It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Ginger-baked Tofu

This is always a hit with the kids. They eat it as finger food, and there are never any leftovers. Cooked 45 minutes, you get firm sticks. Baked longer — as long as 90 minutes — and they get almost crunchy on the outside… but are harder to chew. (I can’t survive in a kitchen without my timer, obviously. Good thing this wasn’t a full-on disaster!)

Block of firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 2 dozen sticks.
2 T lemon juice
2 T mirin, or rice vinegar, or rice wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T oil
1 t sesame oil
1 T maple syrup
1 T minced fresh ginger*
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch cayenne

1. Press tofu for at least 30 minutes. (This removes some moisture and makes it absorb the marinade better, but can be skipped. We pressed it. The kids thought squashing the tofu was pretty funny.)

2. Mix all ingredients but tofu.

3. Arrange tofu sticks in a 9 x 13 pan. Pour the marinade over. Let sit for at least an hour (and up to overnight), turning once.

3. Bake in the marinade at 375F for about 45 minutes, till liquid is absorbed.

Can be eaten hot or cold. It’s also nice diced into small cubes and used as high-protein ‘croutons’ in a salad.

*Ginger: Rather than mincing, which is tedious, I prefer to freeze my ginger (scrubbed, but with the skins on). I put smallish pieces (bigger than a cherry, smaller than a walnut) in a ziploc bag in the freezer. When I need some minced ginger, I take a frozen knob, and grate it on a fine grater, skins and all. Perfect!

May 22, 2013 Posted by | food | , , | 2 Comments

Dipping sticks

Nothing rude, just what we had for lunch today! First off, they each received about a half cup of cucumber and orange pepper slices. When those were done (never put the rest of the meal on the table until the vegetables have been ingested; very motivating), I brought out the main course:

Dipping Sticks.

It occurred to me as I served it that this would be another good entry in the Quick-and-Healthy toddler food sweeps. (Recall that I’m hoping for lots of good, healthy recipes for small children?)

I’ve long said that kids will eat styrofoam if they’re allowed to dip it, and today’s lunch proved the point. Because Dipping Sticks? Really? They’re firm tofu, cut into fingers and deep-fried in an inch or two of oil, lifted out with a slotted spoon, cooled for a minute or two on paper towels, then served with … this is the important part … a tablespoon of plum sauce each for dipping.

They devour them, and ask for more! Of course, deep-fried anything is just about the very least healthy way to serve it, but I do use olive oil, and I do blot them thoroughly before serving — and it’s tofu!

And why do I not call them that, instead of with the cutesy euphemism? Because some of them are convinced that they DO NOT LIKE TOFU. If I call them tofu sticks, it would be a struggle to get them to eat it. Call them Dipping Sticks, though, and they vanish in the burp of a toddler.


August 1, 2008 Posted by | food | , , , , | 6 Comments