Kripalu Recipe: Butternut Squash and Spicy Cilantro Pesto with Shrimp or Tofu

Posted on January 24th, 2014 by in Kripalu Kitchen

lime_cilantroThe fabulous flavor combo of cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and squash adds bounce to shrimp or tofu. Cilantro is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, and has shown anti-diabetic, cholesterol-lowering, and anti-inflammatory effects in early studies. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of minerals and trace minerals, most notably zinc and magnesium. Enjoy today’s Kripalu recipe!

Serves four.

1 pound 16/20 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, or 1½ pounds firm tofu

Marinade for tofu

½ cup white wine

½ teaspoon salt

Squeeze of lime

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups butternut squash, cut in small-sized dice


Spicy Cilantro Pesto

2 cups fresh cilantro, washed well

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

½ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch of chili flakes

¼ cup parmesan (optional)

To make pesto: Place all pesto ingredients into food processor and puree. Set aside.

For shrimp: Pat shrimp dry and lightly season with salt and pepper to add flavor and prevent sticking in the pan. Heat a medium-sized sauté pan with 1 tablespoon oil and sear shrimp for approximately 1½ –2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and reserve.

For tofu: Rinse tofu, pat dry, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Mix wine, salt, and a squeeze of lime and warm in a small pot. Cover tofu in warm marinade and allow to sit for 1 hour.

Heat a medium-sized sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sear tofu cubes for 5 to 8 minutes, turning once. Remove from pan and set aside.

Reheat the sauté pan and add the squash. Sauté squash until it becomes tender and starts to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Once squash is caramelized, add shrimp or tofu. Cook for 1 minute to warm; be careful not to overcook the shrimp. Remove from heat and toss with pesto. Serve over quinoa.