WEEK9 – Walnut Olive Tapenade

We’re up to WEEK 9, my least favorite week so far.

At this point I was really feeling the drain of constant nausea and exhaustion. I was going from not being hungry to being absolutely STARVING in 5 seconds flat. Nothing sounded good to me except for the cravings I knew I couldn’t have – sushi, Diet Dr. Pepper, entire cartons of ice cream. Very few people knew I was pregnant, so I feared that the handful of folks who DID know were growing tired of my musings of morning sickness.

This was also the week that I started to have unbelievable mood swings. Anything and everything made me cry. Episodes of Glee. Driving past a stray and presumably homeless dog on the side of the road. Joe Purdy’s song “Mary May & Bobbie”…

And then, perhaps the most awful thing happened. In WEEK 9 sudden and unexpected heartburn began attacking me with full force. And it brought with it a NASTY little friend — the ghost of fish oil past.

What a nightmare that was, to have funky, foul, disgusting, repulsive, sickening, horrifying, evil fish oil haunting me alllll daaaaay looooong.

Because I absolutely detest fish (except raw tuna paired with avocado and presented to me in the form of sushi) I decided to start taking fish oil capsules for the healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. I started this long before I ever became pregnant. And, before I became pregnant, they were super easy to take. Just swallowed them down with my other daily vitamins with a big glass of water and never thought about it again until the next morning.

But then, in WEEK 9, while standing in the kitchen pouring myself a glass of milk, I had my first onslaught of heartburn, followed by a sudden reminder that I’d certainly taken my fish oil capsule that day. I let out a loud “Eeeewwwwwwww ohmygod whatjustHAPPENED?!?!?!?” while shaking my hands and frantically jogging in place. My husband, who was sitting on the couch asked me what was wrong and I replied in a loud and panicked voice “FISH OIL!” And then it happened again. And again. And again.

To say I freaked out that day would be to put it lightly. Jeff said that the noise I made every time it happened had him imagining me unexpectantly stepping into a fresh pile of dog poo with bare feet, something I honestly believe I would have rather experienced all day long.

Three things happened the following day:

  1. I stopped taking fish oil capsules.
  2. I switched over to a prenatal vitamin that contained Omega 3 fatty acids.
  3. I started popping Tums like they were candy.

In WEEK 9 our baby was almost one inch long and roughly the size of a GREEN OLIVE. He/She was starting to look more and more like a tiny little person. All of his/her essential body parts were accounted for and facial features were more distinct.

Walnut Olive Tapenade

I love olives. Not the jarred kind that are stuffed full of pimentos, but the big Greek ones you find swimming in herbed olive oil or brine in buckets in the deli/produce section of good grocery stores. The only stuffings I approve of when it comes to olives are marinated garlic cloves, almonds and blue cheese. But, my all-time favorite olives are the simple and beautiful Cracked Green Olives. I could eat them a bowl full at a time.

One of my all time favorite things to do with olives is to turn them into tapenade. Traditional tapenades call for pinenuts and and anchovies – both things I just don’t buy. Pinenuts, while delicious, are just too dang expensive. And anchovies… well, if you read the first part of this entry you have a good understanding of how I feel on all things fish related.

My creative and smart husband came up with the idea of using pistachios as a more affordable filler in our homemade pesto a few summers ago. I decided I could easily do the same thing for tapenade by switching out the pinenuts with walnuts. And you know what? It is awesome. I love it. And Jeff, who’s never liked olive tapenade before, told me last night that he may be a convert now. I don’t blame him. It’s delicious!


  • 20 whole unpitted green olives, rinsed
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1-1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, minced


  1. Pit your olives. The easiest way to do this is to take a knife and slice the olive lengthwise, end to end. Then, lay the olive on its side and place the flat part of the blade on top of the olive. Using your palm, press firmly down on the olive to lightly crush the olive. Then, simply slip the pit out and discard.
  2. Finely chop olives and then combine with walnuts, olive oil and garlic. Enjoy!
  3. Serving Suggestions: atop crostini with Neufchatel cheese, with celery and cream cheese, stuffed inside cherry tomatoes with goat cheese, sprinkled on pizza, mixed into an omelet… the possibilities are endless!

One thought on “WEEK9 – Walnut Olive Tapenade

  1. Kathie Duguid says:

    Glad Week 9 is behind you!

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