Be Green: St Patty’s Festivities Plus Buckwheat Veggie Pasta with Pesto & Chicken Sausage

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Good afternoon ladies! Hope you all had an amazing weekend, and a happy & green St. Patty’s Day. I spent the weekend catching up with old friends, eating good food, wining, and roaming the packed streets in South Boston. (I even got to catch some of the parade this year!)

[Ladies’ night apps: green grapes, herbed goat cheese, When Pigs Fly sourdough]

[The Boy & I]                                                             [best friends]

While I didn’t get around to Green Eggs ‘n’ Ham or dying our milk green (boo to artificial coloring), I did make a delicious green pesto pasta the other night that I’ve been dying to share with you ladies. Even better, it’s both gluten and dairy-free!

Buckwheat Veggie Pasta with Pesto & Chicken Sausage (Dairy & Gluten-free)

Makes 4 large servings

  • 8 oz. bag of buckwheat pasta
  • 2 links all-natural chicken sausage, sliced into thin circles (We used garlic-flavored)
  • 1 c. frozen green peas
  • Half a bag frozen spinach
  • 2 c. frozen broccoli
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TB cold-pressed coconut oil (for cooking)
  • salt, pepper & seaweed gomasio to taste

For pesto:

  • About 2 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • few shakes of nutritional yeast (to give it that “cheesy” flavoring)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

Note: Aim to use organic ingredients when you can!

1. Cook pasta according to directions, until cooked through but still slightly firm. In the meantime, heat large skillet with coconut oil and sauté garlic and onion on medium heat for about 2 minutes.

2. Add frozen vegetables, and continue to cook. In the meantime, prepare the pesto by adding all the ingredients to a food processor and pulsing until mixture is smooth. Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutritional yeast to your liking and give it a good stir.

3. Once vegetables are no longer frozen, add in the sliced chicken sausage and stir. Drain the pasta, and slowly stir into veggie mixture. Then add in pesto, mixing until the veggies and pasta are evenly coated. Add salt, pepper and seaweed gomasio to taste and dig in!

What did you do this weekend to celebrate St. Patty’s Day? What’s your favorite go-to healthy pasta dish?

Holy Jam Packed Weekend and Friday Faves

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TGIF! I want to jump up and down and do cartwheels I’m so excited (though I don’t know how to do cartwheels). ‘Tis finally the start of my weekend, and I have lots planned. For starters, I’m going to watch The Boy’s softball game tonight. Last week they lost 26 to 4 but I’m hoping I’ll pull the goodluck charm thing on them and bring in their first win! I’ll at least bring out my best cheerleading skills. Then it’s ladies’ night by the waterfront, followed by a day of shopping and yapping away at my “Healthy Chicks” booth at Shop & Talk tomorrow.

My weekend comes to an end with going out to dinner with The Boy’s family, followed by watching his step sister swim at Harvard for the Special Olympics. Talk about a packed weekend…I hope I can fit everything in. I most definitely know I’ll need a few doses of caffeine aka extra large iced-coffees to keep me “on” all weekend.

Alright, enough about my weekend. It’s Friday and that means it’s time for my weekly Friday Faves. Here’s what’s got me giddy this week:

1. Arts ‘n’ Crafts: I was never really a fan of arts ‘n’ crafts growing up. Actually, scratch that. I was a fan; I was just terribly bad at it. My color-blind genes led me to color a tree trunk green and the leaves brown in 2nd grade art class, and in college I decided it’d be a good idea to paint my entire room bright pink which turned into one hot mess. However, lately I’ve been embracing my inner artist! I started designing and printing my own greeting cards/ post cards and even created the most adorable little wooden spoon ornaments.

[sure it’s no Hallmark, but I’m gettin’ there]

2. Pesto: I can’t get enough of this green miracle spread. I’ve been adding it to everything lately, from mixing it with olive oil for a fabulous salad dressing to spreading it onto my turkey wraps. This week I took the lazy girl’s way out and bought pesto at Trader Joe’s. However, I much rather prefer making my own, since it’s super easy and you can control how much oil and cheese goes into it. All you need is olive oil, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, walnuts, garlic, and some salt & pepper. I like to add more basil and less cheese than called for in the typical recipe. For starters, here’s a basic recipe from Eating Well magazine.

3. Laughing my Face Off: Last night I went to my second comedy show ever in Boston, and  hands down had one of the best nights in a while. My girlfriend bought me a ticket (what a great date), we both got dressed up and then headed over to The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square. My friend ordered a beer, I ordered a vodka-seltzer con splash of cran and the laughter began. Oh, we also ordered fried wontons and beer teriyaki (whoops). Oh well, a girl’s gotta live.

I have to say it was a phenomenal show, and I was genuinely laughing at each and every comedian’s act. Sure, some were better than other’s  but I not once had to do the whole “fake laugh”/”pretend you’re texting” bit. These people were legit. One of my top three by far was actually a friend of the girl I went with: David Fogelman. Not only did he have me crying of laughter, but he was real which I liked most about him. I will most definitely be seeing some more comedy acts in the future in this lovely city of Boston!

4. The Snooze Button: I know, it’s bad. I’ve learned to love the snooze button, something I never took advantage of before. You see, I’m still getting used to my new phone – Crackberry lover goes Droid Pro – but one thing I love about my Droid is how easy it is to shut off that darn alarm in the morning. Yesterday I snoozed for an entire 20 minutes. But whatever; as long as I’m not late for work I can snooze however long I want.

What are you jumping up and down over this week? I’d love to hear your current obsessions – please share!

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