Weekends in my household are usually full-on cheat days; counting macros, water intake, and working out Monday-Friday.  But after 5PM on Friday, all bets are off.  There have been no thoughts towards what was going into my body…. until recently.  With mine and my boyfriend’s 30th birthdays quickly approaching, we both agreed that our ful-on cheat weekends are no longer acceptable.  Not only that but, how am I supposed to get the results I work so hard for during the week if I’m just going to undo it all each weekend?  Slowly but surely our weekend diet has been progressing.  This weekend we thought of ordering a pizza but, not only was that the opposite of a healthy option but we were also trying not to spend money.  So, what did we do?  We raided our cabinets! We found all kinds of things to make a healthy cheat.  We ended up with a whole wheat pasta in a spicy pesto with a side arugula salad.




-Whole Wheat Pasta (we used ½ box of penne & rotini combined)

-1 c. Fresh Basil Leaves

-1/3 c. Olive Oil

-1/3 c. Pine Nuts

-1 tbps.  Grated Parmesan Cheese

-1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

-Salt & Pepper to taste

-3 Cloves of Garlic

-1 Red Jalapeno (optional-this is where the “spicy” comes in



-1/2 Container Organic Baby Arugula

-1/4 c. Cranberries

-1/4 c. sliced almonds (hand crumbled)

-2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese

-Homemade Oil & Vinegar (you can use store bought if you’d prefer)

-1/2 c. Vinegar

-1/2 c. Olive Oil

-1 tsp. of Dried Basil

-1 tsp. of Oregano

-Salt & Pepper to Taste

-Garlic Powder to taste

-A squirt of lemon juice





  1. Fire roast jalapeño on stove over open flame until blackened on all sides
    • Remove stem & seeds
  2. Combine all ingredients (except the pasta) in a food processor, blend to fine texture
  3. Pour over cooked pasta, stir until evenly distributed



  1. Combine all ingredients, hand toss



  1. Use a mortar and pestle to combine basil, oregano, salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Grind until find.
  2. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl (I used a salad dressing bottle with mixer – originally purchased at Sur La Table), mix well.

spicy pesto pasta

This meal really hit the spot without feeling guilty, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Please share you’re pictures of your meal along with anything you may have done differently.  Stay tuned for more recipes!



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