The sort-of saddest food post ever.

26 Feb

World's easiest tofu recipe. I mean it.

You may be wondering what is going on in this post, because it doesn’t look like where I usually take my food photos.  That’s because it isn’t.  This is an awkwardly-taken picture from me sitting (alone, like all the other saps in there enjoying a five-seater table to themselves) in my university lunchroom on a very short lunchbreak with my undeniably hip $5 food thermos thing I bought from CVS when I picked up my prescription last.  You can even see my Kindle (on which I’m currently reading this and this) and backpack in the background.

I am in class 5 days a week, generally for 3-5 hour stretches with (maximum!) a 25-minute break.  I now bring my own lunches for two reasons: 1) eating out vegan at a place that isn’t expressly vegan can be an exercise in frustration that I don’t have time for and 2) a healthy lunch won’t make me crash in the middle of the day (or I could just get a pile of fat on a piece of bread or something, but whatever).  Usually, this is pretty easy, since I just take a pile of leftovers from the night before.

But this time, the night before, I made curried tofu.  Big mistake.  The spice blend smelled great!  But both my boyfriend and I discovered that we are not fans of turmeric-heavy, super-spicy Indian food (though there are types of Indian food I like!)  The recipe came out fine, it was just not my favorite, because it burns.  So, even though I usually use leftovers to make lunch, I was left in a tight spot.  I didn’t want a pasta dish and I didn’t have leftovers–what to do?  Emergency tofu!

Read about how emergency tofu preparedness after the cut.

I made this, marinated overnight, and baked the tofu while I got ready!  Efficiency.  Plus, not having lunch if you don’t make it is a great motivator to get out of bed.  The model for this tofu is taken from Appetite for Reduction, with a few minor changes made.  I put it over quinoa, for which I won’t bother posting the recipe, because it’s just plain quinoa rinsed and cooked after sauteing a handful of diced onions and a bit of minced garlic in vegetable oil.

Emergency Tofu

No special equipment needed, just very basic kitchen stuff.
Note: Allow 30-45 minutes for press time and at least an hour for marinade, preferably overnight.

1 standard block of extra-firm tofu, 14 oz, drained and pressed

3/4 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce/tamari
1/2 – 1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 – 2 teaspoons olive oil (can be cut if you’re cutting fat content)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced

When you are ready to bake the tofu, preheat the oven to 375F.

*Since I marinated overnight, I pressed the tofu while I cooked the quinoa and made the marinade, about 30 minutes, which works pretty well.  You may divide your time differently, depending on how you make it.

Whisk your marinade together thoroughly.

Slice your prepared tofu lengthwise into eighths (in half, half again, and one more time.)  Now halve each slice and cut the result diagonally into triangles.  Submerge your tofu in the marinade, and wait for at least an hour (if you can, flip it; if you’re marinading overnight or through the day in a fridge, as long as it’s pretty much submerged, it’s fine.)

Original says to use a baking sheet with cooking spray, but I like to use a (lightly sprayed) 9×13 inch glass baking pan because (for me, because I am messy/clumsy) marinade inevitably drips everywhere; also, my oven temperature seems really prone to fluctuation, and glass holds temperature well.  Plus, if you just use a baking pan, you can just dump the whole bowl of tofu and marinade out, because I am not picking tofu out of a bowl with tongs when I have to get ready.  Just reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.  (Although, if you like to bake the crap out of your tofu, you can keep it at 375.  Glass dishes shouldn’t explode at such temperatures.)

Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and bake for another ten.

Serve over quinoa!  Run out the door, because you’re probably almost late!  You’ll feel that you err on the side of the weirdly healthy while everyone else slurps up deep-fried Chinese food made from chicken remnants or a Quizno’s sub or a piece of pizza, but you’ll have the last laugh.


One Response to “The sort-of saddest food post ever.”

  1. sweetopiagirl 26 February 2012 at 5:48 PM #

    Reblogged this on UNIQUE GREETING CAKES and commented:
    Selling greeting cakes and they are delicious!

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