VA is 4 Bloggers & The Easiest Oven-Baked Tofu

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Yesterday, we had another slightly impromptu VA is 4 Bloggers meet-up for brunch at Selba's.  I joined Liz, Alexa, Adrienne, Sarah, Lauren, and Brittany  for lots of food, laughs, and crazy stories.  I had an egg white omelet with smoked salmon, awesome cinnamon sugar sweet potato fries, and some fruit - all of which was delicious.  We all had such a great time - these ladies are the best!

DSC_0017edit1 Check out that butter! Intense. DSC_0018edit1 Delicious breakfast. Those sweet potato fries were so, so good. Also, this totally fueled my 4.5 mile run yesterday afternoon. DSC_0025edit1 Here's some fruit and Brittany - when you get a bunch of bloggers together, cameras are everywhere!

 

Now, onto an awesome recipe! I love tofu and have cooked tofu every which way - from pan-frying, deep frying, oven baking, and anything in between.  Since I prefer tofu with a crispy exterior, my go-to method of tofu making has been oven-baking at a high heat, flipping each cube, and baking some more. I love tofu prepared this way but I dread flipped each.little.cube of tofu.  Now, I understand the rationale for flipping all those little bean curd cubes, you want all sides to be equally crisp, and really, it's not that inconvenient.  After all, tediously flipping cubes is a small price to pay for perfectly crunchy tofu and it was a price that I had been paying for a looong time.

I've been trying different methods of tofu cookery (not sure that's an actual phrase but we'll go with it) for a few months, trying to achieve that perfect puffed-up crisp exterior with a soft, but not rubbery interior.  It's been no easy task but I was determined.  Well, today I'm happy to say that I have discovered it! And I did so thanks to my absent-mindedness and propensity for multi-tasking in the kitchen.

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One Sunday I put a baking sheet of tofu in the oven with every intention of flipping them at the half way point.  Then I got distracted by making peanut butter, chopping veggies, and drinking tea.  Before I knew it, 30 minutes had passed and I was sure that I was going to open the oven and see burnt tofu cubes. but to my surprise, they just looked crispy - almost fried.  I took them out, waited as long as possible to taste them without completely burning my mouth (aka 5 seconds), and popped a cube in my mouth.  These were the perfect cubes of tofu - crisp on all sides but with a slightly soft interior. If you've never made tofu before or want to change it up, definitely try this! It's super easy, mulit-tasker friendly, and quick.  Who knows, maybe you can even get some laundry done while you wait? Or, you can at least pin on Pinterest for awhile.

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Easy Cripsy Baked Tofu

1 block of firm tofu, patted dry and pressed if needed

1 tsp. olive oil

salt + pepper

 

1. Preheat your oven to 425F and cut the tofu into cubes while you wait.  You can cut the tofu into any shape you'd like, just remember that larger segments may take a bit longer to cook.

2. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.  Place tofu cubes on the lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, a hefty pinch of salt, and a generous sprinkling of pepper.  Gently toss with your fingers to ensure that the tofu is fully coated.

3. Bake for 30 minutes or longer if you have a larger tofu segments or really want some crispy-ness.

4.  Let cool and enjoy!