Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tofu "Steaks", Broccoli and Red Peppers, and Quinoa

You know how some kids feel about chicken nuggets? Well, that's kind of how Graham feels about tofu. So does his dad. It's gotten to where there's sort of a battle over the tofu cubes in whatever stir-fry or soup we happen to be eating. It seems a little extreme to add another block of tofu to a meal (even though it's tofu, it does still have calories and fat!), so I thought it might be fun to just indulge in a little tofu steak the other day.

For the tofu:
1 block of extra firm tofu
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp lemon zest
pinch of crushed red pepper

First, I pressed the tofu to get all of the moisture out. Just wrap it in a dish towel, place it between two plates, and set a heavy jar or can on top for 10 or 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients together well for the marinade.  Then I cut the tofu into 8 "steaks", by placing it on it's side and slicing horizontally.  I put the tofu in an 8x8 pan and poured the marinade over it, and left it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. I heated my grill pan (I have a large cast iron double burner pan that has raised grill marks on one side and is flat on the other), until it was very hot. Then placed the tofu on the grill side of the pan. Grill them 4-5 minutes on each side and carefully remove. (They did stick a bit, I'll have to work on that).

For the Broccoli and Red Pepper:
2 tsp oil
1 crown broccoli, cut into flores
1 red bell pepper, chopped
LOTS of garlic (about 2 Tbsp)
splash of soy sauce
black pepper

Heat the oil over medium high, then throw everything else in. Saute for about 10 minutes until peppers are tender and broccoli is beginning to brown.

For the Quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water

Put everything in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. (This makes a lot of quinoa, but it's great to have on hand to toss into salads or soups). Cooking it in broth rather than just water gave the already nutty flavor a little extra kick.

We had this for lunch, and although it seemed like a bit more than I would usually put together for lunch, it came together really quick. And, I think they got their tofu fill. For the moment.

*Let's talk tofu. As I mentioned, tofu does have fat and calories, but much fewer than its meat counter parts. About 4 ounces of tofu has 94 calories and 5 grams of fat. The same amount of ground beef has 331 calories and 15 fat grams, while chicken has about 200 calories and 4 grams of fat. In that 4 oz portion of tofu, you get 11 grams of protein,  20% RDA of calcium and zero cholesterol. Beef provides 9 grams of protein, and 113 mg of cholesterol. I'm thrilled that the Grahams love tofu so much!


  1. Dry the marinade off of the tofu and dust the tofu in a tiny bit of cornstarch or better yet some sort of dry rub (they make tons of steak seasonings like Montreal Steak Seasoning). Do this right before grilling. Proceed as you described. For extra flavor. strain and reduce the marinade by 1/2. add a tablespoon to the top of the finished product.

  2. Cool! I will try that next time.