I've mentioned in the last few posts that I am doing a program called "21 day Fix". I am focusing on healthy, clean eating and exercising more vigorously 30 minutes a day each day. I am enjoying the program and feeling really good about it.
I am trying to come up with more sources of lean protein for more variety in my diet (I am eating a lot of eggs and a lot of grilled chicken), so I decided to see what I can do with tofu. My friend, Harriet, has given me a few recipes for tofu marinades, but I did not have all the ingredients on hand. I decided to just wing it with items on hand and I found a great article on line about how to prepare tofu and how to bake tofu. Below you'll find the recipe for my marinade and also the article, which gives great details about how to handle tofu. Tofu comes in sealed plastic cartons and the tofu is in a watery solution. You must drain the liquid and also gently press the tofu to remove some of the excess moisture. This was a fun cooking project. I can definitely see myself making more baked tofu in the near future. When the tofu first come out of the oven, the texture is much like eggs. The next version day, when cold, the texture is somewhat like chicken or potato. I actually like it better cold. I think the baked tofu would be great on a salad, but I would also like a brown rice bowl with lightly sautéed vegetables and baked tofu.
Marinade for Tofu: Lemon, Rosemary, and Garlic
1 lemon (grate zest with Microplane grater and juice the lemon)
1 clove of garlic, grated with Microplane grater
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1/2 teaspoon and it was very spicy), optional
Several grinds of black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound container of firm or extra firm tofu (prepare the tofu in accordance with the article below: press to remove excess liquid and dice into cubes)
For marinade: in a large shallow dish, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and rosemary. Stir to combine. Add diced tofu, stir to coat with marinade, cover, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Bake as directed in article below.
Here is the article from www.thekitchn.com
How to Make Baked Tofu for Salads, Sandwiches, and Snacks
Instructions for how to prepare tofu
- Press the tofu: Remove the tofu from its packaging and pat dry with paper towels or a dish cloth. Line a plate with a paper towel and set the tofu on top. Set a small plate on top of the tofu and weigh it down with something heavy, like a 28-ounce can of tomatoes. Press for 15 to 30 minutes. You will see liquid collect around the tofu.
- Cut the tofu into pieces: Remove the weight and drain off the excess liquid. Slice the pressed tofu into cubes, thin slices, or sticks, depending on how you plan to use the tofu.
- Marinate the tofu (optional): To give the tofu extra flavor, marinate the tofu pieces for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Transfer the marinade and the tofu to a shallow container. Gently toss the cubes until coated with the marinate. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If marinating longer, toss the tofu occasionally to marinate evenly.
- Heat the oven: When ready to bake the tofu, heat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
- Toss with cornstarch (optional): If you'll be serving the tofu right away, tossing the cubes with cornstarch will make them crispier. (The corn starch doesn't make a difference once the cubes are cooled and refrigerated.) Transfer the tofu to a bowl with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with corn starch. Gently toss until the outside of the tofu is sticky and coated.
- Bake the tofu: Arrange the tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer. The tofu can be close, but try to avoid pieces touching each other. The tofu will shrink as it bakes. Bake until the outside of the tofu is golden and the pieces look slightly puffed, 20 to 45 minutes depending on the size and shape of your tofu. Toss the tofu every 10 minutes so the pieces bake evenly. The longer you bake the tofu, the chewier it will be.
- Cool and store: If serving immediately, serve while still warm. If saving the tofu for later, let it cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a refrigerator container. The tofu will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
• Toaster Oven Version: This recipe can also be made in a toaster oven heated to 350°F