Lightened Pesto

Pesto is great, but obviously on the “expensive” side when it comes to calories.  This method to lighten it up a bit really retains all the great flavor minus some of the worst of the calories.  This makes about a cup of pesto, which freezes really well.

  • 2 cups fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (possibly less; check after 3 Tbls for taste/consistency)

Place the basil, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse a few times, then slowly add oil until pesto reaches desired consistency.


Mint-Feta Sauce

Shawn made this to go with his fabulous kabobs for our Memorial Day picnic.  Fantastic, and goes equally well with chicken and lamb.  We doubled the recipe, and it was worth it…this would also be a great dip for veggies.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves

In a food processor, blend feta, yogurt, mint, and remaining tablespoon vinegar until smooth.

Basil Pesto

I have always been pretty tried and true when it comes to pesto, but I thought this “Skinny” pesto from Skinnytaste (which has shaped up to be one of my favorite websites for great ideas) was worth a try.  And you know, I hardly noticed the lack of pine nuts and less oil.  Give it a try – makes pesto less of a no-no if you’re watching calories etc.

  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use or you can freeze this in ziplocks bags to use at a later date.

Hollandaise Sauce

Besides brunch, I always associate Hollandaise with Easter meals.  This is an Ina Garten recipe and has been a no-fail recipe for me, and is also super easy.  It was delicious over some roasted asparagus for our Easter dinner.



Tangy Soy Dipping Sauce

Found this one on Chow and it was a great dipping sauce for homemade dumplings. I added a little bit of Sriracha for some zing.

  •     1/3 cup light (regular) soy sauce
  •     2 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice, Chinkiang, or balsamic vinegar
  •     1/8 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  •     Sriracha to taste
  •     1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh ginger, or 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (optional)

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking for a tart-savory balance. Add as much chile oil as you like for some heat. The sauce can be prepared several hours in advance up to this point. Right before serving, add the ginger or garlic for a fresh layer of punch.