I love pesto. I love everything about it. The strong smell of herbs, the creamy texture, the sharp cheesiness, and the fatty oils. I used to get that Bertolli pesto in the small hummus like container and just indulge. However, that container has a whole lot of Parmesan cheese and olive oil in it. Don’t get me wrong I love olive oil and Parmesan is the world’s top cheese supposedly but I am vegan and I need to start eating less oil and more whole foods so this weekend I tried to make a new pesto recipe and decided to add some protein and make it a nice creamy version of my favorite since I already have a classic pesto recipe on here. So please make some, add a few of my optionals, and indulge in a delicious creamy pesto pasta on this cold, snowy Meatless Monday!
Oil Free Creamy Pesto Sauce
- 1 container lite silken tofu
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 cup frozen basil
- 1 tbsp pinenuts (pignolias)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp granulated garlic
Optional: (1) Add raw sliced almonds to the processor for a little texture. (2) Top with bruschetta tomatoes and a balsamic drizzle for a fresh twist. (3) Eat with American Flatbread Company’s new Farmer’s Tomato Pie instead of garlic bread or crusty bread.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until well combined and then when you drain your pasta place the sauce in the pot over medium or medium low heat stirring often until bubbling. Add pasta and toss. Serve hot with bread or Tomato Pie!
Food is Love.
The Hippie Gypsy
Since I became vegan I have always been afraid of preparing my own Tofu. First it was that I didn’t know how to use the different kinds (lite, firm, silken, extra firm, huh?). Then it was that it was all watery and mushy. Last, it was that everyone told me I had to dry it out or press it down or just buy the pre-baked from Trader Joe’s (which I did). I never knew what exactly to do. Then I started reading blogs and still not completely comfortable. Then I starting asking other vegetarians and cooks that I knew. i got closer to confident. But this past month I got a free cooking school online pass. They taught me so much so fast. I feel so much more confident about my tofu skills now. So here is my simple and best way to prepare tofu successfully. The pictures are provided by my closest friend that currently is living in Florida and doing a fast in which she has to prepare vegan food but was an omnivore prior to this fast. (The fast is called the Danial Fast Click Here to learn more.) I gave her my recipe and she followed it perfectly and topped her veggie bowl with the tofu.
Pan Fried and Baked Tofu
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- 1 block of lite or regular extra firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- Slice tofu into sticks by dividing the tofu in half and then half each side again creating 4 slabs. Divide those slabs into half to create sticks.
- Take tofu sticks and place on a plate that has 3 layers of paper towels. Let tofu drain on those towels at least 30 minutes. Then take an additional paper towel and press away excess water from the top.
- Next sprinkle with kosher salt and make rest 5 more minutes.
- In a bowl mix together cornstarch and cornmeal. Dredge the tofu through the mixture. You can add salt and pepper directly to the flour to create a seasoned flour.
- Heat oil in a frying pan until almost spitting. To test heat place a droplet of water into pan and watch it sizzle.
- With tongs place sticks into the hot oil moving frequently so they do not stick. Rotate each side until lightly cooked then place on a silpat for the oven.
- Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes until firm and not longer leaking excess water.
- Place on a dish with paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
I eat it with a side of peanut satay sauce or over brown rice and veggies with terriyaki sauce. They come out almost with a light crisp like a tempura would but not oily. Its the perfect way to keep it moist, not oily, and crisp. Enjoy!
PS: I have used the following substitutions successfully: Chia Seeds instead of Cornmeal, Arrowroot instead of Cornstarch, Canola instead of Olive Oil.
Food is Love.
The Hippie Gypsy.