Budget friendly recipes: Garlic tofu & greens


Serves 4. Prep time: 20 minutes active; 35 minutes total.


  • ¾ pound firm tofu, sliced in 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 bunch kale, tough ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Toss tofu cubes with 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and half of the minced garlic, making sure the cubes are well coated. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

While tofu is baking, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add penne pasta and boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Heat the remaining oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rest of the garlic and red pepper flakes and let them sizzle for just a moment. Add the kale a handful at a time, turning frequently with tongs. Once kale turns bright green and begins to wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes, turn off the heat. Mix the kale with the baked tofu, tossing well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta.