Oh dear. My last post promised my activity on here was going to “kick up” again and that was… 8 months ago? Schwoops. But the truth is that since I returned to the US this site hasn’t really felt like it represents me anymore. We all change, right? And I have been doing lots of that. When I started this site I was a new vegetarian progressing toward being a fully-fledged vegan. Then I went backpacking, and veganism was just too hard for me to maintain – a fact that was pretty conflicting to me at the time. I felt like I was disappointing myself. But after 6 months abroad I became used to eating eggs and not having the luxury of confirming ingredients in what I was eating (the only useful Chinese I know after two months living there is “This has or has no meat?” “I’d like one. A little bit spicy.”)
And although I briefly returned to eating vegan upon my return, I have come to the realization that it isn’t really me. Don’t be too shocked – I am now almost two years a vegetarian without breaking that commitment. But over my food journey I believe I have gotten closer to finding a balance that works for me and keeps my passion for food alive and thriving. I have worked at a winery and vineyard in the past, and I now work behind the cheese counter in a wine bar/restaurant doing cheese plates, prepared food deli items and catering orders. And I love it! I love cheese and wine and eating good, delicious, responsibly-produced slow foods. I eat eggs only from local sources I can get behind and still do not participate in industrially-produced dairy. I prefer to avoid processed food and make as much as I can myself. This feels most natural.
Anyway – my absence is mostly due to these feelings of change and being unsure how to proceed with my blog without starting over or alienating people. My solution is to refresh this site so it feels like me again, and then power onward. I have been feeling pretty bored with my cooking and lacking inspiration – but I do feel like I have something to say in my food, because I do think there are people like me who are passionate about food but are in-between different categories and cuisines. I hope the new Girl, Stir-Fried will contain something worth reading to many different people.
So here is something to get me started – my lunch today! Now I mostly work evenings in the restaurant, so I have been having my main meal at lunch time. It took some adjusting to, but I like it now. My partner Ryan did the grocery shopping this week (I guess I was sufficiently sassy about the fact that he is off all week while I have been working 😉 ) so I have less of a plan than usual about what I’m making. He bought arugula instead of the usual mixed greens, so I whipped up a pesto! I usually put fresh garlic in my pesto, but this time I went for roasted garlic hummus instead and it turned out great! Added some nice creaminess.
Thanks for reading and you’ll be hearing from me soon!
ARUGULA PESTO PASTA
Pasta for 2
1 heaped cup arugula
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons roasted garlic hummus
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of mini sweet peppers
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh or frozen peas
5 leaves fresh basil (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, add the almonds to your food processor and give them a whirl – until they are crushed but still bigger than breadcrumbs. Then add the arugula, olive oil, hummus, nutritional yeast (if you’re using it) and salt and pepper. Blend until well combined and you’ve got a pesto!
Drain the pasta and set aside. Quarter the peppers and half the cherry tomatoes. Make sure everything is prepped – this next bit will happen pretty quickly. Stick a large frying pan on the stove and heat up a small drizzle of olive oil in it. Add the peppers first, sautéing on high heat until they start to get little brown parts. Then add the peas (from frozen is fine) and sauté for another minute – just until defrosted. Then add the tomatoes and cook for one more minute. Then add the pasta and the pesto and cook, stirring until pesto is well distributed.
Top with fresh basil and crushed red pepper if ya want, and serve!