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roasted tofu and kale with pine nuts + delicious surprises


Inspiration and big change is always floating around in the back of the mind, in the atmosphere, everywhere really. Like an iceberg that looks so small and unassuming on the surface of dark water, there’s a giant waiting to be seen underneath. It is impressive, surprising; its potential builds up over weeks and months. Maybe even years. Just waiting and growing.

…I saw roasted kale on a menu recently and was kind of taken aback at first. I thought it would be weird, nonsensical, all that; even though I absolutely love kale in any form I’ve tried. So I tinkered with it at home out of curiosity. Wow. Really good. Surprising. That reaction and the whole lead-up to it kind of summarizes life right now, lots of delicious surprises. They were kind of there all along in whispers and hums, developing and getting bigger and louder and then whoa. Right there. Hello.

Other than that, not much else to chat about. I just received Bryant Terry’s fantastic new book and was feeling so inspired flipping through the pages and looking at the gorgeous photos. I remembered a technique I learned from his first book Vegan Soul Kitchen for roasting tofu. I was so thrilled to see a new rendition in The Inspired Vegan. So here’s my take for you to play with and be inspired by (hopefully). Big hugs :)

chili, lemon and herb roasted tofu with kale and pine nuts
inspired by Bryant Terry
serves: 2
notes: I make this dish all on one sheet pan. Choose one thats big enough to accommodate everything and just add the components as time winds down. Also, any strong spice or flavour would be great here, this dish is pretty open to interpretation.

1 lemon, zest and juice
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tsp red chili flakes
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped
salt and pepper
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 package (227g) organic firm to extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 bunch kale, leaves removed and torn into 1.5 inch-ish pieces
small handful of pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the lemon zest, sliced garlic, chili flakes, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in the bowl of a mortar and pestle. Grind it up until a dry paste is achieved. Add the lemon juice and oil and grind until mixture is unified.

Pour about half of the oil and lemon juice mixture into a large bowl. Toss it with the cubes of tofu very gently. Place onto  the parchment-lined baking sheet in one tight section. Roast for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and gently toss the tofu cubes with a fork or spatula. Place back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.

Toss the kale with the remaining oil and lemon juice mixture in the large bowl. Remove the tofu from the oven and place the kale on most of the remaining space of the tray. Roast for 10 more minutes. Place pine nuts on the tray and roast for another 2-3 minutes, until tofu is quite browned, kale has wilted and crisped a bit and the pine nuts are golden.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

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dana @ my little celebration09/02/2012 - 8:55 pm

I WILL be making this as I just picked up some tofu at TJ’s. Lovely!

Jacqui09/02/2012 - 11:12 pm

I’ve never thought to roast kale either! Sound absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this soon.

Michelle10/02/2012 - 12:26 am

Looks delicious lady! Totally my kind of meal on top of some brown rice!

Question: If one doesn’t have a mortar and pestle….what does one do?

Laura10/02/2012 - 6:40 am

Michelle, If you’re feeling lazy, blend it all. If not, just chop the herbs, garlic, zest etc all fine and stir it into the lemon juice and oil :)

Margarita10/02/2012 - 8:22 pm

Love all these ingredients… Never thought of using lemon to flavor tofu… So good!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar11/02/2012 - 12:07 am

I need this. For reals.

Judy12/02/2012 - 10:26 pm

oh wow this is beautiful.. I love tofu and am glad that everybody’s starting to get into it. There are just so many ways to spice up this wonderful treat and this chilli lemon recipe is awesome! Now only if I can get kale….

Love love love Bryant Terry! Just ate his creamy grits & tempeh last night for dinner. : ) (This looks amazing, ps.)

Diane16/03/2012 - 1:05 pm

I made this and will be remaking it for my daughter who is visiting this week. The kale is absolutely wonderful, the tofu delecious and the pine nuts were just another layer of flavor. Also easy to make once you get through the first part. This is definitely something I will be adding to favorite recipes.

[...] From The First Mess [...]

Elizabeth (Greens & Seeds)05/05/2012 - 8:47 pm

Roasting the entire meal on one baking sheet? Brilliant!

[...] for easy prep and clean up. I wish this brilliant idea was my own, but I first read about it on The First Mess. She roasts kale with the tofu, uses a different flavor profile all together, and credits Bryant [...]

[...] Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the tofu pieces onto the grill. Wait for about 2 minutes or until good char marks appear. Flip the pieces over. Cook until char marks appear on the reverse and tofu is browned to your liking. Remove from the grill and set aside. Don’t have a grill? You can always roast it. [...]

Meg26/09/2012 - 9:20 pm

I just wanted to say that I had been eyeing this recipe for sometime. Finally made it this evening, and it was the perfect combination of flavors. The only change was that I added half the kale for 10 minutes and the other half for 5 minutes so there was a nice mix of crispy and soft kale. Delicious!

Katie (The Muffin Myth)03/10/2012 - 10:51 am

You know, I had some kale in my hands yesterday (which is *extremely* tough to find in Sweden) and I was going to toss it in the oven along side a spaghetti squash I was roasting, but I thought, nah, roasted kale? That sounds crazy. Now I’ll definitely come back to it. The tofu looks great as well! Thanks for the recipe.

[...] Spice Kale & Tofu Recipe (inspired by The First Mess) [...]

Reesa19/10/2012 - 1:57 pm

How am I just finding your website now?! Shame on me. I’d better get moving through the archives stat… there are so many wonderful things to try!

[...] and roasted kale adapted from The First Mess. The rest is from my [...]

Reeve13/08/2013 - 10:44 am

Oh man, this sounds good! QUick question though, do you press the tofu first for this recipe? My gut says yet, but I’ve never roasted tofu so I thought I would ask.

Laura Wright13/08/2013 - 11:07 am

Hi Reeve! You can if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The high heat of the roasting takes most of the moisture away. Super easy! :)
-L

[…] or raw (teach yourself to make baked tofu and never have a boring salad […]

Yeeeeaaah!! Roasted foo is da bomb!

[…] Adapted from The First Mess  […]

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