Melissa Elsmo

Say good-bye to oozing cream sauces, decadent chocolate cookies, dripping beef roasts, and spiked eggnog and hello to raw spinach, steamed salmon, lemon wedges, and enough water to float a boat. The time has come to cast aside sugar, alcohol, salt and caffeine in favor of low-fat-high protein menu items that put vegetables, whole grains and lean meats front and center on our plates. With the indulgence laden holidays behind us, folks everywhere are adjusting their diets and focusing on healthier eating at the start of 2019.  

Several years ago my husband and I found a seven day detox diet online and dove in with gusto during the first week of January.  By day four we were both battling serious “no coffee” headaches and craving coconut cake like crazy (and we rarely eat cake).  We were agitated and had become uncharacteristically short tempered with each other.  My husband and I had bitten off more than we could chew and just before we killed each other over a piece of wheat bread, we vowed never to do this to ourselves again.  We’d learned that turning over a new leaf in the New Year doesn’t have to be about total deprivation.

Since then, to welcome the New Year, we simply kick up the number of vegetarian meals we enjoy each week, avoid eating out, increase our water consumption and limit our sugar and alcohol in take. In fact a few years ago, we became honest to goodness vegetarians for thirty days and loved every minute of it! In fact, each member of our family grew to love tofu in a whole new way.  As a result of our resolution, tofu has become a regular favorite at our family table.

Give my recipe a try and keep in mind that manageable menu resolutions made in January will affect your family table in positive ways through out the year.  

Family Friendly Pan Roasted Tofu with Teriyaki Glaze, Brown Rice and Broccoli

Serves 5

Cooking tofu slowly in a dry pan will produce restaurant quality texture in this healthy dish. Feel free to experiment with the marinade or serve the pan roasted tofu with a side of ketchup for those French fry craving kiddos!

  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu
  • ½ Cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 Cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 ½ pound fresh broccoli florets steamed
  • Orange slices and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Drain the tofu and place on a plate.  Cover tofu with a second plate and top with a large heavy can.  Allow the tofu to sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes; the weight will press the excess water out of the tofu.  Slice the tofu into 5 equal slices and cut each slice into 4 triangles.  Heat a dry non-stick skillet or griddle over medium low heat and add the tofu slices making sure not to over crowd the pan.  Cook the tofu slowly until golden brown on the bottom (about 10 minutes) flip and cook the second side until golden brown.  

Meanwhile, combine the soy, sugar, orange juice, vinegar, and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and keep warm while the tofu cooks.  

When the tofu is golden brown transfer to a shallow dish and set it aside.  Remove the marinade from the heat, add the sesame oil and pour it over the cooked tofu.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a generous ½ C cooked brown rice and about 5 oz cooked broccoli on each of five plates.  Top with the warm marinated tofu and drizzled with excess marinade around the plates.  Garnish the dish with orange slices and sesame seeds.  Serve with Sriracha or other Asian hot sauce if desired.

Join the discussion on social media!