Everyone who loves crunchy sweet raw red cabbage, please raise your hand. (Kalyn has both hands raised.) If you're not raising your hand I hope you'll consider making this Vegan Red Cabbage Bowl using crisp lettuce in place of the cabbage because I loved how the flavors combined in this recipe, and I'd hate for any cabbage-avoiders to miss out on the other good things here. Two things that ramp up the flavor are tossing the tofu cubes with a soy-sesame-ginger marinade before they're baked, and a hint of Sriracha in the peanut butter flavored sauce to give it just the right amount of spicy kick. I made this a couple of times and in the final version I scattered the tofu cubes over the salad like croutons before I drizzled the sauce over, and I thought that was the perfect finishing touch.
This bowl of Asian flavors is my Meatless Monday idea for this week. For more meatless recipes, use the label Meatless Monday or check out Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index. For Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, follow our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest or Meatless Monday at BlogHer.
You need to press the tofu to remove the moisture if you want crisp cubes of tofu. Start by putting the pieces of tofu between a double layer of paper towels.
Then put something heavy like a cast iron pan on top of the tofu and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. (If you have time, change the towels and press again for 15 minutes more.)
While tofu is being pressed, whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar (or sweetener), and ground ginger root to make the marinade.
Cut the tofu into small cubes and toss with the marinade. (If you have time to let this sit for 15 minutes or so, I would do that, but it's not essential.)
Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and spread out the tofu cubes. Bake at 400F/200C for about 20 minutes.
Halfway through baking time, turn the tofu cubes if you want them evenly crisp on all sides. (I used my fingers, just do it quickly!)
While tofu cooks, thinly slice and chop the cabbage and cut the red pepper and sugar snap peas into slivers. (I'd cut the cabbage thinner than it is in this photo; we forgot to take another photo of the thinner-cut cabbage when we made this the final time!)
Melt the peanut butter in the microwave, then whisk in the rice vinegar, agave (or sweetener), sesame oil, soy sauce, Sriracha, and hot water to make the sauce.
For each serving, layer a generous amount of thinly sliced and chopped cabbage, red bell pepper strips, and slivers of sugar snap peas. Sprinkle with tofu cubes and drizzle over desired amount of sauce, and devour!
(Makes 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Baked Sesame Tofu Sticks and Spicy Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu.)
Tofu and Marinade Ingredients:
14 oz. firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed to remove most of the moisture
1 T sesame oil
1 T soy sauce (low-sodium is fine)
2 tsp. rice vinegar (not seasoned)
2 tsp. agave nectar or sweetener of your choice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger root (from a jar)
Peanut-Sriracha Sauce Ingredients:
2 T plain peanut butter (use natural peanut butter without added sugar for South Beach Diet)
1 T hot water
2 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
2 T agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha (more or less to taste; this was just barely spicy)
(If you think you'll want extra sauce you may want to double this; it keeps well in the fridge and is good on lots of other things.)
1/2 large head red cabbage, thinly sliced and then chopped
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into short thin strips
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced sugar snap peas, cut lengthwise on the diagonal
(You can substitute or add any thinly sliced veggies you think would be good with these flavors)
Put the tofu into a colander placed in the sink and let it drain for a few minutes, until the liquid runs off. Cut tofu in half crosswise to make two same-size flat pieces. Put two piece of paper towel on a cutting board, lay tofu slices close to each other on the paper towel, and top with two more pieces of paper towel. Put something heavy (like a cast iron pan) on top of the paper towel so it's covering and pressing down on the tofu to press out the water. Let tofu press at least 15 minutes, then replace the paper towels and press again for 15 minutes more if you have time.
While tofu is pressing, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave nectar (or sweetener), and ground ginger root to make the marinade. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
When tofu is pressed, cut it into small cubes about 3/4 inches square. Put tofu into a small bowl and gently toss with the marinade. (If you have time, let it marinate 15 minutes or so before you bake.) Spread tofu out on the baking sheet so pieces are not close or touching and bake about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and use your fingers or a fork to quickly turn the tofu pieces over. Bake about 10 more minutes, or until all the tofu is nicely browned and the edges feel firm. (It might take slightly longer than 20 minutes, but watch it carefully at the end because it can go from brown to burned pretty quickly.)
While the tofu bakes, thinly slice and chop the cabbage. Cut away the stem and remove the seeds of the red bell pepper, then cut the pepper into short thin strips. Cut sugar snap peas in half lengthwise on the diagonal to make slivers. Whisk together the rice vinegar, agave (or sweetener), sesame oil, soy sauce, Sriracha, and hot water to make the peanut-Sriracha sauce.
When tofu is done make bowls with a generous layer of red cabbage topped with red bell pepper strips, sugar snap pea slivers, and tofu cubes on top. Drizzle over a generous amount of sauce and serve immediately.
Individual ingredients can be kept in the fridge for several days. (I had leftovers and I gently heated the tofu and sauce in the microwave, combined the ingredients, and ate it while I was typing up this post!)
South Beach Suggestions:
If you're eating this for Phase One of the South Beach Diet, it's probably best to replace the agave nectar with an approved Phase One sweetener, although there's not a huge amount of agave per serving. Tofu is a limited food for Phase One, but this recipe is well-within that limit. For Phase two or three, use any approved sweetener of your choice, including agave.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Tasty Ideas with Tofu:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Stir-Fried Tofu with Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Sauce ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Vegetarian Mapo Tofu ~ Appetite for China
Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Thai Black Pepper and Garlic Tofu ~ Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Sriracha-Spiced Stir-Fried Tofu with Eggplant, Red Bell Pepper, and Thai Basil ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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