Tag Archives: baked tofu

Jar Lunch: Sesame Noodle Salad with Ginger Tofu Cubes

The Jar Lunch: It’s like a bag lunch or a bento lunch, but the next big thing is lunch packed in a good ol’ mason jar. I have to microwave my lunch at work, so metal containers won’t work and heating up plastic has me worried. We often simply fill mason jars with leftovers, but sometimes it is fun to come up with a clever jar lunch and make a big batch. Lunch for the whole family is already packed.

I love sesame noodles a little too much. I make a double batch so big it barely fits in our biggest bowl. I don’t know why I don’t make this more often. We use whole grain noodles and lots of ginger baked tofu for protein. A cold noodle salad like this makes an easy jar lunch that you don’t even have to heat before you eat.

Sesame Noodle Salad with Ginger Tofu Cubes
Makes eight pint mason jar lunches

1/2 pound whole grain spaghetti noodles
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced and cut into 1” lengths
2 cups thinly shredded napa cabbage
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced and cut into 1” lengths
1 (15 ounce) can sliced baby corn
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup cashews, toasted* and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 recipe ginger baked tofu (below)

Cook the noodles al dente and drain. After draining, rinse with cold water until completely cooled and drain again. Whisk together the honey, tamari, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients. It is best to let the salad marinate in the bowl overnight and toss the salad again. Then pack into eight pint-sized mason jars for lunches.

*To toast the cashews, spread on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350° F for about 10 minutes, checking on them frequently. When they are done they will be golden and fragrant.

Ginger Baked Tofu

20 ounces high protein, extra firm tofu
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon red chili paste

Press the excess liquid out of the tofu. You can watch a quick video on that technique here. I use two cutting boards instead of plates, slice the tofu lengthwise into two thinner pieces, and wrap them in a kitchen towel to absorb the liquid.

Once the tofu is pressed, cut it into ½” cubes. Combine all the other ingredients in a medium casserole dish and marinate the tofu in the dish for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the cubes of tofu in a single layer. Put the casserole dish in the oven to bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn the tofu with a spatula every 15 minutes.

Please add your photos to the Jar Lunch Flickr pool for this or any other jar lunches you make!

See our other Jar Lunches here.


Filed under food, recipes

day eighteen

(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $5.69 yesterday, January 19, 2011.

Whoa, hold up, $5.69? WHOOPS! We accidentally went over budget today. What exactly is to blame? An amazing, delicious, mouth watering SALAD. Or I suppose I could blame the avocado banana smoothie. I guess I got a little too cocky about how much fresh produce we can squeeze into one day for five bucks. I’m not going to beat myself up since we’ve been under budget by this much on many other days. There’s always tomorrow.


steelcut oats (from 1/3 cup dry) $0.10
2 tablespoons raisins $0.08
1 tablespoon slivered almonds $0.06
2 teaspoons brown sugar $0.02


1 cup dal palak $0.93
1 cup cooked quinoa $0.36


gigantic salad with 1/2 block baked tofu $2.48
2 tablespoons sriracha buttermilk dressing $0.10

avocado banana smoothie $1.03


1/2 cup frothed soy milk (for coffee) $0.13
8 ounces lowfat organic plain yogurt w/ strawberry preserves $0.40

total $5.69

Here’s the cost breakdown on the salad:

1-1/2 blocks extra firm tofu $2.99
1 head romaine lettuce $1.49
1/4 red onion $0.08
1 large organic carrot $0.08
1/2 bunch radishes $0.25
8 ounces broccoli $0.84
5 ounces organic grape tomatoes $1.00
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds $0.09
1 ounce Beemster Xtra Old gouda from clearance bin $0.62

total $7.44
per person $2.48

It was kind of worth it. That salad was amazing. More often than not we eat our dinners served on our smaller salad plates, but this was a full on dinner plate covered in a giant salad. With the rich avocado smoothie and an entire half block of tofu per person, we were stuffed. What can I say, I was trying to boost our protein intake. Usually it is our intention to eat a dinner like this or taco salad once a week, but it almost never happens.

Our tofu baking method isn’t exact, but if people are really curious I could come up with a recipe to post sometime. I didn’t calculate the cost of the various spices used along with a little flour and cornmeal to coat it for baking.

I did, however, post the smoothie recipe separately.


Filed under food