Try This Lighter General Tso’s Tofu!

Happy Friday, Bulls! After some trial and error, I finally figured out how to cook delicious and healthy tofu! It is true that tofu is generally lower in fat than meat. However, it absorbs more liquid, making oil dangerous to cook with. Baking the tofu uses no oil, and it gives a crispy and chewy texture.

Check out my healthy and vegan take on the Chinese fast-food staple, General Tso’s Sauce. Usually fried and breaded with lots of oil and sugar, simple chicken and tofu dishes at Chinese restaurants can be pretty high in calories, sodium and fat. Make smarter swaps like low-sodium soy sauce and try baking your protein, and you have a healthy and easy meal that tastes better than the original.  

Sauté the vegetables separately while baking the tofu. Use a small amount of olive or sesame oil. 

 

After draining and drying the tofu, bake 1-inch cubes in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400°F. Flip tofu halfway through. Use a non-stick baking mat to avoid using extra oil. Sprinkle tofu with pepper, cayenne, or other spices. 

After baking, the tofu should have golden brown edges. Stir in with veggies while the sauce thickens.

Stir the sauce in with the veggies and tofu, serve and enjoy! Keep leftovers in the fridge for no more than three days. 

Want to know what you’re eating? Here are the healthiest ingredients in this recipe?

Kale: Compared to other vegetables, this dark and bitter green contains the largest amounts of antioxidants. Kale is also an outstanding source of fiber, calcium, iron, flavonoids and vitamins K, A and C.

Tofu: This soy-based vegetarian favorite is a healthy and versatile meatless protein source.  It has about 10 grams of protein per half cup and has a similar calorie and carbohydrate content compared to meat. It contains all the essential amino acids, and is a great source of iron, calcium and other minerals.

Red Bell Peppers: Stick to the red peppers when enjoying these bright and tangy vegetables! They are much higher in vitamins A and C than the other varieties. They also contain vitamin B6 to protect your nervous system and enough folate to keep your heart healthy.

Onions: The flavonoids in these common bulbs may help improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and regulate blood sugar. Additionally, these same nutrients may help fight against free-radical damage in our cells.

Ingredients:

Tofu and Vegetables:

  •      2 sliced bell peppers
  •      1 cup kale or spinach
  •      1 cup sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  •      1 sliced yellow onion
  •      14-ounce container extra firm tofu – I usedNasoya.
  •  Cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving.

General Tso’s Sauce:

  •      ¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  •      2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  •      2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  •      2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  •      1 tablespoon Sriracha
  •      1 tablespoon maple syrup
  •      2 tablespoons garlic
  •      1 tablespoon ginger
  •      3 teaspoons cornstarch combined with 3 teaspoons water

Instructions:

Tofu and Vegetables:

  1.     Preheat oven to 400°C. Drain tofu and remove from package.
  2.     Wrap in thick towels, set on a plate or bowl, and place something heavy directly onto the wrapped tofu.
  3.     Let dry for 15 – 20 minutes. Change the towels if they become too wet.
  4.     Once dry or lightly damp, chop into 1-inch cubes.
  5.     Arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with pepper, and bake for 20 minutes. Flipping tofu halfway. The tofu should have golden brown edges.
  6.     Heat a bit of oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat.
  7.     Add onions, peppers, and mushrooms to the pan.
  8.     Let heat for about 5 minutes or until soft.
  9.     Add in the spinach or kale and cook until soft and dark, about 2 minutes.
  10. Remove tofu from oven and stir in with vegetables.

Sauce:

  1.     In a medium pan or pot, heat the oil, garlic, and ginger on medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring often.
  2.     Add broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and Sriracha. Let simmer for about 3 minutes.
  3.     Whisk cornstarch into 3 teaspoons water. Add to mixture and stir until thickened.
  4.     Add to vegetables and tofu.

 

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