buffalo tofu bites

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It’s raining in Texas today, pouring rain in fact. And everyone says the same thing, “Good, we need it!” Our lakes are only one-third full, according to the news. We had the drought from hell a couple years ago, as in 90 straight days of 100+ degree heat… Austin turned into a desert and is still recovering I guess. I didn’t live here then, but the people who did are still obviously scarred. What does this have to do with tofu, you ask? Nothing! So allow me to attempt a segue…

Something about this wet, soggy day made me want something warm, satisfying, and well… fried. There, I said it. But, I try very hard to avoid sacrificing feeling clean and healthy for a momentary taste craving… like when I had a recent craving for cookies and cream ice cream and overdid it by downing almost a whole pint (ok the whole pint)… and ended up feeling dis-gus-ting. Never worth it, is it? Nope.

So, no fried food today, no way! To the kitchen I went, and out came the tofu, nutritional yeast, and buffalo hot sauce. It just didn’t seem like enough though… too boring. What else could I add to make this extra crispy with golden brown flakes? What in my kitchen is yellow and will stick to tofu… and there it was, ahhh yellow corn grits! Sounded odd to me at first too (not really, I love grits). But in fact, we had a winner.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 block of organic, extra firm tofu, drained and *pressed for about 1 hour
  • 6 Tb nutritional yeast (feel free to use more as you go)
  • 6 Tb grits, uncooked
  • hot sauce, use liberally
  • 3 tsp. avocado oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
  • salt to taste, optional

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Steps:

1. *do ahead of time: cut tofu into smaller even blocks and place on layered paper towels, layer paper towels on top as well and cover with something heavy, such as a book, to press out moisture. Let sit this way in fridge the night before or for about an hour before using.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.

3. Cut tofu into 1-2″ cubes. Combine nutritional yeast and uncooked grits in a bowl.

4. In batches (about 1/3 of cubes at a time), add to bowl and mix in 1 tsp. oil, hot sauce to taste, salt, 2 Tb nutritional yeast, 2 Tb grits and stir to coat tofu.

5. Spread evenly over baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes (turn tofu once after 15 minutes).

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I drizzled some extra hot sauce on top because I’m a junkie, but it doesn’t need it. You know how the wonderful fragrance of hot sauce tickles your nose and clears your head? My kitchen smells like this right now. In fact, I couldn’t help myself. I had to make roasted buffalo chick peas too… (just rinse and drain them, let dry on a paper towel, mix with a little oil and hot sauce and bake at 400 about 15 minutes).

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These are perfect to add to salads, or eat with your fingers like I’m doing right now. 🙂

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