One of the nut-based foods I really miss is pesto, which is usually made with pine nuts but sometimes walnuts or even almonds. Sure, I prefer breathing comfortably, but knowing what you’re missing can be a drag when your dining companions are chowing down on deliciously green-coated pasta. Or when, like, every dining establishment ever seems to think every roasted vegetable sandwich needs a swab of basil-y paste to make it complete.
My internship partner and I talk recipes sometimes, and pumpkin seed pesto is something I remember brainstorming back on the Westchester shuttle this April. Took me long enough to get around to making it, but I finally did, and I’m so glad.
Pasta with motherf***ing pesto—finally!
Another of my fellow interns says her mom makes pasta with potato in it instead of pine nuts, so I think that might be my next experiment. For the time being, though, this pumpkin seed one is a keeper. Visit Peas and Thank You for the recipe—it’s delicious and super-simple. Mama Pea, you’re my hero : )
Do you like pesto? What’s your favorite way to make it?
Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend! I’m still pretty fried, but my apartment is looking great and already feels like home. Naturally, the kitchen was one of the first things I set up, and I’ve already made some nice things there. I still have to clean the oven, though, before I feel like it’s ready to be used…
I did find time to get cleaned up and go out to dinner on Saturday night. I’m so glad it’s sundress weather. There really is nothing like enjoying a meal outside on a warm summer evening.
A meal one of my friends made—delicious
While I love going out to restaurants and sharing meals at friends’ homes, I always dread that moment where I have to bring up the Tree Nuts Thing. Over the past year it’s gotten easier, but it still makes me cringe a bit. I’m not used to being someone with a dietary restriction, and I’m always afraid I’ll be asked for proof or told, “If you have your epi pen, you’ll be fine.”
Anyway, on Sunday morning, I came across this article in the New York Times about how people deal with dietary restrictions when cooking with or for friends. I remember having a great time hosting a vegetarian, gluten-free dinner party last spring, and I do enjoy the challenge of coming up with something delicious that people with particular restrictions can eat. I’ve also been that guest who RSVPs with, “Hey, just wanted to give you a heads up/let me know if I can bring anything.”
Do you have any food restrictions you need to share when dining out? Do you enjoy cooking for others with restrictions or feel more inclined to let them bring their own food?
Despite all the reading I have for class, I felt like cooking when I got home tonight. It is my favorite procrastination tool, after all. My plans for a spice-rubbed tofu led to marinated (in leftover cucumber-yogurt dressing) baked tofu over another Greek-style salad. Sometimes having similar dinners two nights in a row is just how it goes when you’re busy. And besides, salad is so refreshing on a hot night!
Chris also decided to make some sunflower-seed butter. It came out really well, especially when you consider he’d never made nut butter before. Hahaha um…”nut butter” just sounds so awkward. I’m giggling like I’m twelve.
Okay, time to go back to being a grad student again : (
For years, I have been a loyal lover of oatmeal. It’s nice to have a reliable go-to food for busy mornings. Oatmeal is especially convenient because it’s easy to make and is packed with lots of nutrients like iron (great for people like me who aren’t gonna get it from steak), fiber, and calcium.
Another thing I love about it is that you can add almost anything to it. Fruit, nuts, wheat germ, and lots more. I’ve even eaten it with ice cream. Sometimes I put protein powder in it when I need a little boost, and another favorite mix-in is pumpkin.
A friend was telling me recently that she likes to mix a tablespoon of almond butter into her oatmeal after it’s cooked. “Tasty protein!” she raved. I tried it this morning, and wow. The almond butter does something cool to the texture of the oatmeal or the oatmeal does something cool to the texture of the almond butter. Whatever it is, it’s awesome.
I’ll tell you a secret: I hate getting on the scale—absolutely dread it—because the number is often lower than I’d like. Though I make an effort to eat enough to keep up with my busy lifestyle, I go through phases where I have a hard time keeping weight on.
That’s a big part of why I tend to think negatively on the rampant weight loss industry and the media’s obsession with weight loss. However, I suppose my perspective does help balance my viewpoint and requires me to take several sides of an issue into account when I read nutrition and health articles, especially those concerning weight.
Today I had a check up with my doctor, and was frustrated to find I’m not quite where I should be. While most people would be thrilled with the prescription she gave me: “peanut butter, shakes, and ice cream,” it’s tough to consciously go against pretty much everything I hear and read.
Guess it’s back to sneaking nuts and cheese and dried fruit into things and trying to be mindful to take in more calorie-dense foods. One good thing about having some knowledge of nutrition and how to meet my needs is that it does make it easier to know what to do to keep myself healthy. The issue, of course, is always habit, turning off the autopilot once in a while.
Oh well, at least summer’s coming, which makes ice cream a pretty easy choice. I wish New York would adopt Dairy Queen, that’s one of the few things from the suburbs I miss!
Happy Memorial Day. Hope you have a great long weekend planned!
Something you’ll probably see me post a lot about is vegetarianism.
I never intended to become a vegetarian—and technically, I’m still not one—but since meeting and living with Chris, I’ve come to appreciate meat-free foods. We don’t really keep meat in the house (except for the occasional carton of egg whites when we’re baking cookies or something, if that counts), and we often go to one of the many vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly restaurants in New York, since there are so many.
I do still eat meat on occasion, though over the past year-and-a-half, I’ve very gradually transitioned from eating it once a day to once a week. It hasn’t been a conscious effort, exactly. To be honest, it’s more that I’ve just gotten used to it and come to really enjoy some of the benefits of a vegetarian diet. I feel like I have more energy and get sick less frequently. I also sleep better—much better—than I used to.
Of course, there are plenty of other factors that contribute, but some of the other perks include that feeling that I am making a choice that benefits the planet and its creatures (hah, creatures)—we humans love feeling “green,” don’t we?—and the sweetness of saving a little money.
And did I mention how awesome and amusing fake meat is? It basically is what it sounds like: texturized soy or gluten protein flavored to taste like various meat products. For example, the other night, I made this masaman curry with vegetarian duck in it. We had just spent the day in Chinatown wandering around and stocking up on various canned fake meat products we’d never encountered before.
Last night, we made pad thai with fried gluten, which was oddly similar to scrambled egg. We also threw in some chopped peanuts. Since we were out, Chris went to the deli on the corner and came home with a pack of Uncle Jesse’s nuts. I about died laughing…