The Yummiest Lemon and Mustard Marinated Tofu Recipe
Marinated tofu is a great way to enjoy plant protein with your favorite flavors! Tofu lends itself to most any flavor experience you’re after. In that way, it’s a lot like chicken. You can cook it with different ingredients each week to come up with an entirely different recipe.
One night for dinner, I really wanted a lemony-mustard tofu. Not that I’d even eaten that before, but I just knew it would be good! Lemon and mustard are two of my favorite flavors. I hunted around my kitchen, sniffed a bunch of spice bottles and settled on a winner. In fact, this easy tofu marinade is one of my favorites.
By the way, one night more recently I was in the mood for balsamic tofu. I hunted around my kitchen again until I came up with a handful of ingredients to experiment with. That tofu marinade was tasty the first time I tried it and perfect on the third try. I’ll share it on the blog soon.
Why try tofu?
I’ll grant you that tofu is a little weird looking and that might make cooking it and eating it a bit intimidating. But it’s worth a try. I love it, and so does my family. In fact, tofu was one of my daughters’ first finger foods. And they both still eat it and cook it today.
Tofu is nutritious. Tofu gives us plant protein, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Like other soy foods, the protein in tofu is complete, meaning it has all the amino acids you need to make muscle and other proteins within the body. It has iron, magnesium, potassium and sometimes a big dose of calcium too. All the while, it’s quite low in sodium and saturated fat.
Tofu is health boosting. There’s a lot of negative buzz about soy foods, but it’s not well founded. You’ve probably heard that soy might increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Not so, says the American Institute for Cancer Research. Some research even suggests that eating soy foods in childhood and through puberty helps to prevent a woman’s risk for breast cancer later in life. I didn’t know that when my kids were young, but I’m so glad that I started them on tofu and edamame beans early in life! Other research suggests that soy is good for the heart, can be part of a healthy diet to prevent type 2 diabetes and could possibly even be good for fatty liver disease.
Tofu takes on whatever flavors you ask it to. It’s a very agreeable white blob. My favorite marinated tofu recipes include this Asian marinade that I originally prepared with fish, as well as today’s lemon mustard herb marinade and my new easy tofu marinade with aged balsamic vinegar (coming to the blog soon). For other tofu recipes, check out the United Soybean Board’s Soy Connection.
Cheers to trying new foods and recipes! Let me know how you like this marinated tofu.
Lemon Mustard and Herb Marinade for Tofu
For the tofu
- 1 block 16 ounces extra firm tofu (pressed) and cut into about 32 squares
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the marinade
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon or other favorite mustard
- 4 garlic cloves chopped or crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- While the tofu is pressing to remove the excess water, prepare the marinade. In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously.
- After cutting the tofu into squares, transfer the marinade and the tofu to a shallow glass container with a lid or a plastic bag with a tight seal. Marinate the tofu in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes, but you can leave it over night.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl. Using tongs, quickly put the tofu in a single layer in the pan. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until the tofu is browned on one side.
- Quickly turn the tofu pieces over and cook for another 3 minutes or until browned on both sides. To allow for even cooking, push the center cubes to the outside and push the outside pieces inward (the center of the pan is the hottest). Turn off the heat, add the remaining marinade and mix well.
- Serve over quiona, brown rice, farro or other whole grain or serve hot or cold as part of a green salad.
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.
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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.