Homemade Crispy Shake and Bake Tofu Tenders

crispy-tofu-tenders

Crispy Tofu Tenders with Homemade Honey Mustard

I have begun to experiment with tofu.

I don’t know why it took me so long to research safe tofu companies. I got in touch with Nasoya and was told their facility is free of dairy, eggs and beef. SCORE!

Let the tofu love begin!

I have made tofu at home three times in a little over a week. I have made a tofu and veggie stir fry twice. Yum!

Last night, I decided to try an old chicken recipe with the tofu.

The result?

Mmmmmm… even the 5 year old liked it! (covered in ketchup, of course, but hey- she ate it happily!)

This recipe comes from allrecipes.com.

I have modified the spices a bit. Feel free to change the spices to ones you and your family enjoy.

I also use homemade bread crumbs, but store bought breadcrumbs or panko would work well, too.

This breadcrumb mixture made more than enough for half a container of tofu. I think I could have used this recipe for the entire package, but I was hesitant to use all the tofu in case this didn’t turn out. But it did and my little family loved it!

So tonight, we are having the other half of the tofu and I’m making these crispy shake and bake tofu tenders again! Along with some garlic mashed potatoes and maybe some stewed fresh green beans. And some homemade vegan gravy for the taters and beans… Mmmm, mmm! I better hurry this post up so I can cook- it’s almost dinner time already!

Ingredients:

2 cups breadcrumbs
3 Tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
pinch (or a peench as we say) of basil, dried parsley & dried oregano
***********************************************************************
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp of ground flax and 6 Tbsp of water mixed together)

1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed between two plates for about 20-30 minutes (do this in advance and cut the tofu into strips like chicken tender sized)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare your flax eggs in a medium sized bowl and whisk with a fork. When the flax eggs are gelled and gooey, they are ready.
  3. Take everything above the starred line and mix it together in a gallon plastic baggie- adding the oil last. I like to shake the dry ingredients together first and then add the oil.
  4. Dip one tofu strip into the flax egg and then put it into the seasoned breadcrumb mixture and shake. Place the tofu strip onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (foil works, too, but parchment gives you no stick to the pan-ness! 😉 )
  5. Repeat with each tofu strip. If you run out of flax eggs, you will need to make another one (1Tbsp of ground flax & 3 Tbsp of water)
  6. Bake for 5 minutes. Gently flip the tenders. Bake for 5 more minutes. Flip tenders. Bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until tenders are crispy.

Notes:
Serve as you would serve chicken tenders, with a sauce or ketchup. (SG loves it this way.)
The Huzz and I prefer these crispy tenders cut up and served in a bowl along with other food. (Like in a salad or with a pasta dish with the tofu standing in for the chicken.)

It totally looks like chicken- but it doesn’t taste like it. The flavor is all in the crispy coating, so don’t be afraid to spice it up in the bag!

I hope y’all enjoy these crispy shake and bake tofu tenders.   (I’m still working on getting my Southern back, y’all! I kind of lost it from living in Ohio and Iowa for so long!)

 

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Christmas Meal Prep Plan

 

For Christmas this year, I’m pretty much making exactly what I made this past Thanksgiving, with a few changes to the dessert menu.

Here’s my menu and the breakdown of what I make ahead. I make as much in advance as I can to make it a little easier on the big day.

I’m breaking it down between four days. You can do it in two days if you’re pressed for time. I’m spreading it out slowly because I’m not rushed for time this year.

Day 1:

Make a double batch of Buckeyes and freeze them.  Use dairy free subs and coconut oil instead of shortening.

Day 2:

Make Homemade Bread (I use this to make the breadcrumbs I need for Day 3’s Cutlets recipe.)

Make Fudge and refrigerate.

Make Sugar Cookies and decorate.

Day 3:

Make Pumpkin Pie and refrigerate.

Make Cornbread.

Make Double Batch of Chickpea Cutlets and refrigerate.

Peel Potatoes in the evening and completely cover potatoes with water in a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in fridge until it’s time to make the mashed potatoes the next day. (Optional step. Can omit and do this on day 4.)

Day 4:

Start Dough for Homemade Dinner Rolls early. When dough is ready, prepare rolls and bake.

Boil and season fresh green beans (I use vegetable broth and season with Adobo, garlic powder and onion powder.) Transfer to a crockpot and cook on high for approximately 4 hours.

Make Gravy. A triple batch. Use the suggested variation of adding poultry seasoning and sage to the gravy.

Make Cornbread Dressing.

Make Holiday Mashed Potatoes.

I hope this breakdown helps. If you need any last minute recipes for Christmas, these recipes will not disappoint!

I hope you have a wonderful week leading up to Christmas.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Southern Cornbread Dressing: Dairy and Egg Free

Y’all, we have some news.  We’ve moved back down south!  Which is why I didn’t post for months.  Life was a little crazy for a long stretch.  But now we have moved halfway across the country, sold our Iowa condo, bought a new house and are kind of settled in.  We’ve been in our house for almost 6 weeks, so there’s still a lot to do.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our new house and I was in charge of making almost everything.  I’ve tried my hand at making my mom’s incredible cornbread dressing before and it was a flop- 2 years in a row.  I gave up on making it last year.  This year, however, I had a lightbulb moment.  I discovered a gravy recipe from about.com and have adapted it to fit our needs.  The gravy is creamy, delicious, and could mimic the canned cream of chicken my mom’s recipe uses.

I didn’t even include it in my Thanksgiving post, because, well, I’ve failed miserably in the past.  But not this time.  This time I ROCKED IT!  Finally!!!

My mom’s recipe uses chicken broth, eggs, cream of chicken soup, butter, cornbread, sage, and minced onion.

I decided to make my cornbread with gravy, but added sage and poultry seasoning to my gravy to give it the same flavor as my mom’s.  I used vegan butter and vegetable broth.

The result?  My father asked my mom IF SHE MADE THE DRESSING!

That was the moment I gave myself a secret high five and knew this recipe was good.

So if you’re looking for a savory and delicious cornbread dressing recipe for the holidays or for any day, I have just the recipe for you!

Southern Cornbread Dressing: Dairy and Egg Free

( Cornbread recipe adapted from here.  
Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe adapted from my mom’s recipe.)

Make the cornbread the day before or first thing in the morning.  I make it the night before as it frees up more time on the big day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup SO Delicious Lite Culinary Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with vegan butter.

3.  Boil the water in a small saucepan and add the ground flax seed. Stir well with a fork or whisk.  Reduce the heat and simmer the ground flax seed in the water for 2-3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Mine was ready in 2 minutes.

4.  Set the flax egg to the side.  You’ll use it in step 6.

5.  Grab a clean bowl and combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.

6.  Add the ground flax seed mixture, coconut milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture. Mix until just until smooth.

7.  Put the cornbread mixture into the greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick or knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Mine was done in 20 minutes.

STEP 2 to be completed the next day or once the cornbread has cooled completely:

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Make homemade gravy but double the recipe and add 1 tsp of poultry seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon sage.

3.  Crumble cornbread in a bowl.

4.  Add 1/2 of the gravy and a generous splash of vegetable broth.  Stir well.  Add more gravy and veggie broth until the cornbread mixture looks soupy.  I used more gravy than broth because the gravy has all of the typical cornbread dressing flavor.  You will not use all of the gravy- I had maybe 1/2 cup of gravy left.  I splashed in veggie broth maybe 3 times.

5.  Grease a larger baking dish (I have one in between the 8×8 and 9×12 pans and used the in between size.)

6.  Pour in soupy cornbread mixture.

7.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until dressing is firm but not dry.  I used convection bake and mine was done in 23 minutes.

8.  Use the extra gravy to pour over the dressing.

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This is the cornbread dressing.  I realized I had no photos of it and snapped this quick photo at the last second.

Savory Vegan Gravy

You guys.  Y’all.  This gravy is awesome.  It really is awesome sauce!

My 5 year old is now spoiled and wants this gravy on everything: baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, cutlets… You get the picture, right?

This gravy is also the superstar in my upcoming “Southern Cornbread Dressing” recipe.  Stay tuned for that bad boy!

Here’s how I make gravy in our house.

Savory Vegan Gravy
(I’ve made some changes from this original recipe, which is yummy, too. You can click here to see the original recipe from about.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Directions:

1.  Heat the vegan butter over medium heat in a medium sized pot and add all of the spices and flour.  Whisk together.

2.  Add the vegetable broth and cornstarch and whisk well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let it simmer, whisking constantly.

3.  When the gravy has thickened, add the nutritional yeast and liquid aminos and cook for one more minute, continuing to whisk the gravy.

**Variation:  Add 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon of sage in addition to the spices listed above.

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Close up of gravy and my homemade mashed potatoes.  YUM!