Posted by: thefitacademic | March 14, 2011

Green goodness

Hi friends!

Today felt more like a Sunday to me than a Monday. I guess that’s what happens when you work from home and weekend errands extend into the work-week. I’m not complaining, I LOVED every second of working from home and having the flexibility of schedule that goes along with it (for example, I did like 3 loads of laundry today in between my reading & writing! Excellent!)

And remember my flowers from last weekend? They’re still going strong!


That makes me happy. I LOVE fresh flowers – and all the better when they actually LAST awhile!

And because I was working from home, I decided to make a little something special today that I generally wouldn’t take the time for – some homemade pesto!

Really the idea was spurred by the fact that I have a huge thing of basil sitting in my fridge (I had to buy it for the pot-luck last Thursday) and I didn’t want it to all go to waste. So here are the players in this simple, yet delicious recipe:


You’ve got your EVOO, some pine nuts, fresh parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves, salt & pepper and garlic (not pictured).

First I needed to wash the basil. That required doing some dishes (my most loathed of all house-hold chores)


We rarely go out to eat. That means cooking every day. That means dishes. Every. Day. I hate dishes. Like, really really hate them. Chris often helps with them, but I’m also a little OCD and his dish-cleaning ability doesn’t live up to my standards. Just to give you an idea, I make sure to group all the silverware together by type (fork, knife, etc.) in the dishwasher silverware holder-thing so it’s easy to put away when clean. Yep. That’s how I roll.

Anyways, I got all that handled so the sink was like so


and there was actually room to rinse the basil.

Check out my view


Nothing special, but I get to see foliage, & a little bird-feeder so I’m happy. Again – something about nature just puts a smile on my face Smile

After washing the basil I put it into a big measuring cup.


4 cups when fluffy, but the recipe calls for “packed”, so I packed it down and I was left with just over 2 cups (Who knew basil was so fluffy?).


I busted out my brand new food processor – the same exact kind as my old one which sadly broke during a particularly difficult almond butter making experience. Why get the same one that already broke? Well, I don’t have room for a large appliance and this is a little one. Also, it’s only $20 and the next nicer model at the store was $40. I’m a grad student. Price talks. So here’s my lovely Oster (and just FYI: I discovered they have a year warranty, so I kept all the product info and if it breaks again, I’m getting my money back!!!)


If you want to follow along, I used this recipe with only slight modifications (extra garlic & a pine nuts).

So I started with the basil, then added nuts and pulsed.


Then some minced garlic joined the party.


Plus the oil & cheese. some salt & pepper to taste. process.process.process!





That is, if you don’t take into consideration the fact that I could have bought fresh pesto from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or wherever for cheaper than I made it. Yup. I think I realized it as I was sitting there processing.

Basil, salt/pepper, & EVOO I had on hand, so they don’t count in the price.


Pine nuts = $5.50

Fresh Parmesan cheese = $6.50

So just those by themselves cost $12.00! Sure, there’s Parmesan leftover, but I specifically bought it just for this pesto & I wouldn’t have spent the money otherwise.

Last time I bought fresh pesto I’m pretty sure it cost like $5. Even if you consider the fact that I have about double the amount typically found in stores, that still adds up to only $10 of store-bought pesto…..which I made with my $12 worth of ingredients. Maybe not the best decision ever money-wise.

I think I tried to dull the pain of the idiocracy of not realizing this sooner by indulging in some of the green goodness.


I sure did lick that spatula! And then I spread a wee bit more on the inside of a pita and made myself a little pesto, black bean, bell pepper & feta pita for lunch grilled panini style on the George Foreman. Definitely dulled the pain Smile

I’ve been in talks with Chris today regarding a little weekend getaway this weekend and I’m too excited! Sometimes little getaways can be just as much fun to plan as the big ones, ya know?

Do you do dishes immediately after a meal, or do you wait till the next day? Of course I always do them immediately Winking smile

What’s your most hated household chore?

Do you have a food processor you don’t use and you want to just give me? Open-mouthed smile



  1. of course i wash dishes immediately! and by hand. 😦 no dishwasher…. but that’s changing next month!!!

    i HATE folding laundry! i put it off way too long and then my clothes are all wrinkly.

    and i wish i had a food processor! it’s on my and brad’s wedding registry! i’m crossing my fingers we get one! oh, and that pesto looks glorious. i’m seriously craving some now.

  2. I’m getting a food processor from my parents for my birthday (they’re bringing it next week when they come visit)! It’s just a 3-cup because we don’t have room in our tiny california apt for anything larger! It’s cuisinart, so I’m hopeful it will work great!

    Anyway, your pesto looks fab!!

  3. Dishes are always done immediately in my place – our kitchen is so tiny that even four dishes take up all available sink space/draining areas!

    P.S. I bet your pesto is far tastier than store-bought, even if it was pricier!

  4. I feel your pain with those dishes! My most hated household chore is vacuuming. I’ll vacuum up my dog’s weight in dog hair (and he weighs in at a whopping 120 pounds) and congratulate myself on a job well done. And then the dog walks through the room, or scratches himself, or breathes a little too vigorously…and we’re back where we started.

  5. I’m SO GLAD you posted this! I was feeling guilty for not making my own pesto… but the price of all the ingredients (like pine nuts — which I heard are bad for our horomone levels? i need to research it more — just heard this tidbit from Jillian Michaels!) was just suuuch a deterrent! I bet it tasted so wicked good though — and super fresh?

    • whoa – I never heard that! You do the research & just fill me in on the deets, mkay? ; )
      The pesto was good, but I mean I’ve had Whole Food’s pesto (which they make in house) and it tastes just as fresh!

  6. ps i cannot spell right now. hehe

  7. Homemade pesto is the BEST! We tried to grow basil for a while, but it would last about 2 weeks before we had demolished it with a “few leaves” here and there. Finally, we’d just plant it, and uproot the whole thing the next day to make pesto, haha 🙂

  8. One year my best friend and I harvested a bunch of her basil and made a ton of pesto using bulk pine nuts, cheese, etc. Then we mixed a bunch up and froze it in ice cube trays (without parmesan) and used it for single serving pasta sauces all winter! It might have not been too much cheaper, like you said, but it was fun!

  9. I hate dishes more than anything in the world. I am actually the one that is too absent minded when I’m doing them so they never EVER live up to Ryan’s standards. He puts clothes away all stupid though so we’ve swapped those chores. Haha!

  10. You should definitely try a tahini dressing! Do it the next time you don’t feel like making many dishes because it’s super quick and easy to make, haha. I hate dishes too, but I hate cleaning the kitchen floor more!!

  11. I rarely go out to eat as well! I dont cook much, so I dont dirty too many dishes and im totally with you on being OCD and cleaning everything up right away. I have a dinky old food processor but I need a new one!

  12. I do enough dishes to start the dishwasher and leave the rest 🙂 My primary concern is running the dishwasher so I don’t have to wash baby bottles by hand!

    That pesto looks so good, I need to buy some!

  13. Ha! You better not let any of that pesto go to waste! 🙂
    I hate unloading the dishwasher – it’s seriously the WORST.

    • For real! The washing & loading is nowhere NEAR as bad as the unloading/putting away! I don’t know why but I really hate it!

  14. oh that fresh pesto looks amazing! i wish i could have a lick! i do dishes immediately. can’t stand to have them pile up. lucky for me my hubs is the same way.

  15. I sure try to do my dishes immediately but …. sometimes it just does not happen! But later when the sink is full of them, I have much regret, lol.

  16. Yum! I may have to try this!

    I always wash the dishes immediately…I can’t stand a messy kitchen! It’s a huge pet peeve! The one chore I hate the most is laundry, just hate the folding, ironing, and putting away. I just find it so monotonous…

  17. The pesto looks so green and amazing!!! I’m sure it was delicious!

  18. Oh, lady! I am the spatula/spoon-licker of the century. I so hear you on this one 🙂

    My most hated chore is trying to banish the hair from the bathroom. No matter how hard I try, there’s always more of it. It kills me. Every single time.

  19. I did this tonight too!!!!! Mmm…pesto

  20. Dude, way to be smart and keep the info so you can get your money back if it breaks!!!! And that pesto sounds sooooooo good! I haven’t had pesto in way too long!

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