Feel the Lean Inspired Crunchy Potatoes with Basil-Kale Pesto

Crunchy No-Fat Potatoes with Basil Kale Pesto

This is kind of a double whammy post. You’re getting a pesto recipe as well as a recipe for crunchy, oil-free baked potatoes that make a great side dish or salad topping.  Ever since testing out Loni Jane’s crunchy no-fat potatoes from our past Book of the Month, Feel the Lean, my life has been changed. I never would have thought 1) you could get crunchy baked potatoes without adding oil, and 2) adding something warm/hot on top of a cool, fresh salad would be so delicious.  Now, I love topping my salads with baked potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc. I will never be the same again.

This potato recipe is completely inspired by Feel the Lean (I cook the potatoes exactly the way Loni directs you to in the book), and the Basil-Kale Pesto concoction is 100% us. I love the pesto because we have so much basil and kale growing in our garden, it’s a great way to use it up and cut back the plants to encourage more growth.  Remember, with some plants in your garden, if you don’t use it… you lose it :P.


  • 4 large organic potatoes. Potatoes are on the dirty dozen, so we like to buy them organic!
  • 1 bunch of basil, or a fist equivalent portion of leaves
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, depending on how much you like you can add more
  • 1 bunch, or 7 large leaves of kale
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, or oil of your choice


  1. To cook the potatoes, start by boiling some water in the bottom of a big pot, because you’re going to steam the potatoes first
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F
  3. Cut potatoes into mouth sized pieces/cubes with the skin on, then place in a steamer (or in my case I used a metal strainer/colander), sprinkle with salt if you’d like
  4. Steam potatoes until they are fully cooked, then transfer them evenly onto a baking sheet and put in the oven until golden brown or for about 20 minutes
  5. To make the pesto, simply put the garlic, basil, kale and olive oil in a blender, food processor or use a hand blender to mince everything together
  6. When the potatoes are cooked, coat them with the basil-pesto and eat!

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