Many years ago, when I transitioned from a standard American omnivore diet to a healthy whole food, plant based, no oil diet, I found what I missed most at first were foods with the mouthfeel, textures, and flavors of meat.
I immersed myself in cooking classes to learn how to make delicious, satisfying meals without animal products. Chefs taught these classes, and they were able to make foods come alive. I learned a lot from their advanced understanding of the different tastes and aromas that can be derived from combinations of herbs, spices, and other flavoring ingredients.
One of my favorites, and still my go-to spice blend, is this Cajun dry rub recipe adapted from one by Philip Gelb, vegan chef, of Oakland, California. The Baked Tofu Chunks with Cajun Spice Dry Rub recipe is versatile and delicious on salads, rice, and quinoa.
This dry rub is extraordinarily flavorful and surprisingly well-matched with many common flavors in dressings, condiments, and spreads used on salads and sandwiches. You can use this dry rub on tofu that is first browned in vegetable broth and then oven baked. I really love how quick it is to prepare this versatile, low calorie, high protein main ingredient for any salad or sandwich.
The best part about this recipe for baked tofu chunks? It makes an incredible salad! All you need to do is toss it together with your favorite greens and vegetables and you’ll have a healthy, satisfying lunch or dinner.
Because tofu is a complete protein (it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs), it’s a perfect meat substitute. It’s ideal for salads, especially because baking it with the cajun spice gives it the texture and mouthfeel you need, too.
To make this incredible salad, just toss together your favorite ingredients. In this rendition, we used:
- Romaine lettuce
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Grated carrots
- Baked tofu chunks with Cajun spice dry rub
- Creamy Italian dressing
I can’t wait for you to try this salad, or use these baked tofu chunks with Cajun spice rub in your favorite quinoa or rice bowl! Over the next month, I’m sharing more about my weight loss journey and my plant-based recipes with SkinnyMs. So, don’t forget to check back for more.
Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 4 ounces | Calories: 212 | Total Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 299mg | Carbohydrates: 15g | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Protein: 20g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 0
- 1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu
- 5 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
- Combine all spice ingredients, set aside.
- Slice block of tofu sideways and lengthwise into 4 or 5 rectangle planks. Sauté each plank in vegetable broth until lightly brown, replenishing vegetable broth as it evaporates and deglazing evaporated broth from the pan as you replensih.
- Dry rub each plank with this spice mix until completely coated.
- Spread coated tofu slabs on parchment lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow slabs to cool.
- To use in salads: slice slabs into 1/2-inch squares and use with preferred salad dressing.
- To use in sandwiches: refrigerate planks until chilled, then place between bread slices and garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, and any condiments you prefer.
Can’t get enough of these fantastic plant-based recipes? Check out the vegan recipes below!
These six oil-free salad dressings make it incredibly healthy and easy to create tasty salads. I used the Creamy Italian dressing to make this recipe, for baked tofu chunks with Cajun spice dry rub, really shine. You’ll love the other five dressings, too!
Embark on a plant-based diet with soups that taste meaty and delicious! You won’t miss the meat between the earthy lentils and the textured sweet potato. This soup is definitely a winner, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s quick and easy to make, too!
When you need a burst of energy, these no-bake almond energy balls really fit the bill. They’re the perfect snack when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth and they deliver the perfect amount of protein and fiber. What a great recipe to prove that plant-based ingredients can have delicious and satisfying results!