spaghetti with arugula pesto/roasted red pepper hummus

I made the most delicious dinner I’ve made in a long time last night, and, as usual, I owe it all to vegan goddess Christina Pirello.  Absolutely every time I make one of her recipes, it delivers. Just love her.  She posted the below recipe in a blog post titled “Lighten Up for Spring,” in which she explains how the energy in our environment and thus in our bodies changes as we move from the frigid depths of winter to the warmer lighter energy of spring. The trees have already started to bloom here in Portland, and everyone’s dying for the rain to let up so we can get back outside and enjoy the green beauty.  But, I think that will be a while. So while we wait, we eat. Story of my life.

Now, since I’m moving to NYC in less than a month, I’m constantly thinking about how to use up absolutely everything in my fridge and pantry so that nothing needs to be hastily thrown out the day we leave.  I’ll sacrifice most anything but food thankyouverymuch. So, I used a combination of penne and spaghetti for this recipe because that’s what I had. You could use whatever. I rilly love spaghetti with pesto, so this worked for me. But to make it healthier (and more asian) in the future I might sub in buckwheat soba noodles. or at least whole wheat pasta.  I served this with some crusty bread and homemade roasted red pepper hummus (recipe below). It was a killer combo if I do say so myself.

Also good news: bitter greens (like arugula) make our zits die. and they make us skinny. so. Christina writes: “Bitter greens are the greatest thing for clarifying the skin.  Their bitter flavor and astringent quality cleanse the liver and gall bladder of any accumulate fat that can interfere with the discharge of toxins–the job of these important organs.  Bitter greens are also an important ingredient in our ability to digest, assimilate and discharge oil and fat, which is why they seem to be so delicious when sautéed.”

Orecchiette with Arugula Pesto (recipe via here)

Pesto
2 bunches arugula, stems removed, rinsed well, coarsely minced
1 bunch chives, rinsed well, coarsely minced
One half cup pine nuts or walnuts, lightly roasted (I used pine nuts of course)
One half cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 teaspoons white miso
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (I didn’t have this so I subbed in 1 tsp. white wine vinegar & 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar)

1 pound orecchiette or penne pasta
1 red onion, thin half moon slices
several fresh chives, left whole, for garnish

To make the pesto, rinse and prepare the greens and chives.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and quickly blanche the arugula, about 30 seconds.  Combine with chives, transfer to a food processor and pulse to puree.  Add nuts, oil, miso, rice syrup and vinegar.  Puree until a thick, smooth pesto forms.  Set aside.

Return water to a boil.  Cook orecchiette and onions together until tender, 10-12 minutes.  Drain, but do not rinse.  Toss hot pasta with pesto to coat.  Transfer to a serving bowl and arrange chives in a criss-cross pattern on top of the noodles to garnish.  Serve warm or chilled.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 14 oz. can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 roasted red peppers (canned), diced small (divided)
generous pinch crushed red pepper, to taste
2 small or 1 large clove garlic, minced. add more if you’re a garlic fiend, by all means.
1/4 tsp sea salt, you can add more to taste
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 cup olive oil-eyeball it. start with about half this and add more to reach desired consistency. you may not need all of it.
tiny squeeze fresh lemon juice
Add the chickpeas, 3/4 of the diced red peppers, the crushed red pepper, salt, garlic, paprika, and olive oil to a food processor or blender or whatever you have. I used a hand blender and it worked just fine.  Blend very well to desired texture, adding in more olive oil as needed.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the lemon juice, and stir in the remaining diced red pepper. Taste, adjust seasoning, and devourthewholethinginonesittinglikeidid.

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my new jam

“I was playing drums” by Efterklang. You can listen to it here. And while you’re there, you might as well listen to all their other music too.  Because, what else do you have to do?

And in the meanwhile, we can all close our eyes and pretend they’re as sexy as they sound. Sexy ass bastards with no ironic mustaches to speak of. Because that shit only works for DJ Fuzzy Duck.

And while we’re on the topic of sexy (ed. note: we’re always on the topic of sexy), don’t you just hate when musicians aren’t as sexy as they sound? what a monstrous let down. Case in point: The XX. I’m sorry (no, I’m not), I love their music, just want them to be hotter hotties.

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quinoa & barley salad

In an attempt to use up as many items in my pantry and fridge as possible (cause i’m gettin the eff outta here soon), I put together this impromptu grain salad.  It’s the perfect thing to eat if you want to pretend that it’s spring. Plus, it will make you feel better about yourself. And, you need that.

INGREDIENTS:

-1 cup quinoa (I used a mixture of red and white. You could use only quinoa for this recipe, which I was planning to do, but I didn’t have enough, so I added the barley.  You could use pretty much any grain for that matter, or even pasta if you want to make it less legit.)

-1 cup barley

-1 lb. fingerling potatoes, 1″ dice

-1/2 medium cucumber, quartered & diced

-1 medium heriloom tomato, diced

-1 garlic clove, minced

-2 whole scallions, sliced thinly on diagonal

-1/4 cup miso dressing (recipe below) (this is optional. I simply had it leftover from another salad and thought it would work well. You could substitute all lemon juice and olive oil, with extra salt and pepper, to dress the salad if you’d like. But you should make this. Shit’s delicious.)

-juice from 1 lemon

– 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

-salt & pepper to taste

-chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. boil salted water and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until fork tender

2. while your potatoes cook, cook your grains (separately, if using a variety) according to package instructions.

3. meanwhile, chop up your tomato, cucumber, garlic, and scallion and add to a big mixing bowl

4. drain your cooked potatoes, run briefly under cool water to stop the cooking, and add to the veggies, along with the cooked grains

5. pour in the dressing, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss well to distribute dressing.

6. Serve with chopped parsley & perhaps a lemon wedge for garnish if you want to get fancy on yourself

MISO DRESSING (from The Kind Life) (makes about 1 cup)

1/4 cup umeboshi vinegar

1 Tbsp finely minced fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp. stone-ground mustard

4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. brown rice syrup

1 tsp. white miso

whisk all ingredients together until well combined. pour over salad. love it.

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blog lovin

Follow me into this dark room. I promise I won’t touch you.

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homegrown coffee table

Timoth and I were on the hunt for an affordable/non hideous coffee table for what felt like centuries.  Scouring the posts on Craigslist for weeks (days) on end, I was literally repulsed by the hideous bullshit coffee tables some people own. The only consolation was the fact that they had finally come to their senses and decided to rid themselves of the tragic narstfulness that is (for example):

(image via here)

But how DARE you try to sell shit like this for upwards of $100! The nerve. But I digress.

At one point we had the relatively shitty IKEA Lack coffee table, and then somewhere along the way we lost it or sold it or gave it away and were living with just a small shitty IKEA Lack side table as a coffee table. And an 84″ couch. So, it was dire. While on the hunt one day around Portland’s various overpriced hipster vintage stores, we decided to check out the Rebuilding Center on Mississppi Ave. to see if there were any bits we could piece together to make a table.  Well, the Rebuilding Center is one of the greatest places on earth, and when we stumbled across the ol’ windows section, we decided it would be fun to fashion a coffee table out of a large window pane. So we bought it, for $2, and went to Home Depot to get some legs.

Unfortunately, being the lazy and forgetful 20-somethings that we are, we did not measure our old coffee table’s height, nor the height of our couch, and so we had no idea what length table legs to buy. It also never crossed our minds to go measure the legs of coffee tables that they were most likely selling elsewhere in the store.  So we splurged for the longer legs for $7 a pop, knowing that we could saw them down if they were too long.  Long story short, Tim had to take multiple trips back to Home Depot to use their community hand saw to shorten the legs some more and some more and some more until they were the right height: a mere 1/2 inch longer than the $4 legs we originally poo-pooed for being too short. Poor Timoth.  He was practically stripped down to his skivvies in Home Depot from all the sawing-induced sweat.  But alas, we had our legs and our window and we were ready to make a table. We had also bought some cherry stain, and a set of straight top plates.

First, I stained the legs.

Tim attached two of the straight top plates to the bottom of the window frame and the legs screwed right in. So easy.  But sadly, the plates were too wide for the other edge of the window frame and we decided not to use them because we didn’t want them to be visible.

So instead, we drilled straight into the frame, poured in a little gorilla glue, and screwed in the legs.

Then we put on some heaviness while the glue dried.  Janky, yes, but it worked.

And there you have it. A new coffee table.

While I admit it may be too DIY for the tastes of some, I love it. So back off.

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Snazzy Cam

I recently bought a fancy new Canon 7D for taking photos and videos.  I’m still learning some of the featches, but I’m getting used to her. I’ve got the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens, which was very affordable, around $100, and the Canon 15-85mm lens, which was (cough), not so. But, it’s awesome, and I’ve been taking pictures like a buckwild sonofabitch since I bought it. Below are my first shots around Portland, right outta the box, with the 50mm lens (bear with me as I learn how to focus):

 

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Oh, hi

I didn’t see you there. I was just minding my own business. Chilling in my swamp. Being sexy. Not by any means expecting visitors.  And yet here we are. Welcome!  Feel free to grab a spare alligator and fedora. I left some extras by the door. Unfortunately I don’t have any sultry expressions to spare, so you’re going to have to fend for yourself in that department.

Well…this is my blog. You know what that is, so no need to explain.  It’s not much, but it’ll do.  It will involve all aspects of life which I find funny/interesting/crafty/yummy/sexy/entertaining/etc. And, to be clear, this will not be a blog about Robert Pattinson. Or Twilight.  Although I guess a Robert Pattinson/Twilight blog would fit into all of my aforementioned criteria. So, maybe this will be a Twilight blog after all. Shit. (No, it won’t)

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