Tag Archives: Pesto

and life begins

Grr. WordPress and I aren’t getting along. I just noticed that my last post got converted to an earlier draft that basically didn’t have any content. So if you were one of the people that saw that version and thought I was exceptionally lame, feel free to go back and check it out.

Anyway, recipe time!

In my week of strict paleo, I came up with a few simple recipes that I have been itching to share. As I looked down at my plate meal after meal, I realized how differently I eat now compared to just 3 years ago. Once I got it through my head that saturated fats are not the devil, I began eating more protein, but the big changes didn’t really happen until a year ago. Reading more studies and opinions widened the range of meat that I would try. Now, I love roasted chicken with the skin, fattier cuts of beef, bacon, duck, pate, egg yolks, and sausage. But it wasn’t until I started flirting with paleo that things like liver and bone marrow began to cross my lips ;). Don’t worry, this recipe isn’t for liver. Baby steps.

Also. I am toying with the idea of getting my personal training license. I think it would be something I would enjoy doing on the side as I try to figure things out.  Does anyone have any thoughts, opinions, or experiences they would like to share?

roasted lemon rosemary chicken with chard & paleo pesto

RECIPE: MAKES 3 SERVINGS

Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken
1 pasture raised chicken breast, with skin & bone
1 tsp butter or olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, de-stemmed
4+ cloves of garlic
salt, to taste
Directions - Preheat the oven to 425. Place the chicken on a baking sheet. Rub the butter or olive oil over the chicken. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and let pool on the bottom of the pan. De-stem the rosemary and sprinkle over the chicken. Peel as many garlic cloves as desired and place on the chicken. Keep some whole and dice the others. Sprinkle on salt. Roast for 1 hour. Serve with sauteed chard massaged with basil pecan pesto (recipe below). Enjoyy.

Basil Pecan Pesto (paleo)

Recipe: Makes 3-5 servings

1 cup basil, packed
1/2 cup mostly roasted pecans, some cashews (for creaminess)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (secret ingredient)
a few shakes of salt
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in a tight container in the fridge. Can also be frozen! (It will brown but it tastes the same.)

Benefits

Basil * Has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids protect your cells from damage (and thus, in the long run, cancer).

Nutritional Yeast * is one the very few non-meat sources of B vitamins! It also contains folic acid, biotin, and some protein and fiber.

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Chicken * an excellent source of lean, complete protein as well as B vitamins.

Detox: Day 3-5. Conquering of the migraines!

Day 3:

Day three was a success as far as the detox went. My headaches were still present, but more of a dull humming rather than an opera of cracked out hyenas. ………  I didn’t have any coffee, dairy, refined sugar or wheat, but my food was fugly. I was rushing around all day going to class and studying for my midterm and simply lived off of leftovers. Lunch looked appalling and I don’t want to desecrate my blog with photos of it.

workout: bikram yoga class

Day 4:

By day 4, the headaches were almost completely gone, but I was starting to crave MEAT. I wanted bigger meals and more quality protein, so thats what I had! I don’t remember all of my snacks, but I know that fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and grain-free banana bread was in thur (somewhur?).

Breakfast: 

bowl lickin’ good

Breakfast bulgur heated up with some almond milk and a banana-peach pie topping! The topping was completely inspired by Natalie. Simply put some coconut oil in a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add a few slices of peach and banana and saute. Add in a handful of walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup. Cook until everything is caramelized and delicious. Scoop on top of the bulgur.

Lunch:

Grilled chicken, bulgur, broccoli, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes tossed in basil walnut pesto. BOMB!

90 minutes of  indoor rock climbing!

Dinner: 

For dinner, I experimented with something that is new to me – white miso paste! I made a tasty stir fry with bok choy, japanese eggplant, yam noodles, and chicken that I will perfect and post soon!

Day 5:

Caffeine headaches were absent, but I finally started to miss my dearly beloved gelato! Snacks were the same as yesterday.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal topped with 3 scrambled eggs cooked with some butter, 1 sunny side up egg with yolk popped, and a handful of cherry tomatoes. Satisfying.

Lunch: 

Best meal of the day fer sure. 

BBQ salmon and white bean salad

Recipe: Serves 1

2 cups romaine lettuce

sliced cucumber

cherry tomatoes

~2 tbsp Annie’s Cowgirl Ranch dressing

4 oz salmon, grilled

~1/2 cup white beans, cooked

~2 tbsp Trader Joes BBQ sauce

pinch salt

handful whole wheat panko bread crumbs

Directions – Toss the salad, cucumber, and tomatoes with the ranch and plate. In a bowl, combine the salmon, white beans, and BBQ sauce. Mix well. Scoop on top of the salad. Top with a sprinkling of whole wheat bread crumbs.

Football Field Sprints Workout

10-15 minute warm up jog

100 meter sprint down the football field

100 meter walk back to start

repeat 10x

10 minute cool down jog

There is something sexy about running on the football field. I think it is because it has been somewhat of a forbidden fruit for me these last few weeks. Every time I run to the high school track and football field, it is infested with pre-pubescent boys practicing for pre-season, and I am stuck with the track and bleachers again.

Dinner:

Dinner was another stir fry, and just as delicious as the first! It was too late to take a photo, but the main ingredients were bok choy, quinoa, egg plant, chicken, shredded coconut, and the rest you will have to wait for!

Post Dinner… 

Seeing as Day 5 was a) my second genetics midterm, b) the anticipated end of my detox and c) Friday, I made mojitos and went out with some wonderful friends!

Skinny Mojitos

best summer drink e v e r 

Recipe: Serves 1

2 oz silver rum

~6 drops NuNaturals liquid stevia (or to taste)

2 tbsp lime juice (or to taste)

2 tbsp fresh mint

6 oz water

ice

Directions – Combine the rum, stevia, lime, and mint in a glass and muddle. Add the water and ice and stir. Enjoyyy!

I am going to keep up with not drinking coffee for as long as I can. I am hoping to simply only drink coffee when I really need it. I also might reduce the dairy a bit, since my digestion seems to have improved without it. Or was it the lack of coffee? Or gluten? Or..

Guess I’ll never know!

Ps – If you are a winner of my NuNaturals Stevia giveaway and you have not contacted me yet, please do so by Monday at noon. Otherwise, I will have to re-pick several winners! You can check here.

Detox: Day 1

The detox today was quite the success! I woke up and decided to forgo my usual coffee. I do not think that coffee is “bad for you” because we learned in Food Science that the effect that coffee has on our heath depends on our genetics. People who are fast metabolizers of caffeine (AKA can fall asleep in class soon after drinking 24 oz of light roast nectar) will not suffer ill effects from drinking coffee. Those who are slow metabolizers (people who are bouncing off the walls for hours after a small) may have an increased risk of heart attacks. While I am definitely a fast metabolizer of caffeine, I do think that it contributes to my constant state of mild dehydration. I could fix that by drinking enough water, but water is so borringggg.

Basically what I did for the detox was eliminate dairy, caffeine, and refined sugar and emphasize veggies, fruits, and whole grains in a series of mini meals. (Except I forgot there is some parmesan in my pesto…) The switch to mini meals was really different for me since I usually eat three big fatty meals a day. This way of eating, though, is a bit hard on the digestion. I prefer larger, more lavish meals over lighter, more numerous meals simply because they are more satisfying and usually have more complex flavors.

My number one beef with normal detoxes and “cleanses” is that they are usually essentially protein-free. I am not down with that. Eating or drinking only vegetables and fruits or weird spicy lemonade drinks is basically asking your body to please please burn off my muscle. Dietary protein is not stored in the body; our only sources of it are what we eat while it is still in our system and our own muscles. Every day, the cells of our muscles, hair, skin, everything turn over. We are constantly breaking down our muscles and rebuilding them. Sure, some of the protein that we broke down goes back, but some does not, and we need dietary protein to rebuild our cells every single day. So, to prevent muscle loss (and thus a slower metabolism!), I made sure I got enough protein through both complete sources and complementary sources.

First things first to get things movin’:

1 mug of hot water with fresh lemon and ginger

Mini meal #1:

Superfood Smoothie Recipe

I have had this Vega stuff sitting in my kitchen for over a year now and have hardly used it. To be honest, it really does not taste very good. Very planty, with essence of earth. But the nutrition facts are out of this world and I like that it has lots of enzymes to help things along!

1 1/2 scoops vega vanilla chai powder

~3/4 cup frozen blackberries

a few drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia

handful ice

~3/4 cup almond milk

Directions – Blend away!

Mini meal # 2:

Fruit & spice infused bulgur cereal

 

Recipe: Serves 1

3/4 cup bulgur breakfast mix (recipe below)

~1/2 cup almond milk

handful pecans and walnuts, chopped

Directions – Pour the almond milk over the bulgur breakfast mix and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Top with nuts.

Bulgur Breakfast Mix

Recipe: Makes 2-3 servings

1 cup bulgur

2 cups water

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

a few drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia

1 tbsp dried cherries

1 tbsp dried blueberries

1 tbsp dried raisins

1/2 tbsp flax

1 tsp psyllium

cinnamon to taste (I also added a pinch of nutmeg)

Directions – Combine the water and bulgur in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Pour into tupperware and add the almond milk, dried fruit, flax, psyllium, and spices. Seal and let sit in the fridge overnight.

30 minute run!

Mini meal # 3:

Kale & Carrot Salad with Honey Sesame dressing 

 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was definitely inspired by Natalie!

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 bunch kale

1 large carrot

handful shredded coconut, toasted

1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds

for the dressing -

1 tbsp tahini

1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/2 tbsp coconut butter, melted

2 tsp honey

Directions – Heat the coconut oil and coconut butter in the microwave until melted, about 20 seconds. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit. Wash the kale and tear the leaves from the stalks into a bowl. Grate the carrot into the bowl. Toss with all of the salad dressing. Top with sesame seeds and shredded coconut.

Mini meal # 4:

4 hardboiled eggs  (minus a yolk or two)

1/2 slice of grain free banana bread (recipe to come!)

Bikram yoga class for the first time in a year!

Meal # 5:

Summer vegetable & white bean-quinoa salad with basil walnut pesto

 

 

Recipe: Serves 1

1/2 cup white beans, cooked

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked

1 small patty pan squash

1 small zucchini

1/4 small sweet onion

~2 tbsp basil walnut pesto (recipe here!)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the squash and zucchini and onion into small cubes and place on a baking sheet. Bake for one hour and remove the onion and zucchini. Bake the squash for an additional 30 minutes. Combine the quinoa, beans, and vegetables in a bowl and toss with the pesto. Enjoyyyy.

Mini meal # 6:

1/2 slice grain free banana bread

2 hardboiled eggs

Whew! I feel pretty darn good. ;)

People, parmesan & pole dancing

Monday was a strange day. It started off normally, with obscene amounts of coffee, blog & Al Jazeera reading, and a track workout.

Sprint & Bleachers Track Workout

10 minute warm up jog (to track)

100 meter sprint

~150 meter slow jog (to bleachers)

1 set of bleachers, sprinting up the stairs

~150 meter slow jog (back to sprint starting point)

repeat 3x more

10 minute cool down jog

Then, I cleaned up and changed for class. I put on a leotard with a tiger on the front, high waisted corduroy shorts, oxfords, a Hello Kitty ring, and a gold whistle necklace. Weird? Yes. But I loved it.

When I got out of lecture, there was a note tucked into the spokes of my bike wheel. Apparently someone else liked my outfit too…

I continued on with my day with a goofy grin on my face and Right Thing To Do stuck in my head. I needed to go to the Co-Op to pick up some gluten free pasta for the dinner I was going to cook for my friend Sara. So, I went home and put a leash on Nina for a walk to the Co-op. On our way there, a girl was driving towards us and she slowed down right next to me, gave me the up and down, and burst out laughing. Guess she’s not into tigers?

I spent the rest of the walk thinking about the completely opposite reactions I had gotten to the same clothes. Basically, you should do, say, and feel what you want, because no matter what, some people are going to hate it and some people are going to love it. Its been said over and over again, but it’s so important to remember to stay true to yourself. That way, the people that like you – really like YOU – and not some facade you have created for others. It’s almost fun being a little freakazoid, because the people that are drawn to you are clearly unique and probably a hell of a lot of fun! I want to surround myself with people who are down to look stupid, don’t care what others think, and are too busy trying new things and having a blast to judge others.

Anywho, I picked up the pasta and then walked on over to our old house to pick some of the veggies I started growing a few months before we moved. There were so many luscious baby tomatoes! Look how gorgeous:

On our way back home, I received this text message….

No matter how many articles you have read about the degradation of feminism, you really cannot turn down a pole dancing class when you are wearing a tiger-print leotard. Especially when you get called out on being a self-proclaimed Yes Woman.

With pole dancing in my future, I decided to keep dinner fairly light. It was gluten free, vegetarian (both for Sara!), and UTTERLY DELICIOUS.

Gluten free pasta and summer vegetables tossed in walnut basil pesto

Recipe: Serves 2, plus extra pesto

For the basil walnut pesto –  I based it off of this recipe!

1 1/3 cups fresh basil, packed

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large clove garlic

1/3 cup grated parmesan

1/3 tsp salt

Directions – Combine all in a food processor or a Vita mix and blend until just slightly chunky.

the pesto is so good I seriously wanted to rub it all over myself

For the pasta -

2 cups zucchini, chopped (do not include the stringy/seedy innermost portion)

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups brown rice pasta, cooked

handful cherry tomatoes

salt

Directions – 1. Melt the butter in a pan on the stove on medium low heat. Saute the zucchini and onion until lightly browned. Remove from heat. 2. Boil the pasta until soft to your liking, drain, and combine with the vegetables. 3. Add the tomatoes and about 1/4 cup pesto. 4. Toss to combine. Divide between two bowls. Give each a shake of salt. Enjoy!

Note: This would be AWESOME with grilled chicken or white fish.

Sara and I, post feast

After dinner, I went to the class with two friends and laughed until my sides hurt. I am definitely not a natural pole dancer.

And I am okay with that.