People all over the world are consciously making climate-friendly choices in everything they consume – from clothing to daily habits including eating choices. Meat-based protein has been identified as one of the major causes of climate change and the destruction of ecological balance. A lot of natural and organic alternatives have also been identified to meet the daily human requirements of protein and essential minerals like iron and zinc.
Tofu and leafy greens like Brussels sprouts have been ranked among the top few and their combination can be as delicious as any meat-based salad with carbohydrates and fat-rich dips and sauces. With the culinary techniques evolving rapidly, there are so many healthier ways of cooking that keep the nutrients packed inside the delicate ingredients. Instead of frying or boiling, you would find a lot of recipes with baking and grilling as the main method of cooking. You could find a delicious mid-day meal or snacks such as Garlic Mushroom and Balsamic Onion Panini using grilling technique or this recipe which uses baking as the main cooking technique.
Whatever you try out, this recipe is bound to make you experiment and take you out of your comfort zone – and hopefully into the kitchen! What can make the experience even better is the pre-packaged delivery of ingredients at your doorstep by a reliable meal delivery service in your area. A number of delivery services provide high-quality pre-packaged food items can be found here, for people who are either new to cooking or just don’t have time to go grocery shopping.
For a quick and easy recipe of roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy baked tofu, for four-person serving size, take the ingredients as listed below and follow the recipe as explained. The total time required from start to finish is under one hour (45-55 min).
- 1 (14-ounce) container extra-firm Tofu
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of slivered scallions
- 4 tablespoons olive oil or any light vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, fine-grained
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Slivered cilantro leaves for garnish
Some Additional Options for Customizing the Flavor:
- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon toasted Sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of grated or finely minced ginger
1 heaping teaspoon finely chopped pickled jalapenos/sriracha/minced fresh hot peppers or something else spicy that you like chili garlic sauce
1 ¼ cup brown rice, preferably short-grain
Preparation Before Cooking
- Preheat the oven at 425° F.
- Take two baking trays and line them with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
- Wash the Brussels sprouts and drain when so no water remains inside the leaves.
- Drain tofu of any excess liquid by cutting it into inch-wide slabs and putting pressure on them between palms, kitchen towel, or any heavy object.
- Trim the Brussels sprouts of any discolored or nubby parts and cut them in halves.
- Cut the drained tofu into slices or cubes, as you prefer. (In case you want to have a ginger vinaigrette flavor, whisk together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, grated ginger, scallions, olive/vegetable oil, sesame oil, and the jalapenos and pour this mixture over cut tofu and leave it for marination before baking)
- Take the Brussels sprouts and toss them with olive oil and arrange them evenly on the baking tray with a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Mix olive oil and soy sauce and whisk them together before drizzling this over tofu evenly.
- Sprinkle cornstarch over oil-drizzled tofu, toss it until the corn starch powder is evenly coated over tofu and arrange it on the other baking tray.
- Put the Brussels sprouts tray in the lower oven rack and tofu tray on the top oven rack.
- Keep on tossing the contents of both trays from time to time so that all sides are evenly baked.
- After 20-30 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown and visibly ‘crispy’, take both the trays out of the oven.
- Mix honey or maple syrup, chili garlic sauce or sriracha, and sesame oil.
- Pour the mixture in a pan to let it simmer gently on medium heat while stirring continuously and adjusting heat all the while to avoid charring the contents.
- Once this glaze is left about half the original quantity, turn the heat off.
- You may also use the leftover ginger vinaigrette as a glaze.
- In a small pan, take sesame seeds and toast them for four minutes on medium heat, shaking the pan constantly in slow movements, until golden and remove from heat.
- You can also garnish with slivered scallions.
- Soak the rice for about 10 minutes before boiling and rinse them in a strainer.
- In a large pot, boil water for rice and add salt to taste.
- Add rinsed rice to the boiling water and let it boil for 30 minutes or until tender and soft.
- Drain the boiled rice in a strainer and drizzle a bit of oil and toss to avoid the rice forming sticky lumps. Set aside until everything is ready to assemble.
- Take four bowls and divide rice in each of them.
- Put generous portions of roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy tofu on top.
- Drizzle glaze or vinaigrette over the contents.
- Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.
Voila! You have a scrumptious and healthy bowl of roasted Brussels sprout and crispy baked tofu over boiled brown rice and mouth-watering sweet-and-spicy honey glaze or ginger vinaigrette. The amount of time it takes to get to this bowl from start to finish is all worth it considering the finished product. With such simple ingredients, this seemingly daunting dish could be added to your go-to recipe list.
There is a lot of room for variations with this simple recipe. After making this standard style the first time, you can experiment with roasted broccoli, bell pepper, or any of your favorite vegetables or plants. For other options in glaze, you may add peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce, and barbeque to play around with the flavors. If you are a fan of the Chinese stir-fry style of cooking, you should shake this recipe up with Kung Pao Brussels sprouts by leaving out tofu and increasing the amount of Brussels sprouts and make yet another tempting variation.