Living Simply: Starting with Pesto

I know I’ve been MIA. And, I’m not sorry.

I picked up this book on a whim:

One chapter in particular really resonated with me. The chapter titled, “On Snow,” began with this verse:

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth,” and to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.” 

Job 37: 5-6

I was so overwhelmed by the simplicity of this, and what it really called my attention to was how un-simple my own life had become. I was living by to-do lists. Work to-do lists. Home to-do lists. Blog to-do lists. Personal goal to-do lists. Fitness to-do lists. I was just moving from one list to another. Worst of all, I was never fully immersed or focused in one to-do list because I was thinking about all that needed to be crossed off on the next one.

Going back to the title of the book, I was trying too hard to make everything “perfect,” instead of just being present in each moment.

I started thinking…I want to bake without thinking about the pictures I need to take and the words I need to form for a blog. I want to invite my friends over without worrying that I haven’t vacuumed in a week. I want more hours in my work day to be fully immersed in client work instead of thinking about what I’ll accomplish later when I get home.

So, I tried to go a few weeks without to-do lists. I tried to leave a few dirty dishes in the sink overnight, to not pick up the socks James left on the living room floor, and to let my hair and my blog just go rogue.

During this time of trying to appreciate more simplicity, of trying to be “present over perfect,” one of the things I most enjoyed was cooking with the fresh vegetables from our CSA program.

These meals were so delicious – ironically because they were so simple! Some of my favorites included:

tomato, cucumber and pepper salads tossed with a bit of olive oil, basil, oregano and parmesan cheese;


colorful peppers stuffed with homemade goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes;


and pesto!


We were frequently receiving quite large bunches of celery and parsley – so large that I had no idea how I was going to use all of it if I didn’t freeze almost 3/4. But, I’m really not one for freezing, so I was determined to get creative and find a way to use the whole bunches fresh. The answer was pesto. This – you guessed it – simple recipe can be combined with just about any green leaf for a fabulously quick and delicious dinner.

Parsley (Or, Celery) Pesto


  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups parsley, or about one bunch
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Add walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic and salt to food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Let it mix for about 20-30 seconds.
  3. Mix with pasta, spread on top of fish or save some in the refrigerator to mix with eggs or spread on top of toast.

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