Baked Tofu With Cilantro Pecan Pesto

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

Calories 348
Fat 32g
Carbs 5g
Protein 15g
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (1/2 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 348
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 204mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 1g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 15g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 299mg 23%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 241mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Total Time 35 min
Prep 5 min, Cook 30 min
Servings 4 (1/2 cup each)

This dish highlights some super plant foods, such as tofu, which is made from soybeans and formed into an easy-to-slice cake. Tofu is a complete protein food, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs every day. Plus, for about 90 calories per 1/2 cup, you get a lot of important minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium (check the ingredient list for calcium and/or magnesium sulfate), as well as potassium—all nutrient that keeps your blood pressure in check and that bode well for your brain.

Dressed in pesto made from cilantro, pecans, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh garlic cloves, this dish exudes health benefits. Cilantro contains virtually no calories and imparts a unique, fresh flavor. It's loaded with essential oils and A and B-vitamins. Plus, the tiny leaves contain antioxidant flavonoid compounds, which keep your cells free from damage and improve cognitive health.

Meanwhile, pecans are loaded with good-for-you unsaturated fats and are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant shown to protect the brain. According to the MIND Diet, nuts like pecans can slow down age-related cognitive decline by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

Ingredients

  • 1 package extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Dash of salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place tofu in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, add cilantro and pulse. Add pecans and pulse until combined; pour in oil and pulse a few times. Add cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper and puree for 15-20 seconds or until well blended.
  4. Dollop the pesto over the tofu and gently mix until tofu is well coated. Pour into an oven-safe dish or on a cooking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, check and toss tofu gently. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Repeat until tofu is golden brown on the edges and pesto is a bit bubbly. Remove from oven and serve on top of a green salad, toss a few tofu chunks into tomato soup or over angel hair pasta.

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