December 23, 2011

Tequila Lime Glazed Tofu

Don't run away yet just because there's tofu involved! Hear me out first.

I don't love tofu, either. In fact, the first few times I tried it, neither the Bup nor myself really wanted to eat what I made. Since there are so many mixed reviews on soy, I wasn't too concerned with whether we ate it or not. There are plenty of other vegetarian sources of protein that we love, like beans & quinoa!

The general consensus on soy seems to be that in it's whole form (especially when fermented) it has numerous health benefits, but the further it is removed from the whole form, the worse it is for you. Soy isolates are used in many packaged foods, so watch for those. Edamame, tofu, tempeh, miso, & soy milk are all produced from the whole bean, making them ideal sources of soy. Organic is best, to ensure that the soy was not genetically engineered (another scary area in the world of "food").

Since trying tofu for the first time, we've had it very infrequently, but as I've come across recipes that used different prep methods, I've tried a few.

We had tofu scramble (sort of like scrambled eggs, but vegan) & it was okay. I'm not sure why I even bothered, since I don't like scrambled eggs...

My all-time favorite way to eat tofu is actually as a dessert. When mixed with super dark melted chocolate, it makes a delicious & healthy mousse (or pie filling!). It's very rich, but doesn't sit heavily in my stomach like most mousse does.

In its plain form, however, tofu has a consistency that I just don't love. When I discovered this recipe for Tofu Dippers, I gave tofu one final chance. The tofu is thinly sliced, marinated, & broiled, giving it a crisp & flavorful exterior with a slightly chewy middle. If you're going to try tofu, try it like this first! It's a total winner.

I've tried several marinades, & since tofu is so adaptable, they've all been delicious. As I was looking for a new one to try, I found a curry recipe that had lime juice & agave nectar in it. It sounded good, & as soon as I mentioned it to the Bup he immediately said we should add tequila. Tequila is made from the agave plant, so it's a match made it nature! Lime is always perfect with tequila, so we tried it out.

As you can see, I like to char mine. If you don't like it charred, then take it out sooner. It's fun to watch it bubble while it broils...maybe that's just me?

Tequila Lime Glazed Tofu
Serves 2-4

1 block organic extra firm tofu
1/4 c lime juice
3 T tequila
2 T agave nectar
1 T soy sauce (low sodium is best)

Begin by unwrapping and rinsing the block of tofu. Slice it into 4 thin, 2"x3" pieces (stand the block on end and cut down). Press tofu overnight (or at least 4 hours) by placing the pieces between towels and laying a very heavy object on top. I use a super thick cutting board and then put whatever's in my fridge on top of the board.

Once tofu is pressed, mix together the remaining ingredients. Cut tofu into desired pieces - I usually cut each piece into 3 or 4 rectangles. Arrange pieces in a single layer in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over tofu, making sure all of the pieces are coated. Allow to marinate all day (or at least 4 hours). The longer it marinades, the better the flavor.

Preheat broiler. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange tofu on sheet in a single layer. Broil for about 6 minutes per side, watching to make sure it does not burn. Once the tofu is down it should be nicely browned and crisp.

Enjoy with lots of veggies and a fun dipping sauce!


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