Tofu noodles with artichoke and lemon pesto

Protein train

This dish is something that was born out desire of texture and guilt from eating kinda really bad on weekend :D

You can basically alter this dish in a slice of baked tofu having pesto as a spread on top. Despite being all tofu, noodles and smoked bits have different firmness and smoothness to it, which provides texture variety that i so need on diet. On it's own cooked tofu may feel like it's missing some fatness or softer body (especially if you're not used to it). It can usually be counteracted by oils from the dish (if, let;s say, it's stir fry of some sort), but i'm trying to lose weight, so I got creaminess by adding softened onions that also add a bit of sweetness to smoked tofu. And we need some acidity to break all those rich flavors, so instead of sweeter green pesto i chose artichoke and lemon mixture with reduced oil, just a tablespoon for a whole cup of pesto. A bit of oil is good, it's about as much you'd have on your salad ;) just need to make sure i won't be having any today ... Almost 30 g of protein on one plate!


 
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Ingredients

  • 12 oz marinated artichoke hearts 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, good olive oil ;)

  • 4-5 cloves of garlic

  • juice 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest

  • salt and pepper to taste

  •  

  • tofu noodles, cooked as instructed on package (most likely riced and microwaved for a minute) 

  • smoked tofu, cubed

  • fried onions to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix all the pesto ingredients in a blender. That's it... our pesto is ready :) You can save it as a spread for later if you want.
2. For pasta dish, rinse noodles to remove the smell of  liquid that keeps them moisturized. This will remove the smell, after which put it on few paper towels and lightly squeeze out the excess of water. Cook tofu noodles as said on the package, most likely few minutes boiling or a minute of microwaving. 
3. Chop onions in long strings and fry them for few minutes till tender. Smoked tofu is pretty much cooked already, but put it with onion and heat it till onion gets light golden color. This way tofu will absorb some of the onion sweetness.
4. Mix all in one pan and top with seeds in you like that sort of stuff  (like I do).
5.If lemon in pesto was sweeter Mayer type and there's not enough acidity for you, just squeeze some fresh lemon juice right on top of your pasta dish.