Now that I’m focused on MUFAs, I am experimenting more with one of my favorites, pesto. Here is my recipe for making the basic sauce, in case you don’t have one. Use a food processor or blender if you don’t have the Vita-Mix, and allow more time for the mixture to blend.
2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems) 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 1 cup pine nuts (Or Walnuts will work) 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Must be EVOO) 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Italian blend seasoning (or dried oregano) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese (optional: dash of salt)
Place these ingredients in the order listed into the Vita-Mix container. Secure lid. On Variable speed #5-6, process until thoroughly combined (may have to use tamper to push ingredients into the blades). Usually the process takes 20 seconds. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to ten days (but mine seldom lasts that long!)
Pesto sauce is high calorie, so use it sparingly. Thin it with the cooking water from pasta to make a delicious pasta sauce or thin a tablespoon with about 1 or 2 tablespoons water to dress your salad. You can cook with pesto sauce, too. Spread a little over a boneless, skinless chicken breast. (Cook gently, though. The garlic turns bitter at higher temperatures, so cook low and slow or add after removing food from heat) For a snack, dip fresh vegetables in some of the pesto sauce, or spoon some inside a celery stick.
A little goes a long way. Pesto is rich in taste and in calories. It’s also rich in MUFAs, thanks to the nuts and olive oil, so enjoy a little each day.
If you struggle with growing your own herbs or live where it’s difficult to have an herb garden, check out the AeroGarden. You can grow herbs, tomatoes, or salad greens (or even flowers) the NASA way, using hydroponic technology. I recently added an AeroGarden to my kitchen, where it sits on my table as a centerpiece. In making my pesto sauce, I had all the fresh herbs I needed at hand. I’ll be the first to admit it’s an extravagance; I could buy lots of herbs at the supermarket for what an AeroGarden costs! On second thought, considering the price of fuel and the fact that I live 12 miles one way from the closest grocery store …