I have been eating terribly lately. I don’t know if it’s my age or just that I’ve fallen into some bad habits, but my weight has been creeping up in the last year. I hate to admit it, but I think my metabolism is starting to go into the toilet. I’m going to be 44 next week, and this is the first year that my age is starting to bother me. I feel like my body is starting to fail me. In the last year, I’ve had to start dying my hair, get glasses and gained 10 pounds. That isn’t even mentioning the pre-menopausal systems that have plagued me.
So I started keeping a food journal, I’ve cut out processed sugar and upped the amount of exercise I’ve been getting. I do find comfort in picking one or two meals and snacks that I can keep in the fridge so that I’m not tempted to eat what I cook for my husband and son. This super vegan bowl is a super simple dish, you can make a big batch, and it’s tasty hot or cold. I’ve lost 3 pounds in a week, and I’m feeling pretty good, so we’ll see if I can keep the momentum going. I’m hoping that by confiding in you all here that I can keep myself focused and drop the extra weight that I’ve put on.
This vegan bowl is the kind of dish I can eat over and over and never get sick of. The best part is I feel like I get to eat a lot but the nutrition profile is high and it fit’s into my diet. Because let’s face it, I like to eat, and I am not too into depriving myself when I’m hungry.
The parsley cashew pesto is what makes this dish memorable. The lemon, garlic, and parsley make it full flavored, and the cashews add a nice richness. If you don’t like parsley, you could substitute basil, cilantro or even kale instead. The sauce will keep in the fridge up to a week or in the freezer for three months, and you can use it in a lot of ways. I like to use it instead of salsa in burritos, on top of eggs, and as a dip for vegetables.
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #scalingback on Instagram so I can see what you came up with!
- For the parsley cashew pesto:
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups Italian parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- To assemble:
- ½ cup uncooked Israeli couscous
- 1 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch of Lacinto kale, stems removed
- Cover the cashews with ½-inch of water and let sit for 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Drain and rinse the cashews and add to a food processor along with the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt and pepper as desired.
- Bring ¾ cup of water in a small saucepan to a boil. Add the couscous, stir to combine and remove from the heat. Let it sit for 7 to 10 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until all the water has evaporated and they begin to brown. Set the mushrooms aside and return the skillet to the heat. Cut the kale into 1-inch pieces, and add to the pan along with a few tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper, cover the skillet and let steam for 3-4 minutes until the kale is wilted and a bright green color.
- To serve plate ½ cup of couscous, a quarter of the mushrooms and kale and top with a tablespoon of the pesto.