Tonight we started with a salad since we were having pesto rather than vegetables in our pasta. The salad had a mix of greens, mushrooms, scallions, and cherry tomatoes.
I make a very low fat salad dressing using two of the Good Seasons Italian dressing packets. To do this I substitute all the oil in the preparation with water and keep the vinegar content the same. Then I add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and mix it all together with a plunge blender. With the blender still running I add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum. The xanthan gum stabilizes the emulsion and gives the dressing a salad dressing texture.
The whole grain spaghetti with pesto was made using basil from our back patio. I bought two of the basil plants you see in grocery stores and planted them in pots. Because they were too top heavy with leaves to stand up in the pots, I cut lots of the top leaves off, enough to make pesto. Pesto is a combination of basil, parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil. It is very yummy and I still have enough left to freeze some for two more dinners.