I love experimenting with new foods and trying out new things in the kitchen all the time. That's what keeps things interesting and fun. Up until recently, tofu was something I wanted to try (I think I'd had it once, or maybe twice, before), but since I'd hardly ever used it in the past, I just never got around to picking up a package. Finally, I forced myself to buy a pound of it at the store and find something to do with it.
To start, I wanted to do something simple, and something with which I could really taste the tofu, and get an idea of what its texture was like. I started with some extra firm tofu because it sounded the most versatile to me. After browsing through pages of recipes I settled on baked tofu with a simple lemon herb marinade, I figured this would give me the freedom to use the tofu in many different applications. The verdict? I liked it. Very easy to make and many options once it's done cooking; as a snack, on top of pasta, in a stir fry, on a sandwich, you get the idea. We'll see where this goes in the future, but FYI, I just finished off another package yesterday...
I've always heard that tofu takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with, and that was certainly true in this case. The dominant flavors in this recipe were the lemon and the soy sauce. I could sense an underlying flavor from the tofu itself, but for the most part the marinade is what really came through.
There are some many different options for marinades floating around online, so if lemon herb isn't up your ally, there are many other combinations to try. But the bake instructions should be pretty much the same. All together a very easy recipe that leaves you with plenty of options in the end. It might be worth a try, if you've never picked up a package of tofu before, I highly recommend at least trying it once. You never know what you're missing until you try!
Lemon Herb Tofu
Adapted from The Gentlemanly Tomato
- 1 cake firm tofu (about 16 oz)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- A couple sprigs each of thyme and rosemary
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Press tofu between a couple sheets of paper towel topped with a heavy pan for about 30 minutes. Discard paper towels and cut tofu into bite sized pieces.
While tofu is being pressed, whisk together all marinade ingredients in a glass dish. Add the pressed tofu and gently mix to cover everything with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30-60 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Transfer the tofu and any remaining marinade onto the baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
Simple Quinoa and Cheddar Polenta with Kale
From Delectably Mine
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) water
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons (27 grams) cornmeal
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1-2 handfuls kale, ripped or cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese, broken into pieces
- Lemon herb tofu (recipe above)
Put the water and salt in a small skillet and heat until boiling. Once boiling, slowly pour in the cornmeal while continuously whisking. Turn the heat back on low and cook until starting to get thick, whisking frequently.
Once the cornmeal mixture starts to thicken up, add in the quinoa and torn up pieces of kale and whisk together. If the mixture becomes too thick, add some more water as needed.
Once everything is mixed together, add in the butter and cheddar cheese, whisking until melted and completely incorporated into the mixture.
Top polenta with lemon herb tofu and enjoy!