Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

With D on a ride after work, I had some extra time to assess the fridge’s contents and be creative with its dwindling supplies. I knew one thing for sure, that post-bike-ride stomach is a bottomless pit! Dinner needs to be voluminous, with all of the right nutrients.

This recipe is gluten and dairy free, but could be easily adapted either way:

tofu basil pesto ingredients

When I pick up the Trader Joe’s organic infinite Basil, it is with well intentions and an ambitious mind. It’s tricky to get through that entire box before leaves begin to bore and brown. Pesto is a quick fix for that!

Knowing that riding in the 100* heat wouldn’t create an appetite for a steaming bowl of pasta, I cooked these brown rice noodles about an hour beforehand, and let them cool in the fridge.

Then, I photographed things and got to thinking…would this work? Dinner, let’s play, and see what happens!

Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

4-6 oz brown rice pasta* noodles (3-4 servings), cooked & chilled
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 block extra firm {sprouted} tofu, drained
1/4 cup raw pecans
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Splash of unsweetened Almond milk**

Optional add-in: steamed kale leaves, or other greens (spinach, mustard, etc.)

*Use any noodle/pasta you have on hand.
**Or other milk substitute (soy, rice, etc)

Before chilling the pasta, stir in 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and season with pepper.

Slice tofu block into pieces; add to food processor with pecans, basil leaves and salt/pepper. Pulse for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1/2Tbsp oil and add in a splash of Almond milk (or other milk substitute). Continue pulsing for an additional ~3 minutes, until reaching a smooth, creamy texture.

tofu basil pesto

Stir tofu basil pesto with pasta to coat and mix together. Add in steamed greens.

tofu basil pesto pasta bowl

Quick, easy and perfect for a hot summer evening! The texture was the middle ground between traditional pesto and alfredo sauce, without any heavy cream or excessive oil. The sauce was smooth enough to spread around easily, but strong enough to really stick onto each twisted noodle.

I added in kale leaves because we had them on hand and I love an extra dose of color for nutrients and flavor. Any vegetable of preference could be substituted in there, or even a medley of them – I’m thinking sautéed summer squash & red onions, or sun-dried tomatoes and spinach for next time!

Either way, this tofu basil pesto will not disappoint, and could even trick a meat-eater with a bowl of creamy pasta & a full on flavor punch. You have your protein, multiple sources of healthy fats, carbohydrates and veggies! In other words, you can’t go wrong with this staple.

—–

Happy Friday!

Have you tried a twist on the traditional pesto before? Our last experiment involved avocado and sunflower seeds, and that was a hit, too! Pesto can wear many hats.

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7 Comments

Filed under dinners, new things!, recipes, vegetarian

7 responses to “Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

  1. I love the idea of adding protein to your pesto – perfect all in one meal!

  2. Going to try this tonight! Sounds delicious for a HOT summer evening.

  3. My day-after-long-run belly is the same way – it feels like I can never get food in quickly enough! Gotta love the voluminous food bowls. Anything with basil pesto sounds like something I’d love to dive into during post-workout starvation!

  4. Tofu processed into a sauce – now that is inventive! I have issues with tofu texture, but this I could do ! Yummo!

    Have a super weekend!!

  5. YUM! I’ve been trying to think of some new uses for tofu (I got a bunch of coupons, haha) so I definitely want to try this!

  6. Gluten and dairy free, you should get a medal! That’s hard to do these days. You really brought out the flavors here, and tofu can be tricky. This looks awesome!

  7. this post is full of all my favorite things. I need to make it.

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