Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegan (and no oil) Pesto Sauce

I'm a huge fan of pesto. And basil in general. There's nothing better than a fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil salad in the summer.

But I digress...

We are here to talk about pesto. The thing where overgrown basil plants are made into a beautifully delicious, cheesy, oily delicacy. Yum.

However, most traditional pesto recipes call for 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups of olive oil - yikes! Even with the health benefits of olive oil that is a huge calorie bomb.

Enter a recipe I discovered 3 years ago: Katie's Raw Vegan Pesto Sauce

It's a wonderful take on the pesto flavor without all the calories, fat, and dairy (if you watch that sort of thing). It's delicious on raw veggies, as a flatbread topping and even as a pasta sauce. You can see the original recipe at the link above and here are my changes to a batch I made this week:
  • Used 1 tsp dried ginger rather than fresh
  • Used 3 oz almonds soaked for 24 hours rather than pine nuts (I would recommend walnuts over almonds if the cost of pine nuts deter you)
  • Left out jalapeƱo, but would recommend it!
  • Recommend starting with 2 T of water and adding a tablespoon at a time to get right consistency - mine was a little thick
Made a flatbread out of a whole wheat wrap, grape tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.

Paired it with roasted cabbage and a simple roasted beet salad for a complete meal!

Have you ever lightened up a traditionally high in calorie recipe? Did it remind you of the original?