Each week, Eliana and I have a standing play date with my friend Meghan and her son Miles. Last week, as the little ones were playing, I asked Meghan what she likes to do with Brussels sprouts and she rattled off the ingredients of some special spice blend she likes. Below is my variation on Meghan’s recipe. It’s a little spicy and a little sweet and it just might make those “sprouts haters” out there reconsider.
Don’t like tofu? Swap it out for a protein you like better.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Tofu with Meghan’s Sauce
- -1 cup real maple syrup
- -½ cup olive oil
- -2 tablespoons white vinegar
- -1½ tablespoon chili powder
- -1½ tablespoon garlic powder
- -1½ teaspoon salt
- -1 teaspoon pepper
- -1-1½ pounds Brussels spouts, cleaned with the out leaves torn off and chopped in half
- -1-2 pounds extra-firm tofu
Press the tofu:
I like to press my tofu to get rid of the excess water. It isn’t essential-especially when using extra firm tofu. I just like the tofu better this way.
Because you will be marinating the tofu as well, try to set it up to press it early.
To press the tofu, begin by cutting it down the middle lengthwise. Then arrange the tofu halves side by side on top of a dinner plate lined with clean kitchen towels or a stack of paper towels. Cover the tofu with another kitchen towel or more paper towels and then another dinner plate. Then put a bunch of heavy books on top of the plate to press out the excess water in the tofu. I like to leave it for up to 1 hour but no less than 20 minutes. If I feel short on time, I put even more books, or other heavy and flat objects, on top.
You can do this step earlier on the same day you want to use the tofu but I wouldn’t do it any more in advance or the tofu might dry out. Put the pressed tofu in a gallon-sized zipper top plastic bag (like a Ziploc), squeeze out the air and refrigerate in until you want to use it.
Make the marinade:
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the maple syrup, olive oil, vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set the marinade aside. You can do this step one day ahead of time. Whisk the marinade again just before using it.
Chop and marinate the tofu:
Chop the tofu into ½ inch sticks and place it in a gallon-sized zipper top bag, pour in ½ cup of the marinade, squeeze out the excess air and close the bag. Shake the bag a bit so all the tofu is covered by the marinade. Leave the bag flat in the refrigerator for 10 minutes then flip the bag and flatten it again for another 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 400°
Clean and chop the sprouts:
Peel off any loose leaves, wash the sprouts and then chop them in half. Set the sprouts aside
In a large bowl, toss the sprouts with ¼ cup of the marinade. Then place them in a baking dish lined with parchment paper so clean up is a bit easier.
Roast the sprouts and bake the tofu:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the tofu sticks flat onto the sheet leaving a little bit of space in between them. You want to shake off any excess marinade before putting the sticks on the sheet.
Place both the baking sheet and baking dish in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir the brussel sprouts and flip over the tofu sticks. Return both to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and serve the Brussels sprouts and tofu atop your favorite rice. Add a few drizzles of sauce, too and enjoy!
Eliana certainly loved this dish! She got pretty annoyed with me trying to bug her for photos while she ate.