Spinach & Tofu Pesto [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 670g
Serves: 12
Prep & Assembly: ≤10-15mins
Type: Sauce, Spread, Dip
Tools: Small dish, sieve, chopping board, sharp knife, frying pan(optional), food processor, air-tight storage container

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, potassium, zinc, contains no added sugar and per serving is low in added salt, has a moderate quantity of fat and is low in saturated fats!

We have always encouraged everyone to cook from scratch and over the past few months we have given you more sauces and dips, a new pizza crust and even some handy food, kitchen and ingredient conversions. Well here’s another basic recipe that we think everyone (not just us plant lovers!) should have access to. It’s easy-peasy and full of flavourful and bold ingredients! Yes, it’s another pesto recipe, but this one’s packed full of extra protein (and no, it’s not extra nuts, its tofu!); of course it comes with a multitude of uses…and it just may even become a new staple in your recipe box! 

We actually came across a DF & GF store bought pesto (insert brand name here!) last year, which funnily enough also contains tofu. It looks creamy and packed full of flavour; basil, nuts (cashew and pine), but its first ingredient is oil! So it’s no surprise that apart from being pricey it contains more calories, fat and even sugar (yes because it contains glucose!) per one-hundred grams than our recipe! Yet another example as to why we should make our own staples and basic recipes at home. 

We originally used our creamy, healthy and delicious pesto in a homemade lasagne (recipe pending!), but with spring looming, it could be used with so many other great things. With a dash of inspiration, curiosity and maybe courage, it has the potential could become a great and quick stir-through sauce for a pasta or potato-based salad or used as a tasty dip (just to name a few!).

It’s good to note that we have included all of our preparation photos, although some are slightly out of sync; our excitement and hunger had us bouncing around the kitchen and not sticking to our previously written directions. However as we’ve previously mentioned in another recent pesto post, there is no right or wrong way to make your own pesto! Please feel free to adapt it to your own personal tastes and maybe even get carried away dancing whilst you’re making it too! 🙂

A few other good things to note include

  • Forget avocado on toast, this pesto (spread) goes further! Use it as a lovely sandwich or wrap spread, as a tasty topping for rice cakes, crackers or jacket potatoes, or as mentioned above, a quick stir-through pasta sauce! However, we would suggest using fresh, spinach, rocket or kale.
  • Also, get experimenting! Use this as a tasty layer in a cooked or raw lasagne, in a savoury summer tart or stuff a little in some tender and delicious Portobello mushrooms and get roasting! 
  • When it comes to nuts (or seeds), use your favourite (although we recommend pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, toasted almonds or sunflower seeds)!
  • We used garlic puree for a slightly intense and (not raw) garlic taste, but just use whatever you prefer (or about one garlic clove).

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++300g               Frozen spinach, defrosted (or 150g fresh)
+++++++2 tbsp             Lemon juice
+++++++80g                 Fresh basil
+++++++1                       Box Silken tofu (349g)
+++++++40g                 Pine nuts
+++++++⅓ Cup            Extra virgin olive oil
+++++++1½ tbsp           Nutritional yeast flakes
+++++++½ tsp               Garlic puree
+++++++¼ tsp               Salt

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info (approx. values)

 

Directions

1. If applicable, defrost the spinach in a microwave (or at room temperature for a couple hours); drain in a sieve and then roughly chop. If applicable, juice a lemon. Wash and then dry the basil with some kitchen paper; remove the leaves from the stems. Open and carefully drain any excess water out of the box of tofu.

2. If desired, toast the pine nuts (we skipped this step). Heat a dry frying pan. Add the nuts and dry-fry until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat.

3. Transfer 2 tbsp lemon juice, 40g pine nuts, ⅓ cup olive oil, 1½ tbsp nutritional yeast, ½ tsp garlic puree and ¼ tsp salt into a food processor. Blend until the nuts are smooth-ish and combined. Add the tofu. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the spinach and basil. Blend until combined and broken down. Tip: The mixture will probably not be completely smooth, but this is OK. For a smoother pesto, you will have to add more oil and/or cold water. Taste and season the pesto as necessary.

4. Carefully remove the blade and transfer the pesto into an air-tight and resealable container or an air tight and sterilised jar.

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover pesto in an air-tight and resealable jar (preferably sterilised) or container; consume within 5 days. 

 

Oh yes, spinach and tofu pesto lasagne- so delicious! 😀

 

What you tried a tofu-based pesto before? What’s your favourite way to use tofu? Well, if you love pesto (and tofu!) as much as we do, stayed tuned! Next week we’ll be providing you with our new and delicious recipe for a pesto (and tofu)-based lasagne! 

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Vegan And Gluten Free Tofu Frittata

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep, Cooking & Setting Time: ≤160 mins
Type: Main meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, non-stick pot, food processor, non-stick frying pan, spatula, spring-form baking tin, cooling rack.

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamins A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fat!

A great plant-based frittata with plenty of taste, easy execution (although a little time consuming than your average tofu omelette!), we assure you that it’s well worth the wait! 🙂

Happy cooking everyone! 

 

Ingredients

Directions

1. Drain and place and press the tofu between two heavy chopping boards. Allow it to drain and to remove any excess water for about 30 mins.

2. In the meantime, cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain.

3. Heat the oven to 190°C/375ºF. Lightly grease a 22” spring-form tin with a quarter of the oil.

4. Meanwhile, create the ‘flax egg’. Place the flaxseed into a small dish; add some water and stir until combined. Peel and dice the onion. Wash, trim the ends, finely slice and then separate the spring onion ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ halves.

5. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash, remove the core and stem and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash, dry and roughly dice the mushrooms. Wash, dry and roughly chop the spinach.

6. If applicable, break the kale leaves from its stalk, wash, dry, trim the ends and then finely shred. Wash, pat dry and then roughly chop the basil. Finely chop the olives (if using). Wash, trim the ends and then grate the courgette into thin discs. Wash and remove the stem from the tomatoes. Wash and dry the rocket.

7. Drain the remaining water off the tofu. Pat it dry with some kitchen paper. Break and crumble it into a food processor. Add the mustard, turmeric, paprika, onion powder, tamari sauce (or miso paste), nutritional yeast (or ‘cheese’ powder), corn starch, milk and another quarter of the remaining oil. Blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Season it with some black pepper to taste.

8. Meanwhile, prepare the crust. Place the rice into a mixing bowl. Add the flaxseed mixture. Gently mix together with a spatula. Transfer the mixture into the tin. Press the rice firmly into the bottom, creating a smooth, even layer. Brush the top with half of the remaining oil. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 10 mins and then remove. Tip: Make sure to turn on a kitchen timer, with everything going on it’s too easy to forget about it cooking! Turn the oven down to 180°C/350ºF.

9. In the meantime, heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the onion, the top parts of the spring onions and the garlic. Sauté it for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper and the mushrooms. Sauté it for approximately 4-5 mins or until softened.

10. Add the spinach, kale, basil (or parsley if using) and the bottom parts of the spring onions. Tip: Do this step a little at a time if necessary, as there might be too much to fit in the pan all at once; this will allow time for the spinach and kale to wilt down. As it wilts, turn the heat down to its lowest setting.

11. Pour the tofu mixture into the frying pan with the vegetables. Add the olives (if using). Stir until everything is combined. Pour this mixture over the rice crust. Place the courgette on top of the frittata in a layered manner around the edges.

12. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 40-50 mins, depending on how deep or shallow the pan is. Tip: Check it after 35 mins to make sure it’s not too brown. Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Allow the frittata to cool and set in the tin for about an hour before removing the sides of the pan. Once the sides are removed, allow it to cool before slicing (if required).

Slice the frittata into slices. Transfer onto a serving plate. Serve the tomatoes and rocket (as a garnish) or with some homemade slaw, tasty potatoes, or a salad instead; it’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  🙂

ictures three & four: step 12

Picture one: step 8, Picture two: step 11, Pictures three & four: step 12

 

 

 

 Refrigerate any left-overs in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 1-2 days. NB: Reheat the frittata in a microwave for approximately 3-5 mins or until it’s steaming hot all the way through. Do not reheat more than once.

 

Sources:
Recipe adapted from: An ode to mungbeans  (Thanks very much for this great recipe!)