Plant-Based For Two: Crispy Caesar Tofu & Wild Rice

This Plant-Based For Two recipe is perfect for an easy date night or quick weekday meal. It can be made with store-bought or homemade plant-based Caesar dressing.


Sometimes we just need something easy, amirite? Something we can throw in the oven and forget about for a while. This recipe and series of recipes are just that. Something that doesn't lack in flavor, doesn't create a million dirty pans and doesn't leave leftovers that will inevitably go bad in the fridge.



This recipe is one of my go to's for when I have just enough energy to make something handmade but not enough for it to be something crazy like fresh pasta or even marinated tofu. Don't let that fool you though, this recipe is bursting with flavor from the seasoned breadcrumbs & rich creamy caesar wild rice blend.


The star of the show here is super unappreciated in West - TOFU. This is probably because tofu got a really bad reputation with some now-debunked studies about its ability to interfere with our hormones - more specifically - our estrogen. We could honestly talk all day about how this study was funded by the meat industry and rooted in toxic masculinity, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia - but we won't right now, K? Just know that tofu, and soy in general, are both safe and healthier alternatives to meat. I'll leave you with this lil tid bit - studies actually show that a food lifestyle rich in soy foods actually reduces the risk of breast cancer in Asian countries where it's most predominately eaten. It's recommended that you limit your intake of highly processed soy, but even so, it's still better for your body on a daily basis than animal protein. Embrace soy. To embrace soy is a big "F$%^ YOU!" to the man and, like, are you even a true revolutionary if you don't take any opportunity to do that? Hard to say. Hard to say.



With this recipe, I've provided the steps for a plant-based Hemp Caeser but it's been tested with store-bought dressing by my recipe fairies and it tastes just as good! The beauty of this recipe as that until the broiling of the tofu at the very end, everything cooks at the same temperature at the same time on the same danggum rack.


Crispy Caesar Tofu & Wild Rice

Author: Megan Thompson Aston

Time: 50 mins

Yields: 2 servings


INGREDIENTS


For Caesar Dressing

  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 1/4 tsp plant-based "fish" sauce ( I use Ocean's Halo)

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

  • 3/4 tsp salt

For the Tofu

  • 1/2 a block of tofu that was split through the middle and halved into triangles

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp parsley, dry

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder

  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup caesar dressing

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • Fresh parsley, for serving

For the Rice

  • 1/3 cup white rice

  • 2 tbsp wild rice

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 cup caesar dressing

  • 1/4 cup frozen spinach

  • 3 tbsp frozen green peas

  • Fresh black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS


Preheat your oven to 350


For the Caesar Dressing

  1. Combine all of your ingredients into a blender and pulse on high speed until it's completely combined and creamy.

  2. After the recipe, store any extra in a mason jar inside the refrigerator for up to a week.

For the Rice

  1. In an 8 x 8 glass baking dish, combine all your ingredients until everything is well mixed.

  2. Cover tightly with tin foil and set aside

For the Tofu

  1. At this point, your tofu should be cut into thin triangles. Do this by carefully slicing through the center of your block and then cutting it in half diagonally. This isn't a must - but it looks pretty.

  2. With paper towels, carefully press the excess water out of your tofu slices. Be sure not to press too hard. Much of the water will bake out but this step helps for a firmer and crispier slice.

  3. Mix all of your dry ingredients and spices together - nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, salt, black pepper, cornstarch/arrowroot, parsley, & breadcrumbs. Pour onto a large place and set aside.

  4. Brush the 1/4 cup of caesar dressing onto all sides of both of the tofu slices.

  5. One at a time, carefully move your dressed tofu to the breadcrumb mixture and coat thoroughly on all sides by gently pressing the mixture onto the tofu.

  6. Once both slices of tofu are coated, carefully transfer each to a lined, oiled, or non-stick small sheet pan.

  7. Drizzle or spray with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.

To Bake

  1. Place both the pan of breaded tofu and the glass dish of rice on the same rack in your preheated.

  2. Bake for 40 minutes. You'll notice that the rice will start to boil inside of your covered baking dish. This is good! It means your rice is cooking.

  3. After 40 minutes, remove your rice and set it on top of the stove. Do not remove the tin foil. We want it to continue to steam.

  4. Move your tofu to the center of the rack and set your oven to broil on medium or high,

  5. Broil until your tofu is golden brown. If you're using parchment paper, you may notice the paper turning brown. Just watch it very carefully. Do not allow the paper to touch the coils or flame at any time. This could cause the paper to ignite.

  6. Once your tofu is golden brown and crispy, remove from the oven.

  7. Remove the foil from your rice and fluff it with a fork.

  8. Serve with a wedge of lemon and fresh parsley.

NOTES

  • For a nice date night, serve this dish with a glass of crisp dry Rose, a Belgian-style blonde ale, or homemade sparkling lemonade.

  • This dish can be easily doubled.

  • For kiddos, try cutting your tofu into nugget shapes before breading for easy to eat tofu nugs!

 
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