Cooking at home is a sure fire way to consume healthy, natural and satisfying food. Personally, I find meal planning for dinner so much easier than coming up with things to pack for lunch. Relying on leftovers never works out the way I want it to and makes my eating life feel monotonous and just plain sad. All of a sudden, I find myself standing in line for 10 minutes to buy a mediocre, $15 salad -- or worse, a $2 slice of pizza -- even though I packed a lunch.
There are two staples I count on to keep my lunch life exciting. They are soups and salads! Both can suit practically any palate, are infinitely customizable and are relatively easy to make. Soups contain a certain advantage of ease and of heartiness, but I have discovered a delectable way to prepare tofu that has significantly upped my salad-for-lunch game.
The secret is in the sauce, as they say, and this marinade can be used on chicken, pork, and flaky white fish as well. For lunches, I prefer this simple marinade on my baked tofu because it is even better cold!
Marinade (enough for one package of tofu: double for each addition package. I like to cook 2 packages at once because this tofu goes fast!)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon dijion mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey (give or take)
2 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice (taste marinade after 2 tablespoons and add from there based on how much lemon flavor you prefer)
This marinade is made very much to taste, these measurements are an approximation! Whisk together and pour over your desired protein!
Make sure to press your tofu for at least 30 minutes before baking. This insures the right consistency and allows your tofu to soak up the delicious marinade flavors. You can cut your tofu into whatever sized pieces you prefer. I like to cut my tofu block in half long ways and then make 1/2 slices. Pour a small amount of the marinade onto your baking sheet or casserole dish. Place tofu slices down so that no slices are overlapping. Pour the rest of the marinade over the top and place in a 375 degree oven.
Baking time depends on preference, but I always flip my tofu pieces after 20 to 25 minutes. I bake my tofu until all the marinade has been absorbed and the tofu has gotten slightly brown around the edges, about 40 to 50 minutes. As the tofu cools, the consistency will change and become more firm.
Prepare your salad with whatever toppings you love. The flavors of this tofu are light, acidic and go great with just about everything (although I have found that cheese isn't my favorite topping for a salad with this tofu). I love to use a light vinaigrette as my dressing!
Tips for packing lunch salads:
- always pack dressing separately from the lettuce, so as not to open a soggy mess come lunch time
- place heavier salad items such as veggies, cheeses etc, at the bottom of the container and put your lettuce at the top
- I tend to pack this tofu separate and add it to the salad at lunch time