Tofu and Buffalo Sauce aren't two food words you would normally read in the same recipe, until now. When I received a bottle of KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade from FoodBuzz, the blog advertiser on my blog, I wasn't quite sure what I would do with it. I wanted to create an original recipe that is true to my cooking and blog mission - healthy real food that you want to eat. The usual Buffalo-style chicken wings are entirely too fattening and not on the Weight Watchers list of acceptable foods. Buffalo-style pizza might work but there's too much cheese and dough to make it work the the way I wanted. Then I thought about foods that need a lot of oomph of flavor and it hit me, TOFU! I've been experimenting with tofu for a while now, discovering that the best way to cook tofu and still have it be healthy is to bake it. However, unless you season it liberally tofu doesn't pack a lot of flavor. That's where this marinade came in handy. It's tangy, piquant and packed with flavor. Taking a cue from my tofu parmigiana recipe, I decided to marinate slices of tofu over-night, then bread the tofu and bake it until firm. Voila! Thinking this through a bit more, I decided that Laughing Cow Bleu Cheese wedges would be a perfect bleu cheese substitute, at 35 calories a wedge, you can't go wrong. Fresh celery, carrots, lettuce and slices of raw zucchini on a whole grain baguette would complete my sandwich, with a final drizzle of the KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade for one more punch of flavor. This was a sandwich so good it made me want to slap my momma!
This recipe is done in steps. You can marinate the tofu for 30 minutes or up to over-night. What's key to do and use are the following: Use firm or extra-firm style tofu only - it holds up better. Use whole wheat bread crumbs and season them with salt, pepper and flavors of your choice. Bake the tofu to reduce the trouble of handling the breaded tofu strips and to cut out almost all the oil needed for "frying".
Buffalo-style Tofu Ingredients:
- 1 Block (about 1 pound) of Light-style FIRM Tofu - drained, patted dry and cut into 1 inch by inch thick wedges
- 1 Cup KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil (or light olive, canola or other mildly flavored oil)
- 1 Cup All-purpose White or Whole Wheat Flour - sifted
- 1 Egg - beaten and thinned with 2 tablespoons of water
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon EACH - Ground Onion and Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon Paprika (smoked or hot is best!)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Oregano
- 1 Whole wheat or multi grain baguette or roll (cut the baguette into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on its size)
- 1 Laughing Cow Bleu Cheese Wedge per sandwich
- 1 Leaf of Romaine Lettuce per sandwich- washed and dried
- 3 or 4 Baked Tofu Strips per sandwich
- 1 Tablespoon KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade for drizzling
- 1 Celery Stick per sandwich - cut into long thin slices
- 1 Small Carrot per sandwich - Cleaned and Peeled then shredded or peeled with a vegetable peeler into thin slices
- Zucchini Slices (Optional) - peeled with a vegetable peeler to get thin ribbons
- Drain the tofu and pat it dry. Cut the block in half through the center, creating two thin pieces. Cut each slice into 4 or 6 long strips. Carefully place the cut tofu strips into a shallow dish or container and pour 1 coup of KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade over the tofu. Cover, refrigerate and marinate 30 minutes or up to over-night.
- When ready to bake the tofu, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a sheet/baking tray by lining it with either a Silpat, aluminum foil or parchment paper. Pour the 1/4 cup of oil onto the sheet tray and set aside.
- Create your dredging station by preparing three shallow bowls or plates: one with the flour, one with the beaten egg and water, and one with the breadcrumbs. Season the flour with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Season the breadcrumbs with the salt, pepper, ground onion and garlic powders, paprika and oregano.
- Carefully remove each marinated tofu slice from the marinade and allow some of the excess marinade to drain off. Dip each slice of the marinated tofu, first into the flour to coat it; then dip it into the egg to give the breadcrumbs a surface onto which to to stick; lastly dip the tofu strips into the seasoned breadcrumbs, coating the tofu entirely.
- Place each breaded tofu strip onto the prepared oiled sheet tray. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, then turn each strip over and bake an additional 15 minutes.
- When ready to make your sandwiches, cut the baguette (if using) into sandwich sized slices and cut open. Spread one wedge of the Laughing Cow Bleu Cheese on each sandwich; lay one leaf of romaine lettuce onto the sandwich, top with the baked tofu and drizzle with additional KC Masterpiece Buffalo Marinade then top with shredded carrots, celery strips and zucchini slices; close the sandwich, bite it, eat it and and enjoy it!