Wednesday, July 6, 2011


It's back to the work week after a nice four day break which means, of course, meal prep for this week.  Trying to keep it healthy and light since its hot outside and over the weekend I wasn't exactly a model of health. 

I've had walnuts in the freezer for awhile and sun dried tomatoes in the fridge so I decided to make a walnut-sun dried tomato "pesto." I say "pesto" because its really not a pesto but I don't know what else to call it so pesto it is. I figure this mix can be used all week- planning to use it to fill lettuce wraps, top bread, or tossed with pasta. This is an infinitely versatile, vegetarian recipe. I out the walnuts in a 350 degree toaster oven just to take off the chill but did not roast the nuts. 

If you like sun dried tomatoes this is a must. Use sparingly as there is a lot of flavor, and while the ingredients are healthy they are also very calorie dense. Get creative with your spices! I used parsley but would have done a combination with basil if my basil wasn't so sad looking in the garden. You could also use fresh garlic or garlic powder (the former tends to be too strong for me, the latter was MIA in the pantry).

Sun dried Tomato-Walnut "Pesto"
(makes just about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
2 carrots (peeled)
handful flat-leaf parsley
small sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt + pepper to taste

In a food processor, pulse nuts and carrots to very coarse grind. Add sun dried tomatoes, parsley, and seasonings and continue to pulse until well combined to a medium-coarse grind. Add EVOO or oil from sun dried tomatoes as you pulse to give a wet but not saturated texture. Serve over pasta or as an alternative to ground meat such as in a wrap or taco. Refrigerate any leftover.

For lunch this week I made a side dish of bulgar wheat with mango and mint. Loving the mango-mint combination, but I think I screwed up the bulgar. It's too mushy, almost like steel cut oatmeal. Not bad, but not what I was looking for. I will have to adjust my cooking methods next time. Once perfected, I will definitely share a mango-mint recipe. 

And... for the ultimate skinny meal... I made another batch of gazpacho. Used the recipe previously posted but this time I added a leftover carrot and omitted the garlic to keep the breath a little tamer at work.

One serving packs perfectly and BPA-free in a mason jar or other leftover glass jar...

... OK I actually pack it in the jar because it looks awesome. Yes, I am a nerd but if you like what your food looks like then it is only that much more satisfying!

With the gazpacho and mango-mint bulgar I packed a fresh mozzarella cheese stick, Stonyfield Yogurt, granola + chia seed mix, TJ chocolate covered sunflower seeds, an orange, and Diet Coke of course.

Now I am off to unpack from my DC excursion then it's a little strength training followed by that pool workout I intended to get to yesterday.

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