In early November I trekked up to Greenville and came home loaded down with Trader Joe’s goodies, including a block of Savory Baked Tofu. I ate most of it in my banh mi sandwiches, and in a moment of brilliance kept the wrapper so I could try to recreate it from the list of ingredients on the back. I came up with something that tastes pretty close, or just equally tasty and I would like to share it for you other Trader Joesless people across America.
(Photo via: fooducate.com)
Savory Baked Tofu
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/2 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- small shake of celery salt
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- Use your favorite method to press the water out of tofu. I wrap mine in a blue shop towel, then an absorbent kitchen towel. I am hoping Santa brings me a tofu press (hint husband hint) but for now this method suffices. The more water pressed out the more the flavored liquid can get in, so squeeze, squeeze, squeeze!
- Next, cut the tofu lengthwise down the middle so that it’s not so thick.
- Whisk together all of the ingredients above (except the tofu) and pour in a flat, shallow dish.
- Lay the tofu in a shallow dish and use a spoon to spoon the liquid over the top of the tofu. Use a fork or knife to poke small holes in the top of the tofu.
- Let the tofu marinate on this side for at least 15-20 minutes, then flip so the other side can soak.
- Lay the two pieces on a baking pan that has parchment paper or a Silpat lining it.
- Pour any remaining marinade on top of the tofu.
- Bake the tofu for 30 minutes at 425 degrees. Flip the tofu over and bake for 15 additional minutes, and remove from oven.
This stuff actually kept in a tightly sealed tupperware container for over three weeks, thanks to the vinegar acting as a preservative. Now on to how I used it tonight…
On the same TJ’s trip I also picked up a jar of Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce, because I’ve been experimenting with trying different kinds of curry. My friend Emily loves the Panaang Curry at Mai Thai which is a green curry, and I’m more of a “stick with whatcha like” kind of person when it comes to eating lunches during the workday because if it isn’t any good, you’re stuck hungry for the rest of the day. So as a homage to my homeslice, I decided to try it out, even though it’s taken me well over a month to do so.
Monday nights are usually my Rep Reebok class night, and due to a particularly irritating trip to the dentist combined with a totally soggy, dreary day I skipped class(!) and came home to make a warm, easy dinner. Since I’ve been binging on carbs, sodium and booze all weekend, I really wanted to focus on using a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables as the main course. As I was eyeballing the pantry the curry sauce seemed to glow as though it was telling me to use it tonight. It was a magic crashing together of all the right ingredients. The curry sauce. The frozen vegetables. Leftover rice in the fridge. The baked tofu squares that needed to be used sooner than later.
I heated olive oil in two separate pans and cut the tofu into triangles to place in the smaller pan. The larger pan sizzled the frozen vegetable for about seven to ten minutes before I added the simmer sauce to the vegetables, just enough to lightly coat them. The tofu also got a little bit of sauce, which helped create a flavorful crust on the side of the tofu as it caramelized onto the bottom.
Onto the plate went re-heated rice, then the veggies, and a few tofu squares decoratively tossed on top. Being as hungry as I was, I gobbled it down, savoring the light heat from the spiciness of the curry. The bites with the tofu were of course the best bites, and I can’t wait to chow down on the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
See, told you it was a lazy kind of night. I didn’t even plate the leftovers all pretty AND uploaded an Instagram photo. I keep telling myself that tomorrow will be a better day since no one will be tugging on my teeth and that I’ll get my weightlifting and another serving of veggies in then too.