Lemon and basil and pasta, oh my! This decadent and creamy vegan lemon basil pasta with tofu and broccoli comes together quickly for weeknight dinners you can have on the table in a flash or you can opt to meal prep this dish ahead of time
Baby T is showing more and more interest in table food lately. She’s still got a preference for mama’s milk, but she’s starting to really enjoy discovering new foods. She also enjoys sharing them with the dogs and they sure don’t seem to mind.
We chose baby led weaning for Troian for a number of different reasons that I am sure I will write about some day, but one of the major contributing factors was convenience. A lot of what we are feeding her right now is the same thing we’re having for our meals, but just baby-safe and baby-friendly. This way she can eat mostly what we’re eating and I’m not having to buy or make separate meals or purees.
If we’re having carrots, she can have those too. We just make sure they’re appropriately cooked so that they are soft enough for her to chew. If we are having a stir-fry, we share the cooked veggies and noodles or rice with her before we add our hot sauce or sodium-laden soy sauce. If we are having pasta dishes such as this one, we just make sure it’s cool enough for her and give her smaller pieces that are age-appropriate.
I’m pretty sure T has tried a wider variety of foods before age 1 than I did before turning 20, haha. Some of her favorites so far are butternut squash, persimmons, guacamole, and strawberries.
She also really likes pasta of any sort, tofu (straight from the package even), and broccoli.
This recipe came to be from me trying to find a large recipe to make several days of lunches for me and Alex and attempting to use ingredients that I knew Troian would eat with no problems.
This lemon basil pasta recipe made a very sizable batch with generous portions and reheated well throughout the week.
Lemon Basil Pasta with Tofu and Broccoli
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided 1tbsp + 1tbsp)
- 1 block firm tofu drained, pressed, and cubed
- 1 head broccoli florets steamed
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups water
- 1 serving/cube vegetable bouillon powder *see notes
- 3 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 16 oz uncooked pasta **
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- If you haven't already steamed your broccoli, do that while the rest of the meal cooks
- Coat the bottom of a large pot (you'll want a large pot for this amount of pasta) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bring it medium heat. Add the tofu cubes and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned. Remove the tofu and add it to a plate. Set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to your pot and heat it to medium heat. Add your garlic and onion to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to avoid browning, until the onion is translucent. Add in the lemon juice and stir.
- Add water, vegetable bouillon powder, nondairy milk, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and stir. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Once the liquid has come to a boil, add your pasta and reduce to a simmer. If you're using longer noodles like I did, gently push the remaining noodles into the pot as the submerged noodles begin to soften.
- Stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Depending on your pasta, cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the noodles are cooked to your liking. If the sauce becomes too thick, add another splash of nondairy milk and reduce your heat a bit.
- Once cooked, add the lemon zest, fresh basil, steamed broccoli, and tofu to your pot and stir to combine.