Dinner Tonight: Maple Tofu Steaks and Spinach

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maple-tofuFor many, tofu may seem daunting to prepare. It looks a little weird when it’s fresh from the package, and the flavor is very mild or bland. But when prepared correctly, it’s so much more than a boring block of tofu! Tofu is a complete vegetarian protein with only about 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Depending on the brand and firming agent used, it can also be an excellent source of calcium. Organic tofu is best.

Tofu is a versatile ingredient that can replace meat in almost any type of dish. This is a great recipe for Meatless Monday and although tofu isn’t a favorite in our house, this recipe went over well. It may have been the fact that the tofu was flavored with maple syrup!

Maple Tofu Steaks and Spinach

• 1  14 to 16 oz block extra-firm tofu
• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp orange zest
• Juice of 1/2 orange
• 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tsp sesame oil
• 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
• 1/8 tsp chili powder
• 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
• 2 shallots, minced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 6 cups spinach, roughly chopped

Put a couple layers of paper towel on a baking sheet and place the tofu on the paper towel, then top with a couple more layers of paper towel. Put a cutting board on top of the tofu and then a heavy object such as a skillet on the cutting board to weigh down the tofu. Let it drain for about 15 minutes. This is an important step because by extracting excess fluid, you ensure you get a good sear in the skillet.

Slice the tofu along its width into 2 slabs and place in a large shallow dish or container.

Whisk together maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and chili powder. Pour this maple mixture into the container with the tofu and let marinate for at least 1 hour, flipping once.

Remove the tofu from the marinade and let the excess drip off. Place remaining marinade in a small saucepan and boil uncovered for 1 minute, or until slightly reduced. Cover and set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu steaks and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until golden and slightly crispy. Remove the tofu from the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add shallot and garlic; heat for 1 minute, stirring often. Add spinach to the skillet and heat just until wilted.

Place the spinach on serving plates and top with the tofu steaks. Drizzle maple sauce over top.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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