tofu

Vegan Po'Boy with Popcorn Tofu

Vegan Po’Boy with Popcorn Tofu

I would eat popcorn tofu every single day. It’s that good and addicitve. Depending of the seasonings you use, it makes a perfect stand in for popcorn chicken or popcorn shrimp. I had not really even considered serving it in place of shrimp until a friend was over and tried the tofu. She said it reminder her of shrimp or clams. I had originally made the recipe to replicate my favorite popcorn chicken from before we went vegan. My friend suggested I use the popcorn tofu in a Po’Boy and I happily complied. I am a big fan of most sandwiches and a Po’Boy is no exception. Crispy, chewy, fried tofu seasoned with Creole seasoning. Crispy lettuce and pickles, sliced tomatoes, hot sauce, and creamy vegan mayo. What’s to hate here?!?! Nothing, nothing at all. Once again I can thank the people smarter than me for thinking up things for me to make. And to think I would have just kept dipping that popcorn tofu in some bbq sauces and called it good!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu (look for extra firm high protein tofu. It’s much firmer than regular extra firm tofu, and lends a bit of “chew” that this recipe needs)

  • 3/4 cups corn or tapioca starch

  • 2 cups bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup vegan plain yogurt (I use Kite Hill)

  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk

  • 1 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon each, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • oil for frying

  • 4-5 baguettes, or other crusty vegan rolls

  • shredded letttuce

  • sliced tomatoes

  • sliced dill pickles

  • vegan mayo

  • hot sauce

  • old bay seasoning

Instructions:

  1. Remove tofu from package and drain. Wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or some paper towels and place a few books, or a heavy pan on top. Let the tofu sit for 15 minutes to press out any extra water.

  2. Cut the tofu block in half, then cut halves into 1/2 inch strips. Using your hands, break off pieces of the strips to form little tofu nuggets.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk.

  4. In another, bowl whisk 1/2 cups of the starch and all of the seasonings.

  5. In another bowl, add the bread crumbs.

  6. First toss the tofu into the starch and seasoning mixture

  7. Next add the tofu to the milk and yogurt and stir. All of the liquid should be absorbed by the tofu, although it will be a sticky mess. Now sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of starch over the tofu and toss.

  8. Using your hands (I promise, it’s just easier) pick up a small handful of tofu and toss it around in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. You can use your hands to separate any tofu that got clumped together, sifting it though your fingers. Place coated tofu into a dish, and repeat until all of the tofu is coated.

  9. Heat a few inches of oil in a high sided skillet. I use my cast iron for this. While the oil is heating, place a wire cooling rack on top of a paper towel lined baking sheet. This is where you will place the finished tofu to cool.

  10. Once the oil is nice and hot, carefully add the tofu in small batches to the pan (you can poke a chopstick into the oil, and if tiny bubbles form around the stick, the oil is ready). Using a slotted spoon, keep the tofu moving around for a few minutes to make sure all of the sides get nice and crispy. Once tofu is browned and crispy, remove and place on a wire cooling rack. Repeat with remaining tofu. I like to sprinkle the finished tofu with some old bay . You don’t have to, but I’m a fan.

  11. Assemble sandwiches by slicing bread lengthwise. Spread mayo on each side of bread, add popcorn tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. Drizzle with hot sauce and serve.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Vegan Fried Green Tomato Sandwich with Bacon and Mozzarella

Pulled Jackfruit Mexican Torta

Beyond Meatball Subs

Vegan Po’Boy with Popcorn Tofu

vegan po'boy with popcorn tofu

Crispy Sesame Tofu

Sesame tofu over rice with broccoli.

Who needs Chinese take out when you can whip up some delicious sesame tofu at home, quickly and affordably! I love making crispy tofu and learned a long time ago that starch is the secret. Just press the tofu, coat, fry, and slather in this perfectly sticky, savory and sweet, vegan sesame sauce! I like to serve our sesame tofu with a side of rice and broccoli, but serve it however you like! This meal is a go- to when I am in a hurry and havnt’t had time to plan dinner. If you prefer not to fry the tofu in oil, you can use an air fryer! I just coat the tofu, give it a light spray with some oil (or not), and air fry at 375 for 10-15 minutes! It always comes out perfectly crisp! Just another quick and simple dinner recipe to add to your arsenal! Who doesn’t love that!?

INGREDIENTS:

  • I batch crispy fired tofu

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut amnios

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or corn starch

  • 1 -2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare crispy tofu according to instructions.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the sesame seeds, to a medium sized sauce pan. Heat over medium/low heat, whisking continuously, until the sugar has melted and the mixture thickens. If it gets too thick, add a tablespoon or so of water to thin it back out a bit.

  3. Coat the crispy tofu in the sesame sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over rice and with a side of steamed broccoli if you like.

serves 4

If you like this recipe, try these:

Popcorn Tofu

Crispy Coconut Tofu with Tropical Rice

Tofu Japchae

Sesame Tofu

easycrispy sesame touf

BBQ Tofu Sandwich with Pickled Veggies

A BBQ tofu sandwich with pickled vegetables on sourdough bread.

I recently went to visit my niece, Madison, in Charlotte. She knows, and shares my love for food, so took me to get the BEST sandwich at a local coffee shop, AFTER she nearly killed me with a Crossfit workout. I think the sandwich was maybe an apology, or maybe not. She is fierce and probably didn’t feel sorry for me at all…..but it was all worth if for that sandwich. It was a BBQ Tofu Sandwich with pickled veggies and some vegan mayo. So simple but so, so, so good! So once I got home I knew I wanted to recreate this sandwich with my own twist. I normally have a batch of quick pickled veggies in my fridge. They literally take minutes to make, and add a tangy crunch to all kinds of sandwiches, salads, or just as a snack. I opted to mix up some mayo with a little bbq and lime to give the sauce a little more zip than the original plain mayo. I also added some cilantro because, I LOVE cilantro! I am fully aware that a ton of people do not share my affection for cilantro, and if thats you, then just skip it on the sandwich. You can grill up a batch of this bbq tofu and quickly reheat any leftovers for later. I will seriously eat this sandwich every day unit all the tofu is gone, then want to cry because all of the tofu is gone :( So thanks again Madi for being the best Crossfit coach, for not totally killing me, and for introducing me to this sandwich. You are the best.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu

  • 8-10 slices sour dough bread

  • 1 batch quick picked veggies

  • 1/2 cup of any bbq sauce you like

  • a handful of fresh cilantro

SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons bbq sauce

  • juice from 1/2 lime

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Drain tofu and wrap in a clean kitchen towel, or a few paper towels. Place a few books on top for 10-15 minutes to help press out the excess liquid. (or use a tofu press)

  2. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, and place in a shallow dish. Cover with 1/2 cup of bbq sauce and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

  3. You can either cook the tofu on the grill or in a skillet. If grilling, place the tofu pieces directly onto the hot grill and allow each side to cook for about 5 minutes, brushing the excess bbq sauce from the pan onto the tofu slices before you flip them. If you do not want to place the tofu directly onto the grill, you can lay foil on the grill and cook the tofu that way. Yo can also give the grill a spray with some cooking oil before you heat it to help with sticking.

  4. If cooking in a skillet, heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with a little oil. Place the tofu pieces into the pan and pour the excess bbq over the tops. Allow tofu to cook on each side for about 5 minutes.

  5. Mix the mayo, bbq, and lime in a small bowl.

  6. Toast the bread. Spread a little sauce on each slice after toasting, and top with a few pieces of tofu, some pickled veggies, and a few sprigs of cilantro to serve.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Beyond Meatball Subs

Open Faced Vegan Roast Beef Sandwich

The Jax Biscuit Sandwich

A BBQ tofu sandwich with pickled vegetables on sourdough bread.

BBQ Tofu Sandwich with Pickled Vegetables.

Tofu Banh Mi Rice Cups

Tofu Banh Mi sandwiches are on constant rotation in our house. Everyone loves them, even the kids. What’s not to love about perfectly seasoned tofu, crispy  pickled veggies,  and spicy Sriracha mayo. In a recent effort to change things up , I decided to pile up tofu Banh Mi filling into these easy little rice cups. These are perfect if you are gluten free, looking to change up your favorite sandwich, or to serve at your next get together. These light and fresh tofu Bahn Mi rice cups work work great for meal prep because they keep well in the fridge for several days. Who knows, you may end up loving these as much as we do, and may find yourself making them more often than a Bahn Mi sandwich!

Tofu Banh Mi sandwiches are on constant rotation in our house. Everyone loves them, even the kids. What’s not to love about perfectly seasoned tofu, crispy pickled veggies, and spicy Sriracha mayo. In a recent effort to change things up , I decided to pile up tofu Banh Mi filling into these easy little rice cups. These are perfect if you are gluten free, looking to change up your favorite sandwich, or to serve at your next get together. These light and fresh tofu Bahn Mi rice cups work work great for meal prep because they keep well in the fridge for several days. Who knows, you may end up loving these as much as we do, and may find yourself making them more often than a Bahn Mi sandwich!

INGREDIENTS:

You will need a muffin tin for this recipe. This recipe yields around 2 dozen cups. You can easily half the recipe for less cups.

  • 3 cups sushi rice (follow package cooking instructions)

  • 1 package extra firm tofu

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos

  • 2 teaspoons sriracha

  • juice from 1 lime

  • 3/4 cups quick pickled veggies

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Sriracha Mayo:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo

  • 2 tablespoon Sriracha

  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions. I use my rice cooker and use 3 actual cups of rice, not the scoop that comes with the rice cooker, and fill the water to the 4 cup line. Again you can half this amount if making less cups. Allow the rice to cool. It’s gonna be kind of sticky and thats what you need. Once the rice has cooled enough to handle, scoop about 1/4 cup of rice into each muffin cup and press the rice to form the shape of the cup. I keep a cup of water on the counter to dip my fingers in. If your hands are wet it will be easier to press the rice down. You will get around 24 cups, give or take. Pop the muffin tin in the fridge and for 30 minutes.

  2. Drain tofu and wrap it in either a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels. Place a few books on top to allow the excess liquid to press out for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch cubes. Whisk together soy sauce, Sriracha, and lime juice in a shallow dish and add the tofu. Allow it to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Heat a large skillet with a little oil over medium heat. Add the the tofu along with the marinade to the pan. Let the tofu cook until all of the liquid has absorbed and the tofu has began to get a little crisp and brown around the edges.

  5. Whisk the mayo, Sriracha, and lime juice together in a small bowl. If you like it spicy, add a little more Sriracha!

  6. Carefully remove the rice cups from the muffin tin. They should just peel out. Divide the tofu among the cups, and top with some pickled veggies and chopped cilantro. Add a little of the Sriracha Mayo to each cup to serve.

  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for serval days.

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Alabama White Sauce Caesar Salad with Grilled Tofu

I have tried a ton of vegan caesar salad recipes, and dressings over the years, and until now none have been a winner. So when recently I was making a caesar salad, and contemplating the protein I would add, I decided on Alabama White Sauce Grilled Tofu, and a light bulb went off. Alabama White Sauce (AWS) is a a tangy, vinegar and mayo based bbq sauce which originated it Northern Alabama at Big Robs Bar-B-Q. Our AWS is a vinegar and mayo based sauce like the original, with a little kick and has just enough tang to work as a caesar dressing substitute. AWS is a staple condiment in our house because it is delicious and versatile, and not just for bbq! So after I grilled up the tofu, it occurred to me to take the leftover sauce and turn it into the dressing for this salad . PURE JOY! It was so good that I will never attempt another “caesar” dressing recipe again. I also added some carrots and avocado to this salad because I’m adult and I can do what I want..right?? And what I want is avocado and carrots on everything, even if it's not the norm, who cares if it tastes good. So if you are searching for a super tasty, all be it nontraditional caesar salad recipe, here ya go! And my guess is if you try it, AWS will become a fridge staple for you as well.

I have tried a ton of vegan caesar salad recipes, and dressings over the years, and until now none have been a winner. So when recently I was making a caesar salad, and contemplating the protein I would add, I decided on Alabama White Sauce Grilled Tofu, and a light bulb went off. Alabama White Sauce (AWS) is a a tangy, vinegar and mayo based bbq sauce which originated it Northern Alabama at Big Robs Bar-B-Q. Our AWS is a vinegar and mayo based sauce like the original, with a little kick and has just enough tang to work as a caesar dressing substitute. AWS is a staple condiment in our house because it is delicious and versatile, and not just for bbq! So after I grilled up the tofu, it occurred to me to take the leftover sauce and turn it into the dressing for this salad . PURE JOY! It was so good that I will never attempt another “caesar” dressing recipe again. I also added some carrots and avocado to this salad because I’m adult and I can do what I want..right?? And what I want is avocado and carrots on everything, even if it's not the norm, who cares if it tastes good. So if you are searching for a super tasty, all be it nontraditional caesar salad recipe, here ya go! And my guess is if you try it, AWS will become a fridge staple for you as well.

INGREDIENTS:

Alabama White Sauce Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/2 batch Alabama White Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

preheat oven to 350 degrees (for the croutons)

  1. For the croutons, cut day old bread into bitesize cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl along with 2 teaspoons of oil and all purpose seasoning and toss.

  2. Once the bread is coated, spread the cubes onto a cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake for about 10 minutes or until the cubes are crisp and well toasted.

  3. Wash and chop the lettuce. Peel and dice the avocado.

  4. For the dressing, whisk together the Alabama White Sauce with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, garlic and lemon.

  5. Add lettuce, avocado, carrots, and croutons to a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing (enough to coat the lettuce) and top with strips of Alabama White Sauce Grilled Tofu and parmesan cheese to serve.

serves 4-5

If you liked this recipe, try these:

Alabama White Sauce Tofu Skewers

Alabama White Sauce

Alabama White Sauce Tempeh Tacos

Cilantro Avocado Tofu Wraps

Easy weeknight dinners are a must in our busy house, so I always make sure to have some extra firm tofu in my fridge for quick dinners like these cilantro avocado tofu wraps. The marinated tofu, creamy avocado, crispy lettuce, and tangy sauce make for a perfectly delicious, healthy filing meal! These gluten free  wraps are packed with plant protein ,and healthy fats to keep you full and fueled!

Easy weeknight dinners are a must in our busy house, so I always make sure to have some extra firm tofu in my fridge for quick dinners like these cilantro avocado tofu wraps. The marinated tofu, creamy avocado, crispy lettuce, and tangy sauce make for a perfectly delicious, healthy filing meal! These gluten free wraps are packed with plant protein ,and healthy fats to keep you full and fueled!

Ingredients:

  • 1 - 2 heads romaine lettuce

  • 1 block extra firm tofu

  • 1 - 2 avocados

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos

  • 1 teaspoon agave

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon oil (olive or grape seed)

  • juice from 1 lime

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Smokey lime cream sauce

  • 1/3 cup vegan sour cream, or plain unsweetened vegan yogurt (I use Kite Hill plain yogurt)

  • Juice from 1/2 lime

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Drain tofu and wrap in a a clean kitchen towel or a few clean paper towels. Place a few cookbooks on top for 10 - 15 minutes to press out as much liquid from the tofu as you can. Once pressed, dice tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.

  2. In a shallow 8x8 dish, whisk together the aminos, oil, agave, garlic, paprika, and lime juice. Add the cubed tofu to the dish and allow it to marinate for 10 - 15 minutes.

  3. While tofu is marinading, wash and pat dry the lettuce, and trim the ends. Slice avocado into thin strips. Wash and chop 1/3 cup of cilantro.

  4. Prepare the smokey lime cream sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

  5. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Spray with some cooking oil or add a few teaspoons of oil to the pan as it heats. Add the tofu AND the marinade to the pan. Allow the tofu to cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and the tofu has started to brown and get a little crispy around the edges.

  6. To build the wraps, line each lettuce leaf pieces of tofu, a few slices of avocado, drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with cilantro.

Serves 4 - 6.

Crispy Coconut Tofu with Tropical Rice

This coconut tofu with tropical rice is perfect for quick and easy weeknight dinner. It is light, yet filling and satisfying. The tofu is crispy, and full of sweet coconut flavor, while the rice savory and refreshing. This may just become one of your new favorite quick dinners!

This coconut tofu with tropical rice is perfect for quick and easy weeknight dinner. It is light, yet filling and satisfying. The tofu is crispy, and full of sweet coconut flavor, while the rice savory and refreshing. This may just become one of your new favorite quick dinners!

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu

  • 4 cups cooked brown basmati rice

  • 1 carrot

  • 1/2 small red onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk or coconut cream

  • 1 flax egg

  • 1/2 cup tapioca or corn starch

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, or shredded coconut

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (make sure your the brand you are using is plant based)

Creamy citrus chili sauce

  • 1/2 cup vegan plain yogurt (I use Kite Hill)

  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

  • juice from 1/2 a lime

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or coconut aminos

  • black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Drain tofu and wrap in a few paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place a few books on top for 15 minutes to press the tofu.

  2. Cook the rice according to package instructions on the stove top or use a rice cooker. You will need 4 cups cooked rice.

  3. Cut the pressed tofu into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. Mix up you flax egg in a medium size shallow bowl. After the flax egg has thickened, add the can of count milk to the bowl and whisk. Add the starch to a large kitchen plate. On a separate plate mix together the coconut and panko.

  4. First dip the tofu cubes into the coconut milk mixture then into the starch. Dip again in the coconut milk mixture, then into the shredded coconut and panko, pressing the panko/coconut mixture into the tofu to ensure it sticks.

    OVEN INSTRUCTIONS: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place tofu on the pan. Light spray the tofu with some spray oil and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes carefully turn the pieces over and bake another 10 minutes or until browned and crisp. I keep mine on the middle rack until the end of baking to avoid burning the coconut You can move the pan to the top rack the last few minutes of baking if the pieces are not browning to your liking.

    AIR FRYER INSTRUCTIONS: Place coated tofu into your Air Fryer basket. Light spray the pieces with some cooking oil. Set the fryer at 380 degrees for 15 minutes.

  5. Peel the carrot into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, then finely chop the ribbons into small pieces. Next, thinly slice the 1/2 onion. Once rice is done cooking pop the veggies in the pot and let them sit with the lid on until ready to serve.

  6. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.

  7. To serve, fill shallow bowls with 1/3, to 1 cup of rice. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and top with 3 - 4 pieces of coconut tofu. Drizzle with sauce.

Serves 4 - 6.

Southern Tofu Scallops and Grits

We make a lot of variations of tofu scallops in this house. These southern tofu scallops are by far my family’s favorite. The recipe is reminiscent of classic southern shrimp and grits, but using tofu scallops. It’s creamy, savory comfort food, at its finest. This recipe is also fairly quick and pretty easy to throw together, so what are you waiting for!

We make a lot of variations of tofu scallops in this house. These southern tofu scallops are by far my family’s favorite. The recipe is reminiscent of classic southern shrimp and grits, but using tofu scallops. It’s creamy, savory comfort food, at its finest. This recipe is also fairly quick and pretty easy to throw together, so what are you waiting for!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Package extra firm tofu

  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms

  • 1 small diced onion

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine, like chardonnay

  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon parsley

  • 1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning, I use Trader Joes 21 season salute

  • 1-2 green onions or chives for garnish.

The Grits

  • 1 cups of dried grits (not instant)

  • 2 cups plant based milk

  • 3 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese

  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • pepper to taste

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Drain tofu, and wrap up in a clean kitchen towel, or some paper towels. Place a few books on top and let sit for 5 minutes to press out the excess liquid.

  2. Cut tofu in half length wise, and using an 1 inch circle cutter, cut scallops from the 2 pieces tofu. You can use the scraps as well or save them to make something else later, like tofu ricotta.

  3. In a shallow dish mix 2 tablespoons of wine, Worcestershire sauce, and aminos. Add the tofu and let marinade for 15 mintues.

  4. In a large pot or dutch oven, bring the milk and water to a boil for the grits. Once the liquid is boiling, add in the grits, salt, and butter. Lower the heat to low, and allow the grits to simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. This takes about 15- 20 minutes. The grits can cook and thicken while you prepare the tofu.  Once the grits are thick, stir in the cream cheese, pepper, and lemon zest.

  5. In large high side skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium heat. Add the tofu scallops along with marinade and cook on each side for 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown and crisp, and all of the liquid is absorbed. Once tofu is done, remove from the pan and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of butter back to the pan, along with the mushrooms, and onions. Cook until the onions become translucent, then add the wine, Better Than Bouillon, lemon juice, minced garlic, and seasoning. Allow the wine to cook down for several minutes, then add the tofu back to the pan. Let the tofu simmer on low heat in the sauce for 5-10 minutes.

  6. To serve, scoop some grits into each bowl and top with tofu scallops and sauce. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives.

serves 4-6

Crispy Tofu with Roasted Pepper Marinara and Quinoa

Crispy tofu on a bed of savory quinoa, covered in a delicious red pepper marinara makes for a quick and filling weeknight dinner. You can easily makes this recipe gluten free by using a gf flour blend, and gf panko. You could also use an air fryer to prepare the tofu if you have one, or try baking the tofu pieces if you prefer cooking without oil!

Crispy tofu on a bed of savory quinoa, covered in a delicious red pepper marinara makes for a quick and filling weeknight dinner. You can easily makes this recipe gluten free by using a gf flour blend, and gf panko. You could also use an air fryer to prepare the tofu if you have one, or try baking the tofu pieces if you prefer cooking without oil!

INGREDIENTS:

The Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/4 cup plant based milk
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs (not all are vegan, be sure and check)
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, paprika, garlic powder, and thyme
  • oil for frying

The Marinara

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 -1/3 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 small onion cut in quarters
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon dreid thyme
  • pepper to taste

The Quinoa

  • 1 cup dried quino
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 small onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried time
  • 1 teaspoon oil such as grape seed or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Remove tofu from package, and wrap in a clean kitchen towel, or a few paper towels. Put a few books on top and let sit for about 15 minutes to remove the excess liquid from the tofu.
  2. While tofu is pressing, prepare quinoa by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot, then add the quinoa. Reduce heat to a simmer and put a lid on the pot. Let quinoa simmer, stirring occasionally until all of the liquid is absorbed. 
  3. While the quinoa is simmering, heat a teaspoon of oil in a small skillet. Add the diced onion, and minced garlic, cooking until onions are translucent. Add in the pine nuts and cook just a few minutes. Pine nuts burn very quickly, so keep moving them around the pan until just until they are toasted, then remove from the heat. Once the quinoa is done cooking, mix in the onion, pine nut mixture, and seasoning. Put the lid back on and set aside.
  4. Drain the liquid from the tomatoes, and add them along with all of the other sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend for a few minutes, until the onion, peppers, and tomatoes are broken down. Heat the sauce in a medium sized pot on simmer while you prepare the tofu.
  5. Cut pressed tofu into 1/2 inch pieces, cutting from the ends of the tofu block. You will get around 8 or 9 pieces.
  6. In a shallow dish, mix 1 flax egg, and 1/4 cup of non dairy milk. Add flour to another shallow dish or plate. Then mix the panko in another dish, or plate with the seasonings.
  7. First coat each piece of tofu with flour, next the flax egg wash, and lastly the panko. Make sure to evenly, and fully coat the tofu with the flour, and flax egg wash. The panko will stick best if you press it into the tofu pieces, flipping the tofu to make sure both sides are covered.
  8. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil. You just need enough to fry each side of tofu, you do not need to cover the tofu in oil.
  9. Once oil is good and hot reduce heat to medium, add the coated tofu pieces and fry each side for 3 - 5 minutes. You want each side crispy and golden brown. Once tofu is finished frying, place on a wire cooling rack with some paper towels underneath for a few minutes.
  10. To serve, add a scoop of quinoa to each plate, top with 1 or 2 pieces of tofu, and a few spoonfuls of sauce.

Serves 4 - 6.