Like Lucas and Trekkie fans – there seems to be two very different camps in tofu. Those who refuse tofu, call it a product of a Sith lord, that it throws of the balance of the force and it should be eradicated off the face of the planet. Then there are those for it, see it for its possibilities. Boldly going where vegans have gone before, exploring new tastes from new civilizations. From my experience those who harbor strong dislike of tofu are either allergic, or have just had a super bad experience. (Mostly the later). Tofu is just like any other food, sure you can just slap a cold lump of soy paste on a plate and call it food – but its what you do to it that makes it a meal worth eating and perhaps even sharing.
Hear, my son, your father’s instructions and do not forsake your mother’s teaching for their insight will bring you success, adorning you with grace filled thoughts and giving you reins to guide your decisions.proverbs 1:8
Summer rolls with baked tofu are the perfect snack or on the go lunch. Baked tofu is crispy and lightly seasoned and make great add in for stir frys, rice, couscous, or just eat cold as a snack. I make up a big batch and use it for a few days. for the summer rolls, I often add in peppers, mango or pineapple for added sweet touch. But use what you enjoy eating. Summer rolls are best eaten fresh but can be made in advance and packed for lunch. roll tightly in cling wrap. I eat mine plain but feel free to opt for a quick peanut sauce like the one Loving it Vegan- click here for that recipe.
Oven baked Tofu Summer Rolls:
- 10 spring roll rice paper wrappers
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 large cucumber, julienned
- 1/3 cup chopped cabbage
- 1 ounce cooked rice noodles or vermicelli
- 1 pkg of tofu prepared & baked (See recipe below)
- handful fresh cilantro
- 5 large green lettuce leaves,torn in half
- optional add ins : julienned peppers, mango slices, or sliced pineapple.
- Prepare the rice paper wrappers: Pour warm water into a large bowl or 9-inch square or round baking pan. Like a pie plate. Working with one at a time, dip the rice paper wrapper into the warm water for 15-20 seconds. You want the wrapper to be soft, yet still slightly firm and pliable. Immediately remove from the water and place flat onto a work surface such as a large plastic, or glass cutting board.
- Fill the rolls: Place a few sticks of carrot, cucumber, any of the add ins you desire and a sprinkle of cabbage on the bottom 1/3 of the rice paper. Then, a small amount of noodles, a slices tofu , cilantro. Lay 1/2 of a lettuce leaf on top Remember, do not overstuff the roll.
- Roll them: Roll everything up tightly. To do so, gently pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Then, roll and use your hands to tuck the filling in as you go. Like a burrito Remember, you want a very tight roll.
Oven Baked Tofu
- 1 block (12 to 15 ounces) organic extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powders
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the tofu from sticking.
To prepare the tofu: Drain the tofu and use your palms to gently squeeze out some of the water. Slice the tofu into thirds lengthwise so you have 3 even slabs. Stack the slabs on top of each other and slice through to make cubes.
Line a cutting board with a lint-free tea towel, then arrange the tofu in an even layer on the towel(s). Fold the towel(s) over the cubed tofu, then place something heavy on top (like another cutting board, topped with a cast iron pan or large cans of tomatoes) to help the tofu drain. Let the tofu rest for at least 20 minutes or longer.
Transfer the pressed tofu to a ziplock bag drizzel oil over and shake gently. add starch and spices and shake until evenly coated
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,flipping halfway, until the tofu is deeply golden on the edges.