Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Vegetarian: Ginger Baked Tofu with Agave Peanut Sauce Recipe

tofuinsauce.jpgtofuanquinoa.jpgLast week I planned to make a recipe for grilled sesame tofu skewers with ginger nut-butter sauce adapted from a March Vegetarian times recipe. But when the night arrived to make the recipe, somehow I didn’t feel like making it as written, or even loosely based on the recipe. It had a fair amount of sugar, and sesame oil. While both are yummy, I’m not sure either is all that good for me, so I decided to take a different approach. I had a craving for deep fried, crispy tofu- but I didn’t want to use all that oil. So, I took a page from an online recipe for baked french fries and crisped the tofu in the oven at high temperature, using minimal oil and seasoning another small portion of oil with garlic and ginger for maximum flavor. The result was delicious, and the accompanying peanut sauce beautifully complemented the salty, mild tofu. The first night we had the tofu with quinoa and roasted cauliflower sprinkled with torn, fresh basil. (I’m now a cauliflower FIEND, thanks to this incredible cauliflower recipe). Later I enjoyed leftovers with buckwheat cereal, and it was a surprisingly tasty breakfast. I’ve made many peanut sauces, and this one was unique due to its mild flavor with agave-sweetness. Using a little soy milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk) made it extra creamy. So, if you’re bored by your usual tofu recipes, why not try tofu prepared a new way? And if you are soy intolerant, you can enjoy the peanut sauce on your favorite protein source, or even on pasta. Cauliflower also marries very well with this dish- in fact, with a little tweaking of seasoning, this peanut sauce would be awesome on some roasted cauliflower! Who needs cheese, when you can have a gorgeous, creamy nut based sauce?

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In the mood for cauliflower?
Try my recipe for Mashed Cauliflower
Want another type of peanut sauce tofu?
Try this Tofu Mushroom Peanut Sauce Recipe
Only want an awesome Peanut sauce recipe? No Problem!
Or how about Sweet Potato Peanut Soup?
You can even try a Peanut Southern Style Green Recipe

Ginger Baked Tofu with Agave Peanut Sauce
Ingredients
Tofu:
1 package firm tofu (garlic tofu is ideal)
1 tbsp or less oil of choice (I used olive oil)
1 slice fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
salt

Sauce:
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (unsalted)
dash salt (leave out if using salted peanut butter)
1/4 tsp chili garlic sauce (or less, to taste)
Lemon juice from one lemon slice (1/8 of one med. lemon)
1 sm. knob ginger, grated
1 brief tip of soy milk, coconut milk, or rice milk- one or two tbsp.
1 garlic clove, pressed or grated
1/4 tsp agave nectar
smoked paprika or chipotle pepper if you prefer more heat
water to achieve desired smooth texture

Infused oil:
1 tsp. oil of choice
1 slice fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 cloves garlic, minced

Directions
Slice your tofu in half horizontally and press between a towel for at least 30 min. to drain. Next, cut your tofu in desired shape- either a french fry type shape or cubed. Toss into a baking dish with your oil, salt lightly and bake in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning tofu at the 20 minute mark. Sprinkle baked tofu with your grated ginger evenly and return to oven for at least another 10 minutes.

Combine all ingredients for your sauce in a small bowl and add water until the sauce is as liquid as you like. Note- you probably just want the juice from most of the ginger so you can avoid stringiness in the sauce- jut a little of the grated ginger itself. Taste as you go- this was a recipe I made up as I went along, and amounts are approximate. Vary it to suit your palate!

While tofu is baking, towards the end of the cooking period heat your oil to med-low in a small nonstick pan and add your minced garlic and ginger. Let the seasonings heat and stir them once or twice, then lowering the heat and letting the garlic brown (but not burn!!!).

When tofu is golden brown to your liking, add the tofu to the garlic and ginger in the small pan and get as much of the oil and seasoning onto the tofu as possible. Add a drizzle of salt and serve in a pretty plate, with the sauce on the side.

Additional Pictures

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9 Responses to “Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Vegetarian: Ginger Baked Tofu with Agave Peanut Sauce Recipe”

  1. That looks so yummy I never thought tofu could look so good.

  2. Tofu and peanut sauce, one of my favorite combinations. I too tend to make up recipes as I go along :)

  3. [...] Asian Fusion Grilled Sesame Tofu Skewers with Ginger Nut-butter Sauce Fresh sauteed green beans [...]

  4. I love tofu and especially tempeh…but do you ever worry about eating too much soy? What do you think about the reports that soy affects your hormones?

  5. oh, and I meant to tell you that is a gorgeous photo with the limes and lemons!

  6. Hey there Celiac Chick! Thanks for coming by!

    Your question was very interesting and one that I’ve given some thought to. Of course, I’m not a doctor or medical expert, so you should take my opinion with a grain of salt. But here’s what I think.. You know, it seems like no matter what food you eat, there is going to be conflicting information and studies telling you it’s bad for you, or good for you- butter, eggs, avocados, coconut oil- it seems like the medical industry can’t decide what is harmful to the body and what isn’t! My policy is, anything in excess is probably a bad idea. The huge “soy is good for you” campaign where companies were adding soy to everything so they could label their products as “healthy! containing isoflavans” was not only bad for people with soy allergies, but also unlikely to have any benefits and quite likely to have negative side effects, as anything in excess can. I think it’s probably not a good idea to take soy-based supplements, because these bombard the body with amounts of things that might be fine or even good for you in small amounts, but are way too much for anyone’s body to handle in large amounts. I also have trouble jumping on the “soy is bad for you” bandwagon, though. People have been consuming tofu and soy products in countries like Japan for centuries and have lower incidence of things like cancer and menopause issues- if tofu and fermented soy products were so unhealthy for adults, I would think that Cancer rates etc. would be higher in these countries. However, if you look at the consumption of tofu in Japan- people don’t go crazy with soy milk in the morning, soy butter in the afternoon, and piles of tofu at night, or adding it to everything they eat. In Japan, someone might enjoy a cool tin or soft, creamy tofu (like yogurt, almost)- or have a fried tofu ball with their lunch, or a tofu steak with their grilled meal… along with vegetables and rice. But it’s highly unlikely this would all be consumed in one day! Food portions are smaller for everything, including the serving of tofu, and meal balance is taken quite seriously, usually without huge mounds of protein as the base of the meal like is often the case here in the states. Also, some forms of soy that are consumed in Japan seem to pose less danger than others- the fermented forms like natto, and miso. (Of course, one problem with meals can be the high level of sodium content, especially with miso, but that’s a different issue). I’ve also read that tempeh might be better for you and less likely to cause potential imbalances than tofu or boiled soybeans, so if this is one of the tofu products you enjoy, you probably need to worry less about it than other things.

    One thing I have considered with regards to tofu is that for those with thyroid issues, high levels of soy consumption may be an issue. However, soy is not the ONLY food that can effect the thyroid- seaweed (nori) and beans are also reputed to have an impact- so I don’t want to vilify soy excessively. I did start thinking about my soy consumption and decide that it might be smart to try and balance my diet as much as possible and not consume tofu or soy products more than, say, once or twice a week. You might have noticed lately I’ve been eating a little more soy- the reason is that I was having some tummy issues and laying off beans for a little while, but I’ve brought them back now that my tummy seems to have resolved itself (stupid antibiotics, anyway.) Also, I tend to like soy, and like the things I make using it, so I post about it maybe disproportionately- it might seem like i eat it more than I do. :) Ultimately, though, I feel that as long as you try to have a balanced diet, with lots of healthy green vegetables (broccoli, chard, cauliflower, etc.) and high protein, high fiber grains, moderate amounts of soy in the diet should be ok. Stressing the moderate here.

    That being said, it seems to me from the things I have read that soy formulas for babies are NOT a good idea, older men might be better off not consuming excessive amounts of soy products, and no one should consume excessive amounts of tofu (for every meal, say, or even every day). Pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant should probably consult their doctor about their diet (although the doctor may or may not be helpful in that regard) and most importantly, have their levels of everything (thyroid, vitamins, etc) checked out so they can make any dietary adjustments needed.

    It does bother me a little to hear the media/internet hype about the latest food villain- I feel like it’s a little bit of the “when bees attack” syndrome (ever see that Saturday Night live?) I want to hear and read reputable academic, scientific papers on the topic, know exactly what I’m reading, and know what interests are funding the project in order to come to my own decision about things- and sometimes it’s a real challenge to separate truth from the hype. Plenty of other things that we eat have cancer risks- grilled meat, for example, but somehow that doesn’t make quite the stir in the media (unless it’s vegetarian media, haha) that soy does.

    Bet you didn’t really want to hear all this in answer to your one innocent question! haha. But, in truth, it is something I’ve given some thought to and wanted to respond properly to.

    Thank you for the photo compliments and of course, thanks for coming by!!!

    *hugs*
    -Sea

  7. [...] a soy free almond sauce recipe I use when I figure out what I put in it…) Book of Yum has a peanut agave sauce that looks intriguing, [...]

  8. Hi Sea,
    I’ve added a link for your peanut agave sauce as a dipping sauce for my for summer rolls…I love that it’s soy free, and will have to try an almond version soon.
    http://www.gfandhealthy.com/2008/04/16/summerrolls/
    Cheryl

  9. [...] Gluten-free Vegetarian has posted a wonderful Garlic Roasted Cauliflower, and a very special Ginger Baked Tofu with Peanut Sauce. [...]

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