Monday, April 30, 2007

Creamy Spinach Pesto Pasta

Today's lunchbox contains an idea that I mentioned in last Friday's blog post where I had the veggie pizza with SusanV's Tofu Spinach Ricotta on it. That stuff is so good that I can just eat it by the spoonful by itself. It's really good in the original lasagna recipe that it comes from, so I wondered what it would be like if you just stirred it up with some pasta and used it as a sauce. Well, I had so much left over on Friday that for today, I mixed some up in some spaghetti noodles and WOW! This stuff is really good. And there's no shortage of chlorophyll here either, so this all fits wonderfully into my whole "eat more greens" thing.

I couldn't think of a better name for it than Creamy Spinach Pesto Pasta. It smells a lot like pesto, because there is a little dried basil in the recipe, but it's mostly spinach. Regular pesto is one of my favorite dishes, but I try to limit myself since it contains so much fat. This recipe has considerably less fat than regular pesto, especially if you use reduced fat tofu. The tofu really gives it a lot more body too and makes it more like a creamy sauce. This is really good and I'll definitely make it again. In fact, I may be having it for dinner tonight because I STILL have a lot of the tofu ricotta left over. I guess I need to start thinking really hard and think of some other uses for it. Perhaps it would be a good on a sandwich. Maybe something like an avocado sandwich with sprouts and then tofu ricotta spread on it. Now THAT sounds good. Hmmmmm...

Anyway, to go along with the pasta I just brought a simple salad of some baby spinach leaves. To top it, I brought some more of that delicious Brianna's Rich Santa Fe Blend salad dressing. It really is amazing that this stuff is fat-free because it certainly doesn't look like it, or taste like it. This is probably my favorite salad dressing right now. At least until I burn myself out on it.

I also threw in a few raw cashews and a few red grapes for dessert. I started to include another Larabar but decided against the additional 200 calories since I was eating pasta today. Gotta' keep watching those calories.

And speaking of watching calories, I unfortunately did not lose any additional weight this week. DANG IT! I still weigh 201 lbs. When I have lost weight before using diets such as Weight Watchers, I have usually hit a plateau around the 200 lb. mark, so that may be what is going on. Or maybe it's just because I overindulged too many times last week. I DID go out and eat Mexican one night, although I ate as healthy as I could, and I DID have Papa John's one day this weekend. Needless to say, I will be evaluating all of my non-lunch meals much more closely this week. I'll probably try to replace a lot of them with green smoothies. I'm also going to kick up the exercise a little this week. Thanks to my new pedometer (which I love) I have discovered that my normal walking routine that I have been following has NOT been getting in the 10000 steps a day that is recommended. So I'm going to have to add some more walking every day. Surely, between being stricter with the calories this week, and upping the exercise, I can break through that 200 lb. mark by next Monday.

It really could be a plateau, and I might be stuck here for a little while, but I'm gonna' try to jump start it again this week and get this scale moving again in the downward direction.

So there's lunch for Monday. Using the tofu ricotta on pasta turned out just as delicious as I imagined it would be. I'm sure there are a million other things I could do with this stuff too if I just put my mind to it. Mmmmm... sitting here writing this I just had an image of delicious Roma tomatoes stuffed with this stuff. Holy cow that sounds good. I think I may have just planned tomorrow's lunch.

So thanks for reading my blog today. See everybody on Tuesday!


Alejandra said...

You can definitely stuff some pasta shells with the tofu ricotta, put some tomato sauce and vegan mozarella on top and bake until the cheese is melted and golden, and bubbly, and delicious!!! I'll bet this would be a dish to remember.

Anonymous said...

There is a fantastic fat free pesto recipe in the Moosewood Low Fat cookbook. I don't have it handy, but they basically use a tomato instead of olive oil. It's by far my favorite pesto, fat free or not!

Okra Mary said...

Mmm...that pasta looks delicious!

I was really interested to hear about your blender purchase...congrats! I inherited a Vita-Mix from my mom, almost brand-new, so I've been enjoying that, but it does struggle slightly on drier items and mixtures...maybe it's because I don't have the dry blade.

SallyT said...

I made pesto the other night with a seriously reduced amount of fat as follows:

1c basil
2T pine nuts
1 clove garlic
1 tsp barley miso
2T olive oil
1T water

whir it all up and you've got 2 servings of pesto.

It may be too much fat for you but it's MUCH less than my omni pesto and it's GOOD!

SusanV said...

You know, when my daughter was a baby, I used to save part of the lasagna filling for her to eat as baby food. I know she would LOVE it on pasta like this. It's nice to see that someone shares her love of it.

If you're interested, I've got a low-fat pesto recipe that's similar at this link. Asparagus Pesto is really good too, though it doesn't contain tofu.

But we've got to get you eating some quinoa!

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Glittergirl from the PPK. Your pasty looks tasty.
Have you tried Joanna's low fat pesto test recipe? It's soo good, and contains spinach, too, to up your greens level!