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16 January 2015

Crispy Pesto Tofu with Lemon & Herb Bulgur Wheat

Serves: 2
Time: 15-20 mins

Crispy Pesto Tofu with Lemon & Herb Bulgur Wheat
I've been back at uni for 5 days now and it's been quite a challenge readjusting to life here again, not to mention I have an exam next week that I'm trying to get as much revision as I can done for, meaning that it's definitely not the most relaxed time of the semester. The way my loan works out this term, it's a lot less than last, I'm definitely a broke student right now and I'll be sharing in my blog posts and the "top tips" page, the best ways I find to live on a plant based diet on a budget. The hardest thing about this tighter budget for me is that I love to try new things in the kitchen, which obviously can't happen if a few of the main ingredients for a dish are expensive ones. I'm going to try and aim for at least one new dish a week, as not to break my budget, but hopefully after I've done my exam next week I'll have a bit more inspiration for some new cheap, healthy and delicious dishes!

This next dish is crispy crumb covered pesto tofu, served on a bed of lemon & herb bulgur wheat with kale and baby tomatoes. Bulgur wheat is similar in aesthetics to giant couscous, however it has a slight nutty flavour and is firmer that couscous, not to mention, tastes absolutely amazing in this dish. The bread I used on this dish was a loaf that had gone stale so was no longer of use as bread, I cut a couple of slices off before breaking the rest up and putting it in the freezer for when I need breadcrumbs next. As a vegan you probably won't like waste anyway, but my first tip is do not waste food! Not only is it costing you money, but it's also a complete waste of the time taken to grow/make the food and it just makes no sense, if you've made extra food and you know you won't eat it within the next 2-3 days then freeze it and defrost at a later date! But do not waste!!
Crispy Pesto Tofu with Lemon & Herb Bulgur Wheat

This meal is one of those really hearty ones that are bursting with flavour and you just can't help but want more of, all the aspects of this dish work so well together, to produce a depth of flavour and a  great balance of nutrients.

Crispy Pesto Tofu with Lemon & Herb Bulgur Wheat

You'll need:

  • large frying pan
  • Griddle pan/ 2nd frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Blender/food processor

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups veggie stock
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 block tofu
  • 3 tbsp vegan pesto
  • 2 thick cut slices bread
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g kale (roughly half a bag), chopped
  • 10 baby plum/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • black pepper
  • 1 tsp oil

Method:

  1. Fry off the onion and garlic in 1 tsp oil in the large frying pan, add the herbs, bulgur wheat & stock and simmer on a medium heat until all the liquid has absorbed (5-10 mins). Then remove from the heat, squeeze the lemon juice over the buckwheat, stir the kale through to wilt and leave to rest.
  2. Meanwhile, blend up the bread until it reaches a find crumb texture
  3. Then slice the tofu into strips (refer to the picture) and place on a chopping board, spread a small amount of pesto over one side of the tofu and coat in breadcrumbs, patting them down so they do not fall off.
  4. Heat the griddle pan on a high heat & when it is hot, transfer the tofu, crumb side down into the pan. As it is frying coat the other side with pesto and breadcrumbs, after 3-5 mins or when the first side is crispy, flip the tofu with a spatula and fry until golden brown. Some crumbs may fall off the tofu, but don't worry about this, just sprinkle them over the dish to serve, crispy pesto breadcrumbs taste amazing!
  5. Fluff up the bulgur wheat with a fork & serve up with the tofu, fresh baby tomatoes and a sprinkle of black pepper. Enjoy! Cassidy xx
Crispy Pesto Tofu with Lemon & Herb Bulgur Wheat