Baked Sesame Tofu and Vegetables – an easy sheet pan supper.
I am throwing out all of the food delivery menus I’ve been acquiring since moving to LA from Astoria. This is difficult. For me, New York City is a takeout town. I’m always too tired at the end of the day to stop by the grocery store or cook/clean. Also, the idea of hopping on a subway to wait in line at a crowded restaurant is just too much.
So we order sushi, we order Mexican. We order a lot of Chinese. Greasy, glorious Chinese takeout. It is different from the Chinese food I grew up eating. It is sweeter, often fried, and perfect consumed in front of the television. In Los Angeles, I collect more menus. I have this romantic idea that we will continue our tradition of Sesame Tofu and Broccoli. It will be crispy and drowning in sauce. We will use extra white rice to sop up all the extras, of course.
But the thing is, we never order takeout. I learn to cook (thanks, blog!) and going out to eat is really easy (thanks again, blog!). Plus, if we ever DO order takeout, I am using the restaurant’s website or whatever app is giving me a discount code. The local delivery menus arrive on our front porch. And every time, I put them in a kitchen drawer thinking, “I’ll get to you. One day.” But course, I do.
Those crumply, stained menus remind me of who I was over a decade ago. Someone who moves to Hollywood with stars in their eyes and determination in their heart. A young actress with a lot of hopes and dreams. Someone who is surely be too busy to cook or eat out, because she soon will book a series on a show. And then she will have to order takeout, like, constantly.
My Hollywood life is not going as I was envisioning it. Dreams change. So do our priorities, and our tastes. Letting go of the things you thought you needed can inspire you to better.
I’m making you all a baked version of our favorite Sesame Tofu with Vegetables. Then I’m serving it over bulgur (cooked in my favorite new rice cooker).
It’s an update – actually, it’s an upgrade. And it really makes me happy – embracing the reality of what my LA life is.
- 1 package of extra firm tofu
- 8 tablespoons organic low sodium soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup snow peas
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Salt and pepper
- Drain the tofu, wrap it in paper towels, and press between two plates using something heavy, like a cast-iron skillet (some big cans would work too) for 30 minutes.
- Make the marinade in an 8x8 Pyrex (you can use a metal baking pan, but I have found this recipe works best in glass) using the remaining tofu ingredients. Quarter the tofu, then cut each quarter in half, making 8 even slices. Place the slices in the marinade for 45 minutes.
- Flip the tofu over and place in a 375 degree for 45 minutes. When they're done, they’re both slightly crunchy and soft, and packed full of flavor.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss all the ingredients together and spread out on a sheet pan in an even layer.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes, until brown.