Tag: pesto

My favorite photos of 2017: strawberry chia jam, corn and crawfish pie, red beans and rice, low country boil, sweet peppers, blueberry merk’s coffee cake, pesto three ways, Florida cranberry (hibiscus).

Change is necessary. Change is inevitable. Change is scary

The discussion of change almost seems a contradiction: how can something so normal and ever-present bring about such anxiety and stress? Change means evolving: evolving into something different–and hopefully–something better. Many look to a new year as a time of welcome changes: a new diet, a new fitness routine, maybe even a new relationship. For me, change comes in the form of a new job. After 9 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I’m going back to work. I’ve kept my toes wet in the nursing pool for the past 5 years, so I’m not completely rusty; but nevertheless, I am both excited and anxious at the thought of re-starting this chapter of my life. My biggest challenge will be finding a new kind of balance; one that coexists with a full time job.

Another transition has slowly been taking place over the past year: I have altered my diet to include meat and fish again. I was a vegetarian for six years and for much of that time, I felt better than I ever had. But gradually over the past year and a half, I haven’t felt the same: I’ve almost felt…imbalanced. I started gradually adding back those things I omitted all those years ago and started to notice differences: subtle at first, and then quite obvious. Not much else has changed–except now I like a little meat on the side of my veggies…

Inspiration Publications Travel

Pesto, three ways (left to right): pea shoots, sunflower seeds and walnuts (food processor); oven roasted tomato and hazelnuts (food processor); mixed greens, cilantro and almonds (blender).

Pesto was never on my radar. I was always a red sauce kind of girl…until I found a recipe for lemon spaghetti. With those two in my life, my pasta didn’t need any other options. I wasn’t completely ignorant: I had tried pesto a couple of times before, but only at restaurants; and honestly, while I like basil, I didn’t really enjoy an entire meal of it.

The one time I did venture out to buy pesto from the grocery store, I was not expecting what I found. Inside the container was an unemulisified mingling of dark green–nearly black–basil suspended in a layer of oil. That hallmark intense, kelly green color of homemade pesto was missing—it did not look appetizing. Despite its questionable appearance, I had to taste it; not surprisingly, the flavor was lackluster at best and the oiliness was overwhelming—I can’t believe I actually ate it. This solidified the case that pesto need not be in my repertoire.

Once I started my blog, daily food research brought me to videos all over social media about making fresh pesto. Not only did it look super simple to make, but the classic basil/pine nut duo no longer seemed to be the default combination: kale, spinach, parsley, and various nuts and seeds were taking center stage. All of those options opened a creative door for me; it was time to break out the Cuisinart.

Inspiration