Foodstuff: I dream of carbs |

Foodstuff: I dream of carbs

The off-season quest for clean eating continues

Katherine Roberts
The author continues her off-season clean eating with tofu pesto this week.
Katherine Roberts/Courtesy photo

The vaguely familiar but sort of faceless man walked over to my table with a pile of warm pita on a tray. I took a bite, and suddenly another pair of hands produced piping hot pizza dough, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Just as I was about to fold the warm bread and enjoy another taste, the dog snored. Suddenly, I felt the duvet against my right toe and realized it was all a dream. A delicious, delicious dream.

You see, I recently decided to get my house in order, so to speak, and adopt a mode of epicurean austerity, eschewing carbohydrates, dairy, sugar, and alcohol up until Food & Wine kicks off in June. I started in late April, and, given my extreme predilection for cheese, it is going surprisingly smoothly. I cruised through the first week and couldn’t have cared less about all the sweet, salty, creamy things I was eating by the poundful in the months before. After a lifetime of basically ignoring nutrition labels, I did, however, discover that pretty much EVERY SINGLE THING on Earth has carbs, so I shifted to a gluten-free approach. Hence, the bread having a stronghold on my subconscious.

This was during Week Two, and on Day 10, I was faced with my first work meal cooked for me rather than something I made at or brought from home. It was the morning after the Great Carbohydrate Sleeping Fantasy of 2023, and my mental state pretty much ensured I wanted to murder someone. I stormed past the pastries at the conference, grabbed a clementine orange, and sucked down approximately 8,000 ounces of water throughout the day as I listened to panel discussions. I did manage to eat a delicious salad with strawberries and cabbage, and, once I was over that hump, I felt great again.

Radish greens and spinach are the backbone this pesto recipe.
Katherine Roberts/Courtesy photo

So, carb craving behind me, I decided to experiment with a few new things I don’t eat regularly; in this case, tofu. Did you know you can get tofu that looks like spaghetti in your friendly refrigerated food section of the grocery store? I did not and was intrigued. I headed home and tried my hand at my first ever foray into cooking a meal that looks like something I make all the time but is entirely different. Tofu spaghetti with tofu pesto! You might as well rename my kitchen the Moosewood Restaurant. 

This pesto is a spin on the classic version from my grandmother Toni Capasso’s cookbook, “You Take a Little Oil and Fry Onions…” (Martel Publishing Company, 1983). I’m sure she would think it was weird.


Serves 4-6

½ c olive oil

½ c pine nuts or walnuts

3 cloves garlic

1 ½ c fresh greens, tightly packed*

1 t salt

½ c silken tofu**

Generous helping of nutritional yeast***

Place all ingredients except silken tofu and nutritional yeast into a blender or food processor. Whirl the mixture for about a minute and a half or until all of the ingredients are reduced to a paste. Add the tofu and yeast, and blend again for about 30 seconds.

This pesto utilizes nutritional yeast as a dairy substitute.
Katherine Roberts/Courtesy photo


*I used a half-and-half mixture of radish tops and baby spinach, which I had left over from salads earlier in the week. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: use pesto to mitigate food waste. These bits and bobs are excellent!

**I once had a pesto with tofu at Pyramid Bistro (RIP), so I figured I’d try it here to amp up the creaminess factor. It worked!

***The more, the merrier. You need this salty funk to approximate what would be grated Parmigiano Reggiano here.

I tossed the pesto together with the cooked tofu spaghetti, as well as some grilled asparagus and zucchini I had in the refrigerator, topped with more nutritional yeast. It was, texturally, more like a rice noodle and took me a little by surprise but nicely filling and a change of pace from my daily lunch salad. Carbs be damned, I’m doing this thing!

The final result was delicious and nutritious.
Katherine Roberts/Courtesy photo

Katherine Roberts is a mid-Valley based writer and marketing professional who is crushing this new, improved eating plan, even though she still dreams of bread. She can be reached via her marketing and communications firm, Carington Creative, at

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