There are some nights when dinner is tremendously unsatisfying. And there are those special nights that you create something that is so fantastic that you can barely believe that you are a Materials Manager and not a celebrated chef.
Last night was such a night. I made pizza. But not just any pizza. This pizza started two nights ago when I was craving pesto. But your average pesto has pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese, and that usually adds up to 250 calories for a 1/4 cup. More than we could afford in Fit April. Undaunted, I hit the internet for some ideas. When I typed in “oil-free pesto” I got thousands of hits. Weirdly, most of the top results were Vegan oil-free pesto. I guess the vegans don’t want oil either.
Anyways, reading a whole bunch of recipes on-line I came up with the following mish-mash of them all (and a nod to Oh She Glows particularly) – absolutely delicious pesto:
3/4 cup of white kidney beans
1/2 cup of basil (the entire PC herb container)
1/2 cup cilantro
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (a weird vegan friendly item that I had left from Vegan January. It adds a creamy cheesy taste with fewer calories and fat than cheese.)
2 tbsp lemon juice
20 g pine nuts (about 40)
6 walnut halves
and cilantro seasoning (a tube of cilantro paste with other seasonings that I had lying around – don’t know how much it added to it, but glad to be using it up).
salt and pepper, of course
Just throw everything in your food processor. Done. Serves about four.
The first night we had the pesto on Tofu Shirataki noodles and steamed broccoli coleslaw (all tossed together). I sprinkled some parmesan cheese on mine, Emile went without. It was delicious and the total dinner was 250 calories.
But now I had this 1/2 recipe of pesto in the fridge. What could I do? Well, I made pesto pizza. I had some left over tofu which I marinated with balsamic glaze and dried oregano, 1 chicken breast cooked in a spicy tomato based sauce, red peppers, low-calorie pita bread cut in half (to make 2 rounds, not pockets), parmesan cheese, red onions, and of course, mushrooms and tomatoes for the boy. Put them together, broil for 3 minutes and hello! We ate it so fast that I couldn’t have taken a picture of it even if I had thought of it. Two pizzas each and only about 350 calories total. I am so good. Want some now. Sigh. . . no left overs.
Last time I bought mushrooms, it must have been from the oompa-loompas because they were gigantic. In fact, for Emile’s two pizzas, he only used 1 mushroom. That left just one mushroom which I threw into the fridge. I was reviewing our calories intake for the day and noticed that with Emile’s low-calorie lunch and dinner coupled with his 5k run, he had not consumed enough calories for the day. I told him he should eat something else. He was annoyed by this. Well, actually he was annoyed by this because I told him twice.. . well. . . maybe three times. He said he would get something to eat later.
Later that night, Emile pulled out that lonely mushroom, removed the stem, put probably .25 ounces of old cheddar cheese in it, turned on the broiler (apologized to me for wasting energy), and broiled his single – albeit large – stuffed mushroom. Um, yeah, 28 calories wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, honey.
April 18th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Making the pizza of my life. Watching my husband’s single-mindedness focus on Fit April.