Grilled Tofu and Zucchini with Basil Pesto

If you’ve not had tofu before… this is the recipe to try!

Tofu has such an interesting texture… it’s like a quiche or cooked scrambled egg, but is actually bean curd from coagulated soybeans. Yes soybeans… and before you dismiss the recipe because you’ve read soy is terrible, hear me out.

Soy is the perfect plant-based protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids. It is full of protein, calcium, iron, zinc and several more minerals and other than those who are allergic to soy, the vast majority of medical and scientific communities agree people can safely consume soy foods. In fact – there are strong indications that soy foods offer significant health benefits.

So why all the media hype on soy being bad? Well what I’ve come to learn – is there are really only a few “soy bashers” who instigate the war on soy… and they happen to be VERY vocal. According to the USDA, soy is one of the top 3 of genetically modified organisms (GMO). Additionally, most of the negative reports about soy come from studies that involve rodents. The fact is – rodents metabolize soy much differently than humans, so using these studies as a scientific model for how humans will react to soy is just not helpful. It’s like comparing soccer to baseball.

Oh I could go on (maybe I’ll write another post on debunking the soy myths), but this post is about a delightful Grilled Tofu and Zucchini with Basil Pesto. While it sounds exotic, it’s a surprisingly fast prep and cook meal. Be sure to use organic or non-GMO ingredients. Note: To be certified organic, it must be non-GMO

Grilled Tofu and Zucchini with Basil Pesto

14oz organic firm tofu, cut into 8 slices
2 medium zucchini, sliced 4 times lengthwise
3Tbl gluten-free tamari
2Tbl sesame or extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3.5 cups of fresh basil leaves picked from the stem
2 garlic cloves
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
1tsp onion powder
1Tbl ground flax seed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + 1Tbl spoon
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Arugula or other salad greens

Combine tamari and sesame oil in 9×13 baking dish. Place tofu and zucchini slices in dish and marinate for 10 minutes. Be sure to rub mixture over all the contents. While that is marinating – combine basil, garlic, ginger, onion powder, flax seed and ¼ cup of EVOO in food processor and pulse till smooth. Thin it with a little water (tablespoon at a time) if consistency is think. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Once hot – cook zucchini for 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside. Cook tofu for 3-4mins per side. Set aside.

Place a handful of arugula (or other salad greens) on plate. Drizzle lightly with EVOO (and balsamic vinegar if you have some!). Arrange tofu and zucchini on top and sprinkle with pesto.


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