Teriyaki Tofu and Veggies

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This easy meal came around on Monday when I realized I completely forgot to prep lunch for the week. My youngest was down for a nap and I had some pita that needed used up so I quickly pressed some tofu, dipped it in some teriyaki sauce, and put it into bake. I needed more than that so quickly chopped the veggies I had available and cooked those too. In 30 minutes, I had a great lunch ready. Now I prefer this in pita with a bit of hummus, but you could totally serve it over rice or in a tortilla. Also, use whatever vegetable you have on hand. Some good alternates would be mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, or eggplant as they all roast at a similar temperature and time.

First get started on pressing the tofu. I’ve talked about pressing tofu in Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu but I briefly touch on how I did it for this. As with most dinners where you use tofu, you’ll want extra firm tofu. Drain out all the water. Fold a hand towel in half and lay it across a baking sheet. Slice the tofu into even sections. Honestly, I change the way I cut it every time and it usually just depends how thick I want the pieces to be. In this case, I cut it in to 8 slices and laid each across the baking sheet.

I find it easier to get even thickness in the slices when cutting this way (vertical cuts) instead of horizontal cuts which would give you 4-5 slices but in the grand scheme of things, it won’t make a huge difference. So, now that you have your slices, place another hand towel on top followed by another baking sheet. Fill a 9×13 pyrex or baking dish with water and place it on top of the baking sheet.

Let this sit for 10-15 minutes. While waiting on the tofu, begin dicing all the vegetables and preheat the oven to 350. I used 4 bell peppers, 1/2 an onion, 3 radishes, and 1 small head of broccoli. Place all of the vegetables into a large bowl. Cube the pressed tofu and add it to the bowl with the vegetables. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil, or oil of your choice, over the tofu and veggies along with 3 tbsp of teriyaki sauce.

Dry the 9×13 you used to press the tofu and spray with cooking spray. Pour the veggies and tofu in to the 9×13 making sure that they are well dispersed, like not all of tofu in one area of the pan. Place it in the oven for 30-40 minutes, checking about 1/2 way through. Once it’s done, top it with sesame seeds. If you have a pan that’s bigger than 9×13, feel free to use it. My pan was pretty full when I put it in the oven but it will cook down a bit anyways.

Precooked.

Teriyaki Tofu and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 16 oz extra firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)

Instructions:

  1. Cut tofu and press for about 10 minutes (*see notes above if you don’t know how to press tofu*).
  2. Chop all vegetables, placing them in a large bowl as you go.
  3. Once tofu has been pressed, cube and place it in the bowl with the vegetables.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce to the bowl with the tofu and veggies. Mix well to make sure everything gets coated.
  5. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, pour the veggies and tofu into the baking dish making sure they disperse well (ie. that the tofu doesn’t all end up in one area).
  6. Place the baking dish in the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring about half way through.
  7. Serve in a pita wrap with hummus, in a grain bowl, or over rice.

Tofu Stir Fry

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I had totally different intentions when I made this meal. These were meant to be copy-cat like PF Chang’s lettuce wraps, but when I realized I was missing green onion, cashews, and lettuce, we still needed dinner and at that point I was set on a similar taste so stir fry it became. Frankly the whole reason I wanted this was for the water chestnuts. Water chestnuts are delicious and have a wonderful crunch. According to Healthline, they also have a multitude of health benefits. I feel like I don’t put water chestnuts to use enough, I’ll have to work on that.

I chose to press and pre-cook the tofu because my husband prefers the texture of oven cooked tofu over sauted. Here are instructions if you want to pre-cook the tofu: Press the tofu for about 15 minutes. I have pressing tips in the Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu or there’s plenty of YouTube videos about it. Bake the pressed tofu in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

If you are not pre-cooking the tofu, still press it, then cube the tofu. At this point, drain and rinse an 8 oz can of water chestnuts. Dice 1/2 a yellow squash, 1/2 an onion, and the water chestnuts.

All the things.

In a small amount of oil, saute the onion and yellow squash until the squash has softened. While waiting on this, make your sauce. Combine 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 3 tbsp hoisin, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp garlic chili sauce, and 1/2 tsp garlic. Whisk well to combine.

Add the cubed tofu, water chestnuts, and sauce to the veggies. Continue to saute until the sauce thickens. Serve over rice, by itself or as a lettuce wrap. Feel free to top with cashews and/or green onion

Tofu Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz package of extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 medium yellow squash
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 8oz can of water chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional additions: lettuce (real lettuce wrap), cashews, green onion, rice

Instructions:

  1. Dice tofu, 1/2 a yellow squash, 1/2 an onion and the drained and rinsed water chestnuts.
  2. Saute the squash and onion in a little bit of oil until the squash has softened and the onion is translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tbsp hoisin sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, and 1 tsp chili garlic sauce. Whisk to combine.
  4. Once the squash and onion are cooked, add in the diced tofu and water chestnuts. Saute for an additional few minutes then add the sauce. Continue to stir occasionally until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice or as a lettuce wrap.

Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce

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When I was in college there was a wonderful Thai restaurant nearby called Cozy Thai. That was the first place I’d ever had Pad Thai and I fell in love. Unfortunately, we don’t have any Thai restaurants within ordering distance from our current location so figuring out how to make it at home was essential.

This recipe uses ingredients that people typically have on hand for the sauce. Also, in my recipe I used Shirataki noodles and tofu that I had made earlier in the day. For noodles, you can use whatever you happen to have available. The standard choice is rice noodles but if you don’t have those you could also try homemade zucchini noodles (zoodles) or fettuccine noodles in a pinch.

As I mentioned above I had made Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu earlier in the day so I just diced some up and used it in this recipe. I’m assuming you may not have premade tofu so if not, the first step is to press and cube your tofu. If you are unsure how to do this, feel free to check out the recipe for Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu for details. Once you have pressed and cubed the tofu, set it aside for later in the recipe.

Thinly slice 1 bell pepper and finely diced 1 carrot. Alternatively, you could spiralize the carrot if you prefer. Place these in a large skillet with a small amount of sesame oil (or oil of choice) and saute until the peppers have softened. Then add in your cubed tofu. I used about a cup of small diced tofu (about the same size as the carrot is diced) so you will likely have left over tofu.

**Optional: I didn’t have any eggs in the house when I made this, but if you want to add scrambled egg, now would be the time to do so. Just push the veggies and tofu to the side and make the scrambled egg (2 eggs) before combining in with the veggies**

Let this continue to saute for a few minutes to continue softening the bell pepper and carrots and cooking the tofu. Meanwhile, depending on the type of noodle you are using, begin cooking your noodles according to the directions on the box. Once cooked, add the noodles and 1/2 a cup of bean sprouts to the veggies and tofu and combine well. As I used Shirataki noodles, I rinsed these and added them directly to the veggies and tofu.

While waiting on the noodles to heat up, make the peanut sauce. Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter*, 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 cup water, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, and 1 tsp garlic. Whisk well to combine. Taste test and add additional chili garlic sauce or sriracha if needed.

*For peanut butter, any will do. However, I recommend Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter because of the minimal ingredients (literally just peanuts) and as natural peanut butter tends to be more liquid-y, its easier to combine and get an accurate measurement.

Pour sauce over noodles and veggies and stir well to combine. Serve with green onion, peanuts and pineapple on top.

Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cubed extra firm tofu
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • sesame oil
  • 8 oz rice noodles or 8 oz shirataki noodles
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • green onion
  • peanuts

Instructions:

  1. Thinly slice bell pepper and diced carrots. In a large skillet, saute the carrots and bell pepper in a small amount of sesame oil. Continue sauteing for about 5-10 minutes then add 1 cup cubed tofu.
  2. Beat 2 eggs and add a bit of milk, Push the veggies and tofu to the side of the skillet and scramble the eggs in the open space.
  3. In a separate pot, boil water and cook according to package instructions. If using shirataki noodles, they can just be drained and rinsed. Once the noodles are cooked and drained, add them into the skillet with 1/2 cup of bean sprouts.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 tsp of garlic chili sauce (or more depending on spice preference), 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp garlic, 3 tbsp soy sauce, and 2 tbsp hoisin sauce. Whisk well to combine and break down the peanut butter. Pour over the veggies, tofu, eggs, and noodles. Stir well to combine.
  5. Let this simmer for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
  6. Serve with a green onions and peanuts.

Grilled Pizza

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Grilled pizza has been a common recipe in my family for years but I just found out that not everyone knows that you can grill pizza. Got to say this is my absolute favorite way to eat pizza. I would choose this pizza over take out any day. The crust turns out with an excellent crunch you can’t get through take out and start to finish it takes about 15 – 20 minutes.

So you begin by making your pizza dough. It’s a 1:1 ratio of self-rising flour and plain greek yogurt (whole milk or non-fat, both work). Easy to adjust if you have more or less people. We do 2 cups flour, 2 cups yogurt so that there are leftovers for lunch the next day. I usually do a heaping 2nd cup of flour because I find 2 level cups leave it a bit too sticky to work with.

Place the flour in a large bowl followed by the yogurt. Using a silicone spatula, fold the yogurt into the flour until just combine. It’s difficult to combine this without using your hands but this is about the point where it’ll be workable with your hands.

Continue combining the dough until all the yogurt is mixed in and there are no dry spots. Once it has all mixed together, sprinkle flour on your work surface and place the dough down. Roll it out until pizza ish shaped. We normally split the dough in half and make 2 separate pizzas. Also, I’ve never been able to get mine to be a circular pizza. Usually ends up looking like Australia or Ireland, which tastes just the same.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with a bit of flour and transfer the dough on to it. Bring your rolled out dough to the preheated grill. Place the dough directly on the grill, cooking for a few minutes and checking to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once the one side is cooked, flip (using a grill spatula and tongs) to cook the other side.

Once both sides are cooked, remove the crust and top with your preferred toppings. We did pizza sauce, mozzarella, teriyaki tofu, bell pepper, onion, and a sprinkle of feta. Place the pizza with toppings directly back on the grill to melt the cheese.

Key for this whole process is keeping an eye on the pizza, top and bottom, the whole time. The bottom can burn easily so just check it regularly and adjust the temperature as needed. Once the cheese has had time to melt, you are ready to serve.

Grilled Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour (+ a little extra for work surfaces)
  • 2 cups non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • pizza sauce
  • 2 cup bag of mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of choice: bell pepper, onion, tofu, cherry tomatoes, other veggies, feta, black beans, whatever you prefer

Instructions:

  1. Place 2 cups of self-rising flour in a large bowl with 2 cups of non-fat plain greek yogurt. Fold these together using a silicone spatula until yogurt is well combined with the flour. Once mostly combined, use your hands to combine it the rest of the way until dough is fully formed.
  2. Sprinkle your work surface with a bit of flour and place the dough down. Separate the dough into 2. Roll out the first half of the dough using a rolling pin, sprinkling a bit of flour if there are spots that stick.
  3. Transfer dough directly onto the preheated grill. Cook on a medium low flame until the first side is cooked. Check this regularly and adjust temperature as needed to assure it does not burn. Once the first side has cooked, flip using a spatula and tongs and cook the other side.
  4. Remove from the grill and add sauce, cheese, and any desired toppings. Place the pizza directly back onto the grill. Allow this to remain on the grill until the cheese has melted, still frequently checking the bottom to assure it doesn’t burn. Once cheese has melted, time to enjoy!

Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu

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Air fryers are the next big thing in kitchen appliance and I totally understand why. They are a fast and easy way to make some of your favorite foods in tasty ways without resorting to having to actually fry foods, which is great for both calories and time.

My favorite food to use the air fryer for is tofu. Tofu took me a little while to get into after becoming a vegetarian but after finding a reliable way to make it that tastes good, in both the oven and air fryer, I totally see the appeal. Tofu can take on the taste of anything and has such a wide variety of uses. I like to put tofu on top of my salads or just use it as a snack with my kids.

This recipe is for turmeric and paprika tofu. Start by pressing your tofu for about 10 minutes. There are many ways to do this or even just buying a tofu press. We eat tofu probably at least once a week and I’ve yet to find the need to buy a tofu press. Granted, I’ve never used one, so maybe I’m missing out.

Anyways, the way I press tofu is by cutting it into 4 even slices. I lay a dish towel across a baking sheet and lay the 4 slices horizontally on the dish towel. Place another dish towel on top of the tofu. Put a baking pan filled half way with water on top of the tofu. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. If you prefer thicker slices of tofu, you can just cut 3 even slices instead of 4.

My well loved XL sheet pan

After the tofu has been pressed cut it into cubes and place in a medium sized bowl. Add 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic and stir, making sure everything is coated. Let the tofu marinade for 15 minutes.

Now that it’s marinated, place about half of the tofu into the air fryer basket. They can touch but shouldn’t overlap. Set the temperature to 375 and time to 16 minutes. Once the first round is complete, put the first half in a container to cool while waiting for the second half.

Place the second half in the air fryer, making sure the pieces don’t overlap. Since the air fryer is already heated the second half won’t need as much time. Leave the temperature set to 375 but only cook for about 10 minutes. It’s ready to serve!

If you don’t have an air fryer, follow the same steps for preparation. Preheat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Lay out the tofu on the baking sheet. Place it in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping each piece about half way through.

Turmeric Tofu

Turmeric Tofu + mixed greens = perfect salad!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz package of tofu
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic

Instructions:

  1. Begin by pressing your tofu. There are many ways this can be done. You can use a tofu press if you have one. If not, cut the tofu into 4 even slices. Place a folded dish towel on a baking sheet. Lay the tofu horizontally across the baking sheet. Place another dish towel across the top of the tofu. Fill a baking pan or a 9×13 about half way with water and place it on top of the tofu. Let this sit for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once tofu has been pressed, cut each layer of tofu into cubes and put it in a large bowl. Add 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp garlic then stir well until all of the tofu is coated. Let to tofu marinade for about 15 minutes.
  3. Place half the tofu into the air fryer basket. The tofu can be touching but shouldn’t overlap. Set the temperature to 375 and the time to 16 minutes.
  4. Once the first batch is complete, empty the basket and put in the second round of tofu. Since the air fryer is already heated, the second batch doesn’t need as much time. Set the temperature back to 375 and the time to 10 minutes.
  5. Serve as desired!