Eating: Parsley Mint Pistachio Pesto

With tons of parsley and mint from my organic basket, I kept experimenting with recipes and one of my favorites was this pesto, which can be used as a pasta sauce, for bruschetta (just mix it with chopped tomatoes), on top of fish, or just as a bread dip.


 Parsley Mint Pistachio Pesto

1 cup shelled roasted pistachios

2 cups chopped parsley and mint leaves

1 cup olive oil



Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Makes enough for multiple uses, so try it as a sauce, a dip, etc.

Calories: 2,500 (but please divide it into multiple servings!)

Eating in Reno: Niko’s Greek, Naan and Kabab, Tamarack Junction Steakhouse, El Paisano… and More

Niko’s Greek Kitchen: Gyros with outdoor seating at West Street Market.



Naan and Kabab: really good Mediterranean restaurant – if you check-in on Yelp, you get an amazing baklava with ice cream free!

Tamarack Junction Steakhouse: we went there for Mother’s Day and they had roses for all the ladies. Aww. Instead of steak, we had seafood and our dishes were amazing.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi

El Paisano: huge and cheesy pupusas from El Salvador.



Dorinda’s Chocolates : took my little sister there. It’s on a beautiful path of the riverwalk.



Brasserie St. James: I had a delicious salad and Portobello mushroom fries – not the first time I’ve been there and definitely not the last either.

Salads and fries

Salads and fries

The Brewer’s Cabinet: we had a Groupon for this one and the bill ended up being obscenely cheap for the amount of food we got. Some very interesting/weird beers.

Salmon and Ahi Tuna

Salmon and Ahi Tuna

Other events in the last couple of weeks included prom and a Brazilian barbecue where the boyfriend got to try feijoada, pao de queijo, and linguica com farrofa. Yum!

Post-Marathon Running Update

After the marathon, I took a break from running. A very long break. One month, to be exact. Since my right foot was hurting after the race, I went to the doctor and he advised me to take 4-6 weeks off, which at first I didn’t have any problem with, but I have to admit that when 4 weeks hit, I was itching to run again.

Mother's Day Jog with the Dogs

Mother’s Day Jog with the Dogs

The first time I tried, it was miserable. I took the dogs with me (it was Mother’s Day) and I couldn’t even complete a mile, but a few days later I decided to go on a night jog (it’s been too hot during the day) and I was able to do 5 miles non-stop. Now I’m back to running 3-6 miles 2-3 times a week, which is a very manageable amount of exercise. I have also added some personal training sessions a couple of times a week since I am still eating like a champ. Hopefully I won’t be looking too shabby this summer.

Full Moon Run

Full Moon Run

Eating: Portobello Mushrooms with Salad and Western Pisco Sour

Just because I’m posting one more salad recipe, you might think I’ve been eating super healthy lately. Not really. Just this week I devoured a whole bag of chips and a tub of Nutella, but when I cook, my favorite recipes do tend to be salads, which are simple, easy, and fast to make. For this one, I slow-roasted the mushrooms, but you can also just roast them in 400 degrees for 20 minutes to make it faster. I had a lot of parsley left from my organic basket, so my salad’s taste was a little overwhelming. Next time I’ll make this recipe using mixed greens only. Enjoy!

Portobello Mushroom with Salad

Portobello Mushroom with Salad

Portobello Mushrooms with Salad

2 Portobello Mushrooms, stems removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups of parsley leaves and/or mixed greens

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Parmesan cheese curls


Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Brush mushrooms with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and put them on a baking sheet, top side down. Bake for about 40 minutes.

Toss parsley and mixed greens with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the portobello mushrooms and serve them on top of salad with parmesan curls. Drizzle with more balsamic vinegar.

Makes 2 servings of 180 calories each.


To drink, I made a “Western” Pisco. Traditionally, pisco sour is a Peruvian drink made with egg white and lime juice, but since the boyfriend is allergic to eggs, I made it without them and added fresh mint for a mojito twist. Instead of sugar, I had simple syrup, which made the cocktail even better. Boyfriend approved 🙂

Pisco with Mint

Pisco with Mint


Western Pisco Sour

10 large mint leaves

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons simple syrup

6 tablespoons pisco

2 tablespoons water



Muddle mint leaves, lime juice, and simple syrup. Add ice, water, pisco. Sip responsibly.



More: Kentucky Derby Party

Kentucky Derby: the most exciting 2 minutes in sports! We had another dress-up party last week with the girls wearing cute dresses and big hats and the guys with their linen suits and bright colored ties.

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The boyfriend kept everybody happy with a hot brown casserole (white toast, turkey, bacon, and cheese sauce) and mint juleps.

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California Chrome, which is actually a horse from Topaz Lake, Nevada, finished the 1 ¼ miles in 02:03:66.

Kentucky Derby Party

Kentucky Derby Party

And what do you do after a Kentucky Derby party full of food and drinks? You go to a Cinco de Mayo party to have tacos, tequila and piñatas.

Eating (and more): Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

Finally spring break arrived and, besides going to Texas, I had time to relax and celebrate the end of marathon training and the end of the quarter at the college where I teach. Now without my two part-time “jobs”, I have a lot of time in my hands, so I did laundry, took the dogs for a walk in Tahoe, read a bit, and started cooking: kale salad with tahini dressing, panquecas (Brazilian crepes), carrot cake, chicken fajitas…

Slick and Parker

Slick and Parker

Lots of new recipes, which means lots of eating are being done. Unfortunately, lots of pounds are being gained too. First of all, I’m still consuming over 2,000 calories a day as if I were still training. Portion control is the hardest thing for me and after a whole 40 days without eating cookies for lent, I’ve been going over a whole packet of them a day. Secondly, the marathon caused some stress on my right foot and it hurts to run or walk too much, causing me to be a couch potato for the next two weeks. Not saying I’m not enjoying watching “Dancing with the Stars” though. Well, actually, I’ve been quite active socially instead…

Enough updates. Let’s get to the healthiest dish I made last week. Here’s the recipe for the kale salad, adapted from Rachael K., who is a personal chef in Reno. Tahini is a little too strong for some people, but it has quickly become my new favorite dressing!

Kale Salad with Tahini

Kale Salad with Tahini


Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 tbsp. plain yogurt

½ tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 cups kale

1 apple julienned

4 tbsp. sliced almonds


In a mixing bowl, mix the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, yogurt, and cumin. Season with salt with needed.

In a separate bowl, shred or slice the kale leaves and add the olive oil. Rub the leaves with oil to soften them. Combine the kale with the dressing and stir. Add the apple and almonds.


Makes 2 servings of 280 calories each.

Traveling (and Eating): San Antonio, Texas

After our Easter brunch with my goddaughter E., the boyfriend and I went to San Antonio, a town 3 hours away from Houston. At first I was not impressed. With a large population and run-down buildings, the city didn’t seem as modern as Houston and I wasn’t sure it would have much to offer. That’s until we went down a flight of stairs to get to the River Walk. The downtown area has a river that meanders thru it, right below the surface streets. Alongside there are cute cafes and river boats giving a Venice like ambiance to the area. Unfortunately, the day we were there they were setting up for a river parade, so parts of the river sidewalk were closed, but we still got a chance to sit down and enjoy some fudge by the river.

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Another attraction in San Antonio is The Alamo, famous for a 13-day siege during the Texas Revolution in 1836. Now the site is a shrine with some information about the battle and a pretty garden. Best of all, it’s free, quick, and easy to explore.

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A mile or so from the river walk is Market Square and lots of authentic Mexican food and goodies. It was filled with music and fun and on our way there we also stopped at San Fernando Church (1738), one of the oldest cathedrals of the United States and where the remains of Davy Crockett are located.

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As for food, we went to a great Cuban restaurant by the river called “Ocho” at the Havana Hotel. The food was awesome (pozole, Cubano sandwich, mojitos, yum!), but service not so great – they didn’t want me to take any pictures inside! We had to talk to the manager to get it approved. A good find in San Antonio was the fried potato salad from Moses Rose’s Hideout: a cross between potato salad, French fries, and baked potato that could give you a heart attack on the spot.

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