Garden Pesto Pasta

If your garden is overflowing with basil, green beans, and potatoes this is the perfect recipe. Do you have chickweed growing (unintentionally) in your garden? Don’t throw it in the compost! It makes the most delicious, earthy pesto. This pasta whips up in the time it takes to boil the potatoes, so it’s a terrific weeknight meal. Inspired by Food52.

Garden Pesto Pasta - Produce On Parade - If your garden is overflowing with basil, green beans, and potatoes this is the perfect recipe. Do you have chickweed growing (unintentionally) in your garden? Don’t throw it in the compost! It makes the most delicious, earthy pesto. This pasta whips up in the time it takes to boil the potatoes, so it’s a terrific weeknight meal.

I am all about one pot meals, you guys. Anything to make dinner easier while working a full-time job and parenting at two and half year old. We could all use more recipes that are easy, quick, and tasty. Technically I did use a food processor to make the pesto but the potatoes, green beans, and pasta all boil in the same pot!

The best part of this meal though? Much of it was grown from the garden! Free food!! The basil and chickweed came from my garden, and the green beans from my stepmom’s. I tried to use my own potatoes I grew but I dug a few up and they weren’t quite ready yet. I’m growing Magic Molly potatoes which are purple inside and out! They have a rich and nutty flavor that I just can’t get enough of. My grandpa used to grown them and when I found them at our local nursery I had to get some. Fun fact: As a child I used to sneak away and dig up my grandpa’s “treasures” well before they were ready because I just couldn’t contain my excitement. It appears as if I have not outgrown this. There is just something so exciting about digging up potatoes! Is it just me?

Garden Pesto Pasta - Produce On Parade - If your garden is overflowing with basil, green beans, and potatoes this is the perfect recipe. Do you have chickweed growing (unintentionally) in your garden? Don’t throw it in the compost! It makes the most delicious, earthy pesto. This pasta whips up in the time it takes to boil the potatoes, so it’s a terrific weeknight meal.

Garden Pesto Pasta


Garden Pesto Pasta
By

If your garden is overflowing with basil, green beans, and potatoes this is the perfect recipe. Do you have chickweed growing (unintentionally) in your garden? Don’t throw it in the compost! It makes the most delicious, earthy pesto. This pasta whips up in the time it takes to boil the potatoes, so it’s a terrific weeknight meal.


Ingredients
  • 1 large red or Yukon Gold potato, peeled and quartered and cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  • ¼ lb fresh green beans, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 8 oz dry thin spaghetti (if using regular spaghetti increase cooking time)
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup packed fresh chickweed, removing any thick stems and cleaning thoroughly (or basil, spinach, arugula, or other greens)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Heaping ¼ cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • ¾ tsp table salt
  • ⅓ cup vegan shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garnish of vegan parmesan (optional)
Instructions

  1. Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil then salt; continue to boil for 5 minutes then add the pasta and green beans. Boil for an additional 5-8 minutes until all the vegetables and pasta are cooked. Drain and return to pot.
  2. While the pasta cooks: to a food processor add the basil, greens, garlic, pine nuts, miso, salt, and cheese. Pulse until coarse and grainy. With the processor running drizzle in the olive oil and process until mixed thoroughly.
  3. Stir the pesto into the cooked pasta and veggies. Serve hot and topped with vegan parmesan!

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 3-4 servings
Garden Pesto Pasta - Produce On Parade - If your garden is overflowing with basil, green beans, and potatoes this is the perfect recipe. Do you have chickweed growing (unintentionally) in your garden? Don’t throw it in the compost! It makes the most delicious, earthy pesto. This pasta whips up in the time it takes to boil the potatoes, so it’s a terrific weeknight meal.

Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens

Introversion - along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness - is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.
— Susain Cain from her book, "Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking"

Have you read the book above? It's really a very interesting exploration into introversion. As a profound introvert myself, I am learning quite a bit. It'd be impressive what an extrovert could learn from reading the book! Take my word for it and get it. Tell me what you think. Acquiring a more complete understanding of the ones you love and just everyday people in general (especially the wallflowers that often can be difficult to get to know and understand) is always a good thing. In fact, I recommended the book to my supervisor at work!

However, I haven't had much time to read lately. Nor cook, sleep, snuggle, or just in general kick back. I seem to need an uncustomary amount of the stuff. You know, just be alone. I'll decidedly lose my shit if I don't get to be by myself for just a little while within the next few days. It's been a full month of non-stopness (it's a word) and it's got to stop. Someone please put me in solitary confinement, or at least a timeout. Take me to my doctor's office so I can sit alone for two hours in that cold, tiny room while waiting for her to come in, you know what I'm talking about. Anything! I'll do anything! My battery is almost dead!

When life swings into full gear with intense social activities, triple-threat car problems, serious work changes, jury duty, and just general life quandaries...I tend to retreat into my shell of calm. Irish exits (minus any drunk insinuations) become my norm and in an effort to quiet my life, I quiet myself instead, and become almost mute. This can be misinterpreted as "grumpy" and/or "moody", so I do try to rein it in a bit. I couldn't actually be mute in real life. That probably wouldn't go over very well. Does anyone else have these problems?

Yesterday was the beautiful rehearsal dinner for my best friend's wedding. Todd and I had to eat before we dashed over there #lifeasavegan, so while he was commuting home I whipped up this scrumptious glass noodle dish and took advantage of some chickweed before the frost comes!

Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens

That, my friends, is chickweed. Which I adore with all my little heart. The flavor is devilishly earthy and green, and eating it makes me feel like a real wild woman!

Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
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Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
This quick asian dish is infused with ginger, garlic, lime, and sweet chili. Studded with browned tofu, kale and wild greens are strewn throughout the chewy, flavorful glass noodles.
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. dry glass noodles (mung bean thread noodles)
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 10 oz. extra firm tofu, pressed and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 lime, juiced (scant ¼ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • ½ bunch of kale, de-stemmed and torn
  • 1 large handful of wild greens, washed well and chopped (chickpea, arugula, purslane, lamb’s quarters, spinach, etc.)
  • 2 splashes of soy sauce
  • sprinkling of sesame seeds, for garnish
Instructions
Bring about 6 cups of water to boil for the glass noodles. Place the dried noodles in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow to rest about 10 minutes, then drain the noodles and set aside.Meanwhile, heat the sesame oil over medium in a large frying pan. Add the diced tofu and sauté about 8 minutes, until browned.In a small bowl, whisk together the hoisin sauce through and including the crushed red pepper. Set aside.Now, add the torn kale to the tofu. Throw in a splash of soy sauce and cover. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the kale has wilted. Transfer the kale and tofu mixture to a large serving dish.Add the wild greens to the now empty frying pan along with a splash of soy sauce and sauté for one to two minutes, until wilted. Add to the tofu mixture.Pour the sauce into the frying pan and bring to a slight boil, then remove from heat.Mix the glass noodles into the tofu and greens mixture along with the sauce. Toss with tongs to combine.Serve hot with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens
Produce On Parade - Asian Glass Noodles with Tofu & Wild Greens

German Word of The Day

Overwhelmed --> überfordert (uber-four-dort)

Good Deed of The Day

Read this article on 30 Things You To Stop Doing To Yourself from Lifebuzz. 

Chickweed Pesto

Regardless of anyone’s dietary motivations, the healthiest lifestyle is the one that’s most compassionate.
— Steve-O

The truthest of truths from none other than Steve-O. Yep, you read that right. Anyway, another truth? Whoever came up with pesto is a god. This is a fact. Whoever first decided to make it with chickweed...also a god.  

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto
Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

Forget everything you know about pesto. You don't know jack unless you've made pesto with chickweed pulled from the earth yourself. It sounds harsh, but this is absolute. When I'm picking the chickweed, Basil comes crawling over like, "What about me? You're forgetting me!" and I'm all, "Get outta the way, Basil, geesh. I don't need you! I don't want you." You might be asking, "Why chickweed?" That's so weird, it's...a weed! Yes I know, but I will seriously be cultivating it henceforth my friends. Here's Bob, cultivating chickweed with me. Or maybe he's just laying there watching me...

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

Chickweed pesto is the best thing I've ever had in my entire life. This is not a joke or an over inflation. It would absolutely be my last meal on Earth. I dreamt about it last night. I've been in complete distress about what to do when winter hits and I no longer have access to the weedy greens. Is there a chickweed farm somewhere on this planet? Can I buy it and have it shipped to me? These are questions that surely need answering if I am to calm myself of my pesto craze before the snow flies. 

I made it again the other night and literally hid the evidence so my brother wouldn't find out and eat it all. He's a man obsessed too. It's all he talks about now. Unfortunately, he asked what I had for dinner and I couldn't lie because you know I am the world's worst liar. You guys, the boy flung off his shoes and ran to the kitchen...where he proceeded to eat my beloved chickweed pesto.

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

There is something so incredibly earthy about this pesto. Here's the best way I can describe it. Okay, so you know when you buy the seriously horrendous pre-ground nutmeg in those little spice bottles at the supermarket? Make it the value brand too. Okay, now remember the first time you tried freshly ground nutmeg? From an actual little nutmeg pod (who knew right)? All other pestos = value brand pre-ground nutmeg. Chickweed pesto = nutmeg freshly ground by the divine hands of Santa Marta (patron saint of cooks). Yep, that's about all you need to know. Also, if you've never had freshly ground nutmeg....OH MY GOD, stop buying the pre-ground stuff already. I know, I know, I've totally been there but if there's one spice you must, must, must grind yourself surely it is nutmeg. Everyone knows that, I'm not just being bossy. I swear. Okay, maybe a little bit. Sorry.

So gracefully make your way, nay, run outside and gather up all the goddamn chickweed you can people! You'll need less than you think. Four cups is essentially four handfuls. Find it wherever you can. Your neighbors will love your for weeding their garden, no need to even ask. It likes to grow in moist soil and/or shady areas, especially places that have been tilled, like gardens (according to my Dad). I harvest it from a part of my yard that was tore up by tire tracks this spring (not by me). 

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

And now, because I feel I must...please make sure you know what you are harvesting. If you're unsure, don't be a dolt and eat it (like me). Here's a link to all things chickweed. Also, be sure to wash it real good...erm...especially if you have furry animals around. 

Full disclosure: You may hate this. Wait, wait! Only if you're pretty indifferent to pesto to begin with (like Todd). Then don't even go here, this is some hardcore pesto. Todd told me it tasted like a freshly cut lawn and he's weirded out by the fact that I got it from the yard. He's wrong though, don't listen to his lies. It's heaven on Earth. 

Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts lend a softer richness than the usual pinenuts. Plus, you won't go broke making this pesto. Miso and soy sauce are added for complexity and really bring this pesto to the next level with a boost of umami flavor! 

Chickweed Pesto

Makes about 4 cups

Notes: This makes a lot of pesto so if you feel so inclined, cut the recipe in half. But I recommend just freezing the leftovers for use later. Feel free to use whatever combination of nuts you like here. 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chickweed, washed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 1 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid amino acids (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • dash of ground black pepper

Instructions

Combine everything in a food processor and process a few minutes, until smooth. Mix into hot, cooked pasta! Or stir into quinoa, millet, couscous or stuff it into mushrooms! 

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto
Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

German Word of The Day

Chickweed --> Vogelmiere (fogel-meer) - Vogel means bird! 

Good Deed of The Day

Did you there's a tiger named Tony who's been enslaved as a truck stop attraction for the past 10 years, where he's confined to a 3,200 square foot cage? WTF, right?! Let's try and not be the armpit stubble of the world and allow this to continue.