Asparagus Pesto Pasta

File this under ridiculously easy meals.

Monday night I wasn’t feeling the steak and potatoes we had planned. Probably a side effect of recovering from that stomach bug I had. I wanted something comfort-foodie. Pasta is always a great option for this, especially when garlic bread is on the side. Unfortunately I didn’t have any garlic bread, but I did have loads of organic pasta from Costco that needed to be used.

Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Serves 4

Nutritionals: Cal: 413, Carb: 46g, Fat: 21 g, Pro: 10g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g

Ingredients

8 oz pasta of your choice (I used fusilli)

12 spears asparagus, chopped

8 large cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size

3/4 cup prepared pesto (I used Trader Joe’s)

Directions

Bring pot of water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. Three minutes prior to finish, add the asparagus. Drain and toss with pesto and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to desired taste.

Like I said, easy peasy.

What is your favorite way to eat pesto?

Herbtastic pasta

I love summer. It is, hands down,* my favorite season.

*what a silly expression. Where did this come from? I guess when things are difficult I throw my hands up with frustration, so maybe when they are down my mood is the opposite?

And although summer isn’t officially upon us, my house isn’t agreeing with the calendar. We’ve had quite a bit of nasty humid air + thunderstorms lately, and my house is a stuffy box by the time I get home from work. Thus, the hubs is breaking out the BBQ tongs more often, and I am coming up with no-cook, or relatively no-cook meals.

Half of this recipe is no-cook. The other half, unfortunately, requires you to turn on your stove. But if you time this half perfectly, then you can throw open the windows and let the hot air meander outside while you go on about your day.

In the hotter months I like to cook up a batch of plain pasta and keep it, (with a little olive oil so it doesn’t get sticky) in a tupperwear in the fridge. Then I divvy it up for cold pasta salad whenever I feel the urge throughout the week. This sauce is perfect for a cold pasta, but it is equally enjoyable on a hot bed of whole wheat goodness.

Herbtastic Pasta Sauce

Serves 6

Nutritionals: Cal: 92, Carb: 1g, Fat: 8g, Pro: 3g, Sugar: 1g

Ingredients

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/4 bunch parsley

(or 5-6 ginormous Italian Giant Leaf Parsley leaves)

3 green onions

3-4 garlic cloves

2 handfuls spinach (1 1/2ish cups)

3 TBS EVOO

3 TBS lemon juice

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage non-fat)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

Directions

Throw cilantro, parsley, garlic cloves, green onions and spinach and olive oil into your food processor.

Pulse until a paste is formed, (you may need to use a rubber spatula to push down the herby goodness a few times). Add remaining ingredients and whirl away until everything is incorporated and smooth.

Top over your favorite pasta, or use as a summer dip.

Tonight we used whole wheat penne pasta as our base and topped it with some leftover grilled chicken and tomatoes. Holy yum!

Seconds, please.

A day late, a dollar short.

I had a fabulous time frolicking in Minnesota with my lovely college pals, Veronika and Ali.

This, of course, delayed my normal weekend routines. One of which, is one of my favorite past times: meal planning. Nerd alert!

I came home to discover The Hubs had taken it upon himself to create this week’s meal plan. Thanks Hubs!

Sunday: grilled chicken ceasar salad

Monday:  Insane in the membrane [turkey] burgers + kale chips

Tuesday: pasta (see below)

Wednesday: French Dips (a la crockpot, recipe forthcoming)

Thursday: South Perry Pizza & a trip to the South Perry Farmer’s Market opening day!

Friday: Leftover french dips

Saturday: wild card – help me choose! What is your favorite weekend recipe?

And back to that pasta…I’ve had this bad boy* in the pantry for a few months.

And aside from making cilantro pesto, I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. I decided to whip up a Veronika inspired (i.e. cook pasta with wine) dish. Sadly, it was a big flop, or rather a big sticky mess. I think I needed more olive oil, or more wine, or both? I’m not really sure, but a quick glance at Pappardelle’s website hinted at where I had gone wrong: no cream! The sauce I made is very, very similar to this recipe off their website. I don’t have any heavy cream in the fridge, but I think I may make this sauce in the future.

The process and aftermath, however, were rather pretty. So I’ll leave you with a few pasta pictures to get your mouth watering.

Garlic

Cilantro

Yes, the pasta really is this yellow.

*Pappardelle’s can be found in Spokane at The French Quarter, which is not listed in their locations section.

What is your favorite weekend meal? What should I cook for my wild card Saturday (carb heavy, due to 1/2 Marathon training)?

G-O-N-Z-A-G-A Go Gonzaga!

Tonight my two alma maters face off!

I attended Saint Mary’s my freshman year of college and transferred to Gonzaga my Sophomore year. Tonight’s game is a big one, and students have been camping out in “tent city” since Tuesday.

(source)

I never participated in the camp out for games, I always had to work 😦

I missed the first 6 minutes because ESPN2 seemed to think showing the end of the UCLA v. Arizona game was more important. Sigh.

But back to the beginning of my day…I actually hit the gym for that treadmill date. I knocked out 2.19 miles in 30 minutes. Did I mention I am painfully slow?

A brekkie of oats were consumed during my normal Thursday meeting.

A mixture of old fashioned oats, almond milk/water, chia seeds, blueberry and cherry craisins, and pepitas.

So you know how I mentioned I make 3 containers of oats at a time? By the 3rd day the oats are kind of amazing. They soak up so much moisture that I have to add a tad more water to them. They cook better in the microwave this way and never explode (unlike my Monday oats). If you haven’t tried pre-making your oats, you should give it a shot.

Snacks included a strawberry chobani and a babybel.

Lunch was a freezer meal that looked a lot more appetizing on the box.

Real version.

If you must eat a freezer meal the Kashi are pretty good flavor wise and they don’t give you a stomachache or sluggish feeling afterward unlike lean cuisine/smart ones/healthy choice.

On the side I had a salad.

Yesterday’s salad was so much better!

I also was suckered into buying some World’s Finest (WORST!) Chocolate for a school fundraiser…

And Libb, my live-in sue chef, responded kindly to my 3:30 text (requesting veggies to be prepped for dinner). It is so nice to come home and have everything ready to go.

But first we had to make a detour to the goat. They are doing a “check-in” deal through facebook right now where you will earn a free app after 5 check-ins. Clearly we needed to partake. Funny thing, I’ve never checked in anywhere. Leave it to the goat to change my facebook ways.

Tonight we sampled the McLellan Rocks Spuds.

And I definitely ate more than my share of the arugula clump in the middle. I’m fairly positive it is supposed to be garnish. I don’t care, I’m an arugula freak.

Arugula pesto is bomb.

More please.

Upon arriving home I whipped up some Barilla Plus whole wheat penne and basil,

and a quick sauce of onion, shrooms, garlic, diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper, oregano with spinach and feta chicken sausage all deglazed with some chardonnay.

Pretty good, but I don’t think the whole wheat soaks up the sauce as well as regular ‘ol enriched pasta. The Brailla Plus brand is the best, but it still isn’t the same as the less nutritious kind.

I’m really hoping my Zags win, I can’t face the taunting from my Gaels if they don’t!