Tag Archives: tofu

Easy Tamari Baked Tofu Recipe

30 Mar

Curious about tofu, but not sure what to do with it? Afraid of the texture? Fear no more!

My favorite preparation is baked tofu. It’s great in sandwiches, stir-fries, over noodles, on rice, the options are endless. It has a meatier texture which makes it particularly good for tofu newbies. Even if you’re a novice cook, tofu is simple and forgiving unlike meats or fish which can be very temperamental if not cooked properly.

The recipe below is perfect for sandwiches. You can cut slices so it lies flat in bread or in a wrap, and top with veggies, sprouts, hot sauce, hummus and avocado.

For use with noodles or rice, I like to cut it into bite size cubes first, then marinate and bake. In this version you can put the cubes in a plastic bag and pour a couple tablespoons tamari over them to marinate. The cubes will have more flavor because the tamari can soak in further.

To make a complete, quick meal, combine baked tofu with any sautéed vegetable, and either rice, or quinoa (which cooks incredibly fast). Be sure to season each component well so nothing is bland. Make all the sides while the tofu is baking so you’re ready to go as soon as the tofu is done. Or for a quick weekday dinner, bake the tofu over the weekend so it’s ready any night of the week.

Tofu is low-fat, high in protein, low cholesterol and a good source of calcium.

Fun facts (courtesy of About.com):

  • One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 10.1 grams of protein.
  • One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 94 calories.

Fun, right? And the best part is, tofu is a total chameleon. It’s like a sponge, taking in whatever flavor you throw at it, making it incredibly versatile. So if you’re looking for a healthy protein replacement, look no further.

Tip: Make batches and keep some in your freezer for later use as a meal or snack. You can also use the same technique with BBQ sauce, miso sauce, balsamic vinegar, or any other marinade you fancy.

Simple Baked Tamari Tofu (from Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

  • 1 package extra-firm or firm tofu
  • 2 Tablespoons organic low sodium tamari
  • Canola high heat spray

1. Set the oven to 350F.

2. Spray a quarter sheet pan with canola oil spray.

3. Gently press out water from the tofu block with paper towels.

4. Using a pastry brush, coat all sides of tofu with tamari until completely absorbed.

Brushing tofu with tamari

5. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 1 hour or until tofu is firm and browned.

Tamari Baked Tofu. This is the version baking the entire tofu block at once. Cut into slices for sandwiches.

Baked Tofu Squares

Baked Tofu Slices over Asian Slaw

Baked Tofu Squares with Broccoli and Vermicelli

Alton Brown has a great recipe for Asian Slaw here. I adapted his dressing by adding garlic and using almond butter instead of peanut. I also had a bag of Trader Joe’s pre-cut carrot/broccoli stalk that I used. Next time I’d try Alton’s version with cabbage. I short-cutted here using the pre-cut veggies and it showed. I liked my adjustments to the dressing though.

The Vermicelli recipe was a complete whip up. sautéed sliced garlic in olive oil. Removed garlic. Sautéed broccoli florets in same oil. Added cooked vermicelli, mixed all together with 2 T tamari, sesame oil (to taste) and red chili pepper flakes. Garnished with fried garlic slices.

When shopping for tofu, choose USDA certified organic to avoid consuming GMO soybeans (genetically modified organisms). GMO foods have been linked to cancer, sterility, and developmental disorders. Click here to learn more about the dangers of GMO foods.

Tofu with Peppers & Onions in Spicy Coconut Milk

11 Jan

Day 9

First off, I’m an idiot. My post yesterday was actually supposed to be day 8, not day 7. Great, at this rate this will be the longest vegan 30 day challenge in history. Maybe I can enter myself in Guinness. OK moving on to the grub…

It was freakin freezing today which put me in the mood for something warm and comforting. My trusty 1,000 Vegan Recipes cookbook had a recipe for Indonesian tempeh in coconut gravy that sounded promising. I wasn’t in the mood for tempeh though so I went with tofu instead.

Tofu can be intimidating in the beginning. It’s not the friendliest looking ingredient. It’s so BLAH it kind of looks up at you like, “what are you looking at? you totally don’t know what to do with me do you?”  Tofu really is amazing though; it takes on the tastes of whatever it’s paired with. It can be salty, smoky, sweet, curried, whatever you want it to be. My preference? Seared. I like that crusty outside with squishy middle.

The key to doing this is getting all the water out before you cook it. Here’s how I do it.

Prepping Tofu

1. Line a 1/4 baking sheet or cookie sheet with two layers of paper towels. Slice lengthwise into three slabs. Place another layer of paper towels on the tofu. Place a second 1/4 baking sheet or cookie sheet on top of the tofu. Weigh it down with cans and let it sit for an hour.

And that’s it, it’s ready to use! I used this batch in the recipe below. A nice hearty, spicy, warm, comforting meal on a cold winter’s day.

Tofu with peppers and onions in spicy coconut milk sauce

1 packet tofu

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced or in a garlic press

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, DRAINED

1 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (adjust to desired heat)

salt and freshly ground pepper

basil

Asian chili paste

Serve over cooked brown rice or rice noodles.

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Make sure the pan is nice and hot then add the tofu. Shake the pan to ensure the oil is completely under all the tofu pieces so they don’t stick. You could also use a nonstick pan if you prefer (you can probably cut the oil to 1/2 tablespoon as well).  Cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Saute until they begin to turn translucent 2-3 minutes. Add red and green peppers, garlic and chili flakes. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes and coconut milk. Reduce heat to low, add the reserved tofu and sugar.  Season with salt, sugar and pepper to taste.

3. Garnish with chopped basil and asian chili sauce (to desired heat). Serve over brown rice or rice noodles. I use this brand of asian chili sauce by Union Foods, available at Whole Foods.

On a side note, I had planned to put eggplant in this dish as well. That was, until I burned the shit out of it. See? We all mess up cooking, no biggee. The only thing that matters is how you recover. In this case, I made sure I had enough veggies to make up for the volume of eggplant I was missing.

I never do anything half-assed. Unfortunately, that includes burning things. See the pic below for proof. I almost dehydrated them down to powder. Note to self: don’t get sucked into a movie without a timer going. Rookie mistake.

Recipe adapted from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson

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