This recipe is a perfect example of my style of cooking. There are flavors that are familiar to all of us. Flavors we crave – like the comfort of tomatoey, cheesey Italian food. But, if you look up the nutritional content of your typical eggplant or chicken parmesan, you may just swear off it forever. Typically breaded, fried and covered in tons of cheese and oil – this type of dish is narrowly on any healthy person’s meal plan. Ah, but what to do about that craving?
Home cooking to the rescue! I truly believe that if you cook a lot at home – you can still make tasty food that is good to your body. Even some of the more decadent dishes you might eat out are often healthier when prepared at home. You can make smart swaps that don’t compromise flavor, like measuring oils and fats, using low fat dairy and using marinara sauce that is either fresh or doesn’t include sugar and added fats.
So, my answer to the craving – tofu parmesan. Tofu is an amazingly flexible ingredient. Sometimes you might encounter a person that says they HATE it. The reality is that tofu has little flavor – it’s all about what you do to it to make it delicious. First, I always recommend pressing it – this squishes out excess moisture and ensures that the flavoring you use really sticks or gets absorbed by the tofu. After you press it – think about the texture you’re hoping the tofu takes on. In this recipe, I was going for thin and crisp. By slicing the tofu into thin pats I made it easier to cook and coat.
Tofu Parmesan (makes 3-4 servings)
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
1/4 cup egg whites
1/4 cup fine parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the grape tomatoes and slice them in half. Cover a pan in foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place the tomatoes on top and drizzle with oil, sprinkle with herbs. Toss them. Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, checking every 5-10 minutes to toss and determine done-ness. Remove from the oven and set aside when to desired roast.
Next, slice pressed tofu into 8 pieces. Mix the dry ingredients in a flat dish. Pour the egg whites into a separate dish. Dunk each piece of tofu into the egg whites and then cover with parmesan herb mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat for each slice. Back for about 30 minutes, flipping at the 15 minute mark. Remove from the oven.
Top tofu with tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven for 3-5 minutes, just until cheese is melted.