George Foreman Would Be So Proud: Barbecue Tofu Salad

June 25, 2010

By Mark Bishop, HSC Deputy Director

Happy Friday! Two stories here:

1) My favorite way to prepare tofu; and 

2) How as my son is getting older, I am enjoying allowing him to help steer our food choices. 

First, the tofu.

Many people don’t like tofu. It’s a texture thing. Too crumbly, mushy or just plain weird. But it’s such a healthy and affordable form of protein, and it’s a great source of nutrition for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. I like to prepare tofu so it has a more dense and chewy texture that holds up really well in stir-fries or stews. This is what I do:

Ingredients

    2 one-pound packages of firm tofu

    1 George Foreman Grill

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I’ve had a George Foreman Grill for about five years, and it doesn’t get much use. But I love it for tofu. All I do is put the bricks of tofu on the grill and let it cook for 30 minutes. The water steams out, and you’re left with dense blocks of essentially slightly dehydrated tofu. These can be diced, sliced or chopped into any dish that calls for a protein. Remember, tofu has almost no flavor, so it will adapt to just about anything.

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Now, on to cooking with Henry.

Last night was another boy’s night, and I told Henry that we were going to make a barbecue tofu salad. I asked him what he wanted to put in it.

He suggested that we put in chicken, vegetables and sugar. Cool, we have some leftover chicken, let’s toss it in…. vegetables? Awesome! I grated a carrot and some broccoli for the salad. Sugar? Well, I told Henry that I didn’t think we needed sugar in this dish but asked what if we made it sweet by adding fruit? He was agreeable, so we diced some grapes and pineapple from our fridge. I chopped, and Henry mixed.  

The results were great!

Henry’s Barbecue Tofu Salad

3 grilled tofu blocks, sliced thin

1 leftover grilled chicken breast, diced

1 carrot, grated

1 small stalk broccoli, grated 

Handful of grapes, cut in quarters

1/2 cup diced pineapple

Handful of diced fresh cilantro

1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

This was a huge success for both of us. Henry decided to eat it on whole wheat bread as a sandwich. He loved it — sweet and tangy.

The exact quote was, “This is the most delicious thing except for chocolate.” And he had a huge grin when he said how proud he was that he makes the best tofu salad.

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As Henry gets older and gets more opinionated, I no longer have complete control of what he eats: he now needs to have a say.

As a result, my strategies for helping him eat well and try new foods need to adapt. I still direct the food choices and my wife and I still get to choose what we purchase; but giving Henry the ability to help steer our menu is a fun way to keep him engaged and let him learn about all the choices he has for healthy eating.

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