Do you like tofu? I LOVE it! I don’t eat it often enough for some reason. This is recipe for Tofu Nuggets is one of those that “hides” vegetables in the food by pureeing and blending them so that the children can’t tell that they are there. You may think this is a genius idea or you may think this is a terrible idea; genius because what a great way to get your kids eating more vegetables and other nutritious ingredients, especially that they might not normally eat or terrible because then the kids aren’t eating and learning to like the foods in their “normal unhidden” states.
PROS AND CONS OF HIDING VEGETABLES
Personally, I agree with both sides. I used to “hide” ingredients within dishes that I would fix for my daughter that I knew she wouldn’t eat so that I was sure she was getting the nutrients she needed BUT I would also serve her those ingredients without hiding them and get her to try a bite from time to time.
I also find it helpful now that I’m often dining alone. So many foods come in such large portions. I eat have to eat the same thing several days in a row or I have to freeze some of it for later use. Because of my health issues, it’s very difficult sometimes for me to get enough of the fruits and vegetable servings in without getting too full or feeling overwhelmed. So for me to have some as they are and to have others as ingredients within my main dishes as well works beautifully.
To me, this is the best of both worlds – putting in extra nutrients wherever you can but still enjoying as many of those items without hiding them as much as you can as well. You’ll have to decide what works best for you.
TOFU NUGGETS RECIPE
These tofu nuggets are a great substitute for chicken nuggets. I generally serve them with some homemade oven fries – white and sweet potato – that I make by cutting potatoes into strips, dipping them into egg white (adds a lovely crunch), and baking. You can then even apply some seasoning to them like your favourite herbs or spices like paprika. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce.
1/2 Panko crumbs
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 T. flaxseed meal
1 T. grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 cup vegetable puree – spinach, broccoli, peas, carrots, or squash work well here
1 egg, beaten
14 oz. tofu (extra firm works best here)
Nonstick cooking spray like Pam
Mix together the dry ingredients (from crumbs to paprika) and put aside as this will be your breading mixture. In another bowl, mix the vegetable puree and egg together – this will be what helps the crumbs stick to the tofu. Cut the tofu pieces into cubes or strips about 1/2 inch in size. You can even cut the tofu to a thickness of 1/2 inch and then use cookie cutters to make them into fun shapes.
Dip the tofu pieces into the egg mixture, and then roll them until completely coated in the crumb mixture. Spray a baking sheet or skillet with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Or you can cook the nuggets over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes on the first side, and then 2-3 on the other. Be sure to put them in a single layer in the pan and not to crowd them to allow them to cook properly and create and nice crisp, golden coating on them. There are lots of options for dipping sauces but some of my favourites are raspberry sauce, cranberry sauce, applesauce, or yogurt that has been seasoned with your favorite herbs and spices.
Raspberry Dipping Sauce – Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 container fresh raspberries (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Put the raspberries and orange juice into a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once again, you want to continue stirring occasionally. It should thicken slightly as it simmers. Remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl or other container to cool. As it cools, it will thicken even more. While warm, it is perfect to drizzle over cake or ice cream. Once it cools and and thickens more, it’s a yummy dipping sauce for your tofu nuggets!