Tofu Croutons with Caesar Salad & Tofu and Vegetable Rice Bowl Recipe

Tofu Croutons with Caesar Salad & Tofu and Vegetable Rice Bowl Recipe

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Tofu Croutons with Caesar Salad & Tofu and Vegetable Rice Bowl Recipe
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Tofu is a plant based protein made from the milk of soybeans. It is heated and curdled, similar to cheese. Then, the bean curds are formed into soft, semi-soft, or firm blocks. The blocks can be sliced or cubed and used in a variety of dishes, notably miso soup and stir fries.

Tofu is high in protein and low in fat and calories. It is also a low-sodium food and contains no cholesterol. Tofu is a good source of thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin B6, riboflavin, and folate. This food product has been reported to be beneficial for cardiovascular health.

Tofu’s flavor is quite mild. It manages to take on whatever seasonings and condiments it is paired with during marinating and/or cooking. It is often seasoned with Asian ingredients, as tofu is a staple in the diets of many Eastern cultures. Tofu is often a main ingredient in vegetarian and vegan cuisines. It stands up well to both savory and sweet preparations.

Common Varieties of Tofu

Silken tofu is soft and almost creamy in texture with a high moisture content. This style of tofu is a great dairy and egg substitute. It is often used in desserts, salad dressings, and even vegan quiche.

Firm tofu is drained and slightly compressed. It still has a good amount of moisture. Yet, the texture is firmer than silken tofu and can be sliced or crumbled. It makes an adequate substitute for scrambled eggs and egg salad. It is also great in soups.

Extra firm tofu has much of the moisture removed by pressing it. This most commonly resembles animal protein when cooked. It also is similar to many cheeses in firmness and texture. Extra firm tofu is great in stir fry dishes and can be used as a meat substitute for dishes like chicken parmesan. It can be fried, sautéed, baked, and grilled without compromising its shape. This style of tofu is easy to eat with chop sticks or a fork.

Pressing Tofu

For the recipes here, we recommend extra firm tofu for cooking in an air fryer. While extra firm has less moisture than other styles of tofu, it is suggested that you wrap the block in a clean towel or paper towels and place a weight on top of it to remove as much remaining moisture as possible. This allows you to marinate the tofu, if desired, and results in a crispy outer texture when cooked in your air fryer.

Steps for pressing tofu:

  1. When you open a 16 ounce package of tofu, drain all of the water off into your sink.
  2. Slice the block in half like you are opening a book.
  3. Place a few folded paper towel sheets beneath one of the tofu slabs and a few on top of it. Place the other piece of tofu directly over the top of the first one and cover with a few more paper towel sheets on top of the second piece.
  4. Place a heavy skillet on top of the tofu. Place some weights inside the skillet, such as a bag of flour or a 28 ounce can of tomatoes.
  5. Allow the tofu to sit for 20 to 45 minutes. Then, discard the wet paper towels and you are ready to slice and use the tofu.

Caesar Salad with Air Fryer Tofu Croutons Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Ingredients:

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in water for at least 6 hours or overnight
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water (adjust for a thicker or thinner dressing)
  • 3 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsps vegan and gluten free Worcestershire sauce (bottled or homemade)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Tofu

  • 1 (16 ounce) block of extra firm tofu
  • 1 TBS cornstarch (more if needed)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Salad

  • 2 whole hearts of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped (approximately 4 cups)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast or gluten free vegan cheese shreds

Total time:32 minPrep time:20 min – Cook time:12 min – Serves:4 people
Author:

Directions:

1. Press your tofu to drain as described in the introduction. Set this aside.

Dressing

1. Drain the soaked cashews and place in a blender. On high speed, blend the cashews, water, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic until creamy. Adjust the constituency with water, if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Place the dressing in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Tofu

1. Cut the tofu into bite size cubes.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. Add the tofu to the bowl and toss to coat all over with the cornstarch mixture.

3. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.

4. Place the tofu in the fryer basket or on the crisper plate. Set the timer to 15 minutes. Cook the tofu for 5 minutes. Shake the basket or bucket to rotate the cubes. Continue to cook until the tofu is golden and crispy outside, yet still soft inside. You might have to cook the tofu in batches.

Salad

1. Place the chopped lettuce in a serving bowl. Add the tomatoes. Dress the salad and toss.

2. Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast. Top with your tofu croutons.

3. Serve and enjoy.

Air Fryer Tofu and Vegetable Rice Bowls Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Tofu rice bowl in air fryer

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) block of extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 3 TBS toasted sesame oil
  • 1-1/2 TBS fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced on the bias into 1/8 inch thick ovals
  • 4 ounces (1-1/2 cups) sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 4 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 4 tsps sesame seeds
  • Coconut aminos for serving

Total time: 45 minPrep time: 15 min – Cook time: 30 min – Serves: 4 people

Directions:

1. Press your tofu to drain as described in the introduction. Set this aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut aminos, sesame oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, and salt. Slice the tofu into approximately 1 inch size cubes. Place the tofu cubes in the bowl, toss to coat, and marinate for 10 minutes. Prepare the vegetables while the tofu is marinating.

3. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.

4. Using a slotted spoon or a kitchen spider, place the tofu in the fryer basket or on the crisper plate, leaving the marinade in the bowl. Set the timer to 15 minutes. Add the vegetables to the remaining marinade and toss to coat. Cook the tofu for 5 minutes. Shake the basket or bucket to rotate the cubes. Continue to cook until the tofu is firm outside, yet still soft inside. You might have to cook the tofu in batches. Set the cooked tofu aside.

5. Reset the timer to 10 minutes. Add the vegetables to the air fryer and cook for 5 minutes. Shake the basket or bucket to rotate the vegetables. Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just starting to soften. Again, you may have to do this in batches. Remove the cooked veggies back to the bowl with any remaining marinade. Meanwhile, warm up the rice in a pan or in the microwave if it is cold.

6. In each of 4 serving bowls, place 1/2 cup of rice. Add equal amounts of the vegetables on top of the rice. Top this with equal amounts of tofu. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

7. Serve the rice bowls with extra coconut aminos on the side. This is easy to eat with chop sticks.



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