Go-To Toaster Oven Tofu

I make this tofu on the regular, mostly because it’s super easy and keeps well in the fridge, so I can pull it out and put it in anything. You can use any marinade at all — I like a combination of olive oil, an acid (lemon juice, cider vinegar, white balsamic vinegar), salt, and some dried or fresh herbs. Sometimes I use the brine from the olive or roasted red pepper jar. Or, truthfully, nothing at all — I love plain tofu as is. This is more of a method than anything, but one to keep on your radar if you’re a fan of the toaster oven (I am!).

Toaster Oven Tofu

Go-To Toaster Oven Tofu

1 block (350g to 1 pound) good quality extra-firm tofu
Marinade (see intro above)

Take the tofu out of its wrapper and drain any excess liquid. Wrap it in paper towels, then with a clean kitchen towel, and top with something heavy (I put some cans inside my dutch oven, then rest it on top… Or a 12-pack of club soda still in the box). Let stand for at least 30 minutes.

Unwrap the tofu. Slice into 8 pieces width-wise. Put in a shallow container and cover with marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Take the tofu out of the marinade and put it directly on the toaster oven rack set in the middle of the toaster oven. I use the toaster oven on the “Toast” setting, set at 500 degrees, and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden as pictured above. Let cool before storing in the refrigerator. I usually keep this in the fridge for about 4 days, and use as needed.

Creamy Stuffed Poblanos

After my recipe featuring how much I love tofu “ricotta”, I thought I would highlight a similarly made filling in a completely new way. Here it features the stronger flavors of tahini, mustard, and smoked paprika, pairing well with the spiciness of poblano peppers.

Creamy Stuffed Poblanos2

Creamy Stuffed Poblanos

2 hot poblano peppers, cut in half length-wise and seeded
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon (5mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup (240mL) packed finely chopped kale
1 medium carrot, grated
1 clove garlic
175g/6oz extra-firm tofu
Juice from half a lemon
1 tablespoon (15ml) roasted tahini paste
1 1/2 teaspoons (7mL) stone ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon (3mL) smoked paprika

Set the oven to broil. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Put the poblanos on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil, about 5 minutes per side, until they just start to blister and become tender. Remove, and set the oven to 425 degrees F.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the kale and garlic and cook until wilted the kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Put the onion mixture, tofu lemon juice, tahini, mustard, paprika, and a generous pinch of salt in the food processor. Process until well combined and nearly smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture into the peppers. Portobello mushrooms. Bake until heated through and the topping of the filling is browned and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Tofu “Ricotta” Stuffed Eggplant Rolls

Making ricotta-like filling is one of my favorite ways to use tofu. I often prepare it and use it in lasagna, shell noodles, peppers, portabellos and, here, eggplant. A vegan version of eggplant rollatini, this is a perfect primer for those who are new to trying tofu.

eggplant rollatini

Tofu Ricotta-Stuffed Eggplant Rolls

2 to 3 large eggplant, sliced about 1/4-inch thick lengthwise (8 slices in total)
Olive oil
1 batch tofu “ricotta” (below)
About 4 cups (960mL) your favorite marinara sauce (I use a homemade version with lots of chunky vegetables)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Put the eggplant on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes until softened. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375F.

Put a small scoop of the tofu “ricotta” on one end of each of the 8 slices of eggplant. Roll each securely, then place in a baking dish that will fit them all snuggly (such as an 8-inch square). Top with the marinara. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until eggplant is tender and sauce is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tofu “Ricotta”

1 (350g) package extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons (30mL) nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon (15mL) cashew butter
1 tablespoon (15mL) lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 teaspoon (10mL) Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon (1mL) onion powder
1/8 teaspoon (1mL) garlic powder, plus more to taste
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until well combined. This can be made up to 2 days in advance. If using immediately, test for seasoning after pulsing. If you’re making it in advance, test for seasoning before using.