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Zoe's All Purpose Tofu Veggie Nuggets

This mixture, rich in fiber and nutrition, can be crafted to resemble anything from scallops to pork chops with only slight variations. The key is in creating the shape and ideal textural "mouth feel" for whatever food is being imitated. Dipping the shaped tofu mix in seasoned marinade and then rolling it in the crushed mixture of freshly ground sesame meal, rice flour and crushed puffed brown rice cereal, then baking in a hot oven creates the impression of fried food without the dreadful side effects of deep fat frying. Carefully choosing sauces and condiments that complement the nuggets (scallops, cutlets, etc.) also goes a long way to achieving the desired effects.

Basic nugget mix

1 c boiling water
1 cube organic vegetable broth (optional)
5 lb organic tofu, drained and crumbled
1 c oat bran (dry)
2 c anastazi beans, cooked and mashed or pureed
1-2 c finely chopped lightly cooked vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, zucchini (optional)
2 c cooked millet or quinoa (may use cooked rice)
1 c crushed crisp brown rice cereal
1 c ground white sesame seeds (may substitute additional bean puree)
1/4 c dry oat bran

Marinade

1/2 c tamari soy sauce
1/2 c olive oil
1 T rice Parmesan or umeboshi plum vinegar

Coating

1/2 c ground sesame seeds
2 c crushed crisp brown rice cereal
1/8 c brown rice flour or nutritional yeast

Preparation

  1. Prepare a broth with the boiling water and broth cube, then mix with the 2 C dry oatbran until mushy. Mix in the crumbled tofu and mashed beans until the mixture is smooth. Add the veggies, cooked millet or grains, and sesame seeds. Continue to mix well and add the brown rice cereal. The mix should be easy to handle (similar to ground meat), so if it is too damp or sticky, add the extra oat bran, brown rice flour or additional crushed rice cereal.
  2. Mix the marinade and pour it out on a flat pan.
  3. Mix the coating mix and spread it on another flat pan.
  4. Design and shape the nugget mixture. Pat into "scallops", or cut "chops, burgers or cutlets" with a sharp knife or biscuit cutter. No more than inch thick.
  5. Use a pastry brush to brush the marinade on each side of all pieces. Dredge each piece in the coating on both sides and then place in an oiled shallow baking dish.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once. They will be golden brown on each side when done.

This basic tofu burger mix can be shaped to suit many different menus. For nuggets, cut into 1"x2" rectangles. Regular burgers are 4" in diameter, little medallions are 2". For little meatballs, pat out flat, cut into 1 inch cubes, roll each square into a ball and roll in the coating. For fish sticks or chicken fingers, cut the flattened mixture into 1"x3" rectangles.

Flavor the marinade and coating to complement your intended use.

Cooked tofu burgers keep in the refrigerator up to three days. The prepared patties or nuggets can be frozen for up to six weeks, before or after baking. Freeze flat on a tray, seal into ziploc bags when frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator.