Sometimes you get hit right between the eyes with a “moment”…

“Oh S#!^! I’m doing exactly what I tell other people not to do!”

And guess who reminded me of my hypocrisy?  My refrigerator.

I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.  I’ve been whining (a LOT — just ask Al) about taking on too much, having the worst tech issues of my career, and being all stressed out.  So a few days ago, I was determined that I was going to make time to cook.

Then I opened the refrigerator.

Eeeeek!  Right there, staring me down, was full-on refrigerator overload. But not the good kind. My refrigerator was full of left-over take-out bits and pieces.

My refrigerator was yelling at me. Without saying a word.

Right then and there I grabbed my calendar, and marked off the things that weren’t essential. Then I cleaned out the refrigerator. And sat down at my computer. But not to work.

I looked up how to make my own sourdough starter.  I had wanted to do that for weeks (ok, months) but just never had time.  So that was the first thing that got put back on the list. Now my sourdough starter is humming away on the top of the refrigerator.

And just for the record — this is my way of saying “I get it.” I totally understand how hard it is to make time to cook, and to sit down for a relaxed meal.  I mean, I’ve even been busted saying things like “Yes, I know we have great stuff in the freezer. But I’m so tired of cleaning the kitchen, I don’t even want to dirty a single solitary fork!”

So lately, as much as I love to cook, I’ve been avoiding it like the plague.  How’s THAT, coming from somebody who’s trying to get you to cook more?  oy vey…

Anyway, I think it’s time to go put the bread in the oven, pour a glass of nice red wine, and call it a day.  No more “to-dos” today.

And while I’m deciding what’s for dinner, here’s a great discovery I made while looking for super fast and simple dishes I can make (and try to get back on friendly terms with my refrigerator).

Since it’s harvest time in Colorado, we have an abundance of fresh vegetables that make for some super quick, and super healthy dinners.  Here’s one you may want to try, and depending on whether or not you have access to roasted chiles (if you don’t, poor yew!), it requires zero cooking.

Roasted Pepper and Cilantro Pesto & Spiral Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients

  • About 3/4 cup, roasted, peeled, seeded peppers of your choice
  • 1½ cups tightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ½ cup olive oil, and more as needed
  • ¾ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • salt
  • pepper

Whir all those goodies up in a food processor, adjust to your taste, and reserve for the noodles.  Tip:  This great pesto freezes really well.  Make a double (or triple) batch and freeze for later.

Spiral Zucchini Noodles

2 Med Zucchini — washed well.

Spiralizer — if you don’t have one, I highly recommend it. You can get a really good one for $12.97 online, and use it for lots of quick and simple dishes. And it’s small and easily stored. No need to buy a giant machine.

Twist the zucchini through the spiralizer and then cut the thin spirals into shorter “noodles.”

Put it together:

If you really want to, you can warm the zucchini noodles in a hot pan with a little olive oil, but you can skip that step if you like raw zucchini.  Warm up the pesto, and toss with the noodles. Use the amount of pesto that works for  you — I like a fair amount, some people prefer it to be really light.

Serve with a simple salad, and there you have it!  And just think — once you have some pesto stored in the freezer, this is about a 15 minute job to put dinner on the table. My honey, who is decidedly NOT a veggie guy, loves this dish!

P.S. You can do this with any kind of pesto — use your imagination, and enjoy.