This recipe is a perfect example of my style of cooking. There are flavors that are familiar to all of us. Flavors we crave – like the comfort of tomatoey, cheesey Italian food. But, if you look up the nutritional content of your typical eggplant or chicken parmesan, you may just swear off it forever. Typically breaded, fried and covered in tons of cheese and oil – this type of dish is narrowly on any healthy person’s meal plan. Ah, but what to do about that craving?
Home cooking to the rescue! I truly believe that if you cook a lot at home – you can still make tasty food that is good to your body. Even some of the more decadent dishes you might eat out are often healthier when prepared at home. You can make smart swaps that don’t compromise flavor, like measuring oils and fats, using low fat dairy and using marinara sauce that is either fresh or doesn’t include sugar and added fats.
So, my answer to the craving – tofu parmesan. Tofu is an amazingly flexible ingredient. Sometimes you might encounter a person that says they HATE it. The reality is that tofu has little flavor – it’s all about what you do to it to make it delicious. First, I always recommend pressing it – this squishes out excess moisture and ensures that the flavoring you use really sticks or gets absorbed by the tofu. After you press it – think about the texture you’re hoping the tofu takes on. In this recipe, I was going for thin and crisp. By slicing the tofu into thin pats I made it easier to cook and coat.
Tofu Parmesan (makes 3-4 servings)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 1/4 cup fine parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbs. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- a few dashes parmesan