Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baked Tofu anyone can do!

Tofu is so flippin' cheap, I don't know why so many people don't fall in love like I do. $1.69 for a brick at Whole Foods, and I've got my protein source for a work-week's worth of lunches! Seriously, does it get any better? And when I make it like this, the cheapness and tastiness is just a wam-bam-thank you, sir duo. It can't be beat. Some (ahem, Jay, ahem) dislike the texture of tofu in general, but really it's nothing different than a soft cheese like brie, and I actually love the smooth creaminess. To all those haters, I say try this version of preparing tofu, and if you don't like it, try the tofu at Leona's (I'M SERIOUS IT'S AWESOME) and THEN I may accept your true (yet odd) dislike for delicious things.


1 container tofu (choose firm or semi-firm... it all depends on your taste. If you want your tofu more dense, firm is (obviously) probably more up your alley. You may also notice that firm is more concentrated in nutrients...)

italian dressing (whatever you fancy... I used Ken's Lite Northern Italian with Basil and Romano, and it was fabulous)

balsamic dressing (again, the brand is up to you! Feel free to try making it yourself (see my recipe in my recipe (woah redundancy) for Rainbow Salad)

any or all of the following spices: garlic salt or garlic powder (choose one), kosher salt (umm don't use this AND garlic salt, otherwise you'll be puckering your face and reaching for water) black pepper, coriander, onion powder, italian seasoning (salt free), a splash of nutmeg... the list is endless!

How To:

1. Slice tofu into 1/2-inch slices down the longest length of the tofu block. Place slices in a single layer in a colander and lay a place or some other flat surface (like a pie tin or cutting board) over the tofu. Pile a few more plates or random pieces of kitchenware on top of your base layer. I wouldn't put too much on there, although I do enjoy making my own leaning tower of bowls... :)

2. While you're tofu-towering (yes, that's a new verb), take a baking dish (I'm partial to a glass/ceramic, non-stick kind like my Corningware), and coat it lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Pour a bit of both dressings into the bottom of your dish so that it covers the entire bottom, and about 1/8 of an inch deep. Just know that you want enough so that the underside of your tofu to soaks of up the flavors! If you want to, swirl the dressings together, but it really doesn't matter.

3. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Once you've pressed the tofu (so that it's prime for absorbing your dressings and seasonings) for anywhere between 1/2 hour to 1 hour, remove your tower and place tofu in a single layer in your baking dish. Poke each brick about 5 times with a fork. I don't know if this really does anything, but I like to think that my poking helps the dressing penetrate into my tofu.

4. Douse your slices with dressing so that they're covered and maybe about halfway submerged in the dressing. You don't need so much so that it's swimming. Sprinkle with your seasonings of choice.

5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Check your dish after about 30 minutes to make sure your oven isn't a slow-poke like mine. You'll be looking for tofu that has dressing encrusted in it's dressing and may have a hint of dark brown color at its edges (like my picture).

Slice up, dice up, and enjoy!

Pictured above: Jay enjoys his salad with baked chicken (made the same way as the tofu only without the plate/bowl towering) doused in ranch :)

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