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no fat pesto sauce....

firstly i want to thank "cjay" for the wonderful idea for the fat free
pesto sauce using the red peppers.  i plan on trying it soon.

ironically i made pesto yesterday with some beautiful organic
basil....basil that was so lovely someone should have painted a picture
of it first!

we have been avoiding the oil and fat in pesto for a long time, just
looking at the "pre-made" versions made us wince!   there was as much
fat in a two tablespoons of that pesto as my husband is supposed to have
i a whole days worth of balanced meals.  then while experimenting with
basil and some other additions, we think we found a wonderful fat free
pesto that can be used for many recipes.

we take the freshly cleaned basil leaves (i used 4oz.)  we put them in a
food processor with as much fresh garlic as you can handle.  we love
lots of garlic.  then you add a tablespoon at a time of any fat free
salad dressing.  in our case, we bought a small bottle of Kraft FREE
classic Caesar fat free dressing.  we wanted to see if this would work
and i even think that it was on sale.  we knew that we needed to have
something to help blend the leaves and garlic and take the place of the
oil you normally use.

let me add here that normally we make ALL our salad dressings from
scratch and fresh ingredients.  we never buy bottled dressings.  so, we
invested in this small bottle of ceasar fat free because it has the
"ceasar taste", with the garlic and the cheese taste.

yes, i know, before i start to reap the wrath and ire of all of the
readers, i know that it is also  packed with all those ???? and
preservatives that this small bottle will probably outlive all of us.
but you all probably have some other source of favorite non fat/oil free
dressing that would also work for this.  some of you might even suggest
that we use a tablespoon of water and just the basil and garlic.   but
we just happened to find this small bottle of dressing and wanted to
give it a "whirl".   not knowing if it would really work....well.....

i know the store shelves are crammed with wonderful dressings and salad
toppings if you have any other suggestions for a replacement that would
give us the thickness, creaminess, cheese and garlic taste, please,
please, please, let me know i would be happy to try it too.

anyway, you take the fat free dressing, a table spoon at a time, to say
4oz of freshly cleaned  basil leaves, all the garlic you can
stand.....you want to add ONLY the amount of dressing to make the leaves
move freely in the processor.  too much would just make it soupy.  since
you don't use oil this will allow them to emulsify.  you may need more
dressing or less. you need to make that judgment call yourself.  after
adding the dressing,  you send the basil,  garlic and dressing happily
through the food processor until it is the consistency that you desire.
we like it with small pieces of basil still able to  be seen.

that's it!  i had 4oz. of basil leaves yesterday and this recipe made
about 12 large tablespoons of pesto.  i made 2 packages of 4 tablespoons
each for later use and popped them in the freezer. tonight we will use
the rest on pasta with some lovely tomatoes and feta....what else could
you ask for in the way of heavenly food?

so that's OUR rendition of oil free and fat free pesto.  just the basil
leaves, garlic and a tablespoon at a time of a good fat free and oil
free dressing.  we add a tablespoon at a time so that you don't get it
too "wet"......and that the leaves of basil can emulsify well.

the dressing you use is up to you of course, preferably one without the
additives of course, but hey, we were experimenting and it
worked....next time we will try a suggestion from one of the wonderful
readers if you will be so kind.  give this a try and let me know, either
here or at:
<wings@xxxxxxxxxxx>   i would love your suggestions.

NOW, we have a question:
....can anyone PLEASE suggest a good NON-fat/LOW-fat cheese that has
some BITE to it....not salty taste, but some tang.....that we miss in a
good old aged cheddar.  if not fat free, then as low in the fat content
as possible.  help....we miss cheese so much.  trader joe's has some
excellent substitutes, but we miss a cheese with ZIP and TANG of an aged
cheese....could someone please help lead the way.

happy st. patrick's day to ye all.  angels be with you always.  you are
the best.  i have met some wonderful people through this digest.  i hope
to maintain those wonderful friendships and hopefully make even more. i
will definitely reply to anyone who writes.  thanks for making the world
a happier place and all of us a whole lot healthier.    bless you!   >i<

nancy <wings@xxxxxxxxxxx>