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LOW-FAT, Oil-Free Veggie Packed Pesto (Vegan-optional)

LOW-FAT, Oil-Free Veggie Packed Pesto (Vegan-optional)

 Hi, my name is Gabrielle, and I am addicted to Pesto. 

If we go out to a restaurant and there is anything with pesto on the menu you can guaruntee I'm ordering it. Caprese-anything? SOLD! The downside is that traditional pesto is packed with fat, contains dairy and doesn't do much in the nutrition department. Soooo, it surpises me that it's taken me this long to create an oil-free virtually FAT-FREE alternative for my favorite sauce... 

If you caught it, I've already posted a recipe of my (old) favorite 'Kale Pesto' on here, which I thought was as healthy as I could get using nutritional yeast in place of parmesan and walnuts in place of pine nuts. Little did I know- I could recreate the garlicky-basily-cheesy pesto flavor without the nuts OR olive oill! Those are like the two main requirements for pesto, right?! WRONG. 

Chicken broth OR for a vegan version, vegetable stock! Green peas, kale & basil keep this sauce its traditional green color, not to mention pack this pesto with tons of vitamins & veggie goodness. The nutritional yeast creates a rich, umami/soy flavor that is a surprisingly perfect replacement for the traditional parmesan. As for the pine-nuts that you'd find in pesto typically- you don't even notice they are missing with this recipe!

I also did a bit of calculation and the traditional pesto I usually buy has the following macros (per 1/4 cup): 240 calories, 24g Fat, 5g Carbs and 3g Protein... MY version?? 53 calories, .2g Fat (yes, we should really call this FAT-FREE pesto), 6g Carb, 7g Protein.... Yes. Yes. and ALL the YES! Find the recipe below and do yourself a favorite and try it out!!


Low-Fat, Oil-Free Veggie Packed Pesto

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Ingredients: yields 1 cup

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 large stalks of basil (8-12 leaves)
  • 1/3 C nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 handfuls Kale
  • 3/4 C frozen green peas (defrosted)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3-5 Tbs organic chicken OR vegetable broth (until preferred consistency)

Instructions: 

  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until blended thoroughly (may require frequent stirring/scraping of the sides)
  2. Store in an airtight glass container in refrigerator for up to 5 days OR freeze any leftovers and thaw before use! 
  3. As pictured below I like to add mine to Banza brand chickpea protein packed pasta (25g protein per 2 oz.!!!) with zoodles, chicken, sautéed spinach & sundried tomatoes! 

Thank you for reading and as always please comment below to let me know if you tried this recipe and how you liked it! 

-Gabrielle

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