Lately, I’ve noticed that we’ve been eating a lot less meat for several reasons. One being that good meat is really expensive. We’ve been a bit picky lately. Another is that, for us, eating less meat is better overall. Since we usually have chicken, it gets kind of boring.
I’ve wanted to try to work more with tofu. Gary has tried, but some recipes didn’t turn out that well. I first showed this recipe to Gary, thinking he would turn this down, but I was so surprised that he was willing to try it (he’s said no to lots of recipes I’ve thrown out there). I couldn’t wait to try this out since I’m sure he’s missed his Italian food since going dairy free.
This recipe turned out fantastic, and you definitely won’t miss the meat! I adapted it slightly since I didn’t use dairy, my substitutions are noted below. I’ve been using Daiya for a little while now, and I think it worked very well in this recipe.
adapted from: Prevention RD
1 (14 ounce) package extra firm tofu
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used panko seasoned with 1 tsp each of basil and oregano)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided (I used nutritional yeast)
2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten
2 TBSP olive oil
16 oz marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella shreds)
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices (I was able to get 10 slices), and place on paper towels in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place another paper towel over the tofu, and place another cookie sheet on top and add weights on top to press the water out of the tofu for 20 minutes (I used full juice bottles).
In a small bowl, combine bread or seasoned panko crumbs, 2 tablespoons parmesan or nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt, and black pepper.
Coat tofu in beaten egg and one at a time, press tofu slices into crumb mixture, turning to coat all sides.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook tofu slices until crisp on one side, turn, and brown on the other side.
Combine tomato sauce, basil, minced garlic, and remaining oregano. Place a thin layer of sauce in an 8 inch square baking pan. Arrange tofu slices in the pan, slightly overlapping 5 in each row. Spoon remaining sauce over tofu. Top with shredded mozzarella and remaining TBSP of parmesan or nutritional yeast.
Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes. Serve over your favorite pasta.
Serves 4-5 (Based on our appetites. I ate a quarter of it and I was full. I’m also a light eater. Gary ate about 1/3 of it)