Sweet & Savoury Tofu with Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potato and Lentil Mash

I always tout tofu for its versatility so today I decided to explore making a dish with a tried-and-true marinade I once reserved (past tense exaggerated) for baking salmon fillets. For the first five years or so of being vegetarian whenever Janik and I would pass by a restaurant serving grilled meat, or pass by someone barbequing, I would comment on how I missed the taste of meat. At one point Janik looked at me and said “Meagan, it’s not the meat you crave or miss —  it’s the spices.”  That moment marked the beginning of the realization that a plant-based recipe can indeed mimic the flavour of meat… seitan rubbed with spices to taste like a slow-cooked roast and jackfruit “pulled pork” sandwiches comes to mind. Once that shift in mindset happened I started focusing on different spice combinations I could introduce and pair with vegetarian and vegan-friendly ingredients.

This simple 6-ingredient tofu marinade calls for fresh garlic, fresh cilantro, dill weed, maple syrup, canola oil and salt. The contrast between sweet and savoury really defines this marinade and tantalizes the senses. Be sure not to take any short cuts and let the tofu sit in the marinade for at least a few hours. To achieve a more robust flavour – not to mention a BBQ-style taste and presentation – crank up the heat and bake the tofu at 450F. Blackened edges and a crispy texture is what you want to see before you take these sweet and savoury tofu “steaks” out of the oven. The kids and I devoured the tofu strips on their own (they are that good), but this would also work well inside a sandwich wrap with some garlic sauce. If you’re looking for other tofu marinade ideas you may want to check out our Ginger Teriyaki Stir Fry or our Smoky Maple Hickory Tofu Marinade.

The Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potato & Lentil Mash originally started off as an idea for a soup recipe, but I quickly took a different direction while I was looking at the muffin tins on my drying rack. The inherent sweetness of the red lentils and the candy-like notes from the caramelized potatoes allow each ingredient to shine, while the cinnamon adds a subtle yet tantalizing dimension. Mash never tasted so good 😊.

Enjoy~

Sweet & Savoury Tofu

Ingredients

  • 2 pkgs (350g each) extra-firm tofu, sliced into 1/4″ strips (rinsed and pressed to remove moisture) 
  • 4 garlic cloves (45g)
  • Fresh cilantro (10g)
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup (45g) + extra 1 Tbsp agave syrup (15g)
  • 3/4 cup canola oil (75g)
  • 1/2 tsp dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Preparation

Tip: I recommend letting the tofu marinade for at least 2 hours so plan ahead to ensure best results with this recipe Preheat oven to 450F

Instructions

  • 1/Add garlic cloves and fresh cilantro to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl to collect the minced garlic-cilantro at the base of the bowl. Note: Insert the butterfly whisk attachment to the Thermomix mixing blade before starting Step 2.
  • 2/Add the remaining marinade ingredients to the TM bowl (maple syrup through salt). Whisk 15 sec/Speed 3. Once again, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl using a spatula.
  • 3/Repeat Step 2: Whisk 15 sec/Speed 3. Note: Remove the butterfly whisk attachment from the Thermomix mixing blade before starting Step 4.
  • 4/Place the tofu strips in a shallow baking dish. They should be in a single layer (ideally not touching). Coat the tofu strips with marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • 5/Transfer the marinated tofu strips to a parchment paper-lined baking tray (use all the marinade…no need to reserve any!)
  • 6/Bake the marinated tofu at 450F for 60 minutes. Reposition/turn the tofu strips every 20 minutes. When finished baking the edges of the tofu strips should look dark and crispy. Important: At the 40 minute mark (20 minutes bake time remaining) lightly drizzle some maple syrup over the tofu; also add a few pinches of salt.

Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potato and Lentil Muffins

Ingredients

For roasting:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled (800-900g)
  • 2-3 Tbsp canola oil (for coating potatoes)
  • 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Few pinches of Himalayan pink salt

For mash:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, roasted (800-900g)
  • 2 cups cooked red lentils (500-600g)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil + extra 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt + extra

Instructions

  • 1/Rinse sweet potatoes and pat dry to remove any moisture. Cut/remove ends of each potato (if desired). Pierce a few holes in each potato to vent.
  • 2/Using a basting brash, coat each potato in canola oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt.
  • 3/Bake at 400F for 60 minutes, turning occasionally. The potatoes are cooked when the inside potato (flesh) is tender.  Transfer the roasted potatoes to a large mixing  bowl  and let cool for up to 30 minutes. Once cooled, use a fork to mash the potatoes – you don’t want a paste; the potatoes should still have a coarse texture.
  • 4/Add cooked lentils, canola oil, cumin and salt to the mixing bowl with roasted potatoes. Stir just enough to combine…you want a mash-like texture.
  • 5/Spoon potato-lentil mash into muffin tins (makes approx. 12 muffins). Drizzle with canola oil and a few pinches of salt. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

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6 thoughts on “Sweet & Savoury Tofu with Cinnamon-Roasted Sweet Potato and Lentil Mash

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