Pistachio Pesto Pasta: Our most requested recipe

I’m finally getting around to writing up our most requested recipe. This is a recipe for Pistachio Pesto Pasta otherwise known simply as “Green Pasta” at our house. I can’t claim this recipe as my own because my husband tore it out of Bicycle Magazine sometime last year and asked that we try to make it. We did, and now it is a staple in our menu rotation at home.

Here is the link to the article if you want to read about how awesome pistachios are as an energy source or if you like to read about bikes and people who ride them. Otherwise, follow the instructions below.

Pistachio Pesto Pasta Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup salted, shelled pistachios
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt to taste

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Add the pistachios to the bowl of your food processor and pulse them approximately 20 times, then STOP. Do not over process at this point or you will have pistachio butter when you are finished.
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Add all the other ingredients to the pistachios in the bowl of your food processor and process until all the ingredients are well incorporate but you still have a few small pistachio chunks.
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Combine your pesto with warm pasta. A few notes here: this pistachio pesto is THICK and works best when mixed into short pastas like penne, macaroni, or whatever I have shown in the picture. Also, it mixes better when the pasta is still hot.
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And here you are–Green Pasta. Gram for gram, pistachios have more muscle building protein than beef and because this recipe is packed with spinach, there is no need for you to harass your kids about eating their salad and you don’t have to make one, so everybody wins with this recipe.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

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Studio Review: Thunderbolt Power Yoga

I have always had huge admiration for well put together southern ladies. Growing up, I spent quite a lot of time in Atlanta with family and friends and never once did the South fail to make me feel like a rough neck Yankee.

As I’ve grown and matured into a professional woman, wife, and mother I have managed to sand off many of my rougher edges; however, I still can’t rally to the idea that I can or even should aspire to the qualities of a true southern lady (no matter how desperately my mother would like me to).

Southern hospitality, cultivation of beauty, strength, grace, and excellent comportment are not in my toolbox and at 40, it is probably time for me to be okay with that. But, how or if these qualities might show up in a southern yoga studio setting didn’t occur to me until I checked in at Thunderbolt Power Yoga in Buckhead, GA.

Thunderbolt Power Yoga was established in 2014 by studio owner and operator Carly Grace Hinchman. I was in Atlanta for a work thing and on the hunt for a good power yoga class. Thunderbolt Power Yoga came highly recommended by actual yogis as well as Yelp and I heard there were several Baptiste trained instructors there, so I thought I would give it a try.

The Studio Space
This studio has a strong feminine vibe. The color palette, decor, retail area, and facilities were most certainly designed with women in mind. I mention this because I found it slightly curious; where do men in the south practice yoga? In Northern California, our studio membership is about 50/50 men and women and most studios are decidedly gender neutral when it comes to design and decor. Overall, Thunderbolt has everything a yogi could ask for including great parking and a huge selection of K Deer Activewear.

The Instructor
I attended the Heated Power Flow class led by Elizabeth Beggs (instagram: @beggsyoga.com). The class was well attended by students at a wide variety of levels. Elizabeth led an organized and creative flow class, which included a fun little flow from shoelace pose (yin yoga) to tripod headstand and back again. She closed the practice with cool essential oil infused towels during savasana (because southern hospitality, duh!) and an OM with a beautiful Tibetan singing bowl.

This is an excellent studio and I can’t wait to go back. Here in Northern California, we take our yoga a little more “earthy.” The feminine niceties and southern hospitality offered at Thunderbolt were what I needed so far away from home.

And yes, Mom, I did get an emergency manicure and  pedicure after I saw how nicely all those yogis were put together.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com

Veggie Lasagna With Tofu Ricotta

We regularly serve this excellent fresh vegetable lasagna with spinach and zucchini from the Food Network. However, it doesn’t have much in the way of protein so I did some experimenting with tofu ricotta.

Tofu Ricotta Recipe
16 oz. extra firm tofu, drained of excess water
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 tbsp fresh oregano
1 tbsp fresh basil

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Toss all the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor.
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Pulse the ingredients together in the food processor approximately 20 times or until the ingredients are well mixed and have a crumbly consistency.
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Layer your tofu ricotta in the lasagna as you would regular ricotta. We added parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, fresh basil and oregano, salt and pepper, and an egg to our tofu ricotta.
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I served our lasagna with the tofu ricotta at a dinner party on Saturday night. No one seemed to notice that the ricotta had been swapped out with tofu. I’m going to call that a win.

Be sure to head on over to the Food Network to grab the whole recipe for this delicious vegetarian lasagna.

 

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

Sell the Goat!

Settle in everyone, I’m going to tell you a story.


A villager lived in a small house with his wife, mother-in-law, six children, a cow, and some chickens. The chaos was driving him crazy. So he went to the village rabbi for help. The rabbi said he could solve the problem: he advised the man to buy a goat. The man immediately went out and bought a goat. 

Now he had a wife, a mother-in-law, six children, a cow, some chickens, and a goat. The house was even more chaotic than before. The villager returned to the rabbi and described the increased confusion. Once again, the rabbi said he could solve the problem and he told the man to sell the goat. The villager went home and sold the goat. 

Suddenly, all he had in his small house were his wife, his mother-in-law, his six kids, a cow, and some chickens. Things were positively peaceful without the goat!

*Hanson Lasater, Judith, Ph.D., PT.Living Your Yoga. 2000. Print


I share this story with you because I like good stories about perspective and when Anna at ThreeDogYoga shared it with me, I knew that I was going to need to pass it along. It also gave me a great excuse to look at goat pictures (thank you, internet).

Most of the work we do in yoga really just boils down to shaping our own perspectives. Life is going to be what it is going to be; how we see that life is the part that we control. That is enlightenment and it is a life’s work.

So go out there and sell some goats.

 

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced Chickpea Wraps

Here is another excellent recipe from the ThugKitchen Cookbook. Let’s do this!

Ingredients:

Tahini Dressing
1/4 cup tahini*
3 tbsp warm water
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
Spiced Chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups cooked chickpeas**
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Wraps
4 large wraps
Spinach
Cucumber sticks
Carrot sticks

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This is like peanut butter but made out of sesame seeds. It will be near the nut butters or falafel mix at the store
**Two 15-ounce cans if you aren’t simmering that shit yourself

1–To make the dressing, mix all that shit together a small glass until it is smooth and creamy. Set it in the fridge.

2–Now get the chickpeas going. Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and fry them until they start to turn gold and pop around a bit. You’ll see what the fuck we mean. This will take 3 to 5 minutes. In a small glass, mix together the lemon juice, maple syrup, and soy sauce. When the chickpeas are looking right, pour the lemon juice mixture over them and stir. Let that shit evaporate for about 30 seconds and then add all the spices. Stir and let them all fry together for another 30 seconds and then turn off the heat.

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Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) ready to be wrapped.

3–Serve these spiced sons of bitches in a wrap with some spinach leaves and thinly sliced carrot and cucumber sticks. Drizzle some dressing over it and wrap that shit up.

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HEAT YOUR WRAP!!! I made the first one without heating the wrap and really regretted it.

OMGhee!

I like butter, a lot. So when I heard I could make butter healthier and still keep the deliciousness, I was pretty sure I was being punk’d. And off I went to the test kitchen (aka my kitchen).

Ghee is not a secret if you are a yogi or a cross fitter or desperately lactose intolerant; it has been around for thousands of years. But if, like me, you are a native midwesterner who was raised on a daily three squares of meat and dairy, than ghee is a bit of a mystery to you.

Here is the deal, ghee is similar to clarified butter (like for crab legs). It is butter from grass fed-and also sacred-cows that has been cooked to remove the milk solids (lactose, whey, and casein) and the water. Ghee  originated in India and is still commonly used in South Asian, Iranian and Arabic cuisines, Ayurvedic medicine, and religious rituals.

Nutritionally, ghee is a more concentrated source of fat than butter since the moisture and the milk solids are removed during its preparation. One tablespoon of ghee has 13 g of fat and 117 calories versus butter, which has 11 g fat and 100 calories per tablespoon.

Why ghee in your kitchen?

  1. Ghee has a higher smoke point than many other “healthy” oils so it is good for frying and sautéing.
  2. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated and has a shelf life of up to 3 months.
  3. It can replace butter for those who are lactose intolerant because the milk solids have been removed.

Why ghee in your body?

  1. It is high in butyrate which is a short-chain fatty acid essential to the colon and the intestinal ecosystem.
  2. Ghee can reduce inflammation when applied to the skin and is used to treat burns in auyrvedic medicine. It can also be used as a skin moisturizer.
  3. This oil is rich in fat soluable vitamins A, D, E, and K.

There are some studies that show this delicious oil may reduce the risks of cancer, lower your cholesterol and support weight loss. But let’s not go crazy here. Keep in mind that it is butter, not magic, and still contains the saturated fats that should be kept to a minimum.

You can buy ghee at most well stocked grocery stores, but I suggest making your own because:

  1. it is easy
  2. if you are thinking about ghee, you have already gone all-in on the health food thing, so you might as well take it to an extremely unnecessary level. That’s how we like to do it around here.

Let’s Make Ghee

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Start with  unsalted butter from grass fed cows. Try not to eat this butter before you turn it into ghee; it is amazing on a spiritual level, as the Hindus already know (even though technically, the butter in the photo is Irish. But whatever). 8 oz of butter makes about 6 oz of ghee when all is said and done.

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Line a sieve with two layers of cheese cloth and strain the oil into a small container. The milk solids will catch in the cheese cloth and the strainer and you should be left with only the oil. If it looks like maybe you still have some milk solids in there (white cloudiness or graininess) strain it again, I did.
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I strained mine twice and then put it into the refrigerator to firm up, but you can leave it on the counter or in your pantry, too.

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