Lemon Pistachio Pesto

I can’t express to you just how much I love this pesto. I mean, I love all pesto (and don’t you ever, ever forget it) but this one in particular is tha bidness.

Pesto is one of those foods that is highly underrated in terms of nutrition. Maybe that’s because it’s usually found flooding a giant bowl of carby pasta or smothered all over a cheesy pizza crust. But I’m here to put this simple, yet sassy sauce back in the health limelight where it deserves to linger forevermore.

How about we pick apart this Lemon Pistachio Pesto, ingredient by ingredient, yas? Let’s break it down now.

  1. Olive Oil: High in monounsaturated fats (don’t freak- that’s the good kind of fat)
  2. Lemon juice: Full of vitamin C
  3. Basil: Contains tons of vitamin K and manganese
  4. Pine nuts: Great source of cholesterol-lowering fats and vitamin E
  5. Pistachios: Lots o’ fiber and protein

So it’s like a multivitamin, guys. Sorta.

However you can justify eating it out of the container by the spoonful, you have my stamp of approval (and also admiration).

My Lemon Pistachio Pesto offers a pop of flavor with the extra citrus, and unlike other pestos, which tend to turn an icky brown color, stays green as can be –> thanks to the lemon which keeps the basil from oxidizing quickly. It’s delish drizzled over fish, tossed into pasta, or as pictured here, poured over charred rainbow carrots and sprinkled with yes, guilty, more pistachio. No body with tastebuds would dislike this pesto. And that’s a statement I’m willing to stand by indefinitely.

Lemon Pistachio Pesto

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (from ~1 lemon)
  • 4 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, shells removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Layer the ingredients in a food processor beginning with the oil and ending with the salt. Turn that bad boy on low, scraping down the sides with a spatula, until you get a creamy, thick consistency. Add more nuts if too liquid-y for your liking or more oil if too chunky.
  2. Spread over roasted veggies, fish, or attack with a large spoon. I prefer the latter.

Creamy Onion Broccoli Smash

As a kid, I despised vegetables. If you don’t believe it, just ask my mother– she’ll tell you more than you need to know. At the top of my nutrient-packed shit list? Surprise, surprise- broccoli.

Something about those tiny mutant little trees just made my skin crawl. Maybe it was the fact that they were usually force fed to me steamed without any seasoning (sorry to rat you out, Ma) or perhaps it was the sole fact that broccoli has earned itself the reputation (and rightfully so) for being like, super duper healthy. In which case, that was a “like no thanks” in my younger years.

Nevertheless…broccoli and I made amends several years ago and since then, we’ve been very, very close. Turns out, there are tons of ways to cook up this veggie (no mushy, soggy, steaming involved) like this Creamy Onion Broccoli Mash. In this delish side dish, broccoli gets smashed and whipped with creamy tahini (a la mashed potatoes) and topped with sweet + sour pearl onions. Behold:

Broccoli (along with Brussles sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale) is a cruciferous vegetable AKA the cancer ass-kicking ninjas of the vegetable kingdom. They contain super potent sulfur-containing chemicals called glucosinolates which form indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates, and other compounds with powerful anticancer effects. Research has found positive correlations between high cruciferous vegetable intake and lower risk of a variety of cancers. Points for brocc. And double points for this tasty bowl o’ greens.

Having a smashing week, lovelies.

Creamy Onion Broccoli Smash 

Makes: 3-4 servings

  • 2 cups vegetable broth + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup water
  • 6-7 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar (can also use honey)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. First bust out a medium-large pot and add 2 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup of water. Add in the broccoli florets and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain broccoli and add in 2 cloves of minced garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash with a potato masher and set aside.
  2. While broccoli is going, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the pearl onions and stir, cooking for about 10 minutes until they begin to brown. Once you start seeing them brown, add in 2 cloves of the minced garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add in remaining 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil, sherry vinegar, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer about 10 minutes more. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste, and then sprinkle with thyme.
  3. Serve onions over broccoli smash and enjoy dem veggies <3

Homemade Sauerkraut

The past month has been ridic. So ludicrous, I can barely even type up this blog post without resorting to using irritating abbreviations when describing my current state of affairs. In the past month, I’ve taken 3 decently long trips (one out of state), and in the next 3 weeks, I have 2 more coming up (one of these also being out of state). I’ve run myself pretty ragged and have been sick for an entire month as proof. I caught a nice, nasty little cold which lingered for like 2 1/2 weeks and then immediately after I was finally feeling well again, I came down with ANOTHER, much worse, one. It seems my body is extremely wise and knows when to nudge me in the direction of “chill the hell out” when it needs to.


Needless to say, I’ve had no time to blog and absolutely zero energy for the gym and/or movement of any kind. My “cooking” as of late has consisted of boiling lentils, the occasional egg fry, and when necessary, takeout.

And when I’m feeling this way, my creativity runs a weeeee bit dry. Like, picture the Sahara in the summer.

Despite all of this, as I sit here nursing this second cold, I can’t help but get all warm and fuzzy (and not from a fever) reminiscing about all the recent gallivanting I’ve been doing. Napa, Berkeley, San Luis Obispo, Joshua Tree, and Portland. Next up, Seattle and Whidbey Island and then San Francisco. They have all been delicious. And I wouldn’t trade them for all the NyQuil in the Cold and Flu aisle at CVS.

Since my recent travels, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need more DIY projects; they exercise that primitive “I can do it myself” muscle, no? They’re fantastic that way. This post is dedicated to the crunchy, refreshing, salty *healing* batch of ‘kraut in my fridge because it turned out 1000x better than I ever imagined. Prior to this project I held this strange, completely untenable belief that sauerkraut only belongs on sausages. Damn, was I wrong. This stuff is disappearing right in front of my eyes (and into my mouth)…I’m putting heaps of it on my salads, eating it along with my roasted salmon and veggies, and scarfing it down plain straight from the jar. Best of all- it’s really simple. The steps may look daunting, but that’s only because I’m thorough af so y’all don’t f*ck it up. The process itself is child’s play.

Sauerkraut is totally rad- when the cabbage gets submerged in its salty brine, the bacteria Lactobacillus converts the sugars of the veggie into lactic acid, thereby acting as its own preservative. Plus, this healthy bacteria has the same body nourishing benefits as the probiotics in a bowl of yogurt.

Homemade Sauerkraut

Makes: ~4 cups

Ingredients/Equipment You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium head organic green cabbage, outer leaves removed and set aside, washed, cored and shredded
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled (optional, but recommended)
  • 2-quart mason jar or canning jar (with a tight-fitting sealable lid)
  • Clean stones, marbles, or other weights (for weighing down kraut)
  • Cheese cloth, thin clean dish towel, or coffee filter
  • Rubber band or string
  • Wooden spoon

Directions for DIY Kraut:

  1. First, wash errethang, child. Give your hands a good washing, as well as the jar and whatever it is you are using to weight the kraut down with (stones, marbles, or other weights).
  2. Place the shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over it. Massage the salt into the cabbage firmly, until cabbage becomes watery, soft, and supple. This will take about 7-10 minutes, and at first you may wonder “is this enough salt??” followed by “all this massaging…JEEZUZ, this cabbage gonna tip or what??” The answer is yes, followed by a no. See, as the salt gets incorporated into the cabbage, it weakens it and waters it down naturally. It will sort of look like coleslaw.
  3. Next, mix in the caraway seeds, if using.
  4. Place shredded cabbage, handful by handful, into the bottom of jar, using your fists to really pack it in there as you fill it to the top. At some point, toss in the garlic, if using. Try to pack it densely. When done, pour remaining liquid that was leftover in the bowl of massaged cabbage over the top.
  5. Take one of the outer cabbage leaves you set aside and place on top of the cabbage when it’s all packed in there to prevent it from rising. Use the clean stones/marbles/weights and place them over the cabbage. What you want to do is keep the cabbage submerged in its own liquid “brine”.
  6. Cover the top of the jar with cheese cloth/dish towel/coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. This allows it to breathe (see last photo above).
  7. Place jar somewhere it won’t get blasted by sunlight and will stay pretty room temp (around 65-75 degrees F). I put mine in our pantry. Over the next 24 hours, every so often take the covering off the top of the jar and use the handle of a clean wooden spoon to press down on the weights, ensuring the cabbage stays submerged. As it sits, the cabbage will release enough liquid to cover the top of itself. If for some funky reason this ain’t the case and you’ve waited the full 24 hours and the cabbage isn’t fully submerged in the “brine”, dissolve 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in 1 cup of water and pour in enough so the cabbage is fully covered. When done, replace the covering on the jar with the rubber band and put it back in its room temp spot.
  8. Keep the jar in that room temp spot for 3-10 days, until its fermented to your liking. Once a day, repeat the process with the wooden spoon handle, pressing down to make sure the cabbage is fully covered by liquid. Taste it after 3 days; if it’s “krauty” enough for you, go ahead and remove the weights, throw the actual can lid on, and refrigerate for consumption (you can eat it as soon as you like). If not, wait it out and taste it everyday after you press down on the weights until it’s the flavor you fancy. Note: if at any point you see bubbles, white scum, or mold, do not freakkkk. It’s just fermentation doin’ its thang…simply scrape off the gunk and keep going. The sauerkraut will stay good in the fridge for a couple months. Yee, mighty krauty.

Warm Winter Salad

Sick of your sad desk salad?

I gotchu.

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As the weather gets cooler, all that beautiful summer produce disappears from the shelves.

Enter (drum roll please): Warm Salads… so hot right now.

 So in case you’re sitting there nibbling on a head of fresh cold cauliflower and cursing your life, you can cook your salad and still reap powerful nutritional benefits. No joke.

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As we so swiftly roll up on the “holiday season,” I’m realizing that Santa should have been roasting walnuts over an open fire instead of chestnuts…he really effed up.  What’s so special about Deez Nuts *laughs internally* versus all them other nuts? Omega 3’s, if you please.

Just one serving of these little nuggets gives us 95% of the Omega-3 fatty acids we should be taking in each day. Walnuts, out of all zee nuts, contain the highest levels of the anti-inflammatory alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which supremely bolsters heart health. Additionally, it’s high monounsaturated fat content (which is the good kind of fat) and fiber levels are fantastic for making you feel fuller longer…so you drool a little less over all the holiday fare that’s lurking around the corner this season.

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I’m not promising one salad will change your whole life, but I am suggesting that this warm salad is indeed a game changer and will likely destroy your preconceived notions about a big plate o’ greens for dinner.

Warm, tender romaine is sprinkled with salty, crunchy baked croutons and creamy goat cheese, and then drizzled in a tangy balsamic glaze.

PS, you get to learn how to poach an egg. Cheers for cheffing it up; you wear those fancy pants so well.

Warm Winter Salad

Makes 2 salads

For the croutons:

  • 3 cups cubed pieces of baguette
  • Olive oil to coat
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white, red, or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut in half
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • Balsamic glaze (or vinegar, but glaze is thicker and me likes it more)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. First, make them croutons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a small baking sheet with foil. Place bread in a mixing bowl, add enough oil to coat the bread, then sprinkle with salt and peppa’. Place on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then flip croutons, and bake another 5 minutes, until suuuuper crunchy. Like, crunchier than the bass at your next live show. Set the crouts’ aside.
  2. In a small skillet over medium-low, toast walnuts for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and just beginning to let off a roasty, toasty aroma. Be careful and stir them often by shaking the pan; these babies are like white people at the beach: they burn easily.
  3. Next, we gonna poach that egg! Crack one egg into a small dish, being careful not to break the yolk. Bring a medium sized saucepan full of water and 1 teaspoon of the vinegar to an almost-boil…just enough so little bubbles are rising from the bottom, but not bubbling over. Using a slotted spoon, stir to create a whirlpool. Gently pour in the egg, and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. You can tell it’s done when the yolk is still jiggly inside but the white looks set. Carefully remove from water with the slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with egg #2. This sounds a lot more difficult than it really is, be brave. When done, give ’em both a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  4. In a large skillet, heat up the 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high. Using tongs, place the romaine halves in the skillet and brown each side gently for about 1-2 minutes, until lettuce is wilted. Remove lettuce halves from the heat, place an egg on top of each, and sprinkle each with toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze (you can also use balsamic vinegar). Give it all another sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve warm.