Italian Flag Pesto Sandwich

Italian Flag Pesto Sandwich

The three colours of the Italian flag are incorporated into this mouth-watering sandwich. Traditional pesto uses pine nuts and Parmesan cheese; however, to reduce the fat and sodium content this recipe skips both. Don’t worry though, the flavour isn’t compromised—you just get slightly more basil for your bite!

Pack it up: To keep sandwich from getting soggy, drain roasted red peppers of their liquid and place between mozzarella and spinach layers, which creates a moisture barrier.

Swap it out: For the pesto, don’t feel obligated to stick with almonds. If you have walnuts, pine nuts, or even cashews, use them instead. Don’t like roasted red peppers? Instead use sliced tomato for a similar effect.

3 cups (750 mL) packed basil
1/2 cup (125 mL) whole almonds
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/3 cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices good quality whole grain bread or baguette
4 thin slices non-fat mozzarella 
1 roasted red pepper, sliced
1/3 cup (80 mL) thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup (125 mL) baby spinach, washed and dried

To make pesto, add basil, almonds, garlic, and salt to food processor or blender. Process mixture while slowly adding olive oil until mixture comes together and is smooth. (The resulting mixture will be thicker than traditional pesto, as it is to be used as a spread.)

Spread a generous layer of pesto on each slice of bread. Place remaining pesto in airtight container in fridge, for Friday’s lunch.

Divide remaining ingredients between 2 slices of bread and top with remaining slices of bread.

Cut in half and serve, or pack in airtight container and place in fridge.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Each serving contains: 280 calories; 18 g protein; 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 31 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 512 mg sodium

source: “Resolve to Brown Bag It“, alive #363, January 2013

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