6 servings of your favorite pasta cooked & reserve some pasta water
1 cup raw walnuts
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water until soft & roughly chopped
3 cups loosely packed baby spinach
2 tablespoons- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
Place the walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and process for 30 more seconds. Add the baby spinach and nutritional yeast, process for 30 seconds. Slowly add the olive oil through feed tube and process until fully combined. Pour the pesto into a large bowl and top with the hot pasta. Toss the pastas with the pesto adding one tablespoon of pasta water at a time to loosen up the sauce as needed.
Friday after work Neil and I headed to Portsmouth, NH to meet up with my parents for the night. We got to the hotel and jumped on the treadmill for a 2 mile run before getting ready to go out for dinner. For dinner we decided to dine at The Portsmouth Brewery where we all started with a beer; I got the red, it was okay-not great.
While I looked over the menu we snacked on some chips and salsa:
For dinner I had to make a choice out of a few vegan friendly options:
Although both of these sounded good Neil and I both decided to get this:
The wrap was full of veggies and tempeh but I was not too impressed with the flavor, or rather lack there of. It was pretty bland so I added the salsa from my chips, which I didn’t eat since I had chips and salsa already.
Overall the food was okay and the beer was blah not my favorite. I probably wouldn’t return to The Portsmouth Brewery and I definitely wouldn’t order a beer from there again.
Saturday morning we headed back into Portsmouth for breakfast at The Friendly Toast a retro dinner with (over priced) breakfast. The restaurant has a fun 60’s/70’s theme and a huge menu but it’s a little expensive for my pocket.
Neil and I had tofu scramble, coffee and water for breakfast. Overall the food was pretty good, the coffee was great and the water cold. The Friendly Toast is a fun place but it is a little pricey and can get crazy busy.
After breakfast we did a little window shopping and then headed to the farmers market where I got the best black iced tea ever.
That concludes our visit to Portsmouth! Stay tuned for Portland and Race Re-cap posts!
Yesterday I picked up our CSA share filled with a bunch of fun veggies to use. I usually plan our meals for the week but this week has been crazy for me so I had to whip up dinner on the spot. Our dinner was from our share with the exception of the whole wheat couscous, salad dressing (homemade), and tofu.
To help me cook I enjoyed an end of the day, post ab workout beer:
Green Tomato & Herb Couscous with Roasted Tofu and Zucchini
Green Tomato & Herb Couscous
4 servings of cooked couscous (cook according to the package)
1 medium green tomato, diced
1 bunch of curly parsley, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon tahini
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a large bowl toss together the couscous, green tomato, parsley and green tomato. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients; start with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add more to taste or thin if necessary. Add the dressing to the couscous mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
After dinner I got sucked into reading The Hunger Games. I started the book yesterday morning and couldn’t take my hands off it! Instead of organizing like I had originally planned to do I spent the night reading ….and I finished the book. SO GOOD! While reading I took a short break to make a lemon soygurt and berry parfait for dessert.
Q: Are there any books that you have read that you just couldn’t take your hands off of?
Check out Ricki’s Summer Wellness Weekends Event happening over at her blog! You’ll find one of my recipes and a number of other great healthy ones.
Last night started what I hope to be a tradition of dinner and a movie with our friend Laura. We have been talking for months (years?) about watching the Bourne Trilogy because Laura is obsessed and neither Neil or I have seen them. We finally made a dinner and a movie date and watched the first one last night. Laura cooked spaghetti and provided the wine, I brought the salad and the Hubz brought the chocolate. We had a wonderful night of chatting, eating and movie watching. Now we have to set the date to watch the 2nd movie!
Laura Cooking Up a Storm
Salad with creamy pesto dressing
My Plate - YUM
Laura's Cat...this is as close to Neil as she would get- the he tried to touch her...not recommended
Nutrition Tuesday is turning into Food Tuesday this week because I’m really excited to share my recipe from tonight’s dinner. I am tired out tonight and am having a hard time focusing writing a more informative post but don’t worry things will be back on track for next week. Okay so lets talk food; first lets rewind to last nights dinner. Last night the Hubz took over dinner and made VeganYumYum’s Easy Weekend Pancakes as part of the Cookbook Club.
With our pancakes we had a side of fruit (I was too full to eat my dates) and we topped our pancakes with a little almond butter, chocolate chips (for fun) and a homemade blue-raspberry sauce. Overall we thought the pancakes were good but they weren’t our favorite; we probably won’t make them again.
Dinner tonight was all about making a nice restaurant dinner at home. The Hubz and I have been trying to have more date nights in and I am loving it because that means more time in the kitchen; as the Hubz says “I have my groove back.” So tonight I decided to make a delicious Italian inspired meal of pesto manicotti, red wine and raspberry vanilla soygurt parfait.
Presto Pesto Manicotti
Yields 4-5 Servings
Preheat Oven 350F
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 bunch of basil
1/3 C olive oil
1/4 C water
In the bowl of a food processor place the garlic and salt; pulse 5-6 times.
Add the cashews and nooch and pulse 5 times.
Add the basil and process on low; steam the olive oil and then the water in through the feed tube.
Remove from the food processor and set aside- don’t clean the food processor out though use it for your tofu ricotta!
Tofu Ricotta (make in the processor that has the pesto remains, you don’t want to miss out on any yummy goodness)
1 block extra firm tofu
1/3C almond milk
2 garlic cloves
1/2t black pepper
1/3 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
To the food processor add everything to the bowl and process on low until the tofu mixture is smooth.
10 manicotti shells (cook by directions)
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
In a 9×12 baking dish evenly spread a 1/4 cup of pesto on the bottom of the dish. Fill 10 cooked manicotti shells and place in the baking dish in one layer. Top with remaining pesto- spreading it evenly over the manicotti. Sprinkle with shredded vegan cheese, if using. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes. ENJOY!
Now I’m off to watch NCIS with the Hubz! Goodnight!
After six weeks my parents finally returned from their trip to Florida and we decided to take them out for their 30th wedding anniversary -YES 30 YEARS!! Since it was a special occasion we gave them a few options and they chose Trattoria Delia. I was excited because I had never been there and the Hubz who had been with work said it was really delicious. Since it is a nicer spot I felt awkward whipping out my camera so the following are sneaky iphone photos.
We started with a liter of wine for the table and enjoyed the beautiful fire place and rustic atmosphere. We also had some amazing yummy bread with wonderful fruity olive oil.
We started with a vegan antipasti for the table and an order of bruschetta both were really amazing. The vegan antipasti was not on the menu but they had no problem creating a vegan plate for us.
For our main courses the Hubz and I both got the Orecchiette con Fricone “Fricone, dialect of the southern region of Puglia for a fried tomato sauce, made from vine-ripened tomatoes, crushed garlic, a pinch of red pepper and arugula, tossed with an imported handmade ear-shaped pasta and pecorino cheese. This dish was easily veganizable and they were will to create other dishes for you as well. It sounds really simple but it was one of the most amazing pasta dishes I have ever had.
We finished the night with espressos and lingering conversation. Overall we had a wonderful experience. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was lovely and although service was not over the top they were attentive and allowed you to enjoy the experience there was no push to get you out the door.
The Hubz and I decided to extend the night into a date and had one cocktail out at a bar where we had a horrible experience but oh well we were together.
Hubz Cocktail- "Border Patrol- Canadian Club Whisky and Vermont Maple Liqueur"
However after a late night (for me) I feel a little like this today
I used to eat oats all the time but lately I’ve been having soyogurt, scones and green juice but finally yesterday I returned to my old friend oats, if only it could have been oats in a jar. I also had oats this morning as well and I think tomorrow OIAJ will happen.
On Monday I got home from work to find my Easy Lunch Boxes sample had arrived and I couldn’t wait to try them out. My husband and I bring lunch everyday to work because it’s healthier, cheaper and easier than going out for lunch, besides the fact that we don’t really have time to go out for lunch during the work week. I have to say one of the hardest things at our house however is finding containers to pack our food into. The Hubz We are notorious for leaving our tupperware at work or in the car so it is nice to finally have some new ones.
I went right to work putting together my lunches for the week and because they stack so great I could just stick them in the fridge and grab them when I head out the door. This makes like so much easier because I don’t have to get up in the morning and make lunch or do it the night before they are all ready to go. I also received a cute purple lunch box that fits the containers perfectly- I think this is my first real lunch box since elementary school. If you check back later today I think there might be a giveaway post for your own chance to win these eco friendly lunch boxes.
For my lunches this week we have some fruit, salad and the most delicious GF vegan raw sprouted crackers from Livin’ Spoonfuls I have ever tasted. I tried the coconut curry yesterday and they were amazing I am sure I will post more about these later.
Dinner last night was delicious and filled with healthier versions of two of my favorite things- chili and quesadillas. I know I have blogged about these before but Maria and Ricardo’s Low Carb Tortillas are my favorite tortillas for a few reasons they are low in calories, fat and carbs and are made with ingredients that are all natural.
In my quesadillas I put some scallions and a serving of cheddar Daiya cheese- I couldn’t hold myself back from buying it the other day when I saw that it was on sale for $2 off. We tried the mozza a few weeks ago and I decided that a sale was a good excuse reason to try the cheddar; I think I am a bigger fan of the cheddar so far.
To go with our quesadillas I made up some chili with kidney and black beans that I had soaked the night before and I added a bunch of great veggies to it including mustard greens.
Beans and Greens Chili
1/2T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1.5 cups cooked kidney beans
1.5 cups cooked black beans
1T tomato paste
2 t cumin
1 t paprika
1/2 t oregano
1T nutritional yeast
2t chili powder
dash of cayenne
1t garlic powder
1t onion powder
1/4t black pepper
3 cups mustard greens, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, sliced
1T chipotle hot sauce or 1t chipotle chili powder (optional)
In a medium pot heat the oil over medium-high and add in the onion and carrots; saute for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute. Add in the vegetable broth, tomato paste and beans and bring to a boil; turn down to medium low and let simmer for 15 minutes. While the beans simmer mix the cumin, paprika, oregano, nutritional yeast, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder salt and pepper with 2T of water to make a paste. Stir the spice paste into the beans and then top with the mustard greens and cover; let the greens wilt. Stir in the greens and scallions. At this point you can eat as is or if you want you can add in the chipotle hot sauce or chipotle chili powder- I think that with the beans and greens this smoky flavor and heat is a great addition to the chili but it is yummy without it as well.
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