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Pesto Tofu Steaks

Serves 2


    These meaty tofu steaks are so satisfying that even ardent carnivores won’t be left pondering, “Where’s the beef?” They are also a great way to get more plant-based protein into a diet, which the new Canada Food Guide now encourages. A herbaceous pesto sauce brightens up the whole dish.


    Pesto Tofu Steaks


    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa, rinsed and drained
    • 350 g pkg extra-firm tofu
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) prepared pesto
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar


    Per serving:

    • calories598
    • protein34g
    • fat37g
      • saturated fat6g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates34g
      • sugars0g
      • fibre4g
    • sodium405mg



    In medium saucepan, place quinoa, a couple pinches of salt, and 1 cup (250 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a light simmer, and cook, covered, until quinoa is tender and water has absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let pot sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork.

    As quinoa cooks, line cutting board with a couple sheets of paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Place tofu on cutting board and top with a couple more sheets of paper towel or another kitchen towel. Place another cutting board on top of tofu and press firmly to extract excess liquid. Slice each tofu along its width into 2 slabs. Season each piece of tofu with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

    TIP: be sure to press out as much liquid as possible before cooking tofu. It will obtain a better sear in the pan or on the grill.

    In large skillet over medium-high, heat grapeseed or sunflower oil. Add tofu to pan and heat until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Flip and heat until golden and crispy on other side. Slice each tofu piece into 2 triangles. Alternatively, place tofu on greased grill grate and grill tofu on medium-high for about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown with some grill marks.

    Whisk together pesto, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.

    Divide quinoa among serving plates and top with tofu pieces. Drizzle on pesto sauce.


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    This recipe is part of the Quick, High-Protein Recipes That Will Keep You Full collection.



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