Tofu enhanced pesto


This is basically a summer dish masquerading as a winter dish (because of the red and green colors, okay?).  Totally Christmas-y.

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Here in Santa Monica, my garden still thinks it’s supposed to be producing.  So most of the recipe’s ingredients are from my garden.

Yes, I know we’re spoiled.  But believe me, we pay for it in our rent.


Ok, so about this pesto.  It’s the same basic formula I always use (nuts, basil, parsley, olive oil), but this time I added in tofu too.

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I used mostly brazil nuts and pecans, but a few cashews and almond slipped in too.  I didn’t measure, but that’s roughly 1 cup of salted roasted nuts + 1/3 a block of firm tofu.


Plus a lot of basil and parsley.

And then some spinach too (because why not?).

Makes it extra green.

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I added some salt, and then scooped it over ~2 cups of cooked quinoa and ~1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes.


Mixed it all up, drizzled some olive oil on top, and dinner was served.

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I think adding tofu to the pesto is the best move I’ve made in a while.  It helps lighten up the pesto, making it less dense and easier to blend (because nuts and herbs alone can be a pretty calorie dense sauce).  With tofu you don’t have to use as much liquid (oil or water or whatever) AND you get more bulk AND it stays thick like pesto. 

Winner, winner, quinoa dinner. 


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Comments (9)

  1. sallyann

    Hi Elise, I have been following your blog (from Australia) for a few months and really enjoying it. I am a vegetarian and looking to reduce my intake of processed foods. I love the idea of tofu in pesto, and pesto with quinoa, I will definitely be trying it. We have a good vegie garden with lots of herbs too.

    Love your work 🙂

  2. Katie

    I wish I had this for breakfast right this second.

  3. Elise (Post author)

    hi sallyann! thanks for saying hi 🙂 im glad youve been enjoying my blog.

  4. Yalanda

    Hi Elise!
    What kind of blender do you use? I just tried making pesto with my ninja (which is advertised to be so amazing) but it never reached a ‘smooth’ consistency! I appreciate any recommendations you have!

  5. Elise (Post author)

    for pesto i use a food processor i have a cuisinart.
    i have a magic bullet for smoothies and such, but it doesnt get things smooth or even break up ice all the way. i have a cuisinart blender and its better, but nothing comes close to the food processor.

  6. Pingback: Holidays! « StrongandBrave

  7. Jordan

    Do you think pistachios would be good with this instead of the nuts you used? I picked up all the ingredients at the store but forgot the nuts but I have a bag of pistachios on hand.

  8. Elise (Post author)

    do you have only pistachios? or do you have some other kinds of nuts…because i used a few different ones. pistachios might be good, but its hard to say. itll definitely be a different flavor (and probably a different texture), but you never know, it could be great! i can only vouch for the recipe with nuts though. let me know how it turns out either way.

  9. Jordan

    Using pistachios seemed to be successfull! Very good!

Comments are closed.