Last Friday night I made a conscious effort to make no plans: I wanted to go for an evening run with Henry, cook myself a mean dinner and watch a movie. I got two out of the three done -- and the fact that I made plans to make no plans tells you a little bit about how much of a control freak I can be. On a normal weeknight I'm either coming back from a soccer game and it's after 8:30 at night before I eat dinner, or eating dinner at 5pm on my hour break from work because I work strange hours. So, that usually means that I often don't have a lot of time to put together dinner. But it was Friday night and I did have time: time to heat up the grill, time to whip up some pesto, and time to enjoy it. So that's what I did. It was one of those meals.
The entire meal was made up entirely based on what I had handy: a bunch of cilantro, a defrosted pork chop, zucchini and corn. I seasoned the pork with some paprika and grilled it, then topped it with my cilantro and macadamia nut pesto and put together a quick succotash-like-side dish -- which I will call Green Chile and Zucchini Succotash.
Cilantro & Macadamia Nut Pesto (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil (might need more or less depending on how much cilantro)
1 clove or garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a small food processor or blender and pulse. Drizzle in the olive oil into you have a pesto-like consistency.
Green Chile and Zucchini Succotash (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)
2 grilled corn on the cob (corn trimmed off of the cob)
2 zucchini, sliced
1 canned, chopped green chile and 1 tablespoon of "juice" from can
1 tablespoon olive oil
Add olive oil to a pan on medium heat and add the zucchini. Stir for a few minutes and then add the green chile and "juice." Next, add the grilled corn and saute for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper if you'd like and serve room temperature.
I grilled my corn because I like the smoky flavor with the spice of the green chile. You can certainly use frozen or fresh corn instead.