September 25, 2014

Pesto Baked Tofu with Raw Zucchini Noodles. {Vegan Gluten Free Recipe}


Hurry, hurry! The light is fading, the cold is creeping in, and it won’t be long before my beloved farmer’s market closes!

So goes the end of summer mantra in my panicked head when I realize all my produce will soon have to be purchased at brick and mortar stores—oh the horror! (My children repeatedly insist that I move to California where they live, and farmer’s markets evidently operate year round.)

But while I remain in the Midwest, September’s end will always have a sense of urgency for me, and as always, I am desperately coming up with new ways to use the vegetables I know are but a frost away from disappearing entirely.

Here is a simple, easy, healthy, yummy way to get a pile of basil and zucchini or yellow squash on the table in no time at all.

Pesto Baked Tofu with Zucchini Noodles

Serves 4

For the pesto you will need;

1 big bunch fresh basil

2 tbsp pine nuts, almonds or walnuts

juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil plus more if needed

sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients in a food processor and blend until they make a smooth paste, adding more olive oil, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings adding more of anything you feel like, including garlic or lemon juice.

For tofu marinade you will need:

Juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp brown sugar

sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

1 handful fresh basil, chopped

Mix the marinade together and pour into a flat bottom baking pan. Press one block extra firm tofu between two plates lined with paper towels and weighted with something heavy on top to remove liquid—-at least five minutes. Cut into bite sized pieces. Lay tofu in marinade and let sit for 10 minutes, flip and let sit another 10 (or up to an hour). Bake tofu in enough marinade that it is just covering the bottom of the pan (pour some out if you need to) at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown, flipping once.

Meanwhile, grab six zucchini or yellow squash (more if they are small). Use a vegetable peeler to slice into long “noodles,” going all the way to the core, and then reserving leftovers for another use (I usually toss in a salad the next day).

To serve, arrange noodles on individual plates and dress with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Dot pesto on top of baked tofu generously and then place tofu on top of noodles. Dot some extra pesto around the edges of the plate. Garnish with fresh basil.



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Editor: Travis May
Photo: skinnytaste.com

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