8 ways to use pesto

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

Is there anything better than a batch of fresh pesto?

The possibilities are endless. Even the beginnings are endless!

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

I’m kind of a purist when it comes to pesto – meaning I tend to stick with the standard basil + pine nuts + garlic + parmesan + olive oil, but it’s not to say that I never branch out. It’s just rare. And for the record, I don’t always make my pesto from scratch. It’s preferred, but I also love the Kirkland brand of prepared pesto from Costco.

8 ways to use pesto: 

Pesto Pizza | A Nutritionist Eats

This has been dinner far too many times to count. It couldn’t be easier, yet hits the spot every single time I have it. Try Pesto Pizza for lunch or dinner soon. Please!!!!!

Thin pesto with olive oil and drizzle on fresh vegetables. Outstanding!

Salmon Sandwich with Pesto Avocado Spread | A Nutritionist Eats

I absolutely love combining pesto with avocado. Clarification: I love combining anything with avocado, and pesto is no exception. Salmon Sandwich with Pesto Avocado Spread is a delicious, rich and healthy sandwich.

Toss with cooked grains (like quinoa) and sprinkle with goat cheese.

Summer Crostini | A Nutritionist Eats

Summer Crostini is a great make-ahead appetizer and guaranteed crowd-pleaser. (And it’s been having a moment on pinterest this summer!)

Blend into white bean dip. Serve with toasted crostini, crackers and fresh vegetables.

Pesto Chicken Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

If you’re a chicken salad fan, you’ll love this pesto version! Pesto Chicken Salad is insanely easy and perfect on sandwiches or spread on crackers.

10 Ways to Use Pesto | A Nutritionist Eats

And, last but certainly not least is probably my absolute favorite way to eat pesto: simply tossed with pasta.

What’s your favorite way to use pesto? (AND! Make or buy?)

4th of july inspiration

Um, can someone please explain what has happened to June?! I do NOT understand how the 4th of July is next week.

It’s quite disturbing, especially because we haven’t done anything on our summer to-do list. (And I mean that we haven’t even made the list yet.) I do know that we want to spend some time at the beach, see a few outdoor shows but beyond the food + drink below, I have no idea!

At least this is a good place to start…

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sip: Berry Kombucha Sangria. I haven’t made sangria yet this summer, but this version is at the top of my list. Recipe and image via Edible Perspective.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Spread: You can tell me that there is a food better than grilled bread, but I won’t believe you. This Bruschetta Bar idea is genius and totally my type of meal: wine + bread + cheese. Oh, and it’s beautiful. Recipe via What’s Gaby Cooking, photo via Matt Armendariz.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Simple: Grilled Watermelon and Feta Stacked Salad is the perfect example of a simple – yet delicious – salad that combines sweet and salty over bitter greens. Recipe via Cooking for Keeps.

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Splurge: Adding bacon to hot dogs is a splurge in my book. These BLT Hot Dogs are topped with bacon, tomatoes and lettuce dressed with a caraway-pickle mayo. (Please tell me hot dogs are on your menu next week!) Recipe and image via Food & Wine.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

Side: 4th of July = Summer and Summer = Pasta Salad. This Blue Cheese & Olive version is a staple in my family and great because you can make it a day ahead of time. And that = more time for fun and sun!

4th of July Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sweet: All these Red Velvet Cupcakes need is a few blue sprinkles and they’ll be red, white, blue and delicious! Recipe and image via Satisfy My Sweet Tooth.

What are you making? (Link below!)

blue cheese & olive pasta salad

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

(I’m bringing back an old favorite today, for new and necessary pictures and fresh words.)

If I can be really honest with you all (my closest internet friends that is) I’ve been having a hard time being so far away from our family and friends. After a super fast, unexpected trip to Wisconsin, having some of our best friends in town and spending a quick weekend in Florida with Richie’s family, I was missing everyone.

EVERYONE! Even though I’m pretty laid back, I was dramatically asking why we live in California, why we moved away, why I can’t see everyone as much as I like and every other dramatic question I could think of. Apparently even I, have my moments more often than I’d like to admit. I was, in a word, homesick.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

And this salad brings me a little closer to home. It’s one of my mom’s standard pasta salads and like I mentioned in the original post, she is the queen b. when it comes to pasta salads. Even the words “pasta salad” remind me of summers in Wisconsin, al fresco dinners (in the screened-in porch, because … mosquitos) consisting of chilled pasta salads and fresh produce.

Summers and a life when my hair turned a greenish hue from spending most of the day at the pool, biking home only for lunch. Summers and a life in Minneapolis that was packed with warm-weather rejoicing and grilling out with friends any time we could. Summers and a life in Los Angeles that’s different, but still so full and delightful.

Sometimes you just need to sulk a little bit…but homesick or not, I’ll never sulk about food and definitely not this pasta salad.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad | A Nutritionist Eats

It’s the ideal side for your grilled main courses of the summer season. It’s got bites of chewy pasta, salty olives and blue cheese, sweet, green grapes and flavorful green onions. It’s really simple, but also complex when bites include a taste of every flavor.

The dressing is also simple: just some mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt & pepper.

Simple, delicious, satisfying. Food like this is what I love about cooking.

And family + friends are what I love about this life!

nutrition facts: 333 calories, 15 grams of fat, 39 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 7 grams sugar, 10 grams protein

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: entree salad side high protein sugar-free vegetarian cheese pasta spring summer

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 8 oz fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onion (about 4-5 onions)
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (or any blue cheese), crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced green grapes
  • 6 oz can of black olives, drained and sliced in half

Instructions

Prepare pasta as directed.

Set aside.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper until smooth.

Prep remaining ingredients: chop green onion, crumble blue cheese, slice grapes and olives.

Toss all ingredients together until combined.

Chill for a few hours before serving.

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5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less!)

5 Trader Joe's Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Deep question of the day: where do you guys grocery shop?

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

I tend to shop based on proximity, but the store has to have the natural and organic selection of foods I’m looking for or it just won’t work. In my current neighborhood (West Hollywood!) there are quite a few options within walking distance. I tend to visit most of them (Whole Foods, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms) on a pretty regular basis to see what new foods are out there, but Trader Joe’s is, without a doubt, a weekly stop for me. I can find most of the things I need – and for a pretty reasonable price – but I’ve got to admit that I love the frozen and convenience foods that Trader Joe’s offers. (If you’re ever wondering how something is, just ask. I’ve probably tried it!)

Recently, my friend Lynn and her husband came up with this super-clever buzzfeed video featuring Trader Joe’s mashups:

I loved the video and the premise –  it’s absolutely what inspired this post!

I started brainstorming some of my favorite trader joe’s combinations that fit the following criteria:

  1. under five ingredients (all but one are made with three ingredients)
  2. fairly healthy (all of them come in under or around 500 calories)
  3. include a vegetable (because every meal should!)
  4. delicious (again, because every meal should be!)

Here are the 5 Trader Joe’s meals that I came up with:

Classic Southern Dinner:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s start with an easy, classic meal: bbq chicken breast, mac & cheese and collard greens. Prepare the mac & cheese and bbq chicken as directed and lightly steam or saute the collard greens. *I really like their “reduced-guilt” mac & cheese, but have yet to try the gluten-free variety!

Palak Paneer Eggs:

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Why have I not combined Indian food with eggs before? Ah-mazing. Top cooked palak paneer with a fried or poached egg and serve with hot naan. This will definitely become a regular in our meal rotation – perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Tortilla Pizza:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats
Tortilla pizzas are one of my favorite meals and considering that I’ve eaten them on  regular basis for years, it was a no-brainer. When topped with sauce, arugula, cheese and turkey meatballs, this is a particularly filling pizza. Simply bake the tortilla until crisp, top with sauce, cheese, arugula and warmed meatballs and bake until cheese has melted. (Brown rice and sprouted tortillas are my favorite to use.)

Chimichurri Rice & Sausage:

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Chimichurri rice is a somewhat new item and I’m so glad I finally put it in my cart – it’s delicious (so is the kimchee rice!).  When it’s combined with chicken sausage and a vegetable, you’ve got a balanced dinner that comes together in minutes. Slice and saute the sausage and rice as directed while you roast the broccoli in the oven.

Pasta with Mushrooms & Parmesan:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

This vegetarian meal is delicious and simple. And absolutely OUTSTANDING if you add a drizzle of truffle oil or sprinkling of truffle salt. Simply prepare the pasta and mushrooms as directed and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Use your favorite pasta variety.

Got any favorite quick meals to share? 

P.S. I’m really sorry if you don’t have access to Trader Joe’s! Come visit and I’ll take you on a tour. :)