Seared Chimichurri Tofu with Caramelized Fennel and Celery

IMG_7270With January focused on getting back to an active lifestyle, I began eating clean once agin, but this time I’m not just doing this detox, I’m going to focus on finally committing to a clean lifestyle. I recently just picked up a copy of Clean State from the editors of Martha Stewart. My goal has been to make as many recipes I can throughout the month. I’ve made this Provençal vegetable tian and pear oat smoothie inspired bowl.IMG_7274Flipping through the simple and beautiful pages of bountiful healthy information, I’m reminded of half a small fennel slightly turning that I needed to use, and a caramelized version with celery intrigued me. I’ve never thought of caramelizing celery, but when it’s cooked down with fennel it’s delicious. This original dish is mixed with pasta, but I tossed this caramelized mixture atop a bed of lightly dressed spinach.

I also had a piece of tofu I was hoping to use up. Tofu can become boring really fast, so I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. There was fresh parley and mint in the refrigerator, which became the main ingredients of my version of chimichurri sauce. Mint doesn’t typically make its way into this Argentinian herb sauce, but I love how it pairs with mild parsley and savory spices. This is the kind of sauce you want to marinate your tofu overnight in, so that when you grill, or carefully sear it, the tofu’s blandness is infused with a robust flavor. It’s a flavorful and hearty meal, one you don’t even realize is completely clean, and the perfect way to start a wholesome new year!
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Seared Chimichurri Tofu with Caramelized Fennel and Celery

Ingredients  {Serves 4}

15 ounces – Firm Tofu {drained, and cut into four slices}

Olive Oil, for pan

Chimichurri Sauce {Recipe below}

Caramelized Fennel and Celery {Recipe below}

Recipe {Adapted from Clean State}

Marinate the tofu for 1 hour in the sauce, turning over making sure all sides soak well. Heat your sauté pan, or grill, and sear until charred lightly on each side {about 8 minutes}. Serve atop caramelized fennel and celery, and drizzle with a bit of remaining sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce


1/2 cup – Fresh Parsley Leaves {chopped}

1/4 cup – Fresh Mint {chopped}

1/3 cup – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup – Apple Cider Vinegar

1 teaspoon – Dried Oregano

1 tablespoon – Minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon – Red Pepper Flakes

Coarse Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste


Combine the parsley, mint, oil, vinegar, oregano, garlic and red pepper in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Reserve a bit of sauce for serving, or reserve in an air tight container for later use. 

Caramelized Fennel and Celery


2 tablespoons – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large – Fennel Bulb {thinly sliced}

2 – Celery Stalks plus 1/4 cup Celery Leaves {thinly sliced}

1 – Garlic Cloves {smashed}

Grated Zest of 1 Lemon

Coarse Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste


Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat, add the fennel, sliced celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring until tender and deep golden {about 8 to 10 minutes}. Remove from heat, and stir in the lemon zest and celery leaves. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Top onto a bed of spinach lightly massaged with a bit of chimichurri sauce.

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