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Crispy Baked Tofu over Roasted Garlic Dill Mashed Cauliflower with Pesto and Walnuts

 

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Lord baby Jesus, I just ate at least two baskets of chips all by myself waiting for my fajitas to arrive. With the exception of tequila, I hate Cinco de Mayo so much. It’s one of those holidays I throw myself headfirst into (on a Monday, no less) all the while thinking: “I don’t even like Mexican food…”

It’s kind of like watching Real Housewives because I realize it’s not good for me but I will do it no matter what. Except Real Housewives usually makes me feel better about myself instantly while Cinco de Mayo is a recipe for nothing but morning-after regret… Cinco de Don’t Care.

Anyway, if a basket of chips did you wrong yet again this year, this killer vegan meal I’ve been dreaming up for months will do you so damn right on your Tuesday morning guilt detox, my friends.

This meal is all you ever wanted in hearty, soul-filling vegan comfort food. Creamy mashed cauliflower, crispy baked tofu, crunchy walnuts. Plus it’s full of healthy fat and protein. It wins.

I have never once in my entire life had any interest in the fad known as mashed cauliflower. Never. Roasted cauliflower is a gift from the gods and I have never met a potato I didn’t like, but never the two shall meet. I just don’t see the point.

That is until now.

Equally skeptical of the whole mashed cauliflower charade, my friend Jen was recently converted. Since I trust her opinion on most matters of food and awesome yoga songs, I had to see what the hype was about. I am so pleased.

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I couldn’t find a recipe I wanted to work with so I just made mine up as I went along, adding tahini, roasted garlic, and dill for good measure. All good choices.

Here’s how to assemble the whole ordeal…

Roasted Garlic Dill Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic (I roasted mine with the tofu, see below)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fill a saucepan with water (enough to submerge and cover the cauliflower). Add cauliflower, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let sit for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower softens.
  2. Drain water and transfer cooked cauliflower to a Vitamix (or equally awesome blender).
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Crispy Baked Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  1. The key to really great tofu is to press all the water out before working with it. You can do this by wrapping the block in paper towels and storing it in the fridge under the weight of cookbooks overnight OR use a tofu press.
  2. Preheat oven to 425
  3. Cut tofu into slices and arrange on a baking sheet greased with oil of choice (grapeseed is good for high cooking temps)
  4. If roasting garlic for the mashed cauliflower you can add it to this pan. I don’t even peel the cloves or anything. Just toss them in.
  5. Bake for about 8-10 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden brown

To assemble:

Spread mashed cauliflower onto a plate. Top with pesto. (I use a store-bought vegan pesto in a tube, sorry.) Top with diced tofu and sprinkle with walnuts.

I’ve had this for two meals in a row with roasted asparagus. It is so perfect.

Hope you recover from your Cinco de Mayo. I already can’t wait to eat this again for lunch tomorrow.

10 Comments

  1. Stephanie Stephanie

    This looks so good!

    • I’ve eaten it for like three days straight. I love it.

    • Yesssss, it’s the only thing I can do with it. I love it.

  2. Jen Jen

    i felt like such a traitor going to the mashed cauliflower dark side…but it’s actually god so it’s yet another one of “those foods” that i now eat. a long list these days! 🙂

    (but still the bead, cheese and ice cream too.)

    • Haha, it’s seriously awesome. I embrace it.

  3. Looks and sounds delish! Wonder what it would taste like with tempeh versus the tofu. Being a dude, I need to keep the phytoestrogens at a minimum, you know.

    • I’m a huge fan of tempeh. That was my original plan for this but I had tofu lying around so that happened…

  4. […] Tofu is a nightmare if you don’t know what to do with it, and I think most restaurants must just give up because I’ve had many a slab of just raw flavorless tofu. No thank you, man. I find the best treatment of tofu is to bake it until crispy which is what I did here. (You can find instructions on how to make crispy baked tofu here.) […]

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