Interview with Patrick O’Neill, CEO of Amp Your Good – 08.27.15

Patrick O’Neill is the Founder and CEO of Amp Your Good.  After graduating from West Point and serving on active duty in the US Army, he began a private sector career focusing upon real estate, energy, technology and social enterprise.  He has founded, co-founded and led several companies and has served on the board of directors of for profit, not for profit, public and private companies.  He is married and has four children and lives in NJ (the Garden State!) He enjoys skiing, science fiction, youth sports and cooking.

Current projects

  1. The REAL food drive campaign – a national campaign – see www.realfooddrive.org
  2. Chefs Community Table – restaurant quality meals to help those facing hunger – Bhavani – if you get a chance – watch this video before the interview –
  3. Curbing Hunger campaign


Download this episode (right click and save)


Vegan,GF, Eggplant Rollatini with Cashew Pesto Cream and Plum Tomatoes in White Wine


EGGPLANT                                                                                                                         PLUM TOMATO SAUCE
2 large eggplants (or 3 medium), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices                            2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup almond milk                                                                                                                      1 medium yellow onion, chopped

extra-virgin olive oil                                                                                                                  6 cloves garlic, minced
salt for eggplant                                                                                                                          Salt and Freshly ground pepper

3 cups GF Bread crumbs                                                                                                          15 organic plum tomatoes- cut in half

1 t. oregano. 3 t. Basil, 2 t. garlic powder, S & P                                                                  1 cup white organic wine

1- 32 oz Jar Organic Marinara Sauce

                                                                                                                                               2 Tbs. chopped parsley



3 cups cashews- soaked for 3 hours in water                                                                   TOPPING

2 cups water                                                                                                                       1 package Rice Mozzarella

1 t. sea salt

1 ½ cups Vegan Pesto
Lay the eggplant slices out on a large cookie sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 20 minutes, then, with paper towel, wipe off salt and extracted water from eggplant. Using 2 glass pie pans, make a mixture with the GF Bread Crumbs and the spices in one, and the almond milk in the other. Dip the eggplant slices into the almond milk, and then into the bread crumbs. Cover the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil. Bring to medium high heat, and then add the slices of eggplant. Cook until golden brown, then turn over and repeat on the other side. You will need to work in batches, wiping out the pan in between each round, and adding more olive oil, until all of the eggplant is cooked. Remove the finished pieces of eggplant onto a cookie sheet, lined with paper towel, to absorb any extra oil.

Make the Cashew Pesto Cream;

While the eggplant is cooking, make the cashew pesto cream. Drain the cashews and put into a food processor. Pulse the cashews until chopped. Add the water and continue pulsating until smooth. Scrape down the edges, and turn the processor on, and puree until very smooth. Add the pesto and salt, and puree again. Taste the mixture, and add more salt, if desired.

Plum Tomato Sauce;

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until lightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and continue cooking for another few minutes. Add the white wine and cook it down for 5 minutes. Add the remaining half of the marinara sauce, and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley.

Assemble the Eggplant.

Cover the bottom of a glass casserole pan with ½ of the marinara sauce.   Holding one piece of eggplant in your hand at a time, add 2 Tbs. of the cashew mixture onto the bottom third of the eggplant slice. Then roll it up and place it, seam down, into the casserole pan. Continue in this manner, until all of the eggplant is rolled up, lining each piece next to the other.

Top eggplant with tomato sauce and rice mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes.

Vegan Pesto


4 cups Basil leaves

8 cloves garlic

¾ cups raw pine nuts

1 cup Cold Pressed Olive Oil

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ t. pepper

In a food processor, pulse the basil until finely chopped. Add garlic cloves, salt, pepper and pine nuts. Pulse some more, scrapping down sides to incorporate all of the mixture. When fully pureed, add the olive oil while the food processor is running. The mixture will become thick.