June 14, 2012

Recipe: Simple Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu

Tofu is a perfect food for my GERD and vegetarian diet.  It is soft, mild, and nutritious -- three ounces of firm tofu has 123 calories and 13.5 grams of protein.   I never have a reflux issue after eating it.  If you are able to tolerate soy, I strongly recommend incorporating tofu into a gut-friendly diet.   It's a great lifesaver when dining out, too -- if a restaurant serves tofu anywhere on the menu, ask the server to substitute any meat component of a dish with tofu.  (Pad See Ew with tofu instead of chicken -- exceptional!)

Here is an easy, quick recipe to make at home, with tasty results.   Be warned, the kitchen fills with a mouthwatering aroma and anyone not interested in tofu will probably be swayed.  Suggested accompaniments:  serve alongside sauteed greens (spinach, kale, chard) and grains, or with pasta.  I imagine you can alter the herbs and oil for different flavors, but this particular combo works very well.

SIMPLE BAKED TOFU

Ingredients:

1 block extra firm tofu
Olive oil
Dried oregano
Dried basil

1.  Press the tofu.   I wrap my tofu in a paper towel, place on a plate and weigh down with a plate and small cast iron pan for about 10 minutes, and then lightly squeeze the tofu blocks.  I know you're supposed to press for an hour, etc. but I don't have time for that and it doesn't seem to matter in this recipe.  :-)

2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Cut tofu block into thick slices, about 3/4 - 1 inch thick, or even thicker, depending on your preference.   Arrange in oven-proof dish.  Slices can overlap.

3.  Drizzle olive oil over slices.   Use brush or fingers to coat each piece.   You don't need lots of oil -- a little goes a long way.

4. Sprinkle dried herbs over the tofu.

5.  Bake for 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 10 minutes.   The time could vary depending on your oven, so check occasionally.   The tofu should be slightly browned and slightly dried out when done.


A FEW TOFU LINKS

National Soybean Research Laboratory (formerly Illinois Center for Soy Foods, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Five Tips for Cooking with Tofu

The popular Tofu XPress, a pressing device

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