Bet you didn't know April was Soy Foods Month! As a dietitian I know the craziest reasons to celebrate. Example. May is also National Salad Month (LET'S PARTY!). Anyway, I know tofu has a horrible reputation. Usually the first time clients or friends and especially family (lookin' at you carnivorous brother), try tofu it's horribly prepared. The secret to good tofu is adding texture and lots of flavors since tofu literally tastes like nothing. Actually, tofu tastes like whatever you pair with it! So here's your healthy tofu introduction.
As I'm reading some delicious southern food writing books in the evenings, I was inspired to make introductory tofu with a crunchy breaded pecan coating. Texture and flavor? Check. In terms of a sauce, I paired it with one of my handy pre-mixed dressings I keep in the fridge. This one in the photo is a miso sesame vinaigrette. I wish I had a recipe written down for that one, but it tends to be a 'let's throw some of this' in a bottle, shake-shake-shake and go! Paired with some crisp hydroponic Bibb lettuce, radishes and shredded sesame carrots, it's like a healthy Asian-Southern fusion taco. Kind of.
Pecan Crusted Tofu Nuggets
/// Ingredients ///
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- 1 C pecans, pulverize (i used my mortar and pestle)
- 1 C flour (use whole wheat or brown rice flour if possible)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1/2 C whole wheat breadcrumbs
- canola oil
- serve with veggies and dressing
/// Directions /// Open tofu container and drain liquid. Pat tofu dry with a paper towel. Slice into squares, about 1/2 inch thick. Once the tofu is sliced, set up your breading station. Get three bowls. In the first bowl add flour. In the second bowl place the whisked eggs. In the final bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and crushed pecans. Send each piece of tofu through first the flour then egg then pecan mix, making sure to get every side covered. Once breaded, place on a pan covered with either parchment or tinfoil. Drizzle each piece with canola oil. I place mine in a squeeze bottle for better control. Bake at 350 until golden brown and crisp...roughly 25 minutes. Serve with lots of veggies and dressing. You could make this dish more traditional southern by whipping up a healthy mustard dressing (think greek yogurt, dijon and some honey) and pairing it with green beans.
Tofu: love or hate? What's your most horrific tofu experience?
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.