I have a friend who needs to cut back on fats in the diet. Now who doesn't like pizza? Pizza is health food! Cheese and the best marinara sauce you can make! But, have you though about substituting basil pesto for that marinara sauce? First you can cut out the sugar altogether! Diabetics rejoice!
So, here's a classic basil pesto recipe that I use, because I have a wife who is allergic to tomatoes (you thought I was kidding about being a trophy husband?).
Description: This classic, fresh-tasting sauce originated in Italy is a favorite to use with vegtables and soups, especially ministrone, and with seafood.
I have also served it on crackers, toast, on eggs, and pasta, very successfully.
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
2 sprigs parseley
2 cloves garlic cut up
3 tablespoons pine nuts or chopped walnuts
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
In a food processor or blender, place all ingredients except oil. Process until minced. With motor running, slowly pour oil through the tube and blend. Scrape down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refridgerate until ready to use, or freeze for several months. Bring to room temperature before using.
Makes about ½ cup
I have substituted spinach for the basil, not used the parseley, used pistachio nuts, added both strawberries and mangos, though not together, and made fabulous pestos. This is an extremely flexible receipe! There's more.
Blue Cheese Dressing
My friend and I share an adiction. Blue cheese. Most of the time, you get it on a salad, although I often put it on almost any red meat, potatoes (baked, shaved and sprinkled over fries, etc), pizza, toast, licked off my finger, eat it on a cracker. I am serious about blue cheese. I'll bet I have tries 10 - 12 varieties of blue cheese. I tend to favor Maytag of the easier to get blue cheeses, but I used to order one from a Vermont dairy that was $18 a pound that I thought of as crack. That's when you sneak downstairs at 4:00 am and the cat is handfighting you for some of the cheese, and suddenly the wife shows up and says, "next time order two pounds, after that, never again." And she was right. We needed the sleep.
This is the lowest fat receipie for blue cheese dressing I can find. My friend may not like it. As always, the better the blue cheese you use, the better the dressing, the more the fat. Mileage may vary. It comes from Canyon Ranch Cookbook, so it's as dietetic as you can make blue cheese. Skipping to the chase:
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil mayonnaide
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white wine
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
30 minutes to prepare
1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for cheese and mix well. Add cheese and gently stir to combine. Pour into a jar.
2. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 1 week.
Makes 16 servings
Each 2 tablespoon serving contains approximately:
65 calories/ 3 gm. carbohydrate
5 grams fat/ 10 mg. cholesterol
2 grams protein/ 206 mg. sodium/ 0 mg. fiber
Again, this is straight out of the "Canyon Ranch Cooks" cookbook and it's really for a friend who is desperate to cut out fat. The only thing I'd add is to reserve some of the buttermilk and the vinegar, and add to taste with the cheese. You want a bite from the vinegar, but not so sharp that the bitterness overwhelmes the delicious cheesy flavor. Alison, who is a much better cook than me, and my fav for plotting all-day meals with, probably has something to add. She does cook with a tiara, you know.