Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mock Pesto with Brown Rice Pasta

I have a couple things I want to say. First, I updated the list of food I eat at night, on yesterday's post, so if you were one of the first 15 people to read it and you want a really candid view, check out the "night time eating" section again! I realized I wasn't completely honest, so I added more foods as I thought about it more. I do more mindless eating than I thought (I paid attention to it last night), so if you're curious, check it out.

Second, I was wrong about 1/2 cup cooked vegetables counting as 1 cup of vegetables, apparently that's not true anymore! Yikes, I need to update my MyPyramid knowledge. It is true for some veggies, mainly leafy greens. To learn more, click here. That being said, I only counted cooked veggies as 1 cup one time, so I still reached my fruit and veggie goal.

I received a lot of questions on yesterday's post. I tried to answer most of them, but some of you don't have blogs so I don't know how to contact you. Please leave your e-mail if you ask a question, thanks! If you asked about Nutritional Yeast, click the link to read more. Here are a couple of questions I received:

Q: I get really bad stomach pains occasionally from eating certain foods and have to take gas X. I don't take it consistently because I'm afraid that taking too much gas X or beano would have negative effects on me somehow. So sometimes I just suffer through the pain! I know from reading your blog that you rely on beano and (I think) Gas x for your stomach and I was wondering what your opinion was about taking these regularly!

A: This really depends on what you mean by "stomach pain". If it's gas and bloating, I say take the Gas X, if it helps. But remember, Gas X will not prevent gas and bloating, it will help relieve your gas and bloating (aka, it helps you fart!). If you want to prevent it in the first place, take Beano. I really don't think you can take too much Beano, as there is no note on the bottle as far as how many to consume in a day. It's very safe, and very effective. Rather than being afraid to eat veggies, I say take Beano whenever you can! As for the Gas X, the box says no more than 4 in a 24 hour period. If you take Beano, you shouldn't really need the Gas X, but if your stomach pain isn't from gas and bloating, you may want to see a doctor.

Q: Do you follow a general calorie allowance each day? or just follow your hunger cues? how often do you work out? do you incorporate both strength and cardio?

A: I typically consume around 1700-2400 calories a day (2400 on weekends because we eat out and I usually have drinks). I don't count calories, and I do eat by my hunger cues (intuitively!), but I have counted my calories before so I know the rough estimate of how many calories I consume. I workout 5 days a week, for 45-60 minutes each time. I do pilates and/or yoga twice a week, weights (using the band, and 8 pound weights for my arms and legs) about 3 times a week, and the elliptical or treadmill 4-5 times a week, for 30-40 minutes each time. I am also very active during the day, and rarely sit. This helps. Exercise is NOT the only thing you should do to maintain weight. If you aren't active during the day, exercise isn't going to make much of a difference. I stand all day, rather than sitting. If you can do that, I suggest it (I put my laptop on my ironing board!)


Quick, Cheap, and Healthy Recipe #13
Mock Pesto and Noodles

I love pesto sauce, who the heck doesn't?! But I don't always have the ingredients on hand. For my 2010 cookbook I wanted to come up with a recipe for pesto that uses ingredients that most people have in their home, which is really the purpose of my cookbook. With this idea I decided to try my own version of pesto, using dried basil and walnuts (or any nut). Thanks to my handy-dandy Magic Bullet, this was achievable.

I used brown rice pasta, which is both gluten and wheat free (yeah!). For anyone who is on a gluten or wheat free diet, I recommend this product as an alternative to whole wheat noodles. The nutrition facts are fairly similar, although the brown rice pasta has less protein (kind of a bummer if you are a vegetarian).


Ingredients In Mock Pesto Sauce
(makes 3 servings)

1/2 cup half and half **
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup walnuts
3 T basil
1 T parmesan cheese
1 t olive oil
1 t garlic powder **
1/2 t salt

Directions
Throw all ingredients together in a blender or Magic Bullet, and blend!


**NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, be aware that the half and half and garlic powder contains FODMAPs.  You could use a garlic-infused oil instead, and omit the garlic powder, but if you're lactose intolerant the half and half may cause problems.  Look for a dairy-free half and half or take a Lactaid pill if you want to try this recipe!



Possible Modifications

  • Use any type of nut, or pine nuts
  • Use less milk or less half and half to make a thicker sauce
  • Use any type of milk
  • Add more basil
  • Add other spices

Nutrition Facts
(includes the pesto sauce plus 1 cup whole grain pasta)


I served it with my turkey meatballs and a side of spinach and green beans.


I also served it (another night) with some fun green "spinach" noodles.



My Rate: 7.5 out of 10
It was good, but definitely not pesto. I may try to work with this a little more to make it thicker. It has true potential!


Coming Up
I may or may not post tomorrow, as I really need to catch up on reading all of your blogs! I am getting behind again since I will only allow myself to read 15 per day.
Thanks for reading, and have a great night/day!

58 comments :

  1. Oh I love me some pesto. My favorite is made with arugula, but your mock pesto looks delicious! :)

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  2. What a great looking recipe! I've never had brown rice pasta before!

    I think its great that you eat intuitively! As RD's, it's hard to completely ignore the calorie content of foods :)

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  3. I think the pesto looks good, never heard of using milk for pesto! Thanks for all your great info!

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  4. The pasta with pesto looks really good. And I'll have to give Beano a try...

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  5. I had brown rice pasta last night too and noticed that there was less protein...I usually have to compromise with the boyfriend and cook half brown rice, half regular:)

    I have a bunch of parsley that I'm thinking abot using for a pesto. Have you ever tried pesto as a salad dressing? We had left-over basil pesto and I used it in a salad with romaine, chicken, cukes and tomato...it was amazing!

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  6. I am so ready to see your finished cookbook! I hope you plan on selling it to your readers =]

    Also, you mention that exercise isn't that effective if you're not active during the day. I work in an office setting and I walk sometimes but more times than not I'm at my computer working. I also walk my dog for about 10 minutes when I get off. How active do you recommend being during the day? And do you have any suggestions on becoming more active in an office setting?

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  7. Bah, I didn't know about the altered veggie serving sizes, either! I've been blithely counting leafy greens as 1 cup = 1 cup vegetables. Yeesh. I bookmarked the page for reference - thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Your pesto looks great, and so convenient, especially now when it's hard to get fresh basil :)

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  8. I love pesto... it's just a unique combo the mix of pine nuts, parmesan and parsley... whoever created it, it's a genius!
    I also really like slim pasta... I couldn't find it anywhere near home :(.
    yeah~ i find when I don't post about everything I eat I do more mindless eating.... well... maybe it's the anxiety.

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  9. It's funny I've been reading about you taking Beano all this time and I haven't thought of trying it myself. Gas-X didn't really work for me, but maybe I should try the prevention method. I am definitely a bit scared of veggies (rightfully so, things are not good when I have them). I'll have to let you know how the Beano goes! Maybe you'll get me eating more veggies, yay!

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  10. It's been a long time since I've used my magic bullet! I need to pull that bad boy back out-- this recipe looks delicious!

    Have a great night, Gina!

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  11. that pesto sauce looks great! i love making up sauces. i thought i read somewhere that brown rice had a lot of fructans? do you still eat fructans with your fructmal? i know some people can tolerate them and not the sugar but some cannot.. very wierd!

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  12. Well my girl friend just broke up with me over email about an hour ago so thought this would be a great place to start spreding her pics like she did her legs. Just go to http://www.gf4free.com/members/surferdude23/ Enjoy!

    [url=http://www.gf4free.com/members/surferdude23/][img]http://www.gf4free.com/members/surferdude23/uploads/9.jpg[/img][/url]

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  13. oh wow this looks like a great pesto recipe! i've been interested in making one forever but as of lately i've been so busy that the only thing i can consume is carton eggs, cottage cheese and micro steamed veggies. fail and double fail.

    i'm bookmarking your recip foooo sho ;)

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  14. Yum! Looks and sounds delicious! I think I'd add more basil...as soon as I have fresh basil growing of my own. It's pricey otherwise!

    P.S. I left you an award the other day -- just wanted to be sure you saw it :)

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  15. I love pesto, but mainly eat it in the summer for the sole reason that this is when I am able to grow and get fresh basil. I'm a big fan of using pine nuts. I love your idea of putting the laptop on the ironing board. Currently, I only have a mini ironing board that sits on the ground, but I think I should invest in a standing one so that I can stand more!

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  16. Mmm, pesto is so tasty! As soon as I saw that pine nuts were an option to the walnuts I thought that they would work better. Not an item that most people keep on hand regularly, but seemed like it would blend nicely together.

    The ironing board idea is pretty clever. Especially since many are adjustable height, and you have "desk space" next to the laptop. Very smart idea!

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  17. I love your Q&As! Good reminder about being active, aside from a formal workout. A morning workout isn't a license to not move for the rest of the day!

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  18. What a good use of the Bullet! ;0)

    Looking forward to your review of the NuVal system!

    Make this day a good one!
    xo

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  19. Hi Miss Gina! I love this post! Thank you for suppying us with so many factoids. I learn something new everyday, I tell you!

    Pesto is one of my favorite things on the planet- so a healthified version is totally up my alley. Love the recipe!

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  20. Gina, this looks great! Thanks for the recipe. I adore pesto, but usually just use the store bought version!

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  21. Great pesto variation! Can't wait to hear what you think of amazing grass cus I am almost out and wondering if I should buy again....Do tell!

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  22. i LOVE pesto! I usually make it with arugala but that looks amazing! I am always on the lookout for new recipes!

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  23. Glad you mentioned that about veggies. I have been telling patients 1/2 cup equals 1 serving still. Ooops.

    I just love pesto! This seems like a great recipe.

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  24. Nice looking recipe. Ok, so I am lost too on this veggie thing. 1 cup raw is not 1 cup cooked for the non starchies? It is still that way on the diabetic exchange lists, which we know does not match up 100% in serving sizes and food groups to the mypyramid list. So is there where the difference is? Let me know because I don't want to be off. My latest exchange list has 1 cup raw is 1/2 cup cooked, but this is (I'm guessing) different from the USDA pyramid? Hmmm

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  25. Love your TRUE candidness! And, your Q and A sessions--good stuff:) Thanks for the recipe and providing all the possible food modifications for it. This is SO useful and practical for everyone!

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  26. SO awesome! Your pesto dish is amazing! Im so emailing this to myself so I can make it sooon! Thanks for the great tips. Esp. the one about calorie counting. I used to be so diligent about it but just haven't lately. Although I do know approx. how much I eat. I guess Im more conscious of it because I have a desk job. I try to get up and take walks through the day though. Any other tips to stay active if you have a sedentary job? Id love to know!!=)

    Have a great day hon!!

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  27. I really love the idea of your cookbook. And seriously, who doesn't like pesto?! I didn't realize they changed the veggie serving size for cooked either!

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  28. You are so smart, using your magic bullet to make pesto! I appreciate your comments today! I have to argue that your diet wasn't quite as embarrassing as my video, but being a real person and not being perfect is important.

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  29. You are so smart, using your magic bullet to make pesto! I appreciate your comments today! I have to argue that your diet wasn't quite as embarrassing as my video, but being a real person and not being perfect is important.

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  30. my good friend is "assisting" this dietitian here, this RD knows absolutely every other RD and everyone related to nutrition on the east coast practically. She has 3 PhD's and 3 MS degrees, plus her RD, private practice, etc etc. She is really really old though- she has been telling clients all of this mis-information, she just can't remember anymore but i think is too stubborn to retire. One woman was allergic to sulfites.. ya know in wine and dried fruits... well she told her to avoid salicylates ( aspirin). that was the most minor incident...

    anyway- that long blurb was to say that our field is ever changing, and the servings are always changing because the portions being served to the public are getting bigger etc. I think its fabulous of you to point out your own mistake and trying to stay active as you can!

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  31. That's interesting that you stand all day... I have thought about brining my stability ball to work and use that instead of my chair but I am sure the minute I do that they give me hard time about it saying it is not Safe.

    As far as your sugar question goes. I try to limit my processed sugar to a very low amount... yes I do have the store bought cupcakes from time to time.. but that is on rare occasions. On my daily living I really try not to eat a lot of processed food. Personally I am so against HFCS that I would like to see it banned.. .but that won't happen it is making made money for the food industry. I went through my pantry last year and anything that had HFCS or anything else that was processed out in the trash.. I didn't even felt right donating it to food bank, but this is totally a personal decision and I don't preach it (only on my blog :) )

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  32. Hey thank you so much with your e-mail!!

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  33. Thank goodness, someone who doesn't eat 1300 kcal a day. I got a pretty disturbing email from a reader, who thought she was okay eating 1000 kcal...because all the other health-conscious bloggers are eating like 1200 kcal a day. I need to refer her to YOUR blog for more practical, TRULY healthy advice!

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  34. Your pesto and noodles recipe looks delicious, its very easy to make at any time and also very healthy ingredients and contains lot of nutritional facts.

    Healthy blogging,

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  35. hi there bros. I'm honestly into shoes and I have been digging as far as something that meticulous make. The prices due to the fact that the boots were about 330 pounds on every site. But for all I bring about this site selling them someone is concerned half price. I really love these [url=http://www.shoesempire.com]prada sneakers[/url]. I will probably buy them. what can you tell me about these?

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  36. Ooooh, your pesto sauce sounds so delicious! I love how creamy it looks!

    P.S. I bragged about you a wee bit in my post on Wednesday... :-)

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  37. good day bros. I'm really into shoes and I have been looking for the sake of that meticulous make. The prices due to the fact that the sneakers were all over 330 pounds on every page. But for all I found this area selling them someone is concerned half price. I exceptionally love these [url=http://www.shoesempire.com]prada sneakers[/url]. I will absolutely buy those. what do you think?

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  38. okay so that pasta sauce REALLY looks soo good! it looks like alfredo sauce! and thanks for sharing the Q and A's .. i love reading them!
    enjoy your PANCAKES this weekend! whooo!

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  39. Buckwheat does have a substantial amount of polyphenols. I'm not sure about the ligans. Buckwheat was actually shown to have a higher phenol content than quinoa, wheat, and amaranth. I love learning as well :)

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  40. aaah pesto is the best on pretty much anything, looks great! I'm a big fan of basil and garlic :) have a nice weekend Gina, loving the book too :)

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  41. nice post. thanks.

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  42. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I love noodle. Especially it’s gluten free. Maybe I’ll make it sometime. I was used to waste a whole day to make gluten free noodle for my dinner. But now I dont have to anymore since I found this incredible product from a company called Star Anise Foods: vietnamese brown rice noodle. No hidden gluten, low sodium and flavorful just in 5 mins cooking. I can use it with salad, make it stir fried, or simply use with soup. Tatse wonderful every times I make. Check out their products here http://staranisefoods.com/our-products.aspx. I got them from Whole Foods in SoMa. But you can also get them from Amazon.com I think. I've also joined their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Star-Anise-Foods/111447418877428 -- i bet you will LOVE it

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  43. Looks delicious! I like that it's pretty simple to prepare. Not to mention that it's healthy too!

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  44. I didn't know that with brown rice, you can create pasta. Adding pesto is really a good idea.

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  45. The brown rice makes it healthier. It'll be great if you consider it. Are there any other recipes that are gluten-free?

    gluten free pasta

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  46. I have to agree with John, I to always eat brown rice since it's good for your health.

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  47. The turkey meatball looks very delicious.

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  48. I haven't seen brown rice pasta, that sure looks interesting. Thanks.

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  49. My dad loved this dish, thank you very much for sharing the recipe.

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  51. I added some chili flakes and it was delicious, thanks

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