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.
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!Print
- 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
- 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1/2 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
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. Place large pan over medium heat and add 1/2 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When tofu is about 12 minutes from being done, throw the noodles into the boiling water and cook until desired doneness.
- 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!
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.