I’m back! I’m sorry I was gone for so long, but I made you some oil-free, fat-free pesto. I know pesto doesn’t make up for a 5 month hiatus, but I was really busy. First there was my amazinglifechangingbestsummerever in New York City, interning at Food Network. Then I had to move into this ridiculously beautiful apartment in Charleston with my best friend. And then I started another AMAZING internship with Leite’s Culinaria (check them out, you’ll like it) The important thing is I’m back now, with pesto.
Oil-Free, Fat-Free Pesto
(This recipe was inspired by eatliverun.com’s oil-free pesto)
This stuff is amazing. Traditional pesto is too, but it packs on about 80-100 calories per tablespoon (1 tablespoon, people!). I don’t know how many calories my pesto has (because I’m not a nutritional analyst- weird!) BUT it’s definitely less than 80 calories per tablespoon and it’s fat-free. How is that you might ask? I thought you’d never ask…
White miso paste! Trying so, so hard to resist more miso puns….White miso paste takes the place of olive oil in this nontraditional pesto, making it essentially fat-free, with only 20 calories and 1 gram fat per tablespoon. Now before you go ixnaying this recipe because it uses an ingredient you probably a.) don’t have in the fridge and b.) maybe haven’t heard of, let me convince you on why white miso paste is a worth the investment:
White miso paste is very mild. You can use a teaspoon of miso in salad dressing for a subtle Asian flavor. You can add miso to a marinade. Slather it on fish, chicken, steak, mushrooms, whateva. It’ll be good. Promise. And most obvious of all, make miso soup! Just add a few tablespoons of paste to boiling water and voila, Hibachi at home! Sprinkle in some 99¢ Trader Joe’s seaweed snacks and you’ve got some legit Japanese soup.
Oh, you actually wanted a recipe and not just a long-winded tutorial on miso paste. Right then, PESTO….this stuff is potent. So even though this recipe does not yield a whole lot, all you need is about 1 tablespoon to mix into some warm whole-wheat pasta, or smeared on top of a chicken breast, or even less if spreading directly onto bread for a sandwich. And if you really love it — which you will — you can easily double the recipe and keep it in the fridge, in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
Makes a bit more than 1/2 cup
- 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves - about $2 for 2.5 ounces (you only need 1.25 ounces)
- A little over 1/16 cup (wholewheat or panko) breadcrumbs - about $2 for a 15 ounce container
- 1/8 cup water, more or less depending on desired consistency
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white miso paste - $5 to $6 for an 8 ounce container (lasts 1 year refrigerated)
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese - about $4 for 8 ounces (splurge on the real stuff, it’s worth it)
- 1 clove garlic, minced - about $1 for a bulb
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 teaspoon) - about 50¢ for 1 lemon
- Dash salt and pepper
Approximate Cost: $2.50 / Approximate Time: 5 minutes prep time
Mince the garlic. Put the basil, breadcrumbs, miso paste, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and dash of salt and pepper in a blender. Add about 1/16 cup water. Pulse until blended, about 30 seconds. Add more water to thin out. **You may need to use a rubber spatula or spoon to push ingredients to the bottom of the blender, between pulsing.
Then I smothered a chicken breast in this heavenly stuff, wrapped it in foil and grilled it on my handy dandy George Foreman. I served it on a bed of roasted tomatoes, leeks, onions and garlic. But that’s another blog post, for another day. Be easy on me, I’m just getting back into the bloggin swing!