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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Peace with

Spam for one thing. No, not the Spam in the grocery store which could be a whole post of its own, but the Inbox "Spam". All of a sudden I am getting bombarded by this one: "Save on your new forklift purchase".  I mean, some days, I do try to move mountains, but really? Exactly what is the fit; what was the trigger there for that...forks??? Go figure. Anyway...kind of amusing except they are coming in 10 at a time!! Great thing about Spam, though, is that tomorrow, it will be hitting on something else...oh, and with a little luck, maybe on someone else!

Anyway, what is a fit today is more on words, especially words that create peace...peace of mind, peace of health. Peace period. Today is Martin Luther King Jr's Day. I think his "I have a Dream" speech is one of the most magnificent speeches ever.

I am so lucky that I get to spend part of this day in service at the Arkansas Foodbank working with several students from The Clinton School of Public Service. We are doing the first step of my food project today, taking it from dream to reality, and I am so appreciative of their help. Their words backed by actions of encouragement have meant a lot.

There are soooo many wonderful quotes from MLK...this one is especially fitting for today...

Make a career of humanity...and you will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in. -MLK

Still on words, I went to see movieThe King's Speech. It is amazing, and like "they" say, soaring. As a former stutterer (and also former leftie...that was an interesting tidbit in the movie), hearing others stutter is particularly moving. I shed more than a few tears. I do feel the pain. One of the most difficult letters for me was "P"...very unfortunate given that letter starts off my name and the word "peace".

One of the most difficult things for me to get right in the kitchen also starts with a "P"...pasta. I do love it, eat too much when served (like movie popcorn) but I haven't shared a lot of pasta recipes here. I am not crazy about white flour pasta which could be part of the problem and many whole grain pastas taste, well, cardboard-like and leave me feeling like I do need a forklift to get up from the table. Heavy stuff.

I found this recipe in a new cookbook and decided, what the heck...let's get the water boiling and do this. Time to make peace with pasta. It is a de-lish dish for Meatless Monday and the perfect dish with "peace of plate" to eat as I again listen to these words: or read them

And, as an interesting side note that makes this dish even more appropriate, Dexter Scott King (son of MLK) is a plant-based eater and Coretta Scott King, his widow, was as well the last 15 years of her life. Happy birthday, Dr. King! 

Linguine with Edamame Pesto

(I used spinach linguine here. Expect a quite different pasta experience...light, freshly flavorful and packed with protein...about 20 grams per serving!)

8 ounces linguine of choice
splash of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 -1 red onion, diced
8 ounces mushrooms of choice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or Italian herb blend)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add a splash of olive oil to large skillet and toss in onion. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms, garlic, thyme and salt. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes.
Add drained pasta and pesto to skillet and toss thoroughly to coat pasta. Let heat through and add a little pasta cooking water or veggie broth if it looks too thick. Taste for salt.

Edamame Pesto

1-10 ounce bag frozen edamame, thawed
2 cloves garlic
1 cup packed with fresh basil leaves (save a few out for a garnish)
1/2 cup veggie broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (and zested rind)
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix all in a blender. Add more veggie broth if the pesto seems too thick. I did not have any cheese or nutritional yeast and so I topped my creation with a combo of toasted walnuts and hazelnuts. Serves 3-4.

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