Basil “cheese” stuffed tomatoes

Iamsofrigginreadyforspring.

I’m ready for the one pathetic spot my daffodils came back up this year to bloom (seriously, do they not realize how hard it was to plant their bulbous asses? They couldn’t even give me 2 years in a row?)

I’m ready to stop having to look at sad puppy dog eyes every afternoon because someone is stir crazy from not getting enough exercise over the past 5 months.

I’m ready for some color on my pasty white body that I’m pretty sure blinded people on the bike trail yesterday as I ran in shorts and a tank top.

I’m not ready for the insane allergies that are going to plague me in about 6 weeks though. Be thankful our relationship is behind the computer screen because otherwise you’d be staring at one snotty, watery eyed, throat scratching mess with a tissue shoved up my nose at all times. #hotness

And, I’m ready for fresh herbs from my own pots outside so I can stop paying an arm and a leg for 3 sprigs of basil.

In fact, I deemed this basil purchase the last one. It was a pretty good way to go out though.

Laura posted a recipe for vegan goat cheese stuffed tomatoes last week that caught my eye. I don’t usually make stuff vegan on purpose having no reason to, but I’ll gladly eat that way if it tastes good. We ate these along side a skirt steak though so I’m thinking the vegan-ness got cancelled out. Oops.

In typical fashion, there was a container of tofu about to expire in my fridge so I figured I’d give this whole “cheese” thing a try.

Here’s the deal…

If you had fed this to me blindfolded, I would’ve never known it was tofu. My guess would’ve been some sort of ricotta mixture. Tofu is like a magical blank slate. Load it up with enough flavor and process the heck out of it and somehow weird white coagulated soy milk becomes whatever you want it to be.

In this case, a delicious protein rich filling with all the flavors of spring.

Too bad they do nothing for my pasty legs.

 

Lightly adapated from Sprint2thetable

Basil "Cheese" Stuffed Tomatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
All the flavors of spring in a vegan, protein packed stuffed tomato.
Author:
Recipe type: side dish, vegetable
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • zest of full lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 6 medium tomatoes, tops sliced off and insides scooped out
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Slice tofu in half and press for at least 30 minutes to drain excess water.
  2. Combine pressed tofu, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper and salt & pepper in a food processor. Set aside.
  3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, saute the shallots and garlic with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add sauteed mixture to the food processor.
  5. Process ingredients until smooth.
  6. Add in basil and pulse a few times until incorporated but visible pieces still remain.
  7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  8. Stuff gutted tomatoes with tofu mixture, place sliced tops back on and arrange in a sprayed baking dish. It might be necessary to slice a small part of the bottom of the tomato off to get it to stand upright.
  9. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  10. Roast for 25 minutes.
  11. While tomatoes are roasting, toast pine nuts on the stove top and reduce balsamic vinegar by cooking it on med-high heat until it becomes thickened and syrupy.
  12. Garnish tomatoes with pine nuts, balsamic reduction and extra basil.

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I have to try your recipe! I am unsure how I feel about tofu, so I may break down and get mozzarella cheese. Now I want some roasted tomatoes!! There is nothing like the flavor of roasted tomatoes, it’s amazing how the flavors come out! Have a great day!!

  2. 3

    says

    This is definitely Spring in my mouth.

    I’m kinda tofu unlucky – meaning that I can never get tofu to turn into something crispy and delicious like the rest of the world does. But, I think I can make tofu cheese work. Fingers crossed ;)

  3. 5

    says

    I’ve always been wary of tofu “cheese”. Not sure I could stomach it, but if you say you couldn’t tell in a blind taste test I believe that it was tasty! I sort of love that you had it with a steak though hahah!

  4. 15

    says

    Oh my god ME TOO!! This winter has gone on for far too long already!! :/ I tried on a skirt today and honestly my legs are so white they’re transparent! :( Also we have the same problem with our dogs. When it’s freezing Betty gets as far as the door, puts her nose out and then runs straight back to her bed, like ‘NO FRIKKIN WAY!!’ Haha

  5. 16

    says

    Oh Gina, these look exactly like what my brain is craving today!!
    It’s finally a tad sunny and warm here, and I can’t help but crave fresh healthy fare, and this looks totally bomb in the flavor department.

  6. 18

    says

    I paid 3 bucks for some basil the other day… The ones with the roots in the water… It looked so pretty at the store and when I moved it to a different container it wilted in minutes! So sad. Your stuffed tomatoes look so delicious… I will have to wait until we get better ones, the ones at the store are pretty bland right now. I have to salt it thoroughly to make it work. P.S. I ran in shorts yesterday, but couldn’t pull off the tank top. Hypothermia would’ve happened!

  7. 20

    says

    I can see how satisfying these stuffed tomatoes would be alongside a steak. Like you, I don’t typically make recipes vegan on purpose, but I do like to cut cheese out every once in a while. I’m definitely willing to try tofu as a tomato stuffer when I’m “off cheese” :)

  8. 21

    says

    I see what you did thereee ;) so creative! I LOVE that you used tofu. I feel that tofu is the most underused ingredient. I hate that some people think it’s gross and weird. These look awesome and I love the last picture you have of the tomato completely cut open with the “cheese”..amazing!

  9. 24

    says

    Gina, these do sound incredible! I’m a fan of stuffed peppers but I’ve never had stuffed tomatoes. And vegan is even better, I love all of unique vegan recipes floating around!

  10. 25

    says

    I never purposely make vegan food, and there are some recipes that start as vegan that I switch to vegetarian because I refuse to use “butter flavored spread” or a vegan egg. These sound delicious and I have everything but the tofu so I suppose I could make them as is for once…then serve them with steak.

    • 26

      Running to the Kitchen says

      I’m the exact same way. I de-veganize recipes all the time b/c I don’t keep “butter flavored spread” on hand nor see the purpose of flax and chia eggs when cracking a real one is much quicker!

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