Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad

Wow. I am not sure if I feel like it should be Friday already or if I am having a case of the Mondays. Either way life is busy (in a good way) & last weekend was so much fun.  The past few days I have been at another trade show and haven't had a moment to breath, let alone post.

The show was at the Gaylord Palms. Last year we did not stay over night and drove back & forth but this year we got to stay & check out the view from my room:

Reminded me of Vegas minus the slot machines & ability to stay up all night. It was storming outside but perfect inside. 

Normally for trade shows I have to pack my own snacks because the provided snacks are normally foods I do not eat but this show I lucked out...

Trail mix bar! This is somehow going to be incorporated into my wedding. A second food option they had was Go Picnic's. 

It included gluten free crackers, hummus, nuts, soy nuts & chocolate. It was all vegan. I could only eat the crackers, hummus & chocolate but that is still better then nothing. I was thrilled & had a full belly the whole time. Now back to the weekend...

Wednesday's Weekend Update:

Friday night we went to the local country club for a few drinks & to listen to a local cover band play. We were all about 25 years younger then the average age... at least but we still had a good time.

Saturday morning Geoff & I may have regretting going out the night before because we ran our last Watermelon Race of the season. The Watermelon race was a series of four races put on by a local runners club for only $30 for all four races, including a Tshirt. Their goal of these races is to get people to continue to run even in the hot summer. Awards are given out after the fourth races to runners who ran all four. Unfortunately, we only ran three. I came down with the summer flu for the 3rd race and there was no way I could run 3 miles. 

Geoff took off from the beginning after saying he wasn't going to run very fast. He was motivated & I was motivated to try to keep up for the first two miles and then I crashed and ran a very slow mile three. I always forget to pace myself when I run with him. This crash caused me to run my slowest 5k in a long time (not counting the 5k portion of my last tri.

We had fun & enjoy the inexpensive motivation. The alarm did go off this morning to run & we both hit snooze.... 

After the race we went to Ace to get charcoal and starters for the new grill Geoff won & then it was time to clean our house for a visitor. My bridesmaid Hannah came into town & got to see our house in person for the first time. 

Having our first house guest meant that Geoff had to paint and hang a door for the bathroom. This caused an obvious issue after the door was hung. Even after priming the door and three coats of white paint, the yellow from the wood still bled through. I am extremely excited about our solution and it may have been influenced by this post but I am not spilling the beans yet :) 

Hannah got to be an official taste tester for me that night as well. I have been working on a Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad for a while now & we perfected it.

Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad

5 Ounces Arugula
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Avocado
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
S&P to taste
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Pasta Salad:
8 Ounces Pasta of Choice (I used a brown rice pasta)
1 Cup Frozen Baby Lima Beans
1 Cup Cooked/Canned Chick Peas, drained & rinsed

In a food processor, process arugula, olive oil, avocado, & lemon juice. Pulse until you have reached your desired texture and season to taste with salt & pepper. Add red pepper flakes if desired.

Bring large pot of water to boil and salt. Add Lima beans following directions on package. Add pasta to the same pot when the pasta cooking time remains on the Lima beans. My Lima beans took 18 minutes and my pasta took 12 so I added pasta the last 12 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta & Lima beans and rinse with cool water.

Add the drained pasta and Lima beans to a large bowl and add the chick peas. Add desired amount of pesto to the pasta salad. Taste and then season with additional salt, pepper or red pepper flakes if necessary. 

As you can see I also added broccoli. I had a bag of the "steam in the bag" broccoli in the refrigerator that needed to be used and right before serving decided to add it. I try to add more greens whenever possible. 

This dish is vegan, gluten free & high in protein thanks to the brown rice pasta, Lima beans & chick peas. Geoff grilled steak & chicken for himself & Hannah and they both approved of the dish :) 

Saturday night was spent glued to the couch watching the woman's national gymnastics championship's on TV. It made me miss being in the gym.

I think I still have this blue leotard somewhere..... 

Sunday, Hannah & I took the pup for a walk & then I went for a bike ride with my sister in law. My SIL

Geoff got home from work & decided I had had enough couch time & wanted to go on the boat. No complaints here...

Thank goodness for sun glasses & hats after a long weekend :) 

For dinner we had a Stir Fry with a Cashew Sauce. I can't wait to share how it turned out & changes I would make next time. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend as well!

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