Necessity is the mother of invention which is where this meal came into play.
You know those weeknights when you have no idea what you’re going to make for dinner but you know you better come up with something before either you or a family member has a meltdown? Yeah, those nights.
Well this meal prevented meltdowns in our house.
It’s also vegan depending on the cheese used.
And very flavorful thanks to the salsa. The salsa verde I used packs a little heat and kick.
Depending on the type of salsa used, you can take it from a lil’ kick to a ka-pow kick.
And it uses one of my favorite appliances, the microwave.
If you don’t have a microwave, you could likely prepare this on the stovetop, warming and melting the ingredients that way.
You could also try using a slow cooker.
But since I have a microwave, and am not shy about using it, and because I am usually running late on dinner prep and wondering what am I going to make for dinner?
…I decided to give microwaved tofu a try.
And you know what, it worked.
It worked so well that even those people, ahem Scott, who don’t really “love” tofu asked for more.
Skylar is my little plant-based garbage disposal. She eats raw broccoli, likes really hot and spicy foods, and will gladly eat Brussels’s sprouts, so this was a big, plant-based hit with her.
She calls tofu ‘toe-food’. She asked for “More toe-food, please, Mommy.” I loved that.
And I loved that it was done in about 6 minutes from start to finish.
And let’s not forget that it’s
1 block of tofu: $1.49 TJ’s
1 jar of salsa: $1.99 (used half the jar, $1 worth)
1 bag of cheese: $1.99 (used half the bag which was 1 cup, $1 worth)
= $3.50 to feed the entire family dinner
All I have to do is buy another block of tofu and I can feed us again with the unused portions of the salsa and cheese.
Two meals, for 3 people, for $7 total.
$1.16 per person, per meal
Microwave Salsa Verde Pepperjack Tofu
1 c salsa verde (or any salsa you enjoy; red, green, spicy, mild, etc)
1 c shredded pepper jack cheese (or Monterrey Jack, Mexican blend, or preferred blend/type, i.e. Daiya, soy-based, goat, etc.)
1 block tofu (pressed, diced. Optional: use pre-cooked/leftover chicken, turkey; or mock chicken nuggets, veggie burgers, etc.)
Press the tofu. If you don’t have a tofu press, simply press it between two heavy pots/cookie sheets and place something heavy on top for at least 15 minutes, and get the paper towels ready to absorb the liquid. After the tofu has been pressed, dice it into cubes. Place tofu in the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl and add the salsa. Add a piece of plastic wrap/Saran Wrap over the top of the bowl and microwave for about 2:30 to 3 minutes on high. Remove from the microwave and add the shredded cheese to the bowl and stir. Re-cover with plastic wrap and microwave for another 2:30 to 3 minutes on high, or until cheese is melted and mixture is hot and bubbling. Give a final stir and serve.
Notes: If you don’t have a microwave, you could do this on the stovetop, warming and melting the ingredients that way. You could also try using a slow cooker.
This tofu would be fabulous as a filling in tortillas shells or in wraps of any kind.
After it’s done cooking feel free to hit it with more salsa if you’re a salsa fiend.
You can make extra (buy two blocks of tofu and use 1 full jar of salsa and 2 cups of cheese) and eat any leftovers cold, too.
People eat cold pasta salads all the time, and Whole Foods has made a small fortune selling prepared tofu salads that are cold from their deli case.
I tried this one cold (planned leftovers, love them) and it was tasty that way, too. In fact, the flavor was actually better the next day because the salsa really marinated into the ‘fu and the flavors intensified and married together even more. Kind of like what happens in chili (vegan) the next day.
Tofu is such a versatile food.
And now, I can say I’ve made it in the microwave.
Radiation never ceases. Wonders never cease.
1. Do you like tofu? Know anyone who doesn’t like tofu? Or confused how to prepare tofu at home and have it turn out properly?
I wrote a Tofu Preparation & Cooking Tips post that may be of interest to you. It focuses on baking or broiling tofu, which I prefer to pan-frying. There is something about cooking tofu on the stovetop that I generally avoid due to splattering oil. Not really a fan of grease burns and tofu always splatters and burns me.
Now I can add the microwave method to my repertoire.
I also have a Tofu Recipes section with previous ‘fu creations.
2. Have you ever tried to microwave tofu?
This was a first for me and I will be doing it again. And again. Using different kinds of salsas, fruit butters, cheeses, chutneys, and trying my hand at more microwave tofu versions because this was just too easy and good not to repeat.
And we avoided meltdowns or devouring a half of a bag of chips standing in the kitchen wondering what we were going to have for dinner or moving on to a handful of this and a handful of that and another handful of this, before realizing a real smorgasboard of nothing was just consumed and you still need to make dinner. We’ve all been there. So that’s why this micro tofu is going to be on rotation for us.
P.S. I have a favor to ask. Please vote here for my No Bake PB Biscoff Cookie Dough Bites in the Delta Biscoff Bakeoff. You can vote once per day for the next week. Thank you! If I win, I could win a culinary dream trip to NYC, Napa or LA. It just takes a second to click and vote. Thank you so much!