High Protein & Oil-Free Basil Pesto

223 comments

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I’m a huge fan of anything that can be spread, drizzled, dipped, and of course, spoon fed from a bowl. Over the past couple years, I’ve found my favourite versions of the following:

 

I’ve had dinner guests beg for these recipes. I’ve had vegan skeptics go weak in the knees over this cheeze spread on a sandwich. I’ve had nephews eat 4 bowls of Mac n cheeze in a row!

I make these recipes again and again because they are quick, healthy, and I tend to have many of the ingredients on hand.

However, I would make pesto much more often (weekly? daily? Each waking hour?) if I didn’t think I would consume a full cup of oil in the span of…4 minutes. I seriously can’t control myself around that stuff. Until olive oil becomes its own food group, I tend to reserve classic pesto for those special occasions. Not to mention, organic cold-pressed olive oil is priced like liquid gold!

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But, I’m impatient my friends. And let’s be real, special occasions don’t happen that often when you’re stuck in the country and your only nearby friend is your weirdo cat. Clearly, I need an everyday pesto.

And new friends.

And navy beans in pesto.

Whaaa?

Before you think I’ve gone mad, hear me out. When navy beans are processed they add a lovely creamy and rich quality to recipes. I’ve used processed navy beans many times in recipes (like creamy soups!) and I’ve always been pleased with the result. I figured processed navy beans would provide this creamy quality to my pesto without missing the oil. Or so I hoped.

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My week off must have been good to me because this pesto surpassed my expectations. Either that, or my standards have just dropped. I can’t be certain.

It called my name from the fridge, only this time, I didn’t have to fight it.

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I kid you not, this stuff is addicting. And HEALTHY!

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I spread it on bread, along with my favourite cheeze sauce on the other piece.

Now we’re talking.

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I grilled tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach for layering.

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You can use this pesto as a sandwich spread, mixed into pasta, or as a dip for vegetables and crackers. Really, everything else is simply a vehicle for this pesto to get into your belly. Spoons work great too.

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While it’s not exactly like a traditional pesto, I just fell in love with it. Knowing that I was enjoying something naturally fat-free and high in protein made me eat eight times as much. Love that.

Updates:

1. Green Monster Movement was mentioned in O Magazine in this September’s issue!! Whooo, rock on Green Monster fans!

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2. I’m a little late to the party, but I finally figured out how to make an Oh She Glows Facebook Page. Click the image to be taken to the page. Basically, it’s me babbling on to myself…so in other words, totally lame fun. Stop over and say hi!

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3. The winner of the Peas and Thank You Cookbook is Val! Congrats! I’ve contacted you this morning via email. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

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{ 223 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance August 4, 2011

Yey for pesto & an Oh She Glows Facebook! Adding you now :)

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2 Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove August 4, 2011

I am definitely going to try this!! I’m always trying to get more protein and this is such a clever way of doing it!

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3 Kristin August 4, 2011

I am on a huge smoothie kick now! I have one every morning for breakfast, and this week I even put in swiss chard! I couldn’t even taste it! http://listsonlife.weebly.com/3/post/2011/08/what-i-am-lovin.html

I am definitely using greenmonstermovement!

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4 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

Glad you are enjoying them Kristin!

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5 Blog is the New Black August 4, 2011

LOVE the idea of not using oil and upping the protein in pesto… LOVE pesto!

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6 Alayna @ Thyme Bombe August 4, 2011

That is the most gorgeous veggie sandwich I’ve ever seen. The pesto is so creamy!

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7 Lauren at Keep It Sweet August 4, 2011

This does look delicious! Love it.

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8 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner August 4, 2011

This is pure genius!!! I LOVE IT!

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9 VeggieGirl August 4, 2011

You’ve created THE perfect pesto, dear Angela! Love it.

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10 Cassandra @ Earth & City August 4, 2011

yummmm the pesto + sandwich looks divine!

beautiful photography as usual angela.

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11 Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) August 4, 2011

Oh. My. Goodness. I want this in my belly NOW!!!! :)

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12 Holly @ The Runny Egg August 4, 2011

I love pesto but do not have it nearly often enough!

Congrats on having GMM mentioned in O Magazine!

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13 The Teenage Taste August 4, 2011

Looks delicious! I want one of those sandwiches!

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14 kris (everyday oats) August 4, 2011

ahh I absolutely LOVE basil. I think I need to make this today :)

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15 Mushrooms Canada August 4, 2011

YUM! That sandwich looks delicious! I love layering sauteed mushrooms on my sandwiches… I often use thick-cut strips of portabella, they add such a meaty texture!
“Liking” your FB page right now… and congrats on the O Magazine mention! :)
– Brittany

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16 Hayley @ Oat Couture August 4, 2011

I love pesto and eat it far too often so your version looks perfect! Just as much taste and zero guilt! Yayy! Thanks for another corker! :)

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17 Becca August 4, 2011

What a fun post; really well written. Did you know you were going to be in O magazine or was it a surprise?

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18 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

They let me know a couple months ago :)

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19 jess @ cupcakes and kale August 4, 2011

so now i’m stuck with this question for you: is 9am too early for pesto?!
i got a huge bunch of basil with my csa last night and had pesto on the agenda for today – so i might just have to try out your white bean recipe in addition to the one i’m planning!

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20 Melissa August 4, 2011

wow, you have my mouth watering. looks fabulous!!

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21 AdrienneCarolyn August 4, 2011

Oh thankyou for this recpie!!! I have a serious pesto making problem. I love it so much! Now I can love it without feeling guilty :-)

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22 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 4, 2011

Congrats on FB AND Oprah Ange!! That’s great news! And the pesto… oh my! I’ve been looking for an oil-free pesto for ages. I might have to strip my basil plant right down until it’s nekkid, but I’m bound and determined to make this!

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23 Noelle August 4, 2011

That is some healthy pesto! Yum and especially on that sandwich. :D

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24 Cait @ Cait hates Cake August 4, 2011

I can’t wait to make this!!

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25 katie@ KatieDid August 4, 2011

Store bought pesto doesn’t hold a candle to homemade. That’s one thing I never ever buy in the store anymore! This version looks fantastic. I’ve made strawberry pesto before and it came out wonderfully also.

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26 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table August 4, 2011

I LOVE the bean added for protein! I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this before – you’re awesome. I’m making this for lunch! :)

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27 Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs August 4, 2011

Oh my goodness!! That looks spectacular! I have so many ideas for how to eat it already… including with a spoon :)

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28 Brittany @ Runwithbritt August 4, 2011

I can’t wait to make this! It’s so refreshing to see a pesto recipe made without oil that looks delicious and guilt free! I bet it would be fantastic on pizza!

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29 Faith @ For the Health of It August 4, 2011

How funny – I was actually planning on making a pesto tonight – your recipe was just in time to save me a gob of oil! I may drop in just a drizzle, for satiety’s sake, but it’s awesome to know it doesn’t have to be completely loaded!

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30 Yolanda August 4, 2011

I have just recently found out that I ENJOY pesto, and so I can’t wait to try this. I have basil growing in my garden and I also just planted more basil. Yee-haw! Thank you-

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31 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes August 4, 2011

This is perfect! My mind is buzzing with all the things I could put this on….or just eat by itself haha ;)

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32 Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing August 4, 2011

Yes! I love navy beans — they can lighten up or protein-up or cream-texture-up almost anything :) Can’t wait to try this!

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33 Cait's Plate August 4, 2011

I can completely see how that would be addicting. It really looks like the perfect thing (especially in this summer heat!)

So exciting the Green Monster Movement was mentioned in O! Have you ever seen the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead?” I feel like you would enjoy it if you haven’t!

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34 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

No not yet but its on my list!

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35 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 4, 2011

Oh I love pesto but it’s so high in calories… this option looks phenomenal and would be a great pizza sauce… mmm.

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36 Emilie August 4, 2011

Pesto is always fabulous in pastas and sandwiches. Just be sure you aren’t allergic to pine nuts first! ;)

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37 Carolyn August 4, 2011

I have a hard time finding Nutritional Yeast that isn’t priced similarly to gold bullion! Can I omit the yeast in this recipe? My basil plant is going nuts and this sounds like an awesome way to use it up!

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38 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

You probably could, but it won’t have that cheese taste to it.

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39 Carolyn August 4, 2011

Awesome, thanks!

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40 Lily December 7, 2012

I didn’t use any of the yeast and it was still good(:

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41 Dawn @ Blonde on a Mission August 4, 2011

Congratulations on being mentioned by OPRAH!! That’s incredible :D And that pesto looks incredible! I made a pesto pizza back in the day and I think it needs to be revived now!

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42 Abby August 4, 2011

You could put pesto on a shingle and it would taste delicious, and I’m pretty sure this would qualify as well. I might actually have to attempt to create this this weekend (no shingles involved in the consumption.)

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43 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

haha very true

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44 Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy August 4, 2011

Oh yum! This looks fabulous! I love pesto but don’t like that most recipes have tons of oil in them!

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45 Rachel August 4, 2011

That sandwich looks amazing! I have a monster basil plant growing in the yard and I’m think this looks like the perfect way to use some of it up :)

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46 Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine August 4, 2011

That looks so good. You’re really creative, Angela. My mind just does not work like that in the kitchen. :) But I’m grateful yours does! Can’t wait to try this!

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47 Heather August 4, 2011

I’ve been searching for an oil free pesto for so long. I’m making this tonight, I’m so excited!! Thanks, Ange! PS- my cat also terrorizes me with evil kitty stares. Coping mechanism: http://theoatmeal.com/tag/cats

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48 Jes August 4, 2011

Oh yay! I have all of those ingredients at home! I always find pesto WAY too oily, so this is fantastic! Can’t wait to try it out tonight. :D

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49 Claudine @ The Kathmanduo August 4, 2011

What a coincidence! Today I cooked up a huge pot of navy beans, and I made something very similar — I just used less basil, so the result was more of a basil white bean dip than a basil pesto. I like your idea, though, so the next go-around I will pack in more basil to make it more green :)

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50 Pia @ Bread and Beta August 4, 2011

Love the idea! I add navy beans to lots of recipes but hadn’t thought about adding it to pesto. Thanks!

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51 Bev Weidner August 4, 2011

You are kidding me! This is such an amazing alternative to pesto. Really, this post has stolen my heart and run away with it on horseback. Into the night.

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52 Yolie @ Practising Wellness August 4, 2011

I love your blog SO much! This looks wonderful, and I want to eat that pesto veggie sandwich on the screen right now, lol! :-) Definitely bookmarking for future making! <3 Congratulations on your O Magazine mention, that's incredible! You must be so proud. I admire you so much Angela, for all that you have acheived and for following your dreams…you are an inspiration. And an amazing cook, lol! :-D xyx

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53 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

Thanks Yolie!

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54 Girl in the pink August 4, 2011

What a great idea!! I can’t wait to try it. I love love love pesto and eat it by the spoonful!

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55 Ashley August 4, 2011

That veggie sandwich is just my style! Huge + messy! I have a bunch of cooked chickpeas + a flourishing basil plant…hmmmm :) Congrats on O Magazine! That is so so very exciting.

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56 Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine August 4, 2011

Wow, great minds think alike–I’m currently writing a post on “pesto hummus.”

In other words, deliciousness is happening as we speak :)

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57 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty August 4, 2011

You rock my dairy free boat!! :)

Guilt Free Pesto ? Let’s just say, my basil plant will be bare naked this weekend!!

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58 Heather (heathers dish) August 4, 2011

Holy sandwich! That bad boy looks amazing…and I love the addition of beans to the mix!

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59 Jennifer August 4, 2011

I WILL be making this this weekend. I need to also try some of your other recipes using the navy beans. Thank you SO MUCH!!

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60 Nikita August 4, 2011

I’ve made a similar dip and called in white bean hummus- I never thought to use it in place of pesto! I am also at a loss for self control around pesto… I bet this spread would be great as a pizza sauce too!

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61 Shannon ~ My Place In The Race August 4, 2011

Oh this sandwich looks amazing! :D

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62 Balancing Sylvia August 4, 2011

You are brilliant and I need a bucket of this. That is all. :)

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63 Paula August 4, 2011

WHOA. That sandwich. I drooled on my keyboard. I am being completely honest when I say that I think that is the most appealing sandwich I have EVER seen!

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64 Rhona August 4, 2011

No way! I was just thinking that I would love to make a pizza with pesto (as I prefer it over tomato base) but pesto is so high in fat. Along comes this recipe!! Angela!! Really?? I am doing a jig on this end. You are so right, most beans I find are really smooth and creamy once blended. Thank you soooo much. Having this low-fat option is amazing. Hm, I am off so I might have to whip up a pizza with this as the base. I feel like I should say…I love you. :)

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65 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

It would be great on a pizza!

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66 Lisa @ Healthy Diaries August 4, 2011

This looks delicious and I will have to try it! The pesto recipe I use only uses 5 tbsp of oil so it’s actually not the bad, but I love that this is super healthy and has protein in it too!

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67 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

5 tbsp is totally doable!

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68 Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 4, 2011

I’ve made something very similar to this and you are totally right about the beans. They add a very nice texture to it. Great recipe!

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69 Zestful Lou August 4, 2011

I am really regretting using my last can of cannelini beans in a hummus FAIL last week! I too love pesto, but rarely eat it because of the high fat content. Thank you for experimenting for me so that no more beans shall go to waste!

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70 Heidi @ Food Doodles August 4, 2011

Oooh, that looks so delicious :D I can’t get enough of basil this year and my plants are actually doing OK. Can’t wait to try this :D

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71 Kat August 4, 2011

this looks so good! what an awesome idea – the beans make it creamy like hummus! I was at the fresh Market the other day, and discovered that on weekends they have a giant bar of salsas, hummuses, pestos and dips set up. Buy by the pound. I practically had to run away – even though I love making my own, there is nothing like instant gratification!

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72 kaila @ healthy helper! August 4, 2011

THIS LOOKS FANTASTIC! I am a pesto addict already but this recipe sounds amazing! I loove the extra protein!!!

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73 Liz August 4, 2011

I love this idea and I can’t wait to try it!!! I have a TON of basil and I have been wondering what I was going to do with all of it since I have been eatting healthy and cutting WAY back on fats and oils! I am so excited to hopefully be able to use up some of my basil!

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74 Claire August 4, 2011

I can’t get over how outstanding your photos are!! Navy beans in pesto?! YUM!

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75 Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats August 4, 2011

This recipe sounds fabulous! :)

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76 Andrea B. @ Vegvacious August 4, 2011

What a fantastic looking pesto! I love how you are able to sneak beans (and take OUT the oil yahoo!) into everything! I’m thinking I need to make some this pesto to add to a grilled meditteranean veggie salad I was planning to make tonight!

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77 Jesse August 4, 2011

This looks delicious! I’m always looking for ways to jazz up my sandwiches and this pesto is perfect. Last night I was making black bean burgers and when I tasted the mix it was delicious so my next kitchen experiment will be a spicy black bean dip.

Also I really liked the color composition you did with the green basil popping and everything else in grey – very cool.

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78 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

Thanks! Good ‘ol Lightroom :)

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79 Kristiana August 4, 2011

Thanks! This is the perfect recipe for the mountain of basil growing in my garden. Hopefully it will freeze well too. : )

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80 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 4, 2011

Aww darn, I wish I wasn’t already eating my lunch right now because this looks so good! I bet it would taste amazing on pizza too. :D

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81 Aine @ Something to Chew Over August 4, 2011

This looks yummy! I hate how oily pesto can be so this looks perfect :)

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82 Shelley @ MileHighHealthy August 4, 2011

Very Interesting recipe! It’s like a basil-y bean dip, I bet it would be delicious spread over little crostinis and topped with sliced cherry tomatoes. I have a whole lotta basil to deal with this summer and I can only take so much traditional pesto (it leaves me with a weighted down feeling, probably from the oil) so this recipe is going on my “to make” list. Thanks!

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83 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

Good idea!

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84 Meg | One Love Meg August 4, 2011

This looooooks so yummy! I will be trying this for dinner tonight. If only I had a grill at work :)

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85 Amber K August 4, 2011

Very cool that you have a facebook page now for the blog! Oh and so cool that you were mentioned in Oprah magazine. I gotta have my green smoothies!!

The pesto looks really delicious. Sort of like a mix between a hummus and a pesto. Either way, delicious!

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86 Cat @Breakfast to Bed August 4, 2011

Those mushrooms look so perfect. It looks like I could just pull them off of the screen and eat them.

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87 Mary (What's Cookin with Mary) August 4, 2011

BRILLIANT ! I am definitely going to try this… I see pesto pizza in my future!

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88 Kathryn August 4, 2011

So wow. This might be my favorite post ever so much fantastic stuff! I’m a huge pesto lover but it always makes me feel guilty so I can’t wait to try this. I kind of want to make a bathtub full to roll aroud in it.

O magazine?!?!?! WHAT WHAT!!!!!

I have a facebook problem, I can’t wait to go like your page.

You are magical!

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89 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] August 4, 2011

O Magazine… as in Oprah!? That’s huge – congrats! :)

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90 Veggie V! @ Veggie V's Vegan Adventure August 4, 2011

Love that this doesn’t have nut, soy, or oil! Can’t wait to try it :-) And, yhea for joining Facebook! Already “liked” your page :-D

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91 Nicole August 4, 2011

I love this idea! I’m so going to bookmark it and give it a whirl!

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92 Clare August 4, 2011

During exams I practically live off pasta pesto as its so easy and quick, but lacking in protein, this looks like the perfect solution! Do you know how long it would be ok to store this in the fridge and if it would be ok to freeze?

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93 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

I’m not certain about storage as its the first time I made it. And umm, we ate it in 2 days time. lol.

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94 Laura August 4, 2011

Pesto is so delish, but I rarely have it cause of all the oil and expense. Great alternative!
Woooh! Green monsters mentioned in oprah, congrats.

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95 Tess August 4, 2011

Navy beans…. who’da thunk?! You, that’s who! Another amazing recipe :)

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96 Karen August 4, 2011

I’ve been considering concocting a pizza with a pesto sauce rather than tomato sauce. Do you think this pesto spread would hold up well in that capacity? I might have to try it, I’m intrigued to see if it would be any good!

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97 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

yessss! It worked for me. Check out my PFB pizza post with recipes: http://ohsheglows.com/2010/10/17/project-food-blog-challenge-5-a-pizza-complex/

It was one of the best pizzas Ive ever had!

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98 Cassey @ Blogilates.com August 4, 2011

OMG that looks so good. I am a 1 month old vegetarian and have not been craving meat at all…with recipes like this, who would? Thank you. Amazing photos as always.

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99 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn August 4, 2011

Thank goddddd I have been looking for a less-fatty pesto so that I can actually eat a shit ton of it!!!! Love <3

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100 Kelly August 4, 2011

Must invest in a food processor. This looks amazing!

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101 Jane August 4, 2011

Your sandwich looks sooooo good! I’ve been craving a good veggie sandwich lately. I must try this pesto (and cheese sauce). I just wish I had a yard with a garden where I could plant big bushes of pesto. Maybe I’ll pot a small plant in my apartment :)

Really want to try your new burger recipe soon too!

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102 Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend) August 4, 2011

OMG yes yes yes yes yes! I am obsessed with pesto but rarely eat it since it is so high in fat/calories and I can never eat an appropriate serving size. This rules! I cannot wait to try this recipe.

Any chance you’d like to do the same makeover for cheese sauce??? :) FIngers crossed!

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103 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

You read my mind girl ;)

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104 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit August 4, 2011

Ya, ya navy beans are ridiculously creamy! I mash them up with all sorts of things, but I’ve never called it pesto. Geez, you’re good. You can also make a type of “mayo” out of them with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a bit of brewers yeast. So good.

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105 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 4, 2011

That sounds great! Ive been looking for a tofu free mayo recipe.

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106 Katrina August 4, 2011

This is a wicked good idea! Pack in that protein! Yum.

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107 Emily August 4, 2011

Yum!!!! I love pesto!

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108 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 4, 2011

Angela these sandwich shots are just BEAUTIFUL! WOW!!! They are so vibrant, crisp, clear. And the composition is just lovely (Can you tell Ive been hanging out with photographers in a workshop all week…haha!)

Seriously beautifully plated AND the recipe itself..nothing like eating dips and spreads that are made with (too much) oil and you get that oil slick feeling on your lips…yeah…not exactly my fave.

This pesto clearly won’t do that and it sounds amazing. Love nooch!

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109 Linda W. August 4, 2011

THANK YOU! I have a basil plant going crazy and been meaning to hunt for a recipe that doesn’t include pine nuts. To me they are okay but there has to be a better recipe. I’m sure this will be outstanding and just the pictures of the sandwich makes me drool! YUM! Healthy food is so nice to look at AND eat.

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110 Ellie@fitforthesoul August 4, 2011

Ooooh I love this recipe!! It’s just like hummus, but pesto!! I am a fan of dippable stuff as well :)

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111 Ariel August 4, 2011

OMG you read my mind…I’ve been eating pesto like everyday this summer…it’s gotten to the point where I just spread it on broccoli or brussel sprouts in an attempt to be healthy. What a great idea to add the beans! Thank youu

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112 Annie@stronghealthyfit August 4, 2011

That sandwich looks unbelievable! I think i’d love that pesto.

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113 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 4, 2011

I love the idea of nutritional yeast in pesto, that’s such a good substitute for the parmesan cheese, can’t believe I haven’t thought of that! I tend to make my pesto light on the olive oil anyway so it’s not as liquidy but I love using beans in it too. Definitely a twist worth trying!

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114 Living, Learning, Eating August 4, 2011

Have I mentioned that your food always looks way to delicious? I wish you had a cafe, I would def fly all the way to Canada for that!

And I love Green Monsters! I made a tasty one the other day (http://livinglearningeating.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/run-its-a-green-monster/) but just made an AMAZINGLY delicious one…I’ll post it tomorrow (Friday) by 8am :)

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115 Molly August 4, 2011

You can send that sandwich to me please.

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116 Heather @ Get Haalthy with Heather August 4, 2011

Looks delicious! I’m always down with a pesto I can eat every day. A lot.

Go green monsters!

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117 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com August 4, 2011

Mmmm.. That sandwich itself looks so delish.
Glad to know O is embracing what we all love so much – green monster :D

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118 Amy-Nutrition by Nature August 4, 2011

Wow, that pesto looks awesome. I love pesto too and could eat it all day, thanks for this recipe!

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119 Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart August 4, 2011

congrats on green monster being in the mag! thats awesome! You introduced me to the “movement” and my body is thankful! umm and your pesto…lovely!

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120 Lindsey @ Why Just Eat August 4, 2011

I just picked up a large bag of basil at the farmer’s market this morning. Thanks to you, I will be sure to put it to good use!

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121 Charissa August 4, 2011

This is nothing short of awesome!
Good on you for getting a FB page! I’m ALMOST there, lol…soon!

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122 Emma (Emma+Jacob) August 4, 2011

This is amazing! I cannot wait to try it. Pesto sauce brings life to anything! A close second to my ultimate love – Sriracha :D

Welcome to Facebook!

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123 Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) August 4, 2011

Haha, I cannot control myself around pesto either! It disappears pretty fast in my house ;)
Your pesto looks truly fabulous!! I love how you pack some protein in there. I really can’t get over how incredibly delicious it looks!! I MUST make it soon! :D

<3

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124 Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen August 4, 2011

Wow – yummmm!!!! I have everything but the white beans. Do you think garbanzos would work?

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125 Kath August 4, 2011

Going to eat my pesto sandwich mid-flight now!!!

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126 Amanda August 4, 2011

Perfect timing for this post, because the BF and I are going to make pesto with garbanzo beans this weekend with all the basil we have from our pots. I never thought of using nutritional yeast…what a great idea for a sub for the parm cheese! Genius!

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127 Emily @ Comfortable Home Life August 4, 2011

I LOVE pesto! I frequently make my own, but you’re right, it’s so full of oil! Plus real Parmesan isn’t veg-friendly. I must try your version — I wasn’t expecting the navy beans but I imagine (and trust you when you say) they work quite well!

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128 katie@ KatieDid August 4, 2011

This look amazing! I love homemade pesto

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129 Cupcake Kat August 4, 2011

I love pesto. This recipe sounds so delicious. I liked you on FB. I just got one too

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130 Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite August 4, 2011

Yum and its oil free! I’m sold!

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131 val August 4, 2011

Oh, I’m sooo lucky to have won the book giveaway. Thank you Angela (and Sarah). I plan to make the pesto recipe this weekend, using beans instead of oil is genius.

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132 hanna August 4, 2011

hi, i just wanted to tell you that i discovered your blog recently, and i’m so inspired to be in the kitchen for hours on end. i just did a post on my blog on your flourless chocolate cookies- and they were eaten up quickly. thank you so much for all the recipes you share! i’m trying to eat more vegan and gluten-free, and i am so glad to find a wealth of info all in one place that caters to those diets. i don’t even know what i’m going to try next :)

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133 Beach Bum Beauty August 5, 2011

I love Pesto and am glad you did an oil free recipe as I sometimes find that it repeats in me or leaves a funny taste in my mouth. Have a fab friday :-)

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134 Shelley August 5, 2011

Wow that pesto looks sooo good seriously if i make this, i mean WHEN i make this :) i think i will just eat it with a spoon! HEy how do you make it so the pics are black and white with just the green basil leaves, is it done in photoshop??

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135 Katherine August 5, 2011

Looks amazing!

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136 Sarah S. August 5, 2011

Hi Angela! Only problem with this is surely I’d eat the entire batch in a go…

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137 Shelley August 5, 2011

Oh yeah! I know what I am doing with that pile of basil I have growing now! Picking up navy beans and nutritional yeast (not something I am farmilar with but I am going to give it a try). Can’t wait to try this:)
Thanks again Angela

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138 Tom August 5, 2011

I gotta give this a try. I’ve made a similar recipe with a couple of avacodoes instead of the beans, but, it gets costly.

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139 Karen August 6, 2011

Thought I would tell you that I made this today and it is awesome! Had it on a sandwich earlier and will mix it with pasta tonight for dinner. Thanks!

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140 Mara Matic August 7, 2011

Okay, so I’ve been following your blog for awhile now. NEVER would have thought that I’d EVER leave comments on a blog as I simply don’t want to get involved as I know it will eat up more time that I already don’t have (mom of 2 boys, 1yr & 3yrs (3 including hubby, heehee) and work f/t). Well, you’ve got me Angela!!!! I just love your style post and foremost your recipes and you! Every recipe I’ve made has been a hit! We are not a vegan family but I love homemade food and healthy, tasty food. How did I find you? Well, I started a new job in February and I joined this Wellness Committee. I attended this potluck and there, I came across vegan peanutbutter cups. I was smitten. So as soon as I got home I started googling recipes. Low and behold, I was blessed to come across a recipe for yours and then some!!!! Thank you for your brilliance, creativity, thought, wisdom, and making our lives healthier and happier. We tired a green monster last week (classic) after a run and Richard (hubby) says I can make that any night too:-) Hope you enjoyed the wedding and look fwd to pics!!:-) Mara

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141 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 7, 2011

Hi Mara! Thank you so much for the amazing compliments! Im so lucky to have your support. I hope you enjoy many more recipes to come!

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142 Emily August 7, 2011

This was amazing! One of my favorite recipes of yours! Such an affordable, high-protein meal in disguise. My boyfriend (who is not a bean lover) had no idea I put beans in it until we finished eating and i broke the news.

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143 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 7, 2011

So happy to hear that Emily!

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144 Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) August 7, 2011

Congrats on the mention in O magazine! That is HUGE!!!

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145 Jen August 7, 2011

This looks really tasty, I’m defintely going to make it. And well done on the magazine mention, that’s brilliant!

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146 Chelsey (Cookteen) August 7, 2011

Just made this…I’m in love! I hate cheesy + oily pestos so this was perfect!

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147 BLACKBEAUTY54 August 7, 2011

I will give it a try.

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148 Jeffie August 8, 2011

This is so delicious!! I made some and was wondering if it freezes well? :)

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149 Zestful Lou August 8, 2011

Just made this and it’s DEEEEEEE-Lish!!! I found that 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice was PLENTY for my taste. Until now, my hummus-type dips have all be sub-par, but this is my first true success! Merci!

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150 Lisa August 8, 2011

Do you drain the can of beans? I’m a newbie cook, and need major details.

Thanks!

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151 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 8, 2011

Yes you do! Enjoy =)

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152 Merage August 9, 2011

Love this! I have been going through a similar need to use less olive oil dilemma and NEEDED pesto so I made an AH-MAZING no oil added sun dried tomato pesto. Twas grand. I did add a little Parmesan, but tasting it before, it didn’t really need any. I used cashews, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, parsley, sea salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of balsamic. I’m sure you could come up with an even more awesome version, but just thought I’d share mine. :)

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153 Emma (Emma+Jacob) August 9, 2011

I looooove this! Quick question, how long does this keep in the fridge?

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154 Heather August 19, 2011

I made my this Monday and ate my last serving on Thursday. It was still good then but I don’t think I would have let it go any longer. No worries though, you won’t have it sticking around too long!

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155 Jennifer August 9, 2011

This is a great low-fat alternative to pesto! I really enjoy reading your blog- your recipes are so creative and delicious!

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156 Amber August 11, 2011

This white bean pesto is great! I kind of want to eat this for every meal for the foreseeable future. It is the perfect complement to summer tomatoes. I had a wrap for lunch and now I’m dreaming of having a pita pizza with the pesto and tomatoes. Thanks for the the recipe, it’s a keeper!

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157 Aly August 12, 2011

This was pretty good! I omitted the nutritional yeast (didn’t have any) and next time I will definitely reduce the amount of lemon juice to 1 tbsp and maybe try no salt at first (gradually will add in). But a good recipe for sure!

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158 Farrah August 12, 2011

made this pesto to have with rosemary white bean burgers….. delicious! gonna use the leftovers with pasta! yum!

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159 Krysten August 18, 2011

this was so good- i love pesto soooo so much and its got so many calories so i appreciate this recipe so much! i also made up my own from this instead of basil, did cilantro and added a serrano chile,…. it’s so addicting, i’ve ate it everyday -put it on what i could- today i am going to make your basil cream sauce, and i’m really excited about it! thanks so much again!

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160 Heather August 19, 2011

Oh my gosh, this was amazing! I’m trying to talk sweetly to my basil plants to produce more leaves so I can have it again soon. Even with subbing a bit of oil for the water the calorie and fat count let me have a huge plate. Yum!

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161 Jessica August 30, 2011

this was incredible! unfortunately i couldn’t stop eating it! the more basil, the better!

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162 SIDNEY CAMPBELL September 23, 2011

can not wait to try the white bean pesto!!!!!! sounds awesome…thanks

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163 Josephine April 15, 2012

This was delicious over my gnocchi! I didn’t have nutritional yeast but I added a bit of parsley and I really liked it :)

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164 Monique April 15, 2012

Be careful with the salt. The can of beans I used was not “m
No salt added” and without really thinking about it, I added a half tsp., so it’s too salty. Also, I added some pine nuts just because I like the taste and was hoping to dull the saltiness somewhat.

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165 sally July 22, 2012

did you drain and rinse the navy beans?

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166 Angela (Oh She Glows) July 22, 2012

Hey Sally, Yes I did. Enjoy!

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167 T. N. T. August 1, 2012

Thank you for such a simple and wonderful pesto replacement recipe! Trying this today.

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168 Andrea August 6, 2012

Do you drain/rinse the beans before adding them in?

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169 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 6, 2012

Yup :)

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170 Stefanie August 21, 2012

YUM!

I think I do not need a spoon – I’ll simply lick it directly out of the food processor…NOTE TO MYSELF: remove the blades first!

Thank you, Angela, for this recipe. Since I am half Italian I naturally have a love for Italian food, especially pesto and antipasti. This combo just sounds so delish, I cannot wait to get home tonight and try it – hopefully I will get some for myself because two of our four cats LOVE beans and greens…

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171 amandaginn September 3, 2012

Have you ever tried freezing this recipe?

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172 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2012

Im sorry I haven’t! let me know if you try it out.

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173 Crystal November 11, 2012

This looks fabulous and my basil plant is getting ready to die in this chilly weather! How do you store this? I was going to make it now but use it later. Also have you tried freezing it? Thanks!

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174 Stephanie December 29, 2012

This is so freaking good I could eat it on cardboard!!!!! TY!!!

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175 Mary February 6, 2013

Delicious! Absolutely wonderful, thank you!

I used it in a grilled tomato and Daiya Mozzarella cheese sandwich…yum!

I wonder if adding some nuts during the process would give it a good texture- I’ll try that next time.

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176 Taylor February 8, 2013

I love this recipe! I was searching for a pesto recipe because I had a ton of leftover basil and yours was perfect. I love that it doesn’t have nuts it in or all of the oil that is usually in pesto. It’s so creamy. I just made a pesto, daiya (mozz), and chickpea quesadilla with it and it was amazing!

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177 Courtney February 9, 2013

Absolutely love this. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from Oh She Glows and I think I found my favorite new site! Delicious, creamy, versatile. Can use it as a spread, on pasta, I even used it as a base for a pizza (instead of pizza sauce). Thank you SO much – what a creative way to replace the oil. Thank you Thank you!

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178 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 10, 2013

Hey Courtney, Im so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know…great idea about a pizza base!

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179 Steph February 18, 2013

I’ve just made this – well a version of it – and it is DELICIOUS! I subbed spinach for basil since I don’t have any, and added a half teaspoon of oil and some chopped tomatoes and it is amazing! Thank you :)

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180 Morgan February 25, 2013

I just made this and it was delicious. Mine wasn’t very green so I added a handful of spinach and it became my new favorite pesto!! Thanks for this recipe :) I will probably be freezing some in ice cube trays (perfect 2 tbsp portion) so I will let you know how they thaw out!

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181 Julia May 3, 2013

You’re right, spoons away! I think there was about a 3 second lapse from the time the pesto was poured into the jar to the point where the spoon broke the surface. (3 seconds is being verrrrry generous).
Thank you!!

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182 Jess July 10, 2013

Just found u today, but I’ll be back! Made this and it was great! Can’t wait to dig through the archives for more yummies!!!

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183 Elle July 12, 2013

I have been looking for an oil free pesto recipe for a long time. I came across yours last night, made the pesto this afternoon and it was SOOOOOOO DELISH!!!! I literally had to stop myself from eating it directly from the blender. Thanks for the recipe – AMAZING!!!

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184 Fiona July 13, 2013

This was so yummy! I added 2 T of olive oil and tossed it with pasta, summer squash, heirloom tomatoes, and spinach. So creamy! My hubby Eric and I decided it needs to be put on the repeat-worthy list!

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185 Roberta July 16, 2013

Just made the no oil pesto. WOW I really love this stuff. I use it as a dip, on my salads , as a spread well just about everything so good Love your recipes Thanks for another great one !!

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186 Anastasia August 6, 2013

What if I don’t have any nutritional yeast???

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187 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 7, 2013

You might be able to leave it out, although the flavour won’t be as cheesy. if you do remove it, I suggest decreasing the lemon juice a bit as the nutritional yeast often subdues the acidity.

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188 Anastasia August 7, 2013

Thank you very much!

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189 Diana August 20, 2013

This recipe is great! Thank you for sharing.

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190 Stephanie September 14, 2013

Just made this…omg best. Pesto. Ever… That’s all I have to say

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191 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2013

So glad you enjoyed it Stephanie!

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192 Crystal September 24, 2013

This pesto is absolutely delicious. I spread a thin layer on bread, put on two slices of tomato, top with a smidge of mozzarella and broil. Delicious “pizza” with the perfect pesto flavor. Thank you. :)

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193 Robin October 8, 2013

This recipe is so creative and it worked out perfectly for me! I’d never thought to include beans in pesto before. My for dinner last night I made a quinoa and veggie salad and my family and I dolloped the pesto on top. Oh my yum. We loved it so much that we’re having the leftover pesto on some whole wheat pasta tonight!

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194 Teresa October 23, 2013

I poured this pesto over 3 cans of garbanzo beans for a nice easy dinner

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195 Stacy October 30, 2013

I am soooo making this, and that sandwich looks fabulous! I use cilantro in place of basil to up the metal detox so this should be interesting. Thank you!

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196 Mikaela November 13, 2013

This is delicious!! I didn’t have nutritional yeast so I used parmesan cheese and that worked fine. I used butter beans instead of canelli beans also. The only thing is that mine was a bit bitter, I think maybe too much lemon. Great recipe :)

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197 Ileana December 26, 2013

oh joy! I lost my oil less pesto recipe that I used to make w/ garbanza beans
Your recipe looks perfect….life is too short to live without pesto:)
Thank you

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198 katharina June 22, 2014

just made it with Kale and it is yum! I am eating now with peppers and onions on it open faced… Perfect brunch food!

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199 chris July 16, 2014

Just made it, YYYYYUUUUUMMMMM!! I didn’t have nutritional yeast which I’m sure would make it even better.

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200 Vicky July 23, 2014

Tried this recipe today and it’s WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for an oil-free pesto. I can hardly wait to boil up my brown rice pasta and use this as the sauce!

:o)

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201 Bonnie Drager July 30, 2014

Can you substitute cannellini beans for the navy beans?

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202 Leopotato September 19, 2014

I found this recipe right after I discovered all my basil had succumbed to last night’s frost. Oil free! Thanks a bunch!

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203 Poe December 26, 2014

I was really excited about this recipe because pesto can get SO oily, but cutting out the oil out can make the pesto super dry. I think this recipe was fine, but for some reason the consistency was not as wet. I did not use any nutritional yeast though. I would also probably sub out the lemon next time because I felt like it gave the pesto an odd flavor. Love the photography on here!

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204 Lola February 1, 2015

How long can you keep in for?

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205 Becki February 15, 2015

How long does this last if you store it? I want to make it but won’t be eating that much everyday…Do I refrigerate it? and how long does it usually keep for?

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206 SUE June 28, 2015

Should you drain the beans before putting them in the food processor?

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207 Cristina June 28, 2015

Does it freeze well?

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208 jem July 3, 2015

I haven’t made this yet. Should I assume that the beans should be drained? rinsed? Looks good but I don’t want to waste anything by messing up!

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209 Brenda July 8, 2015

This was awesome, I used a zucchini instead of the cannelloni beans, to keep it raw, as well as adding 3 Tbsp of hemp seeds for creaminess. Turned out great. Thanks

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210 Angelica August 19, 2015

I love all your recipes and I love eating more whole food, but I can’t seem to get past the funkiness of Nutritional Yeast. Maybe it’s just somehting i have to get used to. :(

Have any recommendations for one that you like.

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211 Patti September 4, 2015

can you freeze this in ice cube trays?

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212 Rachel Osborn September 13, 2015

I froze a small leftover amount in a container and it was just as delicious when it defrosted! Couldn’t tell the difference!

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213 jem September 4, 2015

Should the beans be drained and rinsed?

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214 Rachel Osborn September 13, 2015

My friends and I had a pesto party and made about 7 different, unique recipes for pesto, ranging from the traditional to vegan and oil free recipes like yours. Your recipe was definitely one of our favorites! Amazing, but the beans really lent a rich flavor and great texture!!

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215 Elisabeth October 7, 2015

for some reason (but most probably because I ran out of basil before getting a packed cup of it) my pesto turned out very salty and kind of runny, so I mashed half an avocado in it and tadaaa ! Delicious ! I used this thick avocado-pesto paste in place of the vegenaise in your «tuna» salad, and served over sautéed zucchini noodles. Now everyone at work think I’m some sort of chef :)

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216 Steffen November 2, 2015

Hey Angela!
I just discovered this amazing recipe which sounds like an awesome twist on the classic pesto (’cause i love white beans!) and i would really like to try it, but there’s one question left:
Do i have to use the whole can of beans? Meaning, do i put the beans with the liquid into the blender or do i have to drain them before i add them to the other ingredients? :)

Hope you can answer my silly question ^^

Thnks again for this great sounding recipe :)

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217 Brooke November 26, 2015

Hi Angela! How long can this pesto be stored for? I just got a HUGE bunch of organic basil in my fruit and veg delivery and don’t want to waste it!

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218 Livie January 18, 2016

Hi Angela :). I tried this recipe for the first time today and it is absolutely gorgeous! I can’t get over it how much it tastes like having a cheese and pine-nut base. This recipe is definitely a keeper. We had it with wholewheat pasta tonight. The rest of it will be added to the family’s sandwiches.
Thanks so much for this recipe!

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219 Monica Lamb January 24, 2016

Hi, Thank you so much! You are amazing! The best. I would bathe myself in pesto if I could. And now that I am pursuing an oil-free life, I am grateful for this recipe.

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220 Lina February 14, 2016

This was not good at all, did not taste like pesto. left with a bad aftertaste :(

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221 Nekkidrevenge February 27, 2016

Byw, I occasionally gaze wantonly at the pesto when I’m grocery shopping, pick up a tub, gaze at the nutritional content and see a usual average of 18 grams of fat and 700 mgs of sodium per serving with like 12 servings a container and a serving being like a tbs or two and I’m like “Oh hello nah, I’m making my own damn pesto that I won’t feel like a hippopotamus for eating a cups worth, FFS! >=O” I love love loveeeee the taste of fresh herbs, especially basil, dill, and cilantro so I don’t even think I want to “only eat a spoonful”, I can and will eat a cilantro or basil salad if I can find enough herbs at steal price ,(which isn’t often and I grow my own but I could easily kill a few basil plants in a meal if I didn’t watch myself T_T). And why should you have to limit yourself if it’s purely healthy like when you make it from scratch!

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222 Robyn Rybarski March 31, 2016

Also avocado could replace the beans.

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223 Meg Angevine May 30, 2016

Love, love, love this pesto! I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that it’s healthy! Thank you for the recipe. I love your cookbook and look forward to the next one.

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