Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pesto Pasta!

I love this pasta salad. I have only made it a couple of times. It's actually a pretty expensive salad. I would never make it for a get-together or anything like that, because I am selfish and want to keep it to myself. Pine nuts are anything but cheap. And I bought fresh basil, too. I recently found some boxes of spelt pasta at the B&D, and it is so delicious! I think it's nice to have something other than wheat once in a while.

And the artichokes really make the salad. So yummy and salty and tasty. Grace even liked the salad. It's such a fun bright green color. And the taste of basil...ahh heaven.

Artichoke-Pesto Penne Pasta Salad

1 pkg whole wheat penne pasta (or any variety, really)
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
olive oil
1 cup pine nuts
handful baby spinach
2 handfuls fresh basil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (or Parmesan cheese, if you swing that way)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 can artichoke hearts
salt and pepper

Cook pasta, drain and rinse with cold water. Saute garlic in a bit of olive oil until it starts to turn brown. Turn off heat and toss in pine nuts for a minute. Put garlic, nuts, basil, spinach, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice in food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle some olive oil into the processor until it reaches a nice creamy consistency. Drain and chop artichoke hearts, then mix with the pasta and pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Shopping Adventures

I had a great weekend hanging out with family and friends and consuming some alcoholic beverages and laughing and crying and food...I had a few firsts this weekend. My very first visit to a Trader Joe's. It was excellent. So much fun! Such great prices! Why can't there be one near me? I bought things there that I usually buy elsewhere for much more money. Goddess Dressing for $1.99 a bottle!!! The next day we went to Whole Foods. The great thing about that place was not the low prices (although I did find a few things there priced lower than what I'm used to paying). I had to ask someone, but I was able to find the Daiya vegan cheese. They only had the cheddar variety, and it was $4.35 a bag, so I bought two. I also bought a frozen cheeseless pizza. Guess what I had for supper that night?


It was delicious! It melted and had texture eerily reminiscent of cheese. It tasted almost sweet, and not enough like actual cheddar to fool a real cheese lover, but still, a lot like cheddar! I should have bought more. I will have to make regular trips up there to stock up. I just know that this cheese will make an unbelievable, melty, gooey, grilled cheese sandwich.

Sometimes something is so outrageously priced for what it is that you just have to buy it so you can say, "You'll never believe what this cost!" I bought a vegan S'more that was almost four dollars. It was very rich, and after I ate it, I felt a little bit sick to my stomach. It was yummy, but I should have just stopped after a few bites. Hard to imaging the marshmallow part was vegan, as it was just like any marshmallow I remember. Meh. I can live without marshmallows. But here's me eating my overpriced treat on the way home.

I am feeling recharged after my weekend getaway. I have some fresh basil in the refrigerator, and I am going to make an artichoke pesto pasta salad for lunch. I have some new raw recipes I am eager to try, and some foods from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods that I am excited to eat.

Off topic, but I have searched high and low and redone everything over and over and cannot retrieve my label cloud. UGHHHHH!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Food Rut

It occurred to me the other day that I am in a rut. I have not cooked anything new for a long time, and have been very scattered about my blogging. I just haven't even felt like it much. I have also been really bad when it comes to eating sugar lately. I fell off the wagon again, and I need to get back on. I really want to work on making my diet include a lot more raw foods. This summer should be a good opportunity for that. I need to detox, I need to walk, and I need to feel good.

I have even been forgetting about my kefir lately. I have had to throw out a few batches because it sat too long. I have yet to do anything worthwhile with my water kefir. I just now started a batch that should turn out really good. I put a slice of organic lemon in it, and I plan to make lemonade when it's done.

I must also confess that I have, from time to time, fallen off the vegan wagon. Before you freak out, let me explain. Every single one of the incidents involved sugar, and 98 percent of them were chocolate. I have found that when I get desperate, even the fact that there is a bit of milk in it hasn't stopped me. Blech! I can't believe I did that. It makes me double-pissed at myself, both for eating crap that is bad for my body, and for eating something not totally vegan.

But alas, I am human, and therefore I make mistakes all the time and hopefully learn from them. I need to work on listening to my body again, and only putting things in it that make it happy. That will work to make my mind happy as well.

So hopefully I will be blogging more, and sharing my cooking (or not cooking) experiences now that summer is upon us. I can hardly wait to eat the local organic produce, to freeze the organic strawberries I am going to buy from the Amish, to sit outside and eat a lot of fresh nectarines while I write my best-selling novel that will make me rich. HA!