Broccoli Pesto Pasta Bake

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I’m a very shy person.

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Perhaps this is surprising considering my willingness to post stories about myself every week for anyone to read & make fun of, but it’s painfully true.

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I have a really tough time making new friends. I have two defense mechanisms when thrown to the wolves that are new humans. 1) I go into fake, overly nice mode & can only come up with things like, “what’s your favorite color???” as my conversation starters. 2) I shut down. Like, I just don’t speak in the group of people & everyone slowly forgets I’m there & they continue with their lives. Is this normal?

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I’m working on this, though. I’m ready to evolve. In my initial meeting with a new person, I want to come across as sweet, smart, powerful, and reminiscent of a young Jennifer Aniston. These qualities make up the best version of myself.

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But I definitely don’t want to reveal how utterly full of myself I am. Please advise.




Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4


  • 1 head of broccoli, rinsed + trimmed into florets
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese + more for serving
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • 1 package of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, rinsed
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain
  • In a food processor, combine broccoli + cheese + walnuts + garlic + lemon juice + olive oil + S+P, process until smooth
  • In a bowl, combine pesto + pasta + tomatoes + S+P
  • Arrange in a baking dish + bake for 20 minutes
  • Serve hot
  • It’s full of broccoli just cram it in there

19 thoughts on “Broccoli Pesto Pasta Bake

  1. Kate says:

    Oh I know that problem 🙂 I’m also not really good at that, but what I found out, it helps to get to know new people if you’re with someone you already know, so if you’re at some party or other event drag a friend with you. You won’t be feeling alone and it does help overcoming shyness at least a little bit. Other thing, listen. You said you sometimes shut down at parties. Turn it into a good thing by listening and asking questions to what others said. At some point the conversation gets rolling and you won’t feel like talking to complete stranger. Olus people like when someone IS listening to their stories. I know it’s easier said than done, but hey, they didn’t build Rome in one day, right? 🙂


    • Rachel says:

      Oh you are sooooo right. I try to always drag a pal with me in new situations! & YES to listening! I’m trying to turn my shut down mode into genuine interest mode lol. Work in progress! Thanks for reading! 🙂


  2. Healthy Not Nuts says:

    Hmm, you sound like me! LOL! I prefer to stand back and OBSERVE in a large group, I do much better one on one. It’s weird, oh well. I learn a lot, fast, since I’m not fighting to be the center of attention! It takes about a year for someone to get to know me, that’s definitely been a disadvantage but I make it work for me. I’m getting a little better I suppose. Recipe looks awesome!


  3. Debbie Spivey says:

    I find it hard to believe you are shy… You sound like me! Although I am growing out of shy. It has become more of a I don’t give a crap what you think and I’ve gotten to be quite the Chatty Cathy.


  4. memarose3 says:

    When meeting people for the first time I try to find something we can both relate to as a conversation starter – Great earrings – love the shoes – that bit. What I find troubling is that people will approach ME as if I have a giant sign over my head saying “Tell me your troubles, I can solve them”.

    Love your posts!


  5. Rachel says:

    I hate talking about myself with people I’m just meeting, though! I feel like they’re thinking, “when will she just shut the heck up?!” LOL. I’m a mess!


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