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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tofu “Chicken” Parmesan Sandwiches

This was my first cooking experience with tofu. I have had it out at restaurants, but have never tried cooking it myself. My biggest fear was that it would taste awful and have an even worse texture. But much to my surprise, it was easy to make and it tasted amazing! The seasoned panko gave the tofu an incredible crust and the flavor was unbelievable (especially for tofu). And believe it or not, the texture was similar to that of a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich! I think for some people, the word “tofu” is scary. But it really shouldn't be! This sandwich is going to become a regular in our house and I’m so excited to come up with new ways to use this healthy food! 

P.S. For all the carnivores out there, my husband (who LOVES meat) said this is his new favorite sandwich and would have no idea it was tofu unless I told him. Mission accomplished :)

 Happy cooking!

tofu-parmesan-sandwich

Tofu "Chicken" Parmesan Sandwiches

8 ounces extra-firm tofu
1 baguette or other loaf of bread
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (I used about 2/3 of the can)
1 garlic clove, minced
6-8 basil leaves, chopped
1 egg
½ cup panko
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh spinach
Olive oil

Preheat broiler. Begin by combining the crushed tomatoes with the garlic, basil and between ¼ and ½ cup water in a saucepan. Let sauce simmer on medium-low heat until it begins to thicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the tofu from the packaging and drain any excess water and dab tofu with a paper towel. Slice the tofu in half lengthwise and in half again so it will be able to lay flat on the bread. (I recommend leaving the tofu in the refrigerator until right before you are ready to use it. I took mine out a little too early and it started falling apart.) Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. To bread the tofu, beat the egg in a bowl with about a teaspoon of water. Mix panko, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper on a plate. Soak each side of the tofu in the egg wash and then place in panko mixture, coating both sides. Place tofu in the hot skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side (or until golden brown). Meanwhile in a separate skillet, sauté red and yellow peppers in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once the peppers are soft, add the spinach and stir just until the spinach begins to wilt. To assemble sandwiches: slice the baguette in half lengthwise and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Spoon the tomato sauce on each half. Place tofu on one side of the bread and top with desired amount of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a pinch of Parmesan cheese on top. (I also put a little mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on the other half of bread, on top of the sauce.) Place under broiler for about 2-3 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the cheese begins to melt. Remove from broiler and top tofu with pepper and spinach mixture. Finish by placing the top slice of bread on top.

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