One of the things I hope this blog proves is just because you have a certain dietary restriction/need/preference doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor or some of your favorite things. There is usually always a way to meet your cravings based on your food needs. Now, that being said, that doesn’t mean I’m magic and can fix all your dietary woes with a healthy substitution. Some things just cannot be recreated and more often than not it’s better that we can’t turn all junk food into healthy food. Who wants to eat a healthy Twinkie anyway? Or a real one for that matter….
I digress. Today’s recipe was created because of two things. 1. While I love fat, it’s super easy to go overboard with it especially when it comes to liquid oil like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil. Unless you’re measuring everything out, oil can add up pretty quick. I started to realize I was buying big jugs of olive oil more and more frequently and running out of them fast. Which leads me to my second reason… 2. I was out of olive oil and I wanted pesto.
I want to stress I don’t think good fats are bad. In fact, they’re awesome and I try to get them in at every meal. But too much of a good thing can be bad and when you use an entire 1.5-liter bottle of olive oil in less than a week and a half, you might need to evaluate your food situation. I’ll still use olive oil to make my spinach pesto, broccoli rabe pesto, and all other delicious things that require olive oil but it’s nice to have an option that is oil-free and just as delicious.
I used this last night on Adam’s fish and he deemed it “pretty tasty”, which is husband speak for good. It has a nice light flavor from the cilantro and even though there is no oil, it’s still creamy. You can use any green herb or vegetable you would like, I just happened to have a bunch of cilantro I needed to use so that’s what I went with. This would also be great on pasta or zoodles or panini’s or chicken/pork or crackers or your finger….
Oil-Free Cilantro Lime Pesto
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, rinsed and dried and ends trimmed
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- juice of 1 to 2 limes, depending on how lime-y you want it
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp roasted garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or freshly grated parmesan if you do cheese)
- To toast almonds: Add almonds to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Shake the pan back and forth every so often and dry toast the almonds until golden brown. Let them cool while you get everything else together.
- Place the rest of the ingredients into a blender or food processor, starting with the garlic, then cilantro, then seasonings, and finally lime juice. Pulse a few times then add the cooled slivered almonds.
- Blend until you have a relatively smooth and creamy sauce. If it’s a little too thick you can add more lime juice or water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin it out. Taste and adjust the salt then store in your fridge in an airtight container for about a week.