gluten-free & vegan
This Lemon Pepper Pasta is a great meal for a warm day. The quinoa pasta is a light alternative to wheat pasta and the crisp asparagus and lemony tang welcome in the fast arriving summer.

Lemon Pepper Quinoa Pasta with Blackened Tofu
yield: 2

1 1/2 cups quinoa pasta
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium leek
1/2 bunch asparagus
4-6 sun-dried tomatoes
about 10 kalamata olives
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp for skillet
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped basil
salt and pepper
6 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into four slabs
1-2 tsp veggie broth paste (I use Better than Bullion) or 1 cup veggie broth
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile heat up 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and leeks and let cook five minutes, stirring often. Add chopped asparagus (stems removed), chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and halved kalamata olives. Continue cooking for another couple minutes, stirring occasionally until asparagus is heated up, but still has a slight crunch. Remove from heat. Mix the cooked noodles into skillet. Add lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne pepper, basil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Blackened Tofu
Okay this is my super-easy, super-lazy, and super-secret tofu technique.
1. Heat up a second skillet over medium-high heat
2. Brush both sides of each tofu slab with a very small (1-2 tsp total) amount of veggie stock paste
3. Place on hot skillet and grill 2-3 minutes on each side.

If you don’t have or can’t find veggie stock paste you can marinate the tofu in veggie broth for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

Plate up, sprinkle with ground peppercorns and enjoy!