Category Archives: Nutrition

Helpful hints to the good diet super highway

Freeze ahead…

Post to make life easy. Whole 30 Challenge appropriate crock pot meals

http://blog.stuffimakemyhusband.com/2012/12/a-week-of-freeze-ahead-crock-pot-meals.html?m=1

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The Five “S’s”

Wow. Here’s my working agenda for the next year:

1.  Sleep
2.  Stress
3.  Sustenance
4.  Strength
5.  Supplementation

Join me, won’t you? They all work together.

Egg-no-muffins.

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Eggs without the Mc and the Muffin!

 

12 eggs beaten with broccoli/spinach

2 tbsp coconut oil to heat pan

add your choice of veggies, I added:

onions until translucent

pepper – the cute baby multicolor kind

zucchini

Grass Fed Ground Beef

Italian Seasoning

Brown, let cool, add to egg mixture

coconut oil on muffin pan

plop in pan

cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done.

 

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From Purely Primal – Where Do I Start?

Where To Start?

A good friend, a link, or maybe even talking with us has led you to this site.  You are probably thinking, “Hey great, a lot of delicious recipes, but I need a plan of attack guys!”  We hear you.  There are many great sites out there with a lot of wonderful information (see More Resources section), but here are a few things that have worked for us and some fantastic ways to get that healthy ball rolling, so to speak.  Instead of you having to reinvent the wheel, these tips and ideas will hopefully help you get a good jump on this. (Scroll to the bottom for a list of some great recipes to start with!  Note all of these recipes have a “printable” version).

1. DON’T TALK ABOUT “DIET” – Take it from us, if you haven’t mentioned the words “paleo” or “primal” to your family (i.e. those you will be cooking for) then don’t.  We don’t like to say “paleo DIET.”  This is not a diet.  Human beings are meant to eat this way and our bodies just haven’t adapted too well to grains, processed foods, and tons of sugar.  If your family thinks what you are cooking is putting them on a “diet” or if they hear the words “healthy,” “paleo,” “primal,” or “caveman diet,” they may rebel from the get-go.  Just cook up a few meals, serve, see how the family responds.  If they don’t like your “new recipe” then try another (However, we do list below some recipes that we feel are good starters and most members of the family, yes even the kids, will enjoy them).  If anyone questions the different foods, just say that you are feeding them foods that have many more nutrients to nourish their bodies, while some of the “other” foods they may be used to eating can actually make us sick and unhealthy.  For the adults, let them do their own research.  Take a look at our Amazon Store link where we suggest some great books.  Don’t just take our word for it!

2. GET RID OF IT – If you have grains and other processed or unhealthy foods in your home you may feel it hard to part with them.  After all, you are facing the true fact that you are ready to get out of your comfort zone and get started.  Some people find it easier to just toss those “foods” out, while some don’t want it to go to “waste.”  This is up to you.  While we understand the part about watching your money being tossed out in the form of processed food, we do feel the sooner you rid your home, and most importantly your body, of these foods the sooner you will begin to feel a whole lot healthier.

3. PICKY SCHMICKY – Have a picky eater? Well, we have one too, but she gets to eat no differently than we do and she doesn’t buy the food.  Most of the time children are picky not because of any fault of their own, but because of us as parents.  We give in. We don’t want them to starve.  They will not starve, trust us.  With more and more children dealing with obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergies, etc. (this does not even scratch the surface), we truly need to get a handle on this.  We have many recipes your picky child will enjoy as ours does. They may not enjoy it all at first, but they will find what they like.  Work with them.  Let them dish up their own plates.  Encourage them to help in the kitchen and let them choose a few recipes.  When they are involved, they are more likely to eat what they make.  Have patience.

4. COOKING IS PRETTY EASY… REALLY – We get the fact that not everyone is a cook or even likes to cook that much.  Yes, it is true; in order to eat better you either have to cook yourself or have someone do it for you (we are not talking about the fry cook at the fast food place or your favorite restaurant here either!).  We were guests on Whole 9′s site here where we (along with some other chefs) offer up suggestions (some listed below) on spending less time in the kitchen and more time doing other things you enjoy.  And if you do enjoy time in the kitchen, even better!

Pick out a few recipes on our site you think you may enjoy.  Look in your refrigerator, see what you have on hand, then pick some recipes that include these ingredients and that way you are using up what you have and shopping is minimal.   Plan a menu for the week around these recipes.  Sunday is usually our day to plan and shop.   You can also cook up more than one meal on Sunday and freeze some to save at a later date. This works great if you are limited in time for cooking during the week.  Make extra so that you have some leftovers for your lunch the next day.

Everything – from shopping to cooking – gets done faster and better when well organized.  We use a custom-made shopping check list sorted by the sections of the stores we shop at and inclusive of about 90% of the things we buy on a regular basis.  A detailed list gets you into the store, looking for what you need, and cuts impulse buying.  Print the list ahead of time and post it in the kitchen.  When an ingredient is running low, check it on the list immediately.  When putting together a weekly menu keep the list at hand and make sure to include any ingredients not currently “in stock.”

Before you start, have everything you need ready. Get the family involved too and the prep/cook time is very minimal.   The recipe should be printed (even if it’s shorthand notes on a napkin) and placed within an easy glance of where you are working.  The ingredients (including all spices and herbs) should be rounded up and roughly measured out.  The pots, pans, knives and any other utensils should also be assembled and ready to go.  Have the sink empty, the dishwasher put away, and the countertops clear.  Keep the garbage can and compost buckets within an arm’s reach.  Get all of your prep work done at one time – chopping the veggies or fruits first, and then the meat last.

5. WHAT DO I EAT FOR BREAKFAST? – We love this question.  Who decided that pancakes, donuts, and waffles were good for us, let alone breakfast foods?   Whatever you eat for lunch or dinner you can eat for breakfast.  Of course there is always the ‘ol standby of bacon and eggs, which is fine with us.  Here are a few of our favorite breakfast recipes. Check out the link on our site marked “Breakfast” for even more ideas.

6. WHAT DO I EAT FOR SNACK? – Ideally if you are getting a good hunk of protein at each meal and filling your plate with veggies and getting in some good fats then you really shouldn’t feel like you need a snack.  Our friends at Whole 9 use a great example of this.  If you feel like you are so hungry you could eat up some chicken and broccoli right now, then by all means have something good to eat, but if you don’t feel like eating that, then it is just a craving.   We suggest steering clear of items such as Lara Bars and the like, unless in a pinch.  We did a blog post about having food on the go which gives some great snack ideas that we list here:

Protein:

  • Any meat you have leftover
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Deli Meat (Applegate or Boars Head are good brands)
  • Tuna (we made this up before we left, but you can also get this in the pouches at the grocery store and just eat it out of the bag with a fork.  Works out great and saves you from having to pack the can opener).

Carbs:

  • Pretty much all the veggies and some fruit. Including, but not limited to, jicama, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, plums, apples, bananas, pickles, peppers. Slice up the veggies and put in a container with water in ice to keep them cool and fresh.

Fats:

  • Olives
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Mixture of nuts that we made up ourselves of macadamia, cashews, walnuts, almonds.
  • Avocados
  • Homemade mayo is quick to make and can be a base for a great salad dressing or dipping sauce. Just add some balsamic vinegar and some “No-Salt” seasoning (we get this at Costco).
  • Coconut butter/manna.  Just a good bite of this and cravings will pass.

Misc items:

  • Unsweetenend applesauce
  • Yogurt – homemade. Fage’s “Total” brand (full-fat) is also great to add in some berries.
  • Water can be flavored a bit with cucumber or lemon if you want a bit of a treat.
  • Blackberry-Nut Clusters
  • Kale Chips

7. CAN’T COOK WITHOUT IT – Some kitchen utensils we have not been able to live without include a food processor and a large Crockpot.  A good set of All-Clad measuring cups and spoons, although a bit spendy, are sturdy enough to use as mini-saucepans to melt coconut oil and will last you forever. You will never have to buy another set.  Well worth it.  Nice knives are also a good investment, but not necessary at first.

For food, we suggest stocking up on some good spices.  We go through a lot of ”No-Salt” Seasoning, Old Bay, and cinnamon, but use plenty of other spices too.  Make sure to check the bulk section for your basic spices as buying them in that area is so much cheaper than the baking aisle.  Balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and pastured butter are also musts – olive oil for great taste when added after cooking (it is unstable if heated), and coconut oil or butter as the workhorse oils for cooking.  If you aren’t a fan of the “coconut taste” in everything you cook, we recently discovered the Tropical Traditions Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil that is void of coconut flavor but still full of all the good stuff.  We keep this on hand as well as the regular “virgin” coconut oil.  Finally, we always make sure to have a batch of homemade mayo made up also.

8. DON’T GET TOO OVERWHELMED – We talk a lot about organic and purchasing locally.  Don’t get hung up on that.  Start by just heading to your local grocery store.  You can gradually work in as you learn more.  Here is a link to a good article written by Robb Wolf about the cost of the “diet” and another written by Diane Sanfilippo here.   Think about how much less you will be spending on meds and doctor visits.  Save up all the money you had been using for that latte every day and invest it more wisely.

9. YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO AT IT ALONE – Find a friend to help hold you accountable, preferably one who is also on board and you in turn can hold him/her accountable.  Get outside or get into the gym.  Get a partner to train with.  Please remember, however, that you cannot outwork a crappy diet – so do not think for a minute that spending a few hours in the gym a week will negate any bad eating.  It doesn’t work that way.  We see it all the time.  Set some fitness and eating goals.  Log your progress.  This helps to set trends and is a good way to see which foods agree and disagree with you, as this is definitely not a “one size fits all.”

10. TRY THESE RECIPES TO START – Delicious main dishes, sides, and desserts.  This doesn’t even scratch the surface, but they are great ones to get started.  Most of these are our own “fall backs,” the recipes we go back to time and time again in our own kitchen.

Main Dishes

Sides, Salads, Dressings, and Soups

Desserts (in moderation please)

The 21 Day Sugar Detox

Yowza. I had a major run in with some doughnuts.

I was walking down a dark alley and I was mugged by a maple glazed, one with sprinkles and a lemon creme.

In all seriousness, I was all in my head and stressing myself out over the actions of a few select people. I wanted comfort food. Doughnuts are my go-to.

It didn’t matter that I was listening to Robb Wolf Paleo podcast. It wouldn’t have mattered if there was a grizzly bear at the front door of Fray’s. I was going IN.

I bought a dozen to “share’. 2 on the way to QM’s, left her with 3. Over the course of the day at work, I scared down two more and ate nothing solid. Evy was a great help in getting rid of more, for which I am ever grateful.

Fine sleeping that night, next day – POW! Big arse sugar hangover.  I have cut back on sugar most assuredly, but I still have my weekly margarita, some bread on the weekends, whatever lights my fancy really, on the weekend.

This was the first time I ever had a sugar hangover.  Huge headache that wouldn’t go away.  A little dizzy, you know, like I tied a big one on.  Right then and there I decided to do Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox.  I had been stalking it on her website, as I have been listening to the Balanced Bites Podcast.  (Find the link to the right).  Obviously, this was the day to start.  I had exactly 21 days until I start the Whole30 from the It Starts with Food.   Sounds like kismet.

I am now on Day 10.  The first few days were relatively easy as I didn’t even want to look at sugar.  The only thing I really missed was my raw honey in my coffee.  But I substituted Coconut Milk and Almond Milk and it is fine now that I’m on day 10.   I haven’t done any of the supplements yet, mostly because I’ve been swamped and dinero is a little tight right now.  We have been doing a lot of home improvement.  I’m of the opinions that ottomans are more important right now.  I know, duh.

But I like the detox.  I have heard that when you get past 14 days everything feels a little lighter and better.  I’m feeling fine, with the exception of a little weaker than normal.  I tend to take a few more breaks than normal when CrossFitting or teaching yoga.  But I’m hopeful that my body will soon flip the switch to fat burning instead of a sugar burn.  You can read about that in It Starts with Food.

I’m hoping at the end of my 21 Days, and the end of August from my Whole 30 Challenge I will have learned MUCH better coping mechanisms.

It Starts with Food…Plan B

Plan B, idea….

It Starts with Food

Melissa Hartwig

I purchased this about two weeks before the Thinner This Year Beta Test came up.  I am already madly, truly, deeply in love with it.  More my speed.  I’m thinking an August First Challenge.  30 days.  I REALLY have to do something soon….

You can click on the picture and it should take you right to it.

Epic Fail-EO

How do I start this one?

* Why wouldn’t you do it?

* How could you not do it?

* You need to do it!

I read Thinner This Year.  Which is a great book.  I was part of the Beta Test Group.  Follow the directions in the book for six months, get to your goal weight.  Pretty simple.

I couldn’t do it.  Good sound nutritional advice.  Almost Vegan.  Which I get.  But I couldn’t do it.  Eat red meat once every two weeks?  An egg yolk once a week?  I thrive on protein.  I’ve worked hard to ditch most grain/dairy/legumes (except for cheat meals) from my daily diet.  I just don’t want to reintroduce grains and legumes to my diet.  The TTY book recommended 50% of my diet be whole grains and legumes.  I was a vegetarian for a few years and went back to eating meat because I felt so much better when I ate red meat.

So.  Epic FAIL -EO.  I want to be Pal-EO.

I want to lose 20 lbs.  But this book just didn’t resonate with ME.  I suggest reading it when it comes out.  It’s good.  It will change lives. But I don’t think every diet is for every person.  I have no doubt I would have lost weight on the TTY program.  For that I feel like big crybaby, loser.  But I like the way I feel with this getting there Paleo diet that I strive for.

Next up on my reading list: It Starts with Food.   It starts with Paleo for me.  This book is written by the Whole 30 couple and I’m pretty excited to dig in.

 

Nourishing Traditions: How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth

How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth

June 14, 2012 By 37 Comments

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bone broth

Like supports like

Modern nutritional research continues to prove what traditional cultures learned through observation over time, when we eat a specific part of an animal, it nourishes that same part of our body.

One example of this like supports like principle can be found in Dr. Catherine Shanahanʼs book, Deep Nutrition. Dr. Shanahan explains that the highest source of available vitamin A known to man isnʼt in a carrot or broccoli, but found in the tissue in the back of the eyeball. As vitamin A is known to specifically support healthy eyesight (among many other crucial health supporting roles), it goes without saying that if we consume what Dr. Shanahan calls “those nasty bits,” we will receive the nutritional bounty contained within to support our expression of optimal health. Broths and stocks provide a very easy way to incorporate the health giving benefits of all those culturally unappealing “nasty bits” into our regular diet.

Intelligent Food?

Wouldnʼt it be great if there was a type of intelligence that made it where we could eat a nutrient and have it go to a specific part of the body that needed it most? Well, there is such intelligence in nutrient-dense foods such as bone broths. This concept of an intelligence of a specific nutrient we consume to have an affinity to the same tissues within our own bodies is amazingly simple to our over-intellectualizing culture. Modern science still hasnʼt figured out how this intelligence works but they know that certain compounds have an affinity for certain tissues.

Bone Broths & Traditional Chinese Medicine

From within the traditional Chinese paradigm, bone broth nourishes our kidneys, supports our vital essence (chi), and builds blood. Who wouldnʼt benefit from another bowl of  soup?

Bone tissue relates to the kidneys according to Chinese medical theory. So, given the theory of like supports like, consuming bone tissue will support the kidneys and therefore the bones (including the teeth).

The Chinese medical perspective includes the adrenals as part of the system they call the kidneys. So, bone broth directly supports adrenal function. It is recognized that the adrenals perform so many hormonal functions vital to our immune health. Adrenal fatigue is another one of those ʻelephants in the living roomʼ that so many of us in the real food movement are talking about yet remains unheard of in mainstream media.

Bone Broths and Adrenal Support

Bone broths provide the adrenal glands with the much needed nutritional support to help make the shift from survive to thrive. Dr. Shanahan even suggests that the nutritional matrix in bone broths may actually help patch the holes in the kidney tissue that cause the kidneys to function less optimally.

Massive bone support

Bone stock is rich with minerals. Isnʼt it interesting that within bone broth are the exact minerals, in the proper proportions, that our teeth are also made of? 65% of the mineral mass of bone is made up of calcium and phosphorus – the two main minerals that compose our teeth. When making bone broths we stew the bones for several hours, even days, the stock itself becomes very rich with minerals.

Itʼs interesting to note that the bones after making stock are so soft you can push your thumb nail into them. That tells you that the minerals that were in the bone are now in the bone broth.

How does this translate into stronger, healthier teeth that resist decay and even can heal from tooth decay? Well, the mechanism the body utilizes to remineralize the tooth enamel is through the saliva. Provided that the diet has sufficient minerals, the saliva will have the necessary minerals to interact with the tooth enamel to remineralize the teeth. Bone broth provides the necessary minerals in the proper, combinations, to make them available for use throughout the body. (See video Mouth Probiotics to learn more about the role saliva plays in creating greater oral health).

The reason the concept of tooth remineralization is not present in the culture at large is due to the fact that our diets, for the most part, are miserably deficient in the minerals necessary to optimize health.

Making bone stocks is an easy way to massively raise the minerals in oneʼs diet. But the benefits of bone broth go well beyond mineral content.

Fats + Minerals = Bio-available Minerals

The problem with mineral supplements is that we arenʼt what we eat. A more accurate statement is we are what we absorb from what we eat. Mineral uptake is the issue here. The good news is the fats in bone broths help restore greater gut health and therefore increase the absorption rate of the minerals present in broths. So, rather than searching through the vitamin section of your health food store, make friends with the butchers at the meat department and establish your supply for quality bones!

What is bone marrow anyway?

Bone broth also contains the bone marrow. Bone marrow is where the body manufacturers both red and white blood cells. Thus, applying the same principle of like supports like, enjoying regular bone broths will nourish our bodyʼs ability to create healthy blood within our own system.

In the Chinese paradigm, bone marrow is considered the deepest tissue of the body and contains the essence of the being. Itʼs an interesting correlation to consider that modern science has shown that within bone marrow are high concentrations of stem cells, the very organizing influences and genetic material, for the being. It is these essential nutrients that help our bodies continue to build healthy, vital constitutions and repair cellular damage.

The youth serum in bone broths.

There are a series of proteins called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs for short) that are highly concentrated in joint tissues. These GAGs are part of the tissues known as collagen. Over the past several years some GAGs, namely glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, have come into popularity for their documented support of joint and skin tissues. Once consumed, these nutrients go to the connective tissues of joints and other connective tissues of the body where they are needed. While the synthesized compounds like glucosamine sulfate or hydrochloride may be effective in supporting greater connective tissue health, we prefer and advocate the whole food version. After all, what beneficial compounds are still to be discovered contained within bone broth (that science hasnʼt performed clinical trials on)? So, rather than purchase the supplement, go for the bones!

How do glycosaminoglycans relate to increased oral health?

First, the connective tissue restoring capacity of GAGs helps to repair compromised gum tissue that has been damaged and stressed by the ʻbad bugsʼ that cause gum disease. Also, within the process of the breakdown of health that we know as gum disease, one of the things that happens is the bad bugs weaken and damage the ligament (connective tissue) that holds each tooth to the jaw bones, thus resulting in loose teeth and adult tooth loss.

Dr. Shanahan states,

This means that glucosamine-rich broth is a kind of youth serum, capable of rejuvenating your body, no matter what your age. After decades of skepticism, orthopedists and rheumatologists are now embracing its use in people with arthritis, recommending it to ʻovercome or possibly reverse some of the degradation that occurs with injuries or disease. (Deep Nutrition)

When you combine the facts that bone broths make any soup way more delicious, provide the much needed support for our adrenals, offer such a rich source for much needed minerals, nourish our bodyʼs ability to build healthier blood, along with care for all the connective tissues throughout our bodies, you can see why we consider bone broths to be such a foundational dietary pillar for anyone looking to navigate to greater oral health as well as create optimal system wide immunological health.

Get Started: Simple, Easy Bone Broths

Filed Under: traditional foods

Paleo Spaghetti / Multiply Delicious Blog

Paleo Spaghetti

09.7.11

Who says you can’t have spaghetti on a Paleo diet?  Well ok, you can’t have what most of America calls “spaghetti” (you know the one with not so good “pasta”), but you can have a pretty close 2nd.  At least in my opinion, which may not be winning you over yet.  Maybe if I tell you that when my husband took a bite and said to me what type of noodles are these and then proceeded to tell me how good they were….would that win you over?  How about when I actually told him that the noodles were zucchini “noodles” and he proceeded to stick by his claim and even said “those are good”.  Am I getting closer to winning you over?  I have to tell you if the husband approves then I know I have succeeded especially in the Paleo aspect.  He’s still not 100% on cutting out things in his diet (like beer) but he’s not afraid to give it a try.  So if he likes something and says it should be added to the list of must haves again, then that’s saying something.

I promise you won’t miss the pasta in this spaghetti dish.   And your tummy won’t feel like a big bolder is sitting in your stomach after eating it either.  And if you are a Crossfitter then your workout may just be easier….ok that may not be a totally true statement but I felt a whole lot better in my workout the next morning after having this for my dinner.

Paleo Spaghetti

Print Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

2 large zucchini, cut into julienne strips

1 tsp garlic, minced

3 to 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or beef (grass-fed preferred)

2 cups Homemade Veggie Tomato Sauce

Additional fresh basil for topping pasta

Instructions:

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Place zucchini and garlic in skillet and heat until zucchini is slightly softened.  In the last 30 seconds toss with fresh basil.

In a separate skillet cook meat of choice until cooked through, making sure to crumble into small pieces.  Once meat is cooked through mix in tomato sauce and stir to combine.

To plate dish, place zucchini “noodles” in bowl or plate and then top with meat sauce and sprinkle with additional basil.

Enjoy!

Bacon-Basil Zucchini “Pasta”

The Paleo Mom is a scientist turned stay-at-home mom who is taking on the monumental task of improving her family’s nutrition and health. She is attempting to ease her skeptic husband and two young spirited daughters into a paleolithic lifestyle, one small change and one good recipe at a time.

I miss pasta….a lot.   This is definitely on the try it list!  df

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Recipe: Bacon-Basil Zucchini “Pasta”

I bought myself a relatively inexpensive Mandoline Slicer and I love it!  It makes so many jobs in the kitchen so much faster.  There are some jobs that would take so long with a knife that I just never even bother.  Making paleo “noodles” out of vegetables is one such job.  If you’re looking for a mandolin, make sure you get one that can do a fine julienne.  A ton of different vegetables can be julienned into long strips and steamed, braised or sautéed as mock noodles.  And my kids LOVE them (there’s something so satisfying about a long skinny slurpy noodle, especially if it is a carrot noodle, a turnip noodles, or a broccoli stem noodle).  This recipe features zucchini as a mock noodle, which has such a lovely flavor for Italian-inspired dishes.  This recipe makes enough for 3-4 hearty side dish portions.  Alternately, you could add some grilled steak, prawns or chicken and turn this into a main dish for two.  If you don’t have an oversized frying pan (which is another kitchen must-have!), you could try using a Wok.

Ingredients:

4 large zucchini (about 2 pounds)
2 tsp Salt (to salt the zucchini)
1/3 cup bacon grease (crispy bits make it even better)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup chopped Walnuts (optional)
1.    Finely julienne zucchini lengthwise to create long strips of zucchini.  Toss with salt in a colander and let sit in the sink for 1 hour.
2.    Rinse the zucchini very, very thoroughly (have a taste to make sure it’s not salty at all).  Drain on a tea towel or paper towels to get rid of as much moisture as possible.
3.    Heat bacon grease in an oversized frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and zucchini and sauté, stirring frequently until zucchini is  cooked “al dente”, about 4-5 minutes (should be a very hot pan).
4.    Toss in basil and walnuts (if using) and cook another 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
5.    Serve!