Pesto has always been a mainstay here. We process and freeze gallons of basil pesto in August.  When the frigid Persephone months of December, January, March, February arrive, we are warmed with woodfires and our dinners are perfumed with the promise of a future summer with abundant servings of linguine with pesto, washed down with Cotes du Rhone. Alas, Andrew’s diabetes diagnosis changes this, and we look for meals in which we can substitute the pasta. Not so hard, as it turns out. Pesto omelettes are delicious. Pesto mixed with greek yoghurt makes a nice sauce to braise chicken breasts in. Basmati rice is more diabetes friendly than brown rice (believe it or not), and so fried basmati rice with pesto and scrambled eggs makes a nice entree. Pesto, as a spread or dip, in lieu of mayonaisse, makes even a cucumber sandwich delicious. Similarly, pesto mixed with no-fat yoghurt, easily becomes the mortar for chicken salad, tuna salad, salmon salad, even egg salad.

For those without dietary restrictions, there’s still the classic. ( I will do this when Andrew is out of town, or asleep) ,linguine  dressed with pesto that’s been soothed and silkened with heavy cream (okay, or yoghurt……since there won’t be any cream in our pantry).

By the way, these days, I use toasted walnuts or almonds, in lieu of pine nuts.  I cannot justify the expense in regards to flavor.

My Pesto Recipe: Throw all of the following into the food processor.

3 cloves garlic

4 cups Basil leaves

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt

1 cup toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, your choice)

3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Foodies will dissuade you from adding the cheese if you plan on freezing the goods. Follow your instinct. I, personally, notice no difference, and simply don’t have time to add another step of adding cheese after I’ve defrosted the pesto.  I’ve got stuff to do.

Why Plant a Vegetable Garden?

Some Good Reasons to Plant a Vegetable Garden

The Vegetable Garden

  1. Reduce your carbon footprint. The fewer miles your food has to travel, the less environmental damage occurs, and this doesn’t even take into consideration the quantity of electricity for refrigeration, watering and lighting required by your supermarket to keep the produce looking fresh.
  2. Eat fresher, better tasting, and more nutritious produce. Produce loses its nutrients as it sits around waiting to be shipped and then further declines in flavor and nutrition on the long trip to your store. Garden fresh food not only tastes better, it is better.
  3. Save money. On food, on gas, and possibly on impulse purchases at the food market.
  4. Develop a more meaningful, thoughtful understanding of your food consumption. When you plant a garden, watch plants grow, harvest those plants and prepare them for your table, you develop a deeper appreciation for the vegetables that are so easily taken for granted
  5. Preserve genetic diversity. There are hundreds of tomato varieties, but you’re grocery store only carries a handful of them. When you visit the local farmers market, you see dozens of unfamiliar varieties. Why? Some tomatoes “travel” better than others. Some varieties of tomatoes just can’t survive the difficult trip over hundreds of miles, and these are often the ones that taste the best.
  6. Get inspired. Once you get a taste for local foods, chances are you’ll want to grow  your own.  The garden doesn’t have to be as extensive as the one pictured above. Even a small, 10′ x 20′ plot will provide plenty of fresh produce for a small family, and you can even grow vegetables in containers.
  7. Feel productive. You will, quite literally, feel that your time and effort has been productive. No salad will ever be as delicious and precious as that first spring salad from your garden.