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Buttermilk Oven-Baked & Breaded Tofu

Buttermilk Oven-Baked & Breaded Tofu

I did not grow up on southern food – I grew up in the leafy suburbs of Chicago – but the zesty, peppery seasonings have always appealed to me. This entrée is made possible with a very easy vegan buttermilk hack but really brought to home plate with the gluten-free vegan’s new BFF, I Heart Keenwah, in their Herbes de Provence flavor. Combined with cornflakes and a few seasonings, it becomes a strangely perfect breading, helping to create a hearty – but wholesome – vegan rendition of a traditional southern dish. Despite not liking soymilk all that much, I think it works the best in this case because it’s thick and tastes the closest to dairy milk and what we are trying to recreate. Feel free to use whatever vegan milk works for you. Another recommendation is to use a super-firm tofu: you can find these at both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and they are not packed in water. This will give you the best texture but if you don’t have those options, use an extra firm, water-packed tofu that you press. You want this to be as pressed of water as you can get it. Last, I erred on the side of making this recipe a little peppery. If you prefer a milder dish, omit the cayenne and reduce the paprika.


Buttermilk Oven-Baked & Breaded Tofu

1 lb. extra firm tofu

Buttermilk Mixture

1 cup soymilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, pressed or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon paprika (I used smoked but sweet would work as well)
1/2 teaspoon “poultry” seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


3-oz. bag I Heart Keenwah in Herbes de Provence flavor
1/2 cup cornflake crumbs, unsweetened (Erehwon makes a variety)
2 tablespoons grated nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Slice your tofu into six pieces.

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the soymilk and lemon juice. Mix with a whisk or fork. Now add the rest of the buttermilk mixture.

In a rectangular pan with raised edges, pour enough of the buttermilk to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the tofu. Using a pastry brush, brush the top and sides of the tofu with buttermilk and pour any remaining mixture over the top. Cover and let sit in the fridge for an hour.

In a blender or food processor, grind your I Heart Quinoa until powdery, then add the rest of the coating ingredients, processing until uniform and ground. You can decide if you want it to be more fine or crumby. Either way works.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a shallow bowl or baking dish, pour your breading mixture and spread it flat.
Spearing each piece with a fork, dredge each tofu slice in the breading, and put the pieces onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for twenty minutes and then turn. Bake for another fifteen minutes. Serve hot with vegan mayo or BBQ sauce on the side.

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