2020 Pestos #11: Sainsbury’s Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

This is a nice tasty pesto flavour that I’ve always associated with summer. I used to have the Sacla version of this in the ’90s and ’00s, but I’ve not seen it in recent years (though you can still get it according to the website!). However, the Sainsbury’s one tastes very similar.

Sainsbury's Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Sainsbury’s Roasted Red Pepper Pesto.

In addition to the nice pepper taste there are also a lot of pine nuts in there, which are the perfect texture to go with the taste. The only negative is that it’s *very* slightly too moist – from what I remember, the Sacla version gets this balance better. However, that doesn’t stop it being a favourite!

2020 Pestos #10: Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Pesto Alla Genovese

This used to be my favourite pesto!

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Pesto Alla Genovese
Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Pesto Alla Genovese.

It’s not my favourite anymore, for two reasons:

  1. They changed the recipe. It’s still very nice, but it’s a little too rich to be perfect.
  2. Geth and I have stopped going to the big Sainsbury’s in our locality that sells this pesto. We went all the time pre-pandemic, as it was convenient to drop in on the way back from our Slimming World group, but obviously our routine has changed and other supermarkets are more convenient for us now.

Still, I’d like to try this one again sometime, as it would make a nice change to my usual selection!

2020 Pestos #9: Sainsbury’s Green Pesto

This one is very nice! (And not just ‘nice for a supermarket own brand pesto’.)

Sainsbury's Green Pesto
Sainsbury’s Green Pesto.

The taste is sort of a cross between a rich Sacla-style classic pesto and a pesto alla genovese. It’s got a good sharpness and is not too rich, which makes for a really nice flavour.

We don’t shop at Sainsbury’s as often as we used to, but this is always a nice option to have in.

2020 Pestos #6: Sainsbury’s Red Pesto

This is another supermarket own brand red pesto, which all tend to have a similar taste.

Sainsbury's Red Pesto
Sainsbury’s Red Pesto.

I didn’t remember to take the photo until I’d emptied the jar. That’s a sign of a good pesto! Or possibly just a sign of me being hungry.

This pesto is lighter and less rich than the Sacla equivalent (to be logged) and so it goes better in healthier pasta dishes when I can’t be bothered making sauce from scratch. Which has been often, recently!

All the retro

Back to the mile route this morning…

…after a very productive weekend of longer runs! I’m actually really enjoying being back on my marathon training schedule as it requires less thinking and less guilt – I just go out and run whatever’s on my plan.

Other than running, I’ve spent about 90% of the last few days working on my game. I’m in at the sharp end now and have got a lot of sub-projects on the go – playtesting, graphics, compatibility. I’ll probably do a dedicated blog post about the process in the next couple of days.

Until then, I’d better get back to it…

Sugar-free juice
Geth brought this back from Sainsbury’s today. It’s sugar-free but is giving me the equivalent of a sugar high, presumably due to containing a lot of chemicals. Gotta balance out the halo effects of Slimming World cooking and intermittent fasting 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Yoko Shimomura – ‘Colony 9’
Melanie C – ‘I Turn To You’
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – ‘Come On Eileen’

2019 Pizzas #22: Sainsbury’s Classic Crust Veggie Delight

Geth and I have been eating far more oven pizzas than we should during this lockdown. They’re just… easy, on days when I don’t have the mental energy to do some proper cooking. I am trying really hard to do enough running to burn them off again!

One of our go-to pizzas at the moment is the Classic Crust Veggie Delight from Sainsbury’s, which is really substantial. Our local Sainsbury’s started stocking them last autumn, which is when I first tried this one.

Sainsbury's Classic Crust Veggie Delight
Sainsbury’s Classic Crust Veggie Delight.

The toppings are really nice and fresh-tasting. They do, however, have a tendency to fall to one side of the pizza when in the packaging, so the best thing is to give it a bit of a shake before you take the shrink off! I also put occasional extra olives on, although this tends to contribute to the ‘overloaded toppings’ issue you often get with Sainsbury’s pizzas.

The base is deep and fluffy and filling, so you’re certainly not going to feel hungry again any time soon. A great teatime pizza… especially if you’ve got time the next morning to go for a long run and make use of those carbs!

2019 Pizzas #21: Sainsbury’s Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza

That is a long, fancy name for a pizza. Does it deserve it? Well…

Sainsbury's Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza
Sainsbury’s Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza.

First of all, I have to say that the pesto on this pizza is really nice. I’m a bit of a pesto addict when it comes to pasta, but I’m slightly wary of it on pizza because it can sometimes make the overall taste a bit rich. Not so here – it really complements the flavours.

The Mediterranean vegetables, however, can be a bit overpowering. This is partly because the pizza suffers from a common ‘Sainsbury’s pizza’ problem of the toppings being a bit overloaded and hence acting as a giant salad on top of your pizza. However, the whole thing is still pretty tasty, and I’ve had it regularly since I first tried it last autumn.

Another indoor week begins

Just a recovery mile this morning…

…and since then I’ve spent the afternoon doing work for clients. Geth ventured out to Sainsbury’s this morning and managed to get most of what we needed, so hopefully this is a sign that supermarket stocks might be starting to stabilise.

Yesterday evening we managed to get some boardgaming in (we didn’t play Pandemic, though it was tempting!), and this evening will be spent on my 3DS. While the ongoing situation is still incredibly dread-inducing and depressing, my increased quantity of me-time is most definitely a silver lining. I’ve been lucky enough to get a fair bit of work lined up for this week, which prevents things from feeling too aimless.

A similar day tomorrow, then, and I expect the rest of the week will be the same!

Dragon Quest 11S
Geth has been playing Dragon Quest 11S on the Switch since he got it as a Christmas present, so it’s been a feature of our environment for three months now. While it is a pleasant game to watch, I’m quite looking forward to him moving onto something else.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Russ Abbot – ‘Atmosphere’
Eddy Grant – ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’

Empty shelves

Just a quick recovery run this morning…

…and then I went with Geth to the nearby Sainsbury’s Local, hopeful that we would be able to find some of the supplies that weren’t in stock earlier this week. ‘Some’ being the operative word.

Supplies we actually found:

  • Face wipes! I can now take my makeup off again without having to scrub with soap and water.
  • Milk – semi-skimmed rather than our preferred skimmed stuff, but it’s milk.
  • Quorn mince and chicken style pieces. As a veggie I absolutely rely on these in cooking, and I managed to find a couple of bags that were well hidden on the top shelf of the freezer section.
  • Pesto… well, the last jar in the shop, anyway.
  • Biscuits. We really shouldn’t be eating these, but they are definitely not in short supply.

Supplies that we are still lacking:

  • Toilet roll. I wonder if that particular shelf will ever be stocked again.
  • Every type of pasta that isn’t lasagne sheets. I’m a pasta obsessive (I literally eat it every day) and this is extremely worrying to me. I’m certainly going to be making a lot of lasagne this week.
  • Rice. We drew the line at buying the manky microwaveable stuff.
  • Passata and chopped tomatoes. Basically, you can forget about anything tinned right now, which means I’ll be making meals with jars of Dolmio and the like instead (which is not as healthy, but unfortunately we have to make do).
  • Fresh fruit and veg. We managed to find workable alternatives in the fridge section, but it’s alarming how low the stocks were today.

As such, I’m going to be venturing out into the wastelands of larger supermarkets tomorrow to see if my luck is better.

On a positive note, work is finally coming in again, which suggests that academics are starting to get comfy working from home and writing their papers. Hope we can all make the best of a bad situation and have a productive few months.

My current complete pasta stock, which is worryingly low by my standards.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Rolling Stones – ‘Ruby Tuesday’
Demi Lovato – ‘Confident’
Badly Drawn Boy – ‘Once Around The Block’
Duran Duran – ‘First Impression’