Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to School, Baking and Basil Pesto

Back to school and back to baking! Sometimes i feel like a stay at home mom when I work from home, and i get the urge to bake erin something fun to eat when she gets home (I don't think she minds all that much!). So while i was looking through my Hungry Girl book I stumbled upon Funky Monkey Squares. These were super simple, super low-cal and used up some bananas on their last leg! Now I can't post the recipe because it is in her book "Hungry Girl 200 under 200", but this is seriously worth the buy! It has TONS of simple/tasty recipes and will more than pay for itself with all the fun ideas.

The ingredients came together rather nicely although I will admit I was a bit worried at how thin and small the bars looked in the pan! But after cooking and cooling they looked perfect. They are a bit on the thin side but make up for it in taste! Erin is always my go to for approval with these deserts because she will be the first to identify something as "healthy tasting"...she loved these! They were similar texture to banana bread but a bit heartier! I enjoyed mine for desert that night with a scoop of frozen vanilla yogurt. YUM.
Working backwards, while the bars were cooking, I set out to use some of this:
Since you can't smell this picture I will leave you to imagine what an amazing aroma fresh basil brings to a small apartment! I love this smell and it was just screaming to be made into some guilt free pesto! I say guilt free because back in my weight watchers days I stumbled upon a "point friendly" pesto recipe. A typical pesto uses olive oil as the liquid, (which is heart healthy in doses!) but to save point WW's substituted fat free chicken stock. Genius!

I just combine all the listed ingredients in my trusty (yet old and needs to be replaced) food processor and voila!

I have made this many times before and it can be frozen, used over pasta, as a sandwich spread....or in my favorite use: Pizza!
It's so simple because no matter how large, or small, a group you have everyone can make their own pizzas with their own toppings! <---Erin stays pretty simple with pesto/cheese and artichoke hearts...where as I load up on veggies and skip the cheese-->. Her's always looks better :).