Cajun Grilled Tofu and Mushroom Pasta

Cajun Grilled Tofu and Mushroom Pasta

A creamy Cajun alfredo sauce that’s delicious and vegan? Can it be possible?? This is probably the BEST creamy-style pasta sauce I’ve ever made. Another great thing about this recipe is, again, how the marinade for the tofu can be used in multiple ways after using it as a marinade – something you normally can’t (or shouldn’t) do with marinades used on meats due to the risk of contamination.

This dish is just as spicy as it is flavorful. Liquid Smoke has to be probably one of the most amazing things ever invented. I used it in my marinade for the tofu, which this time I used the super-firm variety by Nasoya. I didn’t know they had one comparable to my favorite Wildwood Super-Firm. The longer you let the tofu marinate, the better it tastes. It let it go for 8 hours today before throwing it on the grill. I also went out on a limb and decided to grill the mushrooms too. What a good idea that was!

Enjoy this Creole-inspired pasta topped with fresh parsley and additional hot sauce if you want to really turn up the heat.

Ingredients for Marinade:
1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup lower sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped – big pieces are fine
1 tsp vegan Worchestershire sauce
1 block Nasoya or Wildwood brand super firm tofu, sliced

Pasta Sauce Ingredients:
1 block silken tofu (usually this is the shelf-stable one, like Mori-Nu)
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, like Silk brand
1/4 cup of the tofu marinade
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp black salt like this kind by Spice & Tea Exchange
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
All the onions from the marinade
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce, or more, or less…or none!

1 package linguine pasta, cooked as per package directions
2-3 cups of gourmet mixed mushrooms (baby bellas, oyster, shiitake, etc)

First, begin by mixing all the marinade ingredients together and pouring it into a large shallow container, preferably one where you can submerge all the tofu slices. Slice tofu and place it in the marinade, cover and let marinate for at least 4 hours. I marinated mine for 8. You could probably put this on to marinate when you get up in the morning and they’ll be ready by the time dinner rolls around.

Once you feel the tofu has marinated enough, it’s time to start preparing the rest of the pasta ingredients. First, fire up the grill and allow it to heat up. Rinse and drain mushrooms. We have a special container to put vegetables in on the grill. It looks like a skillet but it has holes about the size of a hole-punch you find in the office. If this is not an option, simply sauteeing the mushrooms will suffice. Remove tofu slices from marinade and place on grill.  Once the tofu slices and mushrooms are done to your liking, remove from grill and head back inside to the kitchen.

Next make the sauce and start on the pasta noodles. Heat the water for the pasta as you are working on the sauce and keep an eye on it as you multi-task. To make sauce, heat the 2 tsp oil in a nonstick skillet along with 1 tbsp minced garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the onions leftover from the marinade. Sautee on medium-high heat until the onions and garlic are browned well. To add more delicious flavor, spoon in a little of the marinade as you go. Remove from heat and place into the blender along with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend on the liquify setting or highest setting on the blender. Pasta should be done by now.

When the pasta is done, drain it, but retain a small amount of the water in the pot. Return pasta to the pot, add mushrooms, and sauce. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients.

Slice the tofu into thinner pieces and place on top of each serving of pasta, then garnish with additional fresh parsley and hot sauce.

Makes about 5-6 servings.



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