Health & Food

Mock Pesto with Brown Rice Pasta

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I have a couple things I want to say. First, I updated the list of food I eat at night, on yesterday’s post, so if you were one of the first 15 people to read it and you want a really candid view, check out the “night time eating” section again! I realized I wasn’t completely honest, so I added more foods as I thought about it more. I do more mindless eating than I thought (I paid attention to it last night), so if you’re curious, check it out.

Second, I was wrong about 1/2 cup cooked vegetables counting as 1 cup of vegetables, apparently that’s not true anymore! Yikes, I need to update my MyPyramid knowledge. It is true for some veggies, mainly leafy greens. To learn more, click here. That being said, I only counted cooked veggies as 1 cup one time, so I still reached my fruit and veggie goal.

I received a lot of questions on yesterday’s post. I tried to answer most of them, but some of you don’t have blogs so I don’t know how to contact you. Please leave your e-mail if you ask a question, thanks! If you asked about Nutritional Yeast, click the link to read more. Here are a couple of questions I received:

Q: I get really bad stomach pains occasionally from eating certain foods and have to take gas X. I don’t take it consistently because I’m afraid that taking too much gas X or beano would have negative effects on me somehow. So sometimes I just suffer through the pain! I know from reading your blog that you rely on beano and (I think) Gas x for your stomach and I was wondering what your opinion was about taking these regularly!

A: This really depends on what you mean by “stomach pain”. If it’s gas and bloating, I say take the Gas X, if it helps. But remember, Gas X will not prevent gas and bloating, it will help relieve your gas and bloating (aka, it helps you fart!). If you want to prevent it in the first place, take Beano. I really don’t think you can take too much Beano, as there is no note on the bottle as far as how many to consume in a day. It’s very safe, and very effective. Rather than being afraid to eat veggies, I say take Beano whenever you can! As for the Gas X, the box says no more than 4 in a 24 hour period. If you take Beano, you shouldn’t really need the Gas X, but if your stomach pain isn’t from gas and bloating, you may want to see a doctor.

Q: Do you follow a general calorie allowance each day? or just follow your hunger cues? how often do you work out? do you incorporate both strength and cardio?

A: I typically consume around 1700-2400 calories a day (2400 on weekends because we eat out and I usually have drinks). I don’t count calories, and I do eat by my hunger cues (intuitively!), but I have counted my calories before so I know the rough estimate of how many calories I consume. I workout 5 days a week, for 45-60 minutes each time. I do pilates and/or yoga twice a week, weights (using the band, and 8 pound weights for my arms and legs) about 3 times a week, and the elliptical or treadmill 4-5 times a week, for 30-40 minutes each time. I am also very active during the day, and rarely sit. This helps. Exercise is NOT the only thing you should do to maintain weight. If you aren’t active during the day, exercise isn’t going to make much of a difference. I stand all day, rather than sitting. If you can do that, I suggest it (I put my laptop on my ironing board!)

Quick, Cheap, and Healthy Recipe #13
Mock Pesto and Noodles

I love pesto sauce, who the heck doesn’t?! But I don’t always have the ingredients on hand. For my 2010 cookbook I wanted to come up with a recipe for pesto that uses ingredients that most people have in their home, which is really the purpose of my cookbook. With this idea I decided to try my own version of pesto, using dried basil and walnuts (or any nut). Thanks to my handy-dandy Magic Bullet, this was achievable.

I used brown rice pasta, which is both gluten and wheat free (yeah!). For anyone who is on a gluten or wheat free diet, I recommend this product as an alternative to whole wheat noodles. The nutrition facts are fairly similar, although the brown rice pasta has less protein (kind of a bummer if you are a vegetarian).

Ingredients In Mock Pesto Sauce
(makes 3 servings)

1/2 cup half and half **
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup walnuts
3 T basil
1 T parmesan cheese
1 t olive oil
1 t garlic powder **
1/2 t salt

Directions
Throw all ingredients together in a blender or Magic Bullet, and blend!

**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, be aware that the half and half and garlic powder contains FODMAPs.  You could use a garlic-infused oil instead, and omit the garlic powder, but if you’re lactose intolerant the half and half may cause problems.  Look for a dairy-free half and half or take a Lactaid pill if you want to try this recipe!

Possible Modifications

  • Use any type of nut, or pine nuts
  • Use less milk or less half and half to make a thicker sauce
  • Use any type of milk
  • Add more basil
  • Add other spices

Nutrition Facts
(includes the pesto sauce plus 1 cup whole grain pasta)

I served it with my turkey meatballs and a side of spinach and green beans.

I also served it (another night) with some fun green “spinach” noodles.

My Rate: 7.5 out of 10
It was good, but definitely not pesto. I may try to work with this a little more to make it thicker. It has true potential!

Coming Up

I may or may not post tomorrow, as I really need to catch up on reading all of your blogs! I am getting behind again since I will only allow myself to read 15 per day.

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