Tofu Garlic Vegan Mayo

I don't currently have the luxury of a lot of ingredients lying around. The coronavirus has turned everything on its head. Still, I'm trying to find comfort in familiar hobbies like cooking and origami.

What I did have was half a package of silken firm tofu that needed to be used and a whole head of garlic that wasn't getting any younger. That is the inspiration for this recipe. That, and my love of all things creamy and garlicky.

1/2 package silken firm tofu, drained
8 cloves garlic, stems removed
1 habanero, deseeded
1 serrano
3 tbls olive oil
3 tbls white vinegar
1 tbl salt
1/2 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

Puree all ingredients in your food processor until a creamy mixture is the result.

It's great right away, but you can chill it in the fridge for a few hours to thicken and let the flavors coalesce.

This is extremely garlic forward and also hot from the chiles. Because the mayo is tofu based and tofu has no flavor of its own, the full on flavor …

Spicy Basil Pesto - Vegan Recipe

This creamy pesto is not only vegan, but also nut free. Through the magic of nutritional yeast we easily replace both the cheese and the nuts and still keep all the deliciousness. A little bit of tofu adds protein and gives it a pleasingly creamy texture.

It's really easy to make. The only cooking is boiling the pasta.

Pasta water straight from the pot heats up the otherwise room temp ingredients to wake up their flavors and provide some thickening starch.

2 large bunches basil, about 2 cups packed
12 stalks parsley, just the leaves, about 1/2 cup packed
8 slices jalapeno pepper with the seeds
6 slices serrano pepper with the seeds
3 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4-1/3 cups reserved pasta water *
4-6 ounces silken firm tofu

4 tbls nutritional yeast
3 tsps dry thyme
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
16 ounces cooked elbow macaroni, al dente

* Cook macaroni in salted water. Drain the pasta water into a heat safe container and reserve. Set aside the pot with the pasta still in it and cover to keep warm.

Add all ingredients except the cooked pasta to a food processor.  The pasta water and the tofu, add the smallest amount at first. Puree. Taste and check consistency. Add more water or tofu as needed to form a somewhat thin sauce. Not watery, but only a little more viscous than that. The sauce will thicken up a lot when combined with the pasta and allowed to cool off just a little bit.

 Add half the indicated amounts of jalapeno and serrano if you don't like a milder heat.

Stir sauce into the warm set aside pasta. Let rest a few minutes uncovered and it'll thicken up a bit to nice coat the macaroni. Enjoy it right then if you can't wait. I know I couldn't.

But if you cover it and allow to rest for another 10 minutes, the pasta will soak up the sauce and the flavors. The pesto will thicken up a little more to a really velvety consistency.