Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pesto and Grilled Vegetables

I found myself running out of ideas as to what to cook. I find I tend to get lazier when I cook for myself. I tried to get inspired by shopping at the Hamilton's farmer market. I found a bunch of basil and decided to make pesto. This was a rather weirdly spontaneous decision since I may have made pesto once before in my life.

I also find that when I cook for myself, I tend to go back to eating low fat ingredients. So I'm back to eating whole wheat, high fibre, brown, low fat and skim foods.

I needed some pine nuts but realized at the supermarket that it is quite expensive; $5.99 for a tiny pack!! Since I am budget-minded these days, I decided to replace them with pistachios. My Weight Watchers cookbook (yes, I have two!) suggests adding vegetable broth to reduce the amount of olive oil. I did not have vegetable broth but would definitely try it next time.

* 1 bunch of basil (about 2 cups, packed)
* 2 Tbsp pistachio nuts (walnuts are good too)
* 2 Tbsp Parmesan
* 3 Tbsp olive oil
* salt, to taste

Throw everything in a blender or food processor and hope everything is processed (I had some issues with G's blender).

Pasta with Pesto, Grilled Chicken and Vegetables
I was initially thinking of making pasta with pesto and really colourful vegetables. I really enjoy it at restaurants and it seems so simple to make. So I decided to grill some vegetables and stretch them out into 2 or even 3 meals.

* 1 portion of pasta of your choice
* 3 tbsp pesto
* olive oil
* dried herbs of your choice
* vegetables (zucchini, red peppers, broccoli, carrots)
* ½ chicken breast

Cook pasta. I added some broccoli at the last minute. Save some cooking water.
Grill vegetables with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs.
Season chicken with a bit of olive oil, salt, herbs, paprika, hot chili flakes.
Grill chicken and slice.
Toss pasta with pesto and a ladle of cooking water.
Add vegetables and chicken to pasta and mix.

Zucchini with oil and seasoning.

Grilling vegetables.

Pita Pizza
I often make pita pizza, using a whole wheat pita for a healthier choice. It's a quick dinner and it satisfied me. I love pesto on pizza and as my sister would say, a ri-DONK-ulous amount of (low fat) toppings. You can use whatever you want though.

* pesto
* whole wheat pita
* toppings of your choice
* mozzarella (it doesn't have to be low fat...)
* oregano
* dried chili flakes

Cover pita with pesto. You can see chunks of unprocessed pistachios.

I covered my pita with pre-cooked slices of potato and low fat spicey turkey sausage...

... then the grilled vegetables and some onion...

... and finally some sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, oregano and dried chili flakes.

Bake until cheese has melted. The final product without any guilt!

I was able to use the grilled veggies for a third meal: spaghettini with meatballs in a tomato sauce. I also threw in some pesto in an omelette for lunch. The possibilities are endless!

Spaghettini with meatballs.

No comments: