Grilled marinated tofu


In our house, the number one, absolute key that enables us to keep to our food budget and be creative is the weekly meal plan. For me, it works best to look ahead to which days will feel busiest and plan corresponding meals that will work into the anticipated schedule. Dave thinks it's funny how I splatter the list with all these little rotating arrows indicating which meals are "interchangeable", and include tiny "subheadings" that offer alternative dishes using the same or similar components, in case on the day we're just not in the mood.

It works like a charm, generally. Waste not, want not. The best offshoot is, I get to try new things every week, spreading the wealth of how the grocery money is allocated by honing in on one or two "specials". Week after week, you get to know roundabout how much all your staples will cost, and can allow for a few surprise sales to sneak their way in on the spot, changing out for something else, or not. But you know this.

It's just,  all the careful planning in the world can mean nothing compared to flexibility. Such as on days when you find your fridge positioned opposite it's usual place, your oven squatting in the living room, and the floor torn up because you and your partner have begun "nesting".

Dave is recovering from a recent marathon (he ran a 2:56 on the heels of whooping cough and just a 16-mile long run under his belt, yay Dave!). Obviously the perfect time to get down to some pre-baby DIY, before the buildup for an upcoming 50-miler is seriously in earnest.

So, we're left with a string of "what's for dinner?" days. Yesterday was a big salad with canned tuna. Today, it's so tempting to order pizza, but responsibility urges us to make due with what we have. Which is how we're ending up with grilled marinated tofu over greens. And I'm glad.

Tweaked ever so slightly from this Vegetarian Times recipe, and done on grill versus grill pan, we had it with a simple salad of spinach, orange slices (aren't Cara Cara just awesome?!), red onion, and almonds. I let it marinade for quite awhile (more than overnight), and it had the perfect level of spicy. Tasted both light and filling. Hopefully you'll like it, too.   :)

Spicy grilled tofu

serves 4

  • 1 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut lengthwise into 8 slices
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. chile paste with garlic
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • dash ground black pepper

1. Place tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing down occasionally with your hands to squeeze out water. 2. Arrange tofu in single layer in 13×9-inch glass baking dish. Whisk together lime juice, syrup, tamari, chile paste, garlic and pepper in small bowl. Pour over tofu. Stir to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours, or overnight. 3. Preheat grill. Place tofu slices on oiled grill rack over indirect heat. Cover if  using a gas grill, and grill approximately 3 minutes each side, turning with a spatula.