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My husband is a steak man. So anytime I try to even mention tofu instead of real meat, I get met with resistance. But considering the amount of red meat eaten in my household has gotten out of control as of late, I took matters into my own hands. Scouring AllRecipes.com, I came upon this tofu pesto pasta recipe, which seemed pretty tasty. So, without giving any inclination that we were having the dreaded tofufor dinner, I cooked up our meal and presented it to my hungry husband.

First reaction? “Oooooh.. looks good.”

Two seconds later with squinty eyes (and before tasting it first): “Wait a minute…. this is tofu.”

Defending my lovely meal and arguing that I was not trying to pull a “fast one” by him, I encouraged him to try it. And the result? After his first bite, a sly smile came across his face–a sure fire sign he was sheepishly conceding to defeat. Yes! I had won the tofu battle, and by a landslide no less (He asked for seconds!) Try the winning recipe below!

{Tofu Pesto Pasta}

Ingredients

1/2 to 3/4 box of spiral pasta (tri-color or regular)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups milk
1 (1.2 ounce) package creamy pesto sauce mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (16 ounce) package firm tofu, drained and cubed
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1 tablespoon capers (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 sprig fresh basil

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in spiral pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a medium bowl, blend 1/4 cup olive oil, milk, and pesto sauce mix.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Place tofu in the skillet, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until evenly browned. Remove from heat, and drain on paper towels.
  4. Place mushrooms into the skillet, and cook about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives, capers, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Mix in the tofu and pesto sauce. Continue cooking until sauce thickens and then serve over the pasta. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and basil.

Enjoy!

<3
Andrea

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how to make ranch, best ranch ever

So, I know I’ve built up this recipe with the post title. And the recipe isn’t really Earth-shattering or anything. But seriously, I’ve always felt that bottled grocery store ranch was a little “off.” And this recipe is sooo much better than that bottled stuff. It rivals what’s termed “Restaurant Ranch” in my house. AND, because you’re making it yourself, you can use the ingredients you want (i.e. organic stuff) to make it healthier and less corn-syrup-weird-ingredients-I can’t-pronounce filled. So if you think you can handle having your Ranch world rocked, read on! (And I kid you not. It will rock your world. We actually take this places where we know there will be a need for Ranch. Weird, I know. Apparently we take our food way too seriously.)

{What You Will Need}

Ranch dressing mix (Found in the dressing isle. I’m not sure if you can find this organically in your local organic market but if you can, this recipe can be made 100% organic.)
Mayo
Sour cream (We use Fage yogurt as sour cream in my household. It has less fat/calories, tons more protein, and you can barely tell the difference in taste.)
Milk
Empty container
Funnel
Wisk or silicone spatula (The silicone spatula is ideal for scraping the bowl later. In general, I prefer these spatulas and have quite the collection. I get them at the dollar store. Get one. You’ll love them too.)
Medium size bowl

  1. Gather your supplies
  2. In bowl, add sour cream and mayo according to package directions. I’ve made this so many times now, I just eyeball the amounts I put in. I usually use 8 oz. (1/2 a container) of Fage yogurt and about 1/2 cup of mayo to start. I add more to taste if needed before I add in the milk. Now add in the dressing mix and mix the sour cream, mayo, and dressing mix together.
  3. Now add milk, little by little, until you get a slightly runnier than optimal consistency. The ranch will get thicker when you refrigerate it, which is why I do this.
  4. Use funnel to put ranch into your chosen container. I also use a silicone spatula to scrape the bowl so there is little waste. This stuff is so good, you won’t want to waste ANY.
  5. Refrigerate for 10-20 mins (if you’re impatient like me) and then use. Or you can be proactive and make way before you need to use it, if you’re good like that. Me? Not so much.
  6. Enjoy!!!

So, there yah go. Best Ranch ever. If you’re a Ranch lover, you’ll love this. My husband LOVES ranch and he practically drinks this stuff.

<3
Andrea

P.S. Thanks to Heather from Simply Sjostedt for turning me on to this great alternative. Ranch dressing will never be the same in my household.

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