Bean, Tomato, and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

That moment when you google a recipe idea you threw together and find… nothing. I’m going to bask in the glow of this creation and avoid searching too hard (because really, nothing infinitesimally little  is truly original)

The idea for this recipe came to me when I opened my Dominion Harvest box last Tuesday.

Dominion Harvest Delivery

Staring back at me was a bag of Arugula. I decided nearly immediately that I wanted to do something with it other than throw it into a salad. That just seemed too… square.

So sometime between last Wednesday and today, it popped into my head: ARUGULA PESTO.

Arugula Pesto

And the rest is history.

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(Well, actually, the rest involved coming up with what I wanted to put the pesto on and then settling on wanting to put the pesto in because every dinner I make is either a stew or a semi-stew-salad-casserole-conglomerate these days)
IMG_3134

Well that was a long and unnecessary aside.

So here it is. Recipe of the (Tues)day.

Bean, Tomato, and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

Bean Tomato Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

serves 4-6 

For the Stew

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– White Wine
– 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 small zucchinis, chopped
– 1 bell pepper, diced
– salt & pepper
– 1 cup lentils
– 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
– 2 cups cooked pinto beans (a can is fine, another bean is also fine)
– 1 cup water
– 1 bay leaf

1. Heat a bit of olive oil and a couple splashes of wine over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the vegetables, salt, and pepper and cook until just softened, stirring often.

2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, beans, water, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto using directions below.

4. After the stew is done cooking, add the pesto and stir well to combine. Let cook for another minute to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve!

For the Pesto

– big bunch of arugula (I used about 4 cups)
– 1 large clove garlic
– 1/4 cup nuts (I used a combination of walnuts and cashews)
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– Juice of 1/2 large lemon (or whole small)
– Extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine arugula, garlic, nuts, and cheese in your food processor. Process until well-chopped. (I had to add the arugula in batches to fit it all)

2. Add the lemon juice and a nice pour of olive oil. Process again until well-blended.

Bean Tomato and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

Are you ready for my close up?

How about some mood lighting?

How about some mood lighting?

OK, not to toot my own horn (but toot toot) this was delicious. (If not-so-delicious-looking)

What was the best not-so-delicious-looking thing you’ve made?

Any other arugula ideas?

 

Coming up for air.

Do you ever feel like you’re so busy with work or school that when you’re able to actually enjoy the company of friends or sit and write a blog post, you feel like you’re coming up for air? Like when you were a kid and your swim coach told you to try coming up for air less often so that you could swim faster and you struggled and waited in anticipation until you reached the desired amount of strokes to take a breath? That’s how life is feeling right now. But oddly, I think I’m handling it alright. In the process of adjusting. Not terribly stressed, just feeling like I don’t have a lot of free time.

OK, enough blahness-talking. Let’s get into the cool things that happened this weekend:

I went to the farmers’ market!

My beans came with a “receipt” from the owner of the stand’s daughter.

This, my friends, is Lemon Basil. I never knew that it was a thing until I found it at the market! Apparently it keeps best if you cut off the ends, and stick it in water to keep it fresher. Who knew?

FOOTBALL season is here!

Today commenced the start of an exciting season (in my opinion). I went over to a friend’s for a game and gloated over my Eagles’ victory earlier in the day. I love football season for the social gatherings – nothing brings people together quite like football.

And now since bed time is quickly approaching, I will just leave you with…

This Week In Workouts (TWIW) 9.4.11-9.10.11
Su – Circuit Strength Training
M – 20 minute HIIT on step mill
Tu – Circuit Strength Training
W – 20 minute HIIT on step mill
Th – Circuit Strength Training
F – 45 minute Cycle
Sa – 45 minute Boot Camp

I missed my yoga workout this week 😦 I’ll just have to make extra-special-sure that I don’t miss it this week. And once again, have no fear, this week was sandwiched by rest days.

A Hop Skip and a Jump

hop skip and a jump away from my homebase landed me in Charlottesville, VA for part of my weekend. Good times were had with my good friend, Annie.

Oh look, there we are: (Annie left, me right)

Us in May.

We had a lovely evening out Friday night and then had some good-old Cville fun Saturday morning.

First: We headed out to the Farmer’s Market near the Downtown Mall. I purchased several bell peppers, 2 interesting tomatoes, purple basil, and 2 red onions — all pesticide free! The peppers were a real bargain – I paid $3 for 3 red bell peppers and 1 yellow bell pepper. Normally, I would pay $3-4 for 1 organic bell pepper. Here are a few of my purchases:

 

Aren’t the colors magnificent?

Needless to say, I was a very happy camper.

A glimpse of what's to come.

Next: We walked over to at an awesome restaurant called Bluegrass Grill and Bakery for brunch

Outside

On a typical visit for brunch, you’ll be waiting about an hour to get a table, but many would agree that it’s worth it.

Inside

I’d say one of my favorite things about the restaurant is their awesomely large, dense biscuits, which are made from a mixture of whole wheat and white flours. I really had my heart set on getting one of these delicious monstrosities, so I looked the menu for an item that came with one as a saide. I decided on Gaia’s Revenge: homefries topped with an assortment of vegetables and soy chorizo, and a sriracha-syrup glaze. Plus, since I really wanted an egg, I ordered one overeasy to go on top.

mmmmmmmmm

Blurry, but I think you can still appreciate the deliciosity of this meal. (Check out how large the biscuit is!)

After our bellies were nice and full, we headed over to Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet for a free beer tasting. It was really cool to visit the brewery and see where all of the beer is made. Plus, it was awesome to have a free beer tasting (which is offered every weekend, if you’re ever in town). I didn’t remember to snap a picture, but I found this one on the internet:

That’s the tasting area.

Alright, early morning tomorrow.

My next protein bar:

Just kidding.