Please indulge me while I brag on my smart as a whip, health conscious, and beautiful daughter. She’s the one who inspired me to become a vegan, to cook with less oil, to lift heavier weights, and—for this I’m eternally grateful—create Veganosity. She’s also the mastermind of this easy, creamy, and healthy single serving OIL-FREE pesto.
Alex’s sweet boyfriend, Max, works looooong hours for a film production company. Have I told you that I truly believe he’s going to be one of the best film directors of all time? He will be, mark my words. But I digress. Max often works during the dinner hour, so Alex makes a lot of single serving dinners, and this pesto really rocked her world. She was so excited about it that she ventured into the burbs yesterday to make it with me, so that I could share it with you. Thank you, Alex!
As you know, pesto is usually made with pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and basil. The oil and pine nuts add tons of calories and fat to an otherwise healthy recipe. And while there’s nothing wrong with eating something like that once in a while, traditional pesto isn’t something that should be consumed too often. That’s why this oil-free pesto is so freaking exciting, because you can eat it once a week if you want to! Happy dancing taking place right now-woot!
Another fabulous thing about this recipe is that Alex made it into a single portion. How awesome is that for all of you who cook for one?! All you need to do is cut off a quarter of the avocado and reserve it for the pesto, then squeeze some lime juice on the rest of the avocado and seal it up tight with plastic wrap. It will stay fresh for the next day and you can use it for guacamole, or a sandwich,a salad, salad dressing, or just eat it as is with a little balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. If it turns slightly brown overnight, just slice off the top. No big deal. You could also just mash the avocado, mix in a bit of lime juice, put it in an airtight container, put a layer of plastic wrap on the avocado and then put a bit of water on the plastic to prevent air from oxidizing it, cover it and keep it in the fridge for up to three days.
One of the many things that I love about this healthy single serving oil-free pesto is how much it tastes like traditional pesto without being oily. You’re not going to have a greasy feeling in your mouth after eating this. It’s also a four ingredient recipe; all you need is avocado, nutritional yeast, garlic, and basil to make it. The avocado takes the place of the oil and makes it nice and creamy. The nutritional yeast takes the place of the pine nuts, to give it that nutty flavor. And the basil and garlic are what makes pesto, pesto, you can’t substitute those.
If you want to make a big batch then go ahead and use the entire avocado, add two to three tablespoons (taste and add to get the right amount) of nutritional yeast, two to three (add and taste so it’s not overpowering) garlic cloves, three heaping handfuls of basil leaves, and as much water as it takes to whip it into the perfect texture. You can serve an army with this recipe and save a ton of money, because you don’t need nuts. Pine nuts are expensive!
I hope you enjoy this healthier, lighter, single serving oil-free pesto as much as I did. It would also make a great salad dressing or a spread for bread, just let your imagination flow.
What’s your favorite pasta sauce?
Do you try to limit your oil consumption?
Are you as crazy about basil as I am?
Some of the products I used to make this recipe: