I know I usually wait a bit longer to post recipes, mostly because I generally have more ideas for posts than time to blog about them. But this time, I wanted to hurry and post this fantastic recipe we enjoyed for barbecued tofu last night. It was one of the best totally new recipes I’ve had in a while- and it was the result of months of daydreaming about the concept. And that concept was… a delicious, rich barbecued tofu recipe that would satisfy the most fervent carnivore. DH commented on its “meaty” characteristics, but it’s sure to thrill vegetarians due to its savory, sweet, richness paired with the light freshness of tofu. The caramelized vegetables add more interest to the dish, and remind me of an old favorite recipe for barbecued beans. In fact, if you add more liquid, this recipe would make a fantastic barbecued bean recipe, too.
As an added bonus, this recipe is full of great nutritional elements. I learned fairly recently that blackstrap molasses is awesome, especially for those with low iron or calcium deficiencies. One tablespoon of unsulphured blackstrap molasses contains 20% of your daily requirements for Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron. Not too shabby! Eat one fifth of a pack of tofu prepared with Calcium Sulfate (Chinese Style) and you add another 15% of your daily requirement for Calcium, 8% of your daily requirement of Iron, and 30% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A, D, B12 and Vitamin E. Add greens and watch this meal turn into a real nutritional powerhouse! Yeah! No wonder I feel so good after eating one of these vegetarian Southern style meals.
But a meal is not made up of protein alone, even if that protein is delicious barbecued tofu. I served the meal with greens slow simmered in a touch of sesame oil with a splash of wheat-free tamari. And, I made my favorite vegan gravy recipe in the world- a recipe from the brilliant book, Vegan Vittles. The greens were a little bland until I added a small dab of margarine and drizzled them with vegan gravy, magically converting them from blah to yummy.
And of course, what Southern Meal doesn’t have a bit of cornbread, or at least a corn muffin? I tried Whole Foods’ new reasonably priced gluten free corn bread and muffin mix, and was thrilled with the results. You add buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and butter to the mix, bake it, and get a absolutely delicious corn bread or muffin that easily compares (if not surpasses) my old favorite, The Gluten-Free Pantry Yankee Cornbread Mix, 12-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6). The 365 Whole Foods Corn Bread mix is cheaper than GFP (if you’re buying it in a store, although maybe not if you buy the GFP in bulk from Amazon) and got high marks from DH. The only thing that I didn’t like was that it required buttermilk, which I would have to buy special for the recipe, and SUGAR. I mean, of course I have sugar, but why don’t they provide it? If they want it added separately from the rest of the ingredients, they could include a separate bag or something. And, if they want to accommodate sugar-free diets, why not explain that on the package or give healthy alternatives? Nevertheless, this simple little mix yielded a sweet little corn muffin that complimented the barbecued tofu perfectly.
So the next time you’re feeling a little down, and like you need a meal full of vitamins and minerals, why not try a decadent Southern style vegetarian feast? Not only will your taste buds do a happy dance, but you might feel a little more energetic and well nourished at the same time! :)
Interested in seeing more of my Gluten-Free Southern Style Vegetarian and Vegan Meals? Click Here! (Note: this post will remain at the top of your screen, but scroll down)
While hunting through my cookbooks for a tasty barbecued tofu recipe, I came across Isa’s recipe in Vegan with a Vengeancefor a Pomegranate Tofu Barbecue that looked really tasty… If I’d had the ingredients, I might have made that instead. I’m pretty happy with this recipe, but if you want to dabble in a more exotic sauce, tell me how it turns out!
Check out another recipe for gluten-free corn muffins AND a review of this very recipe over at one of my favorite family’s blog- Odds that Never End
Barbecue Tofu Recipe
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
onion powder and/or garlic powder to taste
gluten-free cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut tofu into 3 or four slabs, and press between a towel for 30 minutes or so while you prepare the other ingredients. When it has pressed for long enough, combine the flour, nutritional yeast, and spices in a shallow bowl or plate. Then carefully cut your tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and dredge them in the flour mixture. Spray a baking sheet with your spray oil and carefully place your tofu cubes on the sheet. Spray them thoroughly with the cooking spray. Put in preheated oven and bake for at least 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the tofu is golden brown. Turn tofu and put back in oven until other side is browned. Keep turning and putting back in oven until each side is evenly browned. (Entire process probably takes no more than 30 minutes altogether, and may take less time depending on your oven and patience.)
While tofu is in oven, combine sauce ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Heat cast iron pan on medium and add a little olive oil. Once the oil is warm but not smoking excessively, throw in your red onion strips and let cook slowly without burning. Turn as few times as possible. When the onion seems softened and has started to caramelize, add you pepper squares and saute until the pepper is soft and a little charred, if possible. When veggies seem to have reached their maximum sweetness, remove from pan and reserve.
Put your browned tofu in the cast iron pan and gently pour your barbecue sauce over the tofu. Mix them in the sauce carefully,trying not to remove their coating or break the tofu. When tofu seems evenly coated, add your caramelized veggies back in the pan and combine carefully. You can heat them on low heat in the pan, or stick them in the oven at 325 for up to thirty minutes, depending on how dry you like your sauce. Remove and enjoy!
This tofu was awesome with cornbread, vegetarian gravy, and slow cooked southern greens. It’s a keeper! I’ll be making this recipe many times again, although I may fiddle with the sauce to make it a little less thick in the future. DELISH! DH enjoyed it a lot as well.
Nutritional Yeast Gravy
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Braggs GF liquid aminos
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp garlic granules (if desired)
1/8 tsp black pepper
Heat brown rice flour and nutritional yeast flakes in a dry nonstick frypan on a medium temperature, and let them lightly brown and release their fragrance. Take the pan off the heat and slowly add water, braggs, olive oil and seasonings, whisking continuously until mixture is silky smooth. Return to heat and stir until gravy reaches desired consistency.
I serve this gravy every holiday with mashed potatoes and (on thanksgiving) my portabello stuffed acorn squash dish. It’s so easy you can make it anytime, and top brown rice, pasta, baked potatoes or tofu patties. DH enjoys it too, and it’s considerably easier than the typical American gravy made from scratch.