Posts Tagged ‘low-fat’
Rotini and Broccoli

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you knew that you needed to bring something for lunch, but had no idea what you were going to do about it? Due to my busy schedule, I have that morning more times than I would care to admit. The scenario: I’ve planned out some meals for the week, but not a full schedule. I have some vegetables left over from other dishes and know that I need to use them. I have all of my pantry staples lying around. This dish is perfect for mornings (or evenings) when you don’t have a lot of time, but you are looking for something that can be thrown together in the time it takes you to wash a sink full of dishes.

Grilled Portobello Sandwich

It’s only about once in a blue moon that I put together a sandwich. I never liked them much growing up, and often limited myself to peanut butter and jelly. In my adult life, I do from time to time enjoy a sandwich, with the following constraints.

Bread: The foundation of any good sandwich will be the bread. I try to stick to artisan bread (for this sandwich I used a rustic olive batard), and I always toast it before assembling. Even if I plan on eating my sandwich cold or at room temperature, I find this step is crucial to protect the crispness of the bread.

Spread: As you know, I am a conscientious objector to mayonnaise. As such, I find it helpful to use my oil-free pesto as a replacement. I have also been known to smash up an artichoke. The spread is important because it helps keep the bread from getting soggy, and once you’ve gone through all the trouble of toasting it, wouldn’t it be a shame to throw that all away?

Size: If you are used to a subway sandwich, you are completely off. 5 inches of bread, max.

Topping Ratio: Never make a sandwich so big that it doesn’t fit in your mouth. If you need to, you can hollow out the bread a little bit and fill it with your sandwich core.

Oil-free Vegan Pesto

There are some word combinations that make anyone’s ears pop up, and oil-free vegan pesto always seems to do the trick. Let me start out by talking about pesto. I love it. I love basil on its own, but when its diced into tiny pieces and mixed with pine nuts, my blood really gets pumping. I love pesto on my pasta, pesto on my pizza, pesto on a sandwich (it is the only condiment besides ketchup that I will allow on a sandwich or burger). However, a traditional pesto is really, really, really bad for you, especially in the amounts that I like to use. It’s full of olive oil and most commercial pestos also contain Parmesan cheese (a big vegan no-no). This used to be a problem for me, until I realized that I could take a hint from Fat Free Vegan and replace all of that olive oil with vegetable broth. I further decided to include some spinach in my pesto, because I am a firm believer in the nutritional properties of that little superfood.
The result is a pesto that you can feel good about. I use my food processor for this recipe, but if you do not have one, and your knife skills are up to par, you should do just fine. This pesto goes great on a pizza in place of tomato sauce, on a vegan caprese sandwich (use the daiya cheese and warm it ever so slightly), or over some whole wheat pasta. It keeps in the fridge for about a week, so it’s a good make-ahead item for those of you who, like me, see the inside of our cubicles more than the inside of our kitchens.

Easiest Pesto Ever

  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered but not chopped
  • 1 c. basil
  • 1/2 c. fresh or frozen spinach, if frozen, don’t forget to drain and pat dry
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1/3 c. vegetable broth

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high for about 10 seconds, or until smooth.