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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Baked Mini Tofu, Quinoa & Veggie Frittatas (& Parsnip Chips!)

Healthy Recipes

Our yummy baked tofu frittatas; originally posted last September! We’ve now updated the recipe and improved the format (inclusive of an easy-print recipe!). Enjoy! 🙂

Eat2Health Blog

Serves: 4-6
Yields: 12 Mini Frittatas
Prep: 30-35 mins
Cooking: 25-30 mins (*in a fan-assisted oven)
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Sieve, small pot + lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, baking tray, parchment paper, frying pan, frying spatula, silicone spatula, food processor, muffin tin, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats.

This is a recipe we developed earlier this year… but we’re glad to finally have the chance to share it with everyone!  🙂

Who says you need eggs to make a frittata or even an omelette?! Not in the Eat2Health kitchen! If you’ve got tofu, some shredded veggies, DF milk and grains, then you have the starting point to any great vegan frittata. Adapt the seasonings, vegetables and/or grains to suit your own needs and taste. You…

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Baked Mini Tofu, Quinoa & Veggie Frittatas (& Parsnip Chips!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Yields: 12 Mini Frittatas
Prep: 30-35 mins
Cooking: 25-30 mins (*in a fan-assisted oven)
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Sieve, small pot + lid, chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, baking tray, parchment paper, frying pan, frying spatula, silicone spatula, food processor, muffin tin, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats.

This is a recipe we developed earlier this year… but we’re glad to finally have the chance to share it with everyone!  🙂

Who says you need eggs to make a frittata or even an omelette?! Not in the Eat2Health kitchen! If you’ve got tofu, some shredded veggies, DF milk and grains, then you have the starting point to any great vegan frittata. Adapt the seasonings, vegetables and/or grains to suit your own needs and taste. You really can’t go wrong and you’re certainly in for a treat (these are delicious!).

Our plant-based mini frittatas are great for those on the go (breakfast in one hand and an energetic six year old in the other!) or those in need of one last, light and late summer meal. We recommend that if you’ve gone an hour to spare, double the batch and freeze them; enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a quick snack! 

We enjoyed our wish some tasty parsnip chips, salad and some of our delicious broad bean and spinach dip!  How will you enjoy yours?! 

Quick Foodie Fact (and woo-hoo moment)!):
*Based on 12 frittatas, each frittata contains about 1.5 servings of veggies towards your 5-A-Day!

Here’s to a great weekend everyone (just forget about the forecasted rain)! 😀 ❤

 

DF milk not shown here.

 

Ingredients
75g        Dried quinoa
170g      Sweet potato
1 Tin      Black beans*
+++++    (*240g;130g dried/cooked)
60g       Chestnut mushrooms (about 3)
100g     Red onion
100g     Green bell pepper
20g       Red Chilli
180g      Salad Tomato
1             Spring Onion (15g)
10g        Fresh coriander leaf
2g          Fresh flat leaf parsley
80g       Carrot
320g     Parsnips
+++++++Low-fat cooking oil spray
40g       Multi-grain bread (or GF bread)
12g         Tahini paste
1             Block silken tofu (349g)
125ml    Soya Milk (unsweet/fortified)
10g        Dijon mustard
1g           Sweet paprika
1g           Ground turmeric
2g          Onion powder
1g           Garlic powder (unsalted)
++++++  Salt & ground black pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place the quinoa into a sieve. Rinse it under some cold running water for about 30sec to 1 minute (this will help wash away some of its bitter coating). Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, wash and cook the sweet potato. NB: Boil, steam or microwave it- the choice is yours (we quickly microwaved ours in some kitchen paper)!  Wash, peel and chop the potato into small chunks before boiling or steaming; boil for about 10 mins or until tender or steam for about 7 mins instead. Drain in a colander. Allow to cool.

3. Drain and rinse the black beans. Wash and slice two of the mushrooms; dice the third mushroom. Peel and finely chop the red onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½ cm pieces. Wash, remove the stem, deseed (if you prefer things less heated!) and then finely chop the chilli.

4. Wash and dice the tomato; place it into a sieve over a bowl and allow it to drain. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Wash and remove the coriander and parsley leaves from their stems and roughly chop them. Wash, peel and finely grate the carrot (use a cheese grater!). NB: If you microwaved your potato, remove the skin and finely chop it into small cubes.

5. Make the parsnip chips. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then chop the parsnip into thin strips. Place them into a small dish and coat with your favourite herbs and/or spices and a low-fat cooking oil or olive oil. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Tip: We seasoned ours to taste with some mild paprika, thyme, salt and ground black pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper. Place the chips onto the tray in a single layer (you’ll be cooking these a bit later on!)

6. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil. When hot, add the red onion, bell pepper, chilli and diced mushroom. Gently fry for 3-4 mins or until softened. Add the tomato and fry for a further 1-2 mins or until softened. Stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.

7. Create some bread crumbs (unless you are using a store bought variety!). Heat your bread in a toaster (or under a heated grill) until quite crispy. Break it up into a food processor. Pulse into crumbs. Transfer into a large mixing bowl. Tip: Alternatively, place the toasted bread into a resealable kitchen bag; crush and press it into bread crumbs using a rolling pin or heavy tin…or crush it into crumbs in a large mixing bowl!

8. Preheat the oven to 190°F/375°C. Place the cooked sweet potato, black beans, fried vegetable mixture, spring onion, coriander, parsley, carrot, 12g tahini and cooked quinoa into the bowl of breadcrumbs. Mix until combined.

9. Open the tofu and drain off any water. Place it into the food processor. Pulse until it’s smooth and creamy. Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, place it into a large mixing bowl. Mash and whisk until it’s as fine and smooth as you can make it! Add 125ml milk, 10g mustard, 1g sweet paprika, 1g ground turmeric, 2g garlic powder and 1g onion powder. Blend to combine. Pour the tofu mixture into the mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. Taste and season the mixture as necessary.

10. Spray a standard muffin tin with some low-fat cooking spray or line each casing with a silicone muffin liner (paper linings are not recommended!). Tip: Rub the spray to coat all sides of the casings. Spoon the frittata mixture evenly between each casing. Top each mini frittata with a slice of mushroom.

11. Place the baking tray (with the chips) onto the top oven shelf and the mini frittatas onto the middle oven shelf. Bake the chips for 25 mins, turning once. Bake the frittatas for 25-30 mins or until slightly firm and golden brown (we baked ours for 25 mins). Remove. Tip: Leave the frittatas for 5-10 mins before serving (if you can wait that long!) as they keep firming up once they leave the oven. Also, use a palate knife or a butter knife to help loosen and remove them from the tin.

12. Make a quick and simple garden or green salad! Serve the mini frittatas with the salad and parsnip chips.

Enjoy!

Tip: Store any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; best consumed within 3-5 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months

 

Steps: 1-5

Steps: 6-9

Steps: 10 & 11

Our Broad bead and spinach dip is making a sneaky appearance again! Yum!

 

Recipe and format updated: 25/02/16

Fiery Butternut Squash & Tofu Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 50 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, no added sugars and is low in salt and fats!

This is a squash and tofu soup flavoured with fiery ginger and other earthy spices. Not only is it delicious, but it’s easy to prepare; the finished product provides you with a soup that has a very creamy and velvety texture! 

 

Feel free to use more spices if desired!

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++600ml    Vegetable stock (low-salt/DF; GF if needed)
+++++++++++++++++++800ml    Water
+++++++++++++++++++800g       Butternut squash
+++++++++++++++++++60g          Raw ginger root
+++++++++++++++++++140g        Carrot
+++++++++++++++++++130g        Red bell pepper
+++++++++++++++++++10g          Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++6g            Ground cumin
+++++++++++++++++++6g            Ground coriander
+++++++++++++++++++340g       Silken Tofu
+++++++++++++++++++                Salt & ground black pepper

 

 

Directions:

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the stock and water. Bring to the boil.

 

 

In the meantime, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into small cubes. Wash, peel and roughly chop the ginger. Wash, peel, trim the ends and and roughly chop the carrot. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper. Peel and mince the garlic.

We used some of our roasted garlic that we saved from last week! Remember our baked rice?! Feel free to use a raw or roasted variety!

 

 

Place the squash, ginger and carrot into the saucepan. Cover with a lid. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the bell pepper, garlic, ground cumin and coriander. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.

 

 

Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.

 

 

In the meantime, drain and place the tofu into a blender.

 

 

Ladle the soup into the blender; if necessary, process in batches.

We completed this step in 2 batches.

 

 

Blend until smooth.

Nice and creamy!

 

 

Transfer the soup back into the saucepan or a resealable container.

 

 

Give it a stir. Taste and season it with salt and black pepper as necessary.

 

 

Reheat gently (if applicable) until hot but not boiling.

 

 

Ladle into a soup bowl.

 

 

Garnish with croutons, seeds, or herbs if desired.

We used some home-made croutons, spring onion, black pepper and a few cumin seeds 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost and consume within 1-2 months.