29/06/2016 08:33 BST | Updated 30/06/2017 06:12 BST

Creamy Tofu Pesto Sauce


Tofu can be prepared in so many inventive ways to create different flavors and textures, from sweet to savory and from smooth to crispy, it's one of the most versatile and healthful foods!

Tofu is to soymilk as cheese is to dairy milk. Just like cheese, a coagulant is added to the soymilk to make it curdle. In fact, that's why tofu is also called bean curd.

For creamy recipes and desserts, I like to use silken tofu for its custardy texture.

Tofu Facts

  • Tofu is a complete protein and contains nine essential amino acids.
  • Tofu is naturally gluten-free, cholesterol-free and low in calories.
  • Tofu is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.
  • Tofu contains isoflavones, which when consumed regularly has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and age-related mental disorders.
  • Tofu contains phytoestrogens and may be helpful for women in perimenopause when estrogen production slows down.
  • Choose organic tofu and other soy foods that have undergone minimal amounts of processing.

Layne's Creamy Tofu Pesto Sauce

Choose organic ingredients when available:

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 c walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup silken tofu, firm
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender such as a Vitamixer. Process until the texture is smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serves 4.

Serve this over whole-wheat pasta with sliced cherry tomatoes. You can also use this as a sauce for risotto, as a dip or as a spread on toast.

Nutrition Facts per serving (without added salt): 130 calories, 9 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrate, 89 milligrams sodium, 9 grams protein, 2 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams sugar.

For dietary secrets of the super-healthy and recipes for every meal of the day, pick up a copy of my award-winning book Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy. Bon Appétit!