Through two long pregnancies (aren’t they all?), characterised by frequent, sometimes constant, nausea and vomiting I consoled myself with the thought that that nausea was (ample) evidence of hormones hard at work, keeping my sweet babies safe. It became something of a mantra as I took my familiar place hovering over the toilet bowl. Having thus programmed myself to this line of thinking, it is (perversely) somewhat disconcerting to be enjoying a pregnancy (so far) relatively devoid of those symptoms. While, I have suffered mild queasiness, along with other similarly mild symptoms, my biggest challenge so far has been a formidable hunger combined with a loss of appetite.
I’ve cut a lot more grains and sugars out of my diet recently and it’s had an overwhelmingly positive effect. I’ve had a lot more energy and it seems as if this may be the answer to some of the lingering food reactions and generalised symptoms I’ve continued to experience. With the pregnancy and loss of appetite however, the things I feel like eating are not necessarily the things that I need to be eating to feel my best.
So it was that when I saw that spectacular bunch of basil in our veggie box this week, I immediately decided that I MUST have pesto. I used to eat pasta with pesto often. Then I discovered that the casein in cheese was a source of serious anxiety (amongst other things) for both Ni and me and so Parmesan and thus pesto were off the table and I haven’t eaten either for a few years now. Recently, however, I discovered that the local supermarket sells a Greek frying cheese called Saganaki that is made from sheep and goat milk, which don’t seem to cause a problem for us at all. I’ve actually found this cheese to be very versatile, since it melts okay and browns well. Grated, it works on pizza, nachos or quesadillas. And in pesto.
Here’s the recipe I used:
- 1½-2 cups fresh basil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ¾ cup of Saganaki or Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (plus a little extra if needed)
- sea salt to taste