We’re well into the New Year, and it’s a busy one! Last year I struggled to find a stillness within myself. There was too much going on, but isn’t that always the case? Towards the end of last year, I decided to apply myself, really discipline myself, to find inner calmness. Yeah I know, it sounds like I’m sitting cross-legged, fingers together, humming “ommmmm”. (Although that is a very good way to do it!) This year is dedicated to getting my health back on track after a very challenging 2015. Enter eating healthily, exercising (hells yes, yoga!), and finding and connecting with a mental and emotional serenity. Regardless of who you are and what your circumstances may be, we all get frazzled and don’t pause to find the stillness. I’m not saying I’m there yet, but I’m practicing every day, and I now wonder how I coped without it. (Clue: rhymes with “whine”.)
Rebirth of Lisa has fantastic weekly Words Crush Wednesday quotes, so check her out!
We all have something unique to offer; there is no one, absolutely no one, who is an exact copy of you. Imagine how dull the world would be if that were the case! You matter, you’re special, and you have so much to give. Find it, own it, and share it.
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Rebirth of Lisa has an abundance of quotes and other writing gems. Please head over there and bask in the power of the written word.
This month, Ann chose a ‘party with pesto’ theme. Don’t mind if I do! I’m ‘sessing over pesto. My mother-in-law decided that we needed to plant basil and kindly gave me a few plants. It’s growing like wildfire, so when Ann chose pesto, I was excited to use my homegrown basil (it’s the little things!). There is something so cool about going in my garden and picking fresh ingredients! Love it!
Hmm.. the problem was that I couldn’t choose between two dishes I’d tried – spicy pesto chicken balls, and olive pesto pea salad, so I decided to do both. You see, here in South Africa we’re highly enthusiastic about braais (barbecues), and the cold pea salad is ideal as a side dish on a blistering hot day. The next recipe, chicken balls with spicy pesto, can be served warm, accompanied by a veggie dish. I wanted to do two different pestos, and in our home, we do love our olives! I really enjoy cooking with chicken mince, which can be quite bland but the pesto perks it up beautifully! Both of these recipes are incredibly easy, require minimal effort and oh-so-healthy. That’s a hard ‘yes’ from me!
You can find more pesto recipes at Grubbs n Critters, and I strongly encourage you to head on over as Ann is a phenomenal cook and uses the most interesting and creative ingredients. This month she made tortilla wraps with wild rocket pesto. YUM! I love that she used turkey and tortillas and perfectly demonstrated the versatility of pesto beyond the usual pasta dishes. Please check it out, but first, we cook:
Pea Salad with Olive Basil Pesto
250g cooked peas, cooled or tinned peas
1 red onion, finely chopped
½ cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100g Kalamata olives (drained weight), pitted
½ tsp dried parsley
½ cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon for onion
1½ disks feta cheese
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Making it happen:
1. Steam the peas and set aside to cool, or you can use tinned peas, drained. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan on medium heat and fry the chopped onion for 5 minutes, until soft.
2. Add the basil, garlic, olives, parsley and olive oil in your food processor. Blitz until thoroughly mixed and season with salt and pepper.
3. Pour the peas into a bowl, add the onion and 1 feta disk and mix. Pour in the pesto and stir throughly, making sure that it’s evenly spread. Crumble the remaining half feta disk over the top and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. This is suitable to make the day before.
Chicken Mince Balls with Spicy Pesto
5 basil leaves
2 sprigs lemon thyme
1 bunch Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
500g chicken mince
Making it happen:
1. In a blender, blitz all ingredients except the chicken, until well blended. Add the chicken and thoroughly blend.
2. Form the chicken mince into balls, approximately 1 large tablespoon’s worth each. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or more.
3. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Spray a baking tray with non-stick spray and place the chicken balls in it. Bake for 20 minutes until cooked.