Looking for a kid friendly vegetarian meal item or another fun way to add protein to your diet? Then try out these baked tofu nuggets.
Including more plant proteins in your diet can be beneficial for your health. Soy proteins have been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels, in particular LDL cholesterol or the “bad” cholesterol. Replacing an animal based meal with a vegetarian protein source in your diet several times per week can help to lower your intake of the unhealthy saturated fats. Soy protein also contains all of the essential amino acids and is considered a “complete” protein source. If you have not tried tofu I highly recommend you give this recipe a try.
You can either make these with small cookie cutters or cut into strips. If you use cookie cutters the smaller the better so you will get more yield out of the tofu. I used one that was about 2 by 2 inches and ended up with about 10 nuggets. If you cut into strips you will end up with more as you will use the entire tofu block.
My toddler loves helping me do the shape cut outs with the cookie cutters and makes it more fun for him to eat as well. This is a great dinner item to get your kids cooking and more involved in the kitchen.
Make sure to wrap the tofu in a tea towel or paper towels prior to using to remove excess liquids. This will help the tofu better absorb the flavors of the dish and provide for a better textured nugget.
Getting an assembly line going for the breading step will help get dinner on the table in no time. Make sure to have a wet towel on hand to wipe your fingers in between pieces as the breading tends to stick to your hands as well as the tofu nuggets!
If you like your food a little on the spicy side try adding a teaspoon of hot sauce to the egg mixture to spice things up a bit.
If you do not plan on eating all the nuggets in one setting then you can freeze them for later. Simply follow all the steps prior to placing them in the oven and place on a flat surface such as a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours. Once frozen remove and place in freezer friendly storage bags or containers. This will help them from not sticking together once frozen and will keep the breading intact. Then when you need a fast meal simply remove from the freezer to a baking sheet and bake as directed below.
Soy protein or tofu can be a good option for protein for those with kidney disease as it does not supply a substantial amount of potassium and phosphorous. Make sure to check the nutrition labels though for potassium and phosphorous additives on vegetarian soy products.
For dipping sauces you can either use a marinara sauce or honey mustard if you are watching your potassium levels.
Baked Tofu Nuggets
Author: Brittany Sparks
Makes About: 24 Tofu “Sticks” or 10 Nuggets
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 25 min
14 oz Firm or Extra Firm Tofu Block
½ Cup Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
¼ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Pepper
¼ Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley and/or Basil, Chopped
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Tomato Sauce or Marinara
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare the tofu block by wrapping in a tea towel or paper towels to remove excess liquid. Place something heavy on top and set aside.
Prepare the batter by mixing the breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chopped basil and/or parsley on a plate and set aside.
Place the cornstarch in a bowl or plate and set aside.
In another bowl beat the egg and tomato sauce together.
Slice the tofu block lengthwise into four, ¼ inch sheets, (see above picture). Pat dry. Now either use small cookie cutters to make shapes or cut into strips that are about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
Dip the tofu into the cornstarch and then into the egg and tomato mixture and lastly in the breadcrumbs, flipping to make sure all sides are coated.
Place on the baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 14 minutes, flipping halfway through for even browning.
If using cookie cutters, small ones work best as the tofu blocks are not that large.
Freezer Friendly Tip: If you do not want to eat all at once you can freeze the rest for later. Simply follow the recipe to step 8 and then place on a parchment paper lined flat surface such as a plate or cookie sheet and freeze for about 4 hours then remove and place in freezer friendly storage bags or containers. Then when you would like them simply remove from the freezer and bake.
Serving Size: 4 Tofu Sticks (2in long by 1in wide, ¼ inch thick)