Kale-Basil-Parsley Pesto with Toasted Nuts
E: I got home around 7:10 pm today. I didn’t have to cook because I have spaghetti and fajita leftovers. But I was in the mood for a vegetarian dish that incorporated kale. I got the idea to make this recipe once I saw the pine nuts in my pantry. I haven’t made pesto in over four years, so I kinda forgot how to make it. I started googling kale pesto and I found several recipes that used kale instead of basil and walnuts instead of pine nuts.
One recipe from epicurious from Fifty Shades of Kale, by Drew Ramsey, M.D. and Jennifer Iserloh mentions that kale-walnut pesto has high amounts of folate capable of producing a pound of serotonin in one hour- which they say translates into good sleep and a smile in the morning. Umm. .. sold!
E: We love fajitas in our house. It was actually the first meal we shared together. Sam took me to Margaritaville in Capitola and we shared fajitas for lunch on our first date. He likes to order beef, chicken and shrimp fajitas. At home I will sometimes make the trio for a special occasion. This time around I incorporated more vegetables. It was fun selecting what veggies to put in my taco and sometimes substituting out the chicken. I made the salsa ahead of time.
Instead of using the fajitas pre-packaged seasoning envelopes with preservatives, just make your own. I sometimes add lime juice at the end too. Okay, enjoy.
E: Happy winter! It was 37 degrees overnight in Gilroy. That is one of the coldest nights of the year. If you are in the mood for something warm, this soup is ideal.
First I have to say I’m sorry for not having blogged in awhile. I’ve been cooking, I just haven’t had time to blog about it. I’m a bit behind. Last weekend I ran a half-marathon and I injured my knee. I’ve been home for three days. Today is Veteran’s Day, so I’m off. Happy Veteran’s Day by the way. The weekend before that my parents came over. They had not visited for over seven months. It was nice to have them here. The weekend before that we went to a wedding, and before that we went on vacation. Long story short, life happens.
Protein Packed Mexican Style Eggs
E: I knew I was going to have a long-day today and possibly skip lunch. I started off with this baby. I used small organic eggs. We bought a 5 dozen pack from Costco, but the eggs are smaller than usual. I had salsa on hand as I usually do. If you don’t already have that then you are going to want to make that first which may take time. I ate these eggs with half a piece of toast and some papaya. It’s much like huevos rancheros without the tortilla and more egg whites for extra protein. Hope you like.
E: It’s Labor Day Weekend! I hope you had the chance to do absolutely nothing. Sam and I went furniture shopping and we picked up a few things for our Kauai trip. I got a cool hat. I did not run or lift weights, and I feel very guilty about it. But at the same time, I don’t remember the last time that I slept in until 10:30 am. I actually woke up after Sam, which rarely happens. Usually I’m back from my run, and have gotten started on breakfast by the time he gets up. Anyways, I’m glad I was able to escape from my work-life and relax on this extended holiday weekend.
I made this frittata in about 15 minutes. I start it off on the stovetop then finish it off in the broiler. It is savory and sweet from the cheese and warm juicy cherry tomatoes. Enjoy it with some coffee and your favorite toast.
Spaghetti Sauce a la Tricarico
E: Although this is a “spaghetti sauce” it’s technically more like a bolognese sauce, except it doesn’t come from bologna. My husband’s grandmother gave this recipe to my mother-in-law (MIL). Grandma likely learned it from her MIL who was a first generation Italian immigrant from Tricarico, Province of Matera, in southern Italy. After comparing marinara recipes from various sources, I learned that southern-Italy uses more ingredients than northern Italy.
Esme’s Turkey Chilli
(4 hours cook-time)
E: It’s Sunday, and I am not feeling well. I went on a run this morning and ten minutes in I got a migraine. My head started throbbing and I started to lose my vision. I made it back home and immediately iced my head, and closed my eyes. A few hours later Sam helped me pull myself together. He went to get me aspirin, and some lunch. I decided to make this chilli which takes about 30 minutes to make if you don’t think about the 3.5 hours it sits in the slow cooker without supervision. We had it for dinner, and we will have it tomorrow as well. This is my original recipe, and I hope you like it. I added brown rice this time, because it reminds me of albondiga soup which always brings me comfort.
During my time “relaxing” I caught up on some blogging. I’m going to get ready for a new day tomorrow, and hope this migraine and tension headache goes away.
Huevos Rancheros – Lite
E: Everyone loves huevos rancheros. I eat a healthier and simpler version though. I substitute sour cream for greek yogurt, leave out the re-fried beans and mexican-rice, use organic eggs, organic corn tortillas, avocado oil, leave out the cheese and top with whatever leftover homemade salsa I have on hand, without preservatives. However, I’ve included the optional add-ons I’ve excluded for the authentic mexican recipe.
Just thinking about it makes me want to go and eat this right now. I just love a perfectly cooked egg with the salsa and guac. So good.
A note on the optional beans: I rarely have time to make beans the correct way: soaking them overnight then boiling them at low temperature with onion, garlic and salt. When I do make beans, I use beans from my parent’s farm in mexico called “flor de mayo.” It’s a light pale and smaller bean. They are also organic and taste great. When I do have freshly boiled beans, they are without a doubt, added to my dish. Except I either don’t fry them, or if I use either avocado oil or coconut-oil, a trick I learned from my sister Sandra. On days when I don’t have freshly boiled beans I use canned organic beans. I usually have canned black or cannellini beans, in stock. Depending on what I’m feeling that day, I’ll just rinse them blend them with water, and heat them up in the microwave with some salt, pepper and cumin.
Esme’s Chunky Guacamole
E: We loooove avocados! Sam’s parents gave us an avocado tree as a housewarming present. We are considering planting a second-type of avocado tree, and one that is not a dwarf like the one we currently have. I cannot wait until we have them in stock. The obvious thing to make with avocados is guacamole. However, once we have them in stock I’ll be exploring with avocado soup, avocado ice cream, and other weird recipes I’ve come across.
For now, this particular recipe for guacamole is my default. I make this recipe for special occasions, or for get-togethers. I should warn you that I make my guacamole in a molcajete using the tejolote (mortar and pestle). You should too, you will not regret it. If you don’t have one I’ll provide substitute instructions.
This last friday night, I prepared this guacamole recipe along with a pico-de-gallo, and grilled zucchini from the garden. I served it with whole-grain crackers and a raspberry margarita. Glorious.
Fire Roasted Salsa al Molcajete
E: Every time I make salsa al molcajete, I think of my irreplaceable dad, Fulgencio. Growing up, he always had to have a little heat to go with his meals. His favorite has always been salsas made in molcajete. Till this day, my dad enjoys taking over in making salsas, because he likes it spicy.
The word “molcajete” and “tejolote” is the mexican equivalent to a “mortar” and “pestle.” The words come from the nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs. My dad believes that salsa made in a molcajete tastes better, and I agree.
There is a saying that if your salsa is spicy, then you made it while you were upset. So when you hear, “estabas enojada” typically means that salsa is too spicy to that person’s liking. But if your salsa is not spicy enough, then it is said that you don’t really know how to make a salsa. Ouch.
Either way, having any type of salsa stocked in your fridge is a must. You will find that I put this on so many recipes. You can put a little bit of it in a guacamole, or on top of huevos rancheros, or avocado-toast. The variations are endless.