon salt
 (I omitted since there is enough salt from the cheese for me)
black pepper to taste (I did not add any)


Place scapes, kale, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind until well combined and somewhat smooth but not purely pureed. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated but there is still some "chunkiness". Transfer mix to a mixing bowl.  Add parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1-1/2 cups of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Or transfer to an ice-cube tray and freeze to be defrosted and used one cube at a time at your leisure.  The latter approach makes scape pesto available even in mid-winter, when it’s use can make a scrumptious dish.

This pesto is bright green in contrast to the beautiful light green pesto made just from the garlic scapes.

 (Photo: Variety of garlic scapes and lacinato kale leaves, with stems removed)

(Photo: Garlic Scape - Kale Pesto on a toasted bagel, showing it is still a bit "chunky" rather than blended smooth)

Enjoy, enjoy - there is no shortage of ways to use any pesto, let alone a pesto made with kale, my favorite vegetable.

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD