Kale and Leek Pesto Pasta with Tofu

Print this pageShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on YummlyShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

This Kale and Leek Pesto Pasta with Tofu is fresh, seasonal, filling and comes together in just 30 minutes!  Making it a great dinner choice during a busy week! {gluten free, vegan}

It’s that time again, 30-Minute Thursday (Scroll to the bottom of the post for more 30-Minute meals from my favorite blogging friends)!  I’ve been in a dinner rut the last few weeks and almost dropped the ball on you guys this month.  I’ve been stopping at the store on my way home from work, walking around aimlessly, praying that a dinner idea pops into my head.  I’ve never been a meal planner, but I’m seriously thinking about converting!

I’ve been thinking about trying to develop a 30-minute veggie burger recipe for some time now but that proved to be a total disaster a few days ago.  It tasted delicious when I ate it in a taco, but veggie burger it was not.  I had pretty much given up on coming up with a 30-minute meal by today when I decided to look for some seasonal inspiration.

This Kale and Leek Pesto Pasta with Tofu is fresh, seasonal, filling and comes together in just 30 minutes!  Making it a great dinner choice during a busy week! {gluten free, vegan}

I ended up on Cookie & Kate’s February Produce List.  I had already decided that I wanted to a do a pasta with tofu and all I needed was a few seasonal ingredients that I could make a quick pesto with.  I came across the kale first and instantly  knew this was going to work!  As much as I love straight kale pesto, I wanted to add another flavor in there to kick things up a bit and got pretty excited when I saw the leeks on the list.  The leeks give the pesto a nice mild onion taste that goes perfectly with the kale!

Who knew that you could not only make a delicious and filling meal in 30 minutes, but you could also enjoy a meal that has homemade pesto on it in 30 minutes!

Kale and Leek Pesto Pasta with Tofu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Entree, Gluten Free, Vegan, 30 Minutes
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces pasta, your favorite kind (I used brown rice gluten free pasta)
  • 1 (14 ounce) block of extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1½ teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon low sodium tamari, or soy sauce (gluten free if necessary)
Kale and Leek Pesto:
  • 2 medium leeks (1 cup when chopped)
  • 4 cups chopped curly kale
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. Place large pan over medium heat and add ½ teaspoon olive oil. Cut the ends off the leeks and then cut again just right before the tough dark green part. Rinse leeks under cold water to remove all grit, if necessary. Chop leeks into small pieces and add to the pan with a pinch of salt. Cook leeks for about 3 minutes, until just tender, and then transfer them to a food processor.
  2. Cut the block of tofu into bite size chunks and add to the pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil, tamari and granulated garlic. Cook tofu until browned on the outside, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the remaining pesto ingredients, excluding the olive oil, to the food processor and turn on. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while food processor is running. Blend for about 30 seconds - 1 minute until pesto sauce is formed, scraping down the sides if necessary. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. When tofu is about 12 minutes from being done, throw the noodles into the boiling water and cook until desired doneness.
  5. Drain noodles and add back to the pot. Pour the pesto sauce over noodles and stir until combined, then add the tofu and stir again. Transfer to bowls and enjoy!
Notes
Pesto recipe makes enough to generously coat the pasta. If you like less sauce, feel free to not quite use all of it. If you like a thinner sauce, you can reserve some of the pasta water and add it in while you are stirring the pesto sauce in.

 

This Kale and Leek Pesto Pasta with Tofu is fresh, seasonal, filling and comes together in just 30 minutes!  Making it a great dinner choice during a busy week! {gluten free, vegan}This Kale and Leek Pesto Pasta with Tofu is fresh, seasonal, filling and comes together in just 30 minutes!  Making it a great dinner choice during a busy week! {gluten free, vegan}30-Minute-Thursday
*Not all dishes are vegetarian or gluten free, but some can easily be adapted!

Baked Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups by Pumpkin ‘N Spice

30 Minute Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup by Kristine’s Kitchen

One Pot Pizza Gnocchi Pasta by Savory Nothings

30-Minute Cheesy Mexican Rice Skillet by Flavor the Moments

Skinny Cajun Shrimp Alfredo Pasta by Bake. Eat. Repeat.

Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry with Orange by Floating Kitchen

One Pot BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Rice by The Recipe Rebel

Garlic Butter Monte Cristo Pull-Apart Sliders by Whole and Heavenly Oven

Shrimp and Vodka Penne Pasta by My Kitchen Craze

Print this pageShare on TumblrShare on RedditPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on YummlyShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on Twitter

Comments

  1. says

    I’m a fan of 30 minute dinners so I’m loving this series Izzy. And kale pesto is a favorite of mine – there are so many uses for it aren’t there. Love the addition of leeks and nutritional yeast in this recipe especially

    • She Likes Food says

      Yah! I’m so glad you are enjoying the series, Katie! They can be so hard to come up with sometimes! I love the nutritional yeast in the pesto too, it makes it so creamy :)

  2. says

    I’m a huge fan of anything with pesto, so I know I would love this pasta! And I love the addition of leeks, too! That’s one ingredient that I always forget to cook with. Sounds like it goes perfectly with the tofu, too!

    • She Likes Food says

      Me too, Gayle!! This was actually the first time I had ever used leeks and I will definitely be using them again!

  3. says

    I’ve converted to meal planning (for the most part), and it’s helped me so much! There’s nothing worse than getting close to dinner time with no idea what you’re doing. :( I love pesto sauce, and this kale-leek version sounds incredible!

    • She Likes Food says

      I feel like it really would help so much, I just can’t seem to get my head around it yet, haha! Thanks, Marcie :)

  4. says

    Oh my gosh, being in a dinner rut is like the story of my life. I’m so terrible at making decent dinners. So 30 Minute Thursday is actually kind of a challenge for me each month. But that makes it fun too and I’m happy to now have so many new and inspiring things to cook. Homemade pesto is the best. Love your kale version!

    • She Likes Food says

      I feel the same way, Liz! I almost didn’t participate this month because I was so stumped by what to make! I love seeing everyone else’s ideas too! Thanks, lady :)

  5. says

    This pasta looks incredible! I’m not a tofu eater, but you have me thinking twice about it. I’m not a big meal planner either, but I think I need to change too. Cause if I don’t have something planned then we’ll probably eat out. Gonna try this soon.

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks, Cyndi! I promise that tofu is good if you cook it correctly :) I know, we’ve been eating out way too much lately!

  6. says

    Wow, this looks so fresh and bright! I LOVE leeks! Definitely need to use more of them while they are in season. I’ve been missing pestos since I don’t have my usual masses of summer herbs growing right now. I need to branch out and try kale! Looks so good!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: