That's right; September is my birthday month! It also marks the beginning of fall and many of my favorite things. I love the crispness in the air, the changing leaves, all things pumpkin, haunted houses, corn mazes and hot cider.
I decided to start off the season with my first hot Starbucks drink all summer (yes, it is still 95 degrees, but I chose to crank the AC in my car and pretend).
The new toffee mocha. Go big or go home, right? I usually avoid high calorie beverages such as this, (I prefer to eat my calories instead of drink them) but I allow myself a couple each year. I will also be indulging in an eggnog latte around Christmas time. Some things are just worth it. I compensate by making healthy choices the rest of the day.
This week has been a little hectic. I was finishing up one of my classes with a paper, homework assignment and final exam (don't you just love when all of the class assignments are due at the same time? arg...). I relied on quick meals such as this salad.
In the mix: baby spinach, tomatoes, red onion, black beans, goat cheese, avocado, perfect baked tofu (recipe up next), tossed in olive oil and vinegar dressing. I toasted up a whole wheat tortilla and cut it into wedges for some "chips".
I found this recipe for Perfect Baked Tofu and it sounded like a delicious new vegetarian option. I just happened to have all of the ingredients I needed so decided to give it a try.
Perfect Baked Tofu
Ingredients:2/3 block extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Press excess liquid from tofu. Wrap several paper towels around tofu, and place tofu in between two plates. Let stand for 15 minutes.
3. Cut tofu into 1 inch by 1 inch pieces.
4. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, mix olive oil, honey, chili powder, black pepper, and paprika. Microwave marinade for 35 seconds and stir thoroughly.
5. Coat each piece of tofu in marinade and place on baking sheet.
6. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of tofu.
7. Cook at 375 for 30 minutes, turning once.
Turns out, coating the tofu in marinade was easier said than done. The marinade was thick (and hot, from heating). When I attempted to coat the tofu, it started to break up (maybe I didn't get enough of the liquid out?). The tofu got stuck in the sticky marinate and then I burned my fingers trying to get it back out.
I was fairly certain this recipe was not going to work out, but I perservered.
It wasn't as pretty as I'd envisioned...
But it sure was tasty! The marinade is a perfect blend of spicy and sweet. Delish! I will be making this again...and again. If you are new to tofu or looking for a good way to prepare it, I recommend you try this recipe. It works well in salads, wraps or even on its own. Be creative!
Stay tuned for another vegetarian update this weekend.
Do you like tofu? What is your favorite way to prepare it?