Zesty Lemon Cumin Tofu, Plus Birthday Fun!

Today I would like to share a simple tofu recipe with bright and unexpected flavors! But first, a brief recap of my wonderful birthday weekend – more specifically the wonderful food.

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Two weekends ago, my sister and her boyfriend came down from Baltimore to celebrate my turning 30 (yikes!). We had dinner that Saturday at Phoenix Garden, an all-vegetarian Asian restaurant and one of my favorites. I ordered the Happy Family (pictured above), which is a mix of vegetables and “mock meats” over noodles with a ginger sauce. I’m usually not a huge fan of mock meats since they tend to be very processed and can taste a little gross, but these were sensational -especially the fried “shrimp!”

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Another highlight: the AMAZING lemon cake my sister surprised me with – and she made it from scratch. Unbelievably good and completely dairy-free!

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Tina loved having company over for the weekend!

Unfortunately, after all of the birthday fun, I caught a bad cold and stayed home sick from work the next Monday and Tuesday. I did get to watch a bit of the Food Network, which inspired the following recipe. It is based on a chicken recipe from Giada at Home. I’ve found that chicken recipes are usually amazing when you sub in tofu for the chicken. The texture isn’t quite the same, but like chicken, tofu is mild flavored and absorbs the flavor of whatever you marinate it in very well. The white color also means you’ll get a similar appearance to the original recipe.

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Fresh lemon juice and lemon zest give this dish a bright, fresh taste, and cracked black pepper and cumin give it an unexpected zip! The sour and spicy flavors work together nicely. I will definetly be making this again!

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Zesty Lemon Cumin Tofu
4 Servings

1 pacakage extra firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 lemon
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T water
freshly cracked black peppercorns

1. Zest the lemon into a large bowl. Then, cut the lemon in half and squeeze each half to add the juice to the bowl.
2. Add the cumin, salt, olive oil, and water to the bowl. Add as much cracked pepper as you like and wisk until well blended.
3. Add the tofu to the marinade and stir gently to cover.
4. Let sit at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5. Prepare a rectangular metal baking dish with nonstick spray. With tongs move the tofu pieces to the dish. Drizzle remaining marinade on top.
6. Bake for 15 minutes.
7. Flip the tofu with tongs, and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.

I served over green beans and cous cous and then topped with fresh, homemade guacamole. I have a really easy method for guacamole (not sure if it even warrants being called a recipe).

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Homemade Guacamole
Serves 4

2 avocados
Lime juice
Sea salt
Garlic powder

1. Cut avocado in half and scoop out from the rind. Remove the pit but don’t throw away!
2. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the avocado. Continue depending on how smooth you want your guacamole.
3. Mix in a few squeezes of lime and a few shakes of the salt and garlic power.
4. Extras: add diced jalepeno, onion, or tomato. You can also go all out and use freshly minced garlic instead of the powder.

-If you have any left over, place the pit in the container before covering and putting in the fridge. This will help keep the guacamole from turning brown.


4 thoughts on “Zesty Lemon Cumin Tofu, Plus Birthday Fun!

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