Recipe | (Kid-Approved) Nut-Free Pesto Pasta

Raise your hand if you are a pasta-o-holic like me. I would say in an average week we have pasta at least twice and that’s only because I purposely don’t buy enough to have it everyday of the week – or we would. Edith requests pasta most days of the week and today I said YES and pasta is what we had. 

Nut Free Pesto

Most of the time I make some sort of vegan mac and cheese or a pesto pasta for lunches. Since Alder is now eating err…playing with solids I wanted to make something that he could taste too so I decided to go with a nut-free pesto. It was also the perfect way to get Edith to eat some greens because lately she has been a little more picky with her food. 

Anyways I made this pasta dish and it turned out fantastic. Even Edith who told me while I was making it that she wasn’t going to eat it declared that it was her “favorite best pasta”. So basically this pasta dish is a winner. Enjoy!

(Kid Approved) Nut-Free Pesto Pasta
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 servings pasta of your choice
  2. 1 cup broccoli (fresh or defrosted frozen)
  3. 1 cup peas (fresh or defrosted frozen)
  4. 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  5. 2-3 garlic cloves
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1 teaspoon white miso
  8. 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 Italian Field Roast Sausage (optional), diced and lightly bowned
  11. Reserve a bit of cooking water
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package.
  2. To a food processor all the ingredients except sausage and cooking water; process until smooth. (If making for baby as well see note below).
  3. Toss pasta with pesto and sausage adding as bit of cooking water as necessary to reach desired sauce consistency.
Notes
  1. For Alder I added just the olive oil, peas, broccoli and nutritional yeast to the food processor and blended until smooth; I removed a few tablespoons to toss with a bit of pasta and then added remaining ingredients.
Running With Tongs http://runningwithtongs.com/
Nut Free Pesto Fork

What is your go-to pasta dish or lunch dish?

Balanced Life | The Clean Sweep | Pt. 1: Environment

cleansweep happy

I have recently dived back into health coaching head first and am participating in the IIN immersion program for the 3rd time. While today marks the official start of the program we were provided with a few tasks last week to help us in preparing for immersion. One of the tasks is called The Clean Sweep which was developed by Thomas Leonard. 

So what is the clean sweep? 

Basically the thought is that when you feel balanced/perfect alignment in the four major parts of our lives, environment, well-being, money, and relationships, that we can be more natural energy.  “The Clean Sweep Program, created by Thomas Leonard, consists of 100 items which, when completed, give you the vitality and strength that you want.” You are to answer each of the 100 questions, 25 per category, as truthfully as possible and only answer YES if the statement is virtually always true. The end goal being that you will confidently answer YES to each answer. 

I started this Clean Sweep process years ago but sort of forgot all about it until recently. As I went through the questions this past weekend I thought it would be interesting to actually share my answers with you and to follow up every three-to-six months on how things are going. I guess you could say that these are a bunch of mini goals I have for myself for the next few years. 

So we’ll start of with Environment and i’ll preface this with saying I am not surprised by how many NO’s are in this category. 

  1. My personal files, papers and receipts are neatly filled away. NO. This seems to be a constant struggle at our house and I really want to figure out away to get it under control. 
  2. My car is in excellent condition. NO. I had to laugh when I read this one. Seriously? Who with a toddler and a baby has a perfectly clean car? 
  3. My home is neat and clean. NO. Hangs head in shame. 
  4. My appliances, machinery and equipment work well. YES.
  5. My clothes are all pressed, clean and make me look great. NO. This is another struggle I have had for years, or rather since getting pregnant with Edith. I am working on restocking my wardrobe with clothes that fit and make me feel great. As for laundry – 2 adults + 2 kids + cloth diapering = non-stop laundry. So maybe I’ll be able to answer YES to this when the kids move out? 
  6. My plants and animals are healthy. N/A. One must have plants and animals to properly answer this question. 
  7. My bed/bedroom lets me have the best sleep possible. NO.This is one of those grey area statements so I decided to go with NO. Our sleeping is less than ideal but we have two young children. 
  8. I live in a home that I love. (Big Fat) NO.
  9. I surround myself with beautiful things. NO. I am so sad to say no to this answer and I really wish we had more beautiful things or at least things that I think are beautiful. 
  10. I live in the geographic area of my choice. NO. Yes and no. I love living in the PNW and Portland area but the keyword right now is area. We need to move (back) to the neighborhood we love or somewhere near it #2016. 
  11. There is ample and healthy lighting around me. NO.
  12. I consistently have adequate time, space and freedom in my life. HAHAHAHAHA. NO.
  13. I am not damaged by my environment. NO. So I said no to this one because not loving our home, neighborhood and just feeling blah makes me feel a bit damaged. 
  14. I am not tolerating anything about my home or work environment. NO. ALL I AM DOING IS TOLERATING.  
  15. My work environment is productive and inspiring. NO. We have failed at really putting our office area together #GOALS and right now it’s hard to be productive with babies hanging on you but instead of getting frustrated 90% of the time I embrace the time with them and try not to stress. 
  16. I recycle. YES.
  17. I use non-ozone depleting products. YES.
  18. My hair is the way I want it. YES. This took me years to actually say YES to but I finally am getting my hair done every six weeks! 
  19. I surround myself with music which makes my life more enjoyable. YES.This was one of my mini goals for March and whoot whoot I am succeeding. P.S. you can follow my March playlist over on Spotify
  20. My bed is made daily. NO. Umm….
  21. I don’t injure myself, fall or bump into things. NO. I found this statement strange but I guess I have to go with NO. 
  22. People feel comfortable in my home. NO. Ummm? I guess I would say NO just because I don’t always feel comfortable here? Would someone actually tell you? 
  23. I drink purified water. YES.
  24. I have nothing around the house or in storage that I do not need. NO. This is a huge goal of ours for 2015 – declutter and not just declutter but minimize our things. 
  25. I am consistently early or easily on time.  NO. I miss being able to answer YES to this statement. 

Total: 18 NO.YES. 1 N/A.

This section of The Clean Sweep is pretty soul crushing actually. After completing it I was like so much to do to turn these NO’s into YES’ and I really would like to have 80% of them be YES’ by the end of the year. I would say there will be a few big and little goals for April that stem out of these results. 

Have you/are you participating in The Clean Sweep? What are your results to this first category? Any surprises? 

Recipe | Celebratory Black Bean Soup (Panera Copycat)

On March 9, 2015 our dear friends K. and J. welcomed their second baby girl into the world. To say we are over moon thrilled for them and big sister K. is an understatement. I am missing those squishy newborn days so I can’t wait to head on over today to finally meet baby L. (as I type this I’m wondering if they planned on sequential first initials…hmm? Anyways of course I am bringing over a new baby dish for them and yesterday afternoon I said wait a minute I should share this recipe with you all! 

Running With Tongs - Panera Dupe - Celebrate

So K., J. & little K. are lovers of Panera, specifically the black bean soup so I thought why not attempt a copycat of one of their favorite soups? I have to say it turned out delicious and I am planning to make it again soon for ourselves.

Running With Tongs - Black Bean Soup - Panera Dupe

Celebratory Black Bean Soup (Panera Copycat)
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Teaspoons Grapeseed Oil (or oil of your choice)
  2. 3-15oz Tins of Reduced Sodium Black Beans, drained
  3. 1 Medium Red Onion, diced
  4. 2 Large Carrots, diced
  5. 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  6. 1 Bell Pepper (Red, Yellow or Orange), diced
  7. 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  8. 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  9. 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  10. 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  11. 2 Heaping Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  12. 1 Vegan Chikn Boullion Cube
  13. 2-3 Cups Water, depending on how thick/thin you'd like your soup
  14. 1 Teaspoon Umiboshi Plum Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Heat oil a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery and bell pepper, sauté for 7-10 minutes until soft.
  3. Stir in the garlic and spices.
  4. Stir in the black beans (drained not rinsed), tomato paste, boullion and water.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to medium-low to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. (Optional) remove 1/2-3/4 cup of soup and puree until smooth; return to pot and stir.
  7. Stir in the vinegar and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. You don't have to use umi vinegar but I recommend it. I use it in basically every soup and sauce that I make because it just makes such a difference. Don't believe me? Try your soup or sauce before adding and then stir it in and taste again- taste the difference?
Running With Tongs http://runningwithtongs.com/
I am pairing this soup with Beanitos aka my favorite corn-free tortilla chips, a Porter (beer) because L’s middle name is Porter, a session IPA (low alcohol for mum if she so desires), a dry soda and a batch of fresh lactation cookies and some for the freezer because who doesn’t prefer warm cookies straight from the oven and honestly it’s super easy to do. Hoping they enjoy this basket of goodies!

Running With Tongs - BabyMeal- Panera Dupe

Interested in more vegan recipe copycats? Let me know in the comments below!

What’s your favorite soup? I love a really good “cream” of tomato with crusty bread (obvs).

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Recipe | Massaged Kale Salad With Creamy Cashew Dressing

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