Chicken nuggets used to be a staple in our household… until about six months ago. While we’ll still let our boys devour chicken, turkey, or other meat when we’re out and about, one day my partner and I just decided to stop buying non-vegan products for our kitchen and home.
No more chicken nuggets… no more frozen pizza… no more tasty and delicious kid-friendly food, right?
Since we decided to stop preparing “special kids’ meals” for our boys, an incredible thing happened: our once picky eaters now try anything we give them! Lentils? No problem. Broccoli? They love it! And our newest favorite crowd-pleaser: tofu.
Tofu’s a tricky one, because you’ve got to give it enough flavor that kids are convinced they are eating something yummy! But man… once you hit that right flavor combination, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Tofu is an excellent source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids — great for growing kids! And before you let yourself worry about those anti-soy articles you’ve seen floating around the internet… research it on your own!
While soy does contain phytoestrogens (plant-based hormones that may decrease testosterone when eaten in excess), eating up to four servings a day shouldn’t do you any harm according to nutritionists.
Our spice mixture includes a little garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Don’t forget the nooch either! Nutritional yeast, often fondly referred to as “nooch,” is different from the yeast you typically use in baking. This flaky yellow powder is high in B12, acts as a “complete protein,” is low in fat and sodium, is free of sugar and gluten, and is a great source of iron.
You can often find nutritional yeast in the bulk bin of your local health food store. We like to buy our 22 oz. tins from the company Kal and will often refill ’em at the bulk bin.
This recipe is INCREDIBLY easy and requires minimal effort. While my tofu is being pressed, I’ll set up my dredging station and mix my spices. Within 15 minutes, these nugs are in the oven and filling our kitchen with an intoxicating aroma.
The best part? After 40 minutes, you’ve got crispy, delicious, and healthy morsels for your whole family to enjoy! We never have leftovers when crispy tofu nuggets are on the dinner menu.
Crispy Tofu Nuggets
Total Time: 15 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking
Servings: 6 servings/people
- 2 14-oz. packages of extra-firm tofu
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (or other flour of choice)
- 1/2 c. cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Drain excess liquid from the tofu. Wrap the tofu in several clean towels and use a tofu press OR place between two plates and add a heavy object on top of it. Press the tofu for 10-15 minutes while prepping other ingredients.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the flour, cornmeal, and spices in a medium mixing bowl.
- Slice your pressed tofu into 1/2-inch strips. Toss in large bowl with soy sauce or let marinate for a few minutes.
- Coat the tofu strips with the dry mixture and place on a baking sheet one by one.
Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully turn the tofu nuggets over and bake for 20 additional minutes.
Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce, or mustard and with a side of homemade oven-baked french fries for a super kid-friendly dinner!