Tofu can be surprisingly intimidating – what do you do with that white brick? I’ve got you covered with the simplest recipe around. Literally anyone can make this and it takes just minutes to prepare. Then you can pop it in the oven (hands off) and do other things or make other recipes. Try my Firecracker Garlic Sauce which is amazing on tofu! Simple baked tofu should definitely be in your weekly recipe rotation.
Today as I was eating left-over stir fry with veggies, rice, tofu and curry sauce for lunch, I overheard a conversation between two tofu haters. They were talking about how much they dislike tofu and their tricks for culinary disguise. I often hear people diss tofu, but I’m still not sure why. It seems to me the most unassuming food with very few drawbacks and many benefits. Some people claim they dislike the “texture”, some people dislike the taste and others I think just have a negative association with what they consider the ‘culture of tofu’. I’ve got a post here on how tofu does not give men ‘man boobs’ and other helpful myth busting.
Another barrier is that many people are unsure of how to prepare it which is why I’m here with my simple baked tofu. For a quick Tofu 101, extra firm tofu is chewy and has a very firm texture. Firm is great for cooking with, similar to extra firm. Make sure not to get silken unless you’re using it for a specific recipe or for blending up as it will fall apart into a slippery mess.
Tofu doesn’t have a strong taste in my opinion – it will take on whatever sauce or seasoning you introduce to it. You could use a curry or peanut sauce, something spicy with chilies, a sweet Teriyaki or salty soy sauce – whichever you prefer. You could also use some ginger or garlic to keep it very simple.
Health Benefits of Tofu
Tofu is high in protein, goes easily with many dishes and flavors and has health promoting compounds called isoflavones that provide cardiovascular, anticancer and bone-building benefits. Soy contains phytoestrogens, or healthful plant compounds that hundreds of vegetables and grains also contain. Keep in mind that plant estrogens are not the same as human estrogens and studies have shown health benefits from consuming these foods because they act like estrogen antagonists – or against estrogen in the human body.
Simple Baked Tofu
Tofu can be surprisingly intimidating – what do you do with that white brick? I’ve got you covered with the simplest recipe around.
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 package firm or extra firm organic tofu
- 1 Tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a glass baking dish with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Open the package of tofu and drain water. Place block of tofu on a cutting board and gently pat it with a paper towel or dish towel until excess water is absorbed. With a sharp knife, cut the block in half length-wise then press again with paper towels to drain excess liquid. Cut blocks into 1 inch squares and place in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle soy sauce evenly on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping 1/2 way through. Remove from oven. Great served over rice and vegetables with sauce of choice.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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