Black beans and tofu are a surprisingly great pairing, and this recipe is so easy even the laziest of cooks will have no complaints (a little further down I’ve drawn up a schedule to allow you to binge watch while making your tofu). The picture below gives you an idea of just how simple this recipe is- plus I love that it includes my Cuisinart Santoku style knife. Santoku knives are my favorites- they’re multifunctional like a chefs knife but the tip curves downwards to create a straight cutting edge that’s optimal for dicing. I ended up buying myself two Santoku-style knives for Christmas this year, plus I got a third as a gift (the one pictured below).
One thing vegans are constantly being asked is “if you don’t eat meat, how do you get protein?”. It’s a little funny how omnivores are never asked about protein, no matter how little meat they eat, yet the second someone makes the decision to avoid meat altogether everyone they know is suddenly deeply concerned- but not quite concerned enough to look up vegan, protein-rich food items. While the concerns for protein content are occasionally valid, most vegans are able to consume enough protein through plant sources without really trying. This dish is a great example of how easy it is- at around 65 grams of protein in this dish, that’s about one and a half times the recommended amount for women, and 10 grams more than what is recommended for men.
The only uncommon ingredient in this dish is the garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are a bi-product of growing garlic bulbs- as the heads mature underground, the scapes shoot up in the spring. They are then cut, to encourage the plant to use its energy to grow the underground bulb rather than the stems. I got my garlic scapes on an adventure in Vermont- just off the highway there are signs with the word “garlic” or “garlic scapes” (depending on the time of year). If you follow them you’ll find yourself at a little red farm house with an open porch and no other people in sight. On the porch there are refrigerated garlic scapes, a board explaining the pricing and a box for money. They even have free recipes, in case you need help figuring out what to do with your scapes.
The most beautiful thing about this dish is how easy it is- chop a few things, mix a sauce (just 6 ingredients in the sauce!) and stick it in the oven. Watch an episode of something on Netflix. Take it out, stir, put it back in. Watch a second episode. Take it out for the last time, and enjoy (maybe watch a third episode).
Baked Black Bean Tofu
- 16 oz brick of tofu, medium or firm
- 15oz can of black beans
- Two garlic scapes (substitute for one clove of garlic if scapes are not in season)
- 2 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1 TBSP garlic chile paste (less if you don’t like very much spice, more if you like it spicy)
- 1 TBSP hoisin
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Chop the tofu into small cubes, about one inch in each direction. Open the beans and drain the liquid (save the liquid to use as an egg substitute when baking). Rinse the beans and set aside. Finely chop the scapes.
3. In an oven safe dish, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, garlic chile paste, hoisin and apple cider vinegar. Add the garlic scapes, tofu and beans and toss so that all of the tofu and beans are coated in the sauce.
4. Put the tofu in the oven for 20 minutes, then take out and stir. Place it back in the oven for another 20 minutes (a total of 40 minutes cook time). Remove from the oven- the sauce should be bubbling and have reduced and the tofu should have become a little golden.