Cajun-Baked Tofu with Braised Collards and Creamy Grits
- 1 package extra firm tofu
- 1 tsp cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 carrot
- 6 oz collard greens
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp vegetable broth powder
- 1/2 cup grits
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil*
- Salt and pepper*
- *Not included
- Prep time: 35 minutes
- Servings: 2
- Calories: 550
- Fat: 23
- Carbohydrates: 62
- Protein: 30
This is a spin on a classic dish, where creamy, smooth grits are paired with spicy and smoky tofu and braised collards. Louisiana is the home of Cajun cuisine, where rustic dishes made with simply prepared and locally sourced ingredients reign supreme. Cajun meals tend to come in threes — a base, a vegetable, and a protein — and are the perfect place to look for inspiration when cooking a warming and hearty meal.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Drain the tofu and wrap in paper towels. Press tofu gently to remove excess water. Cut the tofu into roughly 1-inch cubes and put it on a baking sheet. Toss it with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, the cajun seasoning, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Bake in the oven until the tofu is crisp on the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once.
Rinse, peel, and chop the carrots. Rinse the collards and trim the stems, leaving about 2 to 3 inches under the leaves. Roughly chop the collards. Peel and chop the onion and mince the garlic.
Put a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 tsp vegetable oil. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and cook until the onion begins to soften slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the collards to the pot, stirring them until they begin to wilt, about a minute.
Season the collards with salt and pepper and add the apple cider vinegar to the saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and the vegetable broth powder and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and allow the collards to simmer until they’re soft, about 20 minutes (there will still be liquid in the pot).
Put a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Once the water is boiling, slowly pour in the grits while whisking and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens and the water is absorbed, about 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the vegan butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the creamy grits between your bowls and top with the collard greens (and their juices!). Finish it off with the cajun-spiced tofu, and enjoy!