garlic chive and parsley pesto beef + quinoa

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Ever wake up and realize something needs to change? That the life you’ve been living requires altering, a fine tuning or adjustment? Perhaps it’s the feeling of omnipotence after having finished a draft of my novel, but I decided to book a three-month reboot with a nutritionist/food coach/life-changer, determined to get my life back on track. While I realize that this is a sizeable investment, I didn’t flinch because nothing is more important than taking care of my body, which is my house, my permanent home.

A week ago I had dinner with an old former colleague turned friend, and we talked a great deal about food and body image, and how we, two healthy, strong women, still somehow ascribe to a certain ideal of what is beautiful and fit. We spoke of food, not just as sustenance, but as a means to connect and nourish people. We talked about being present in all aspects of our lives {she’s a mother-to-be and I’m…well, me} and she shared that she’s just as present in making food choices than anything else in her life. It put me to thinking that I’ve a habit of going on autopilot, reaching for what’s in front of me, eating by rote, and I kept thinking about this for the remainder of the weekend. While I eat clean and healthy, I’m not always present for my meal. Especially when I’m on-site with a client.

I guess I’ve been bummed because I’ve made such an investment in being strong and fit, and I’ve largely ignored diet as part of that equation. You can’t know how excited I am for the next three months. Not only do I plan to undergo a battery of tests to determine what is that I’m allergic to {I’m not even sure it’s dairy anymore as I got sick from making this delicious dish and I NEVER get sick from dried, grated cheese}, I’m excited that I have someone on call {text} to share menus, get encouragement when I’m NOT being present. Much like it took me a month to acclimate to exercising HARD 4-5 days a week {and that became a habit simply for the fact that I scheduled workout dates so I had to be accountable for showing up}, I know I will need someone to whom I’m accountable. I can no longer plan my meals in a vacuum. I’m also terrified/excited for the fridge/pantry analysis and cooking class. Naturally, I plan to document this whole experience on this space. I’m so thrilled for what’s to come.

Last night I spent the evening with one of my dearest friends, and I talked about how I’d been blue these past few weeks, and we shared a bathroom stall where I’d been changing, and she said, I know you’ve been going through some stuff, but your body has definitely changed in the past six months. You might not be able to see it, but it has. And when we left Brooklyn Body Burn, a woman approached me and asked how long I’d been taking classes because GIRL, you were working HARD.

You guys, I nearly welled up when she said, It was inspiring to watch you. You’re so STRONG. That put the world on pause and forced me to get some perspective. Forced me to try to see myself the way others see me.

ONWARD + UPWARD, folks.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb of ground sirloin, seasoned with salt + pepper
2 cups parsley, chopped
1 cup garlic chives, chopped {regular chives are fine}
1/2 cup pine nuts (or blanched slivered almonds)
1/2 pecorino romano
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup rinsed quinoa
2 cups water
1 tbsp pecorino romano for topping

DIRECTIONS
In a medium saucepan, add the water and rinsed quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and let the quinoa rest for five minutes.

In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the beef until it’s browned on all sides. While the beef is cooking, blitz up the parsley, chives, oil, cheese and nuts until it’s a paste. Add more olive oil if you desire a “wet” consistency. Add the pesto to the cooked beef. Add the quinoa to the pesto beef mixture, and serve with the reserve romano topping.

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2 thoughts on “garlic chive and parsley pesto beef + quinoa

  1. We are often are own worse critic and while strong a confident women, sometimes a casual compliment or observation from a stranger really does lift us. We don’t SEE what they see. We often see the fails and misses and they see the wins! I’m excited to follow along on your food coaching adventure. I did something similar several months back and all I can really say is LIFE CHANGING TO THE MAX! Hugs~

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  2. That’s an awesome compliment to receive- that you’ve become so strong. I’m so happy for you!
    Also, I’m super excited to hear about your journey. It was always all about exercise for me (today’s blog post on my blog is a testament to that!) and now I’m trying to be more “normal” and “realistic” about that and what it’s really coming down to is my relationship with food. I, too, am trying to be more mindful about food and what I’m eating. I read an awesome statement recently about how we’re not mad that we’re “fat”, we’re mad that we were so careless with our food choices. Hit home for me!
    Good luck with this, I’m sure it will be, in some ways, truly life changing :)

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