Pesto Penne with Olives and Tomatoes

Pesto Penne with Olives and Tomatoes

This dish is a summer staple in our house, but I find myself making it in the fall and winter a lot too, because when it’s cold and grey, it reminds me of summertime. We grow basil all year long thanks to our Gardyn system (Side note: You can get $ 100 off a Gardyn of your own with this link; we love ours!), which enables us to make pesto from scratch. But just as often, we buy the store bought version, which makes this meal easier than ever. Either way, I think you’ll enjoy this super delicious, full flavored pasta dish!
Pesto Penne with Olives and Tomatoes
Pesto Penne with Olives and Tomatoes
Pesto Penne with Olives
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS
12 ounces penne pasta
Pesto (store bought or fresh; here is a delicious fresh pesto recipe)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (or other tomatoes diced into large pieces)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted (or green olives or black olives)
Basil leaves for garnish 
Shredded or shaved parmesan  
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return pasta to pot. Stir in pesto until equally distributed among the pasta. Stir in olives and tomatoes. (Hint: turn the stove heat on low to keep the pasta warm while serving.) Serve immediately in bowls topped with basil leaves and parmesan with fresh Italian bread.
Pesto Penne with Olives and Tomatoes
This is such a simple, quick dish (especially if the pesto is premade), and keeps a little bit of summer around year. Enjoy!
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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Chicken study complicates brain size and domestication assumptions

One of the issues I’m most careful with in looking at domestication literature is claims about brain size reduction. Brain size reduction from wolf to dog is a way more complex topic than some popularizers of science would have you believe.

We should also not assume that smaller brains in domestic animals means that the domestic animal are automatically less intelligent than the wild form. In dogs, there is an argument to be made that domestication has enhanced some parts of their intelligence.  I believe part of this problem comes from the romantic delusions that existed in the early study of animal behavior, some of which were openly fascistic in their understanding of wild versus domestic.

A more nuanced way of looking at domestic animals is that their evolution changes to fit an environment that is fully dominated by human society.  In this world, humans are not a major predator, though humans certain do eat many of the animals.  However, the animals live out their lives with humans as benefactors and protectors, and the evolutionary pressures that work on domestic animals change how their brains operate.

A recent study on red junglefowl found that selection for a lack of fear does change their and brain anatomy. The researchers bred a high fear line and a low fear line of red junglefowl. The low fear line birds had smaller overall brains.  However, they much reduced brainstems and tended to have larger cerebra than the high fear line ones. They had a harder time with remembering fearful situations that the high fear line birds easily remembered, but both strains were of equal ability in terms of general associative learning.

This means that the domestication process does not just dull the intelligence of a species and make its brain smaller. Instead, the process makes it easier for the species to live in concert with our societies.

Our popular understanding is that dog domestication made them significantly less intelligent than wolves, and the best proof we have is the proportionality of brain size, as well as some low n experiments that looked at problem-solving ability between captive wolves and very well-trained domestic dogs.

We need to be very careful about what these studies say, for domestication is a process of evolution as much as anything that goes on in the wild. To live with humans in the way that domestic dogs do, their brains have experienced rather dramatic changes from the wild form, and we must be careful about making simplistic explanations that posit “domesticated” as a synonym for “dumber.”

It’s a much more complex conversation, and this study on red junglefowl clearly demonstrates how difficult the reality of brain changes and domestication clearly is.

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Natural History

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Retiring this Space

WordPress has given me a new, very clunky editor that does not allow me to use this software the way I use it. I have been in contact with WordPress trying to get this issue resolved, but I am unable to.

I am in the process of getting a new site set up. For Premium content subscribers, this means that it may take some time for me to get everything squared away. If you have any questions, please use the contact form to contact me.

The new editor is design for people use use mobile devices to blog. And that’s not me.

The domain will still be up if you’re looking for older content, but new content will not appear at this site.

I was barely able to post this. LOL. It’s that bad.

I’ll update everyone with the new site when it gets established. I don’t know how long it will take. But I am working on it.

Natural History

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5 Strategies to Boost Your Dog’s Fitness & Muscle Health this Fall

As the weather cools and we all enjoy longer and more strenuous walks with our dogs, it’s important to properly prepare for boosting your dog’s fitness level. Today we have a guest post…



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DogTipper

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West Paw Recyclable Dog Toys

On my list to try next. I like the idea that they’re recyclable. Has anyone tried them? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Riches Beyond Measure

Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Protected: We now have the first evidence of a 20,000-year-old dogs in Italy: Premium Member Content

This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.

Natural History

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A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul

A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul

This post is sponsored by ConAgra, Danone, Amy’s Kitchen, and Good Food Made Simple®. All opinions are my own.


You guys, I’m finally doing it: a grocery haul. I have been fascinated for years with people sharing their grocery hauls on social media and their blogs, and I decided it was about freaking time I did one as well. This isn’t your average grocery haul though. This is a very specific grocery haul that made me so happy I just couldn’t keep it to myself. 

As you know, I have been a vegetarian since I was fifteen year old. I share a lot of vegetarian and plant-based recipes here, but what I need to be sharing more often is that a lot of the time, I rely on good ol’ fashion frozen food, because, well, it’s way more convenient that having to try to whip up meals and desserts from scratch everyday. In the past, I’ve usually gone to specialty stores to find veggie and plant-based frozen meal favorites, but a few weeks ago, I discovered that Walmart has a plethora (yes, plethora) of them. From vegetarian and vegan to dairy-free to frozen goodies for those with specialty diets, Walmart has you covered (and at unbeatable prices!). Since I hit up Walmart frequently for, well, just about everything else, this made me extremely excited. And that’s where this haul began.


And now on to all of the goodness I got! 

A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul

1. Amy’s Cheese Veggie Crust Pizza

I am a long time fan of Amy’s products, and Amy’s frozen pizzas are staples in our home. So I have been all sorts of excited to try Amy’s new Veggie Crust Pizza. Spoiler: it’s so, so good. Its crust is made from organic cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet potato, and it is topped with slow-simmered tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, kosher, delicious, and only takes a few minutes to cook. So many wins!

2. Amy’s Mac & 3 Cheese with Cauliflower Bowl
This is genuinely the best gluten-free mac and cheese I’ve ever had. Yummy cauliflower is mixed with rice pasta and a delicious, flavorful three cheese sauce (cheddar, Monterey jack, and parmesan). It is ready in minutes and an absolute favorite of my little ones. I love that I can stock up at Walmart and keep a bunch in my freezer for the easiest weekday meal ever. 

3. Marie Callender’s Chick’n Pot Pie made with Gardein Chick’n

I can’t even put into words how excited I was to discover this at Walmart. Chicken pot pies were my favorite meal as a kid, but I hadn’t had one in many, many years, since before I went vegetarian. I’m a long time fan of Gardein products (so many delicious meat alternatives), but I had no idea this existed. Well, it did not disappoint, and I am thrilled to be reunited with my favorite comfort meal. Kudos to Marie Callender’s and Walmart!


4. Good Food Made Simple® Cauliflower Kung Pao

My husband loves Kung Pao spaghetti, so when I spotted this plant-based, gluten-free version by Good Food Made Simple at Walmart, I knew I had to get it. It turns out I love it just as much as he does. It’s sweet, spicy, and tangy all at once, and full of organic veggies and yummy rice noodles. So good.
A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul

5. Good Food Made Simple® French Toast

My kids love french toast for breakfast, so I was also excited to see that Walmart had these better-for-you version by Good Food Made Simple. They love the way both Oats & Honey and Oats & Ancient Grains taste, and I love that they’re simple, clean, and made with non-GMO ingredients.
A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul

6. Mocha Almond Fudge So Delicious® Ice Cream Bars  

I couldn’t leave dessert out of this amazing haul, right? Just like all of the other plant-based goodies I was so stoked to find right at Walmart, So Delicious® Ice Cream Bars have quickly become a favorite in our house. These bars are made with almond milk and rich fudge in a crunchy chocolate and almond shell. They’re also certified vegan and non-GMO verified. Any just like their name says, they really are so delicious. 

A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul

A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul
A Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Delicious Frozen Food Grocery Haul


I think I might have to do another veggie-themed grocery haul soon. Is that something you guys would want to see? In the meantime, head to your local Walmart (or use their online pick up or delivery services!), and bask in the glory that is their amazing selection of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and plant-based frozen goodies! 

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Just the Good Ol’ Boy

Sagan turned 11 months old on Tuesday. He is just a good boy all around.

He’s turned into fetching fool.  That Herm Sprenger ball gets a lot of use!

Natural History

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Winter Dog Walks: Top Dog Grooming Tips After a Walk in the Cold

Even during the slippery, snowy, and freezing winter months, your beloved canine still needs to stay physically active through regular walks. After all, just like dog grooming, regular walks can be…



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DogTipper

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