It might be pure laziness on my part, or just the fact that at this age my little one is pretty good about eating whatever we are eating for meals, that I don’t really need to come up with meals just for her. Or as I like to call them, predictable bland meals for toddlers. Meals, that by helping my little one develop a good palate and eating habits I will hopefully never have to make [insert some tightly crossed fingers here]. I am happy to make fun snacks that we can both nibble on throughout the day, but making two meals is too daunting for me, most of the time making one meal for the family is an overwhelming task.
But every once in awhile I like to make a recipe that has the tyke in mind, a recipe that looks like a winner for both the kiddos and adults in our house.
This is one of them.
A recipe that you can make for your little babes just starting with finger foods, for your toddler to dunk into this delicious and creamy peanut dipping sauce or even as a family meal. Fun tofu sticks with endless possibilities of what you can do with them. Something that appeals to the kid in all of us yet has a sophisticated taste that will make them a hit for any grownup.
They do take a little bit of time to make, but don’t let that scare you, the actually hands on time is very minimal. And while you are at it, I would recommend you double the recipe and make enough for some yummy leftovers for the rest of the week.
Ideas on what to serve with these tofu sticks for a complete meal:
- Cauliflower rice [all the rage right now] with cilantro, black pepper and olive oil
- Steamed edemama, broccoli and/or carrots
- Over mixed greens, grated carrots, chopped peanuts, basil, mint, red peppers and crispy rice noodles
- Stick it to [enter day of week] – Tofu Sticks, Carrot Sticks, Fruit on a Stick
- Serve over brown rice noodles with steamed veggies
Toddler Tofu Sticks + Peanut Dipping Sauce
For Tofu Sticks
14 oz firm or extra firm organic sprouted tofu, pressed to remove water
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
1/2 tsp ground ginger or fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground garlic
2 tbsp sesame seeds
For Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup organic Creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of cayenne pepper [optional]
To Press the Tofu
Cut the tofu lengthwise into 2 long pieces and place on top of a stack of 3 paper towels. Put another layer of 3 paper towels on top of the tofu and place something heavy on top of the tofu, I usually use my cast iron skillet with my tea kettle on top. The goal is get as much water out of the tofu as possible so you get a crispy crust. Let sit for 10 minutes, then replace the paper towels and let press for another 10 minutes or longer if you have time.
While, tofu is pressing, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger and garlic.
Preheat oven to 400F.
When tofu is done pressing cut into stick shapes or nuggets. Place in medium bowl or pan and pour marinade over tofu pieces making sure to coat each piece. Let stand for 10 minutes, rotate and then let stand for another 10 minutes.
Place on baking sheet in single layer and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 20 minutes, flip over and bake for another 20 minutes.
While cooking, make the dipping sauce by whisking peanut butter and water in medium bowl until smooth. Add soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and cayenne pepper and stir until well combined.
Will make 15 sticks or 40 nuggets and will last 4 days in the fridge. They will become less crispy once they cool, so I recommend re-heating them in a small skillet to get that crispy goodness with your left overs.