Friday, July 1, 2011

Red, White, and... Green?

Today I made a spectacular lunch and dessert! I wasn't certain how either would turn out, and thankfully they weren't disappointing. Not even close. Lunch was Quinoa, Tofu, and Kale with Lemony Spinach Pesto. It isn't easy photographing food this shade of green, but I assure you it is delicious! It even had red (sun-dried tomatoes), white (tofu), but no blue! SO I used a blue napkin, since it is almost the fourth of July.
I actually ended up using spinach in mine today, because I forgot to buy kale. I'm sure it is tasty either way.

Quinoa, Tofu, and Kale with Lemony Spinach Pesto
Adapted from Color Me Vegan

2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons safflower oil, divided
1 block firm or extra firm tofu (12-15 oz), pressed and cubed
1 bunch of kale, finely chopped or 10 oz spinach chopped
1/3 cup toasted pepita seeds
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste 
1 recipe of lemony spinach pesto (see recipe below)

Cook the quinoa according to package directions, in vegetable stock. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and saute tofu over medium heat until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil (less if using spinach) to the pan and saute kale until tender and bright green. Add to the bowl with the tofu.
Add the quinoa to the bowl, along with the pepita seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to fully incorporate pesto. Serve heated or at room temperature.

I used a pesto recipe from Sometimes I Veg- You can find the recipe here. I replaced the pine nuts with cashews because that is what I already had. It really was a delicious pesto recipe! I loved how it only had two tablespoons of oil in the whole batch. It drives me crazy when pesto is super greasy because of all the added oil. This one was light and creamy, but still full of flavor.
We had a lot of leftover watermelon in our fridge that needed to be used soon. I decided to make a minty watermelon seltzer. 
It was simple to make and very refreshing. After a few sips, I decided to get crazy and try making an "ice cream" soda float, using banana soft serve. I had no idea if the flavors would go well together but thought I'd give it a shot. I made banana soft serve and put a few scoops on top of this minty watermelon seltzer. It followed along with my color scheme from lunch: red, white, and green.
YUM!! A wonderful alternative to an ice cream float and perfectly refreshing and delicious!

Minty Watermelon Seltzer Float

1 cup cubed watermelon
7 mint leaves
club soda (I used lime)
Banana soft serve (1 chopped, frozen banana put in a food processor for 5 minutes)

Put the watermelon and mint leaves in a food processor and process until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Pour into a glass, top with club soda and banana soft serve. Garnish with a mint leaf.
You could also try just the watermelon seltzer without the banana soft serve if banana doesn't float your boat.


  1. That salad looks incredible, even though I am still very hesitant to use tofu. I enjoyed a tofu scramble the other day so I guess I'm learning.

  2. Thank you for the wonderful pesto recipe- I love it! You could maybe use chic peas or white beans if you didn't want tofu.

  3. Lemony Spinach Pesto sounds amazing!

  4. It was perfect pesto!! I will make it again anytime a recipe calls for pesto!