Just like many people get used to eating greasy, salty and crazy sweet foods, we can get used to eating fresh, unprocessed foods from plants. It takes some time, but our taste buds adapt. Most people find that after about a month of eating plant-based foods, a trip through a fast-food drive-thru is too salty and fatty and causes all kinds of stomach issues!
As we make this transition from meat-centered to plant-centered eating, it can be helpful to use familiar foods to our advantage. This BBQ tofu is a plant-based option that offers the typical BBQ flavor and meaty texture.
Turn a batch of this flavorful tofu into multiple meals and snacks:
- Pile on a sandwich with greens
- Toss over a big veggie salad
- Stuff in a whole grain wrap with your favorite veggies
- Eat as is, hot or cold!
This recipe is for a big batch using 2 blocks of tofu. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and is great to have around for a quick meal. For a small batch using 1 block of tofu, use half of the sauce and keep the rest in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It can be used in wraps, on sandwiches or for dipping.
Tofu is typically sold in 14 ounce blocks. It must be refrigerated and you’ll generally find it by the deli or dairy section of the grocery. Most stores now have an entire “vegan” section. Be sure to steer clear of highly processed meat replacements such as tofurky and soydogs. Tofu is simply fermented soybeans, so less processed!
Making your own sauce allows you to avoid the added oil, sugar and salt found in most store-bought options. However, if you’re needing to speed up the process you can skip the sauce-making. Instead simply pour a store-bought sauce over drained and cubed tofu. When taking this route, read the sauce label and avoid sauces that have added oil and are high in salt and sugar.
Oil-Free BBQ Baked Tofu
- 2 14 oz packages extra firm tofu
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 T tamari (or soy sauce)
- 6 pitted dates
- 2 T mustard
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain liquid from tofu container. Wrap tofu in a clean dish towel or paper towels. Place a heavy object on the wrapped tofu to press the liquid out while making the sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add tomato sauce, vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar, tamari, dates, mustard, red pepper flakes and black pepper to saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Unwrap tofu and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Transfer to a large bowl. Pour sauce over tofu and toss until evenly distributed.
- Spread tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until firm and beginning to crisp around the edges.
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