Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Crave Wednesday: Griled Lemon-Basil Tofu Burgers

When I was in elementary school we would make seasonal locker decorations every month.  You know, like hearts for February, or turkeys for November.

In March we made lions and lambs.  To a school child, this was fairly confusing.  Because what did lions and lambs have to do with the month of March?  I remember my teacher explaining to us that there was an aphorism about the weather in March.  (We took our weather pretty seriously in Pennsylvania - aphorisms and groundhogs) Either "March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb" or "March comes in like a lamb, and out like a lion."  In essence, March is one of those months whether the weather is variable.  It's not temperate, like June, or freezing like January.

This March is coming in like a lion.  Not just the weather, although the storms the past few days certainly are leonine.  It's also been lion-like in terms of every other aspect of my life!  Work and home are like a whirlwind.  With that in mind, I've been looking to simplify my time in the kitchen, which for me, means relying on a lot of vegetarian meals.  In find them much easier to throw together than meals with meat.  I also like the lighter feeling they leave me with, since it's hard to be always on the move with heavy meals on your plate.

Thatboy and I have been eating tofu a couple times a week in our lunches.  And I've been experimenting with how to prepare it.  Grilling tofu is probably not your first thought when it comes to tofu, but it's a fantastic solution to anyone who may be tofu-shy. Tofu's best quality is that it takes on flavors beautifully.  So marinading it gives you a deep, rich profile.  Grilling it gives it some body, and really, almost everything tastes better grilled!

Grilled Lemon Basil Tofu Burgers (From Cooking Light)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 tsps grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 lb firm tofu, drained
cooking spray
1/3 cup finely chipped pitted kalamata olives
3 Tbsp reduced fat sour cream
3 Tbsp light mayonnaise
6 hamburger buns
6 slices tomatoes
1 cup trimmed watercress
  1. Combine basil, lemon rind, lemon juice, mustard, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper, and 3 garlic cloves in a small bowl.
  2. Cut tofu crosswise into 6 slices.  Pat each slice dry with paper towels.  Place tofu slices on a jelly-roll pan.  
  3. Brush both sides of tofu slices with lemon juice mixture, reserve remaining juice mixture.  Let tofu stand 1 hour.
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Place tofu slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray.  Grill 3 minutes on each side.  
  5. Brush tofu with reserved juice mixture.
  6. Combine 1 minced garlic clove, chopped olives, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a small bowl; stir well.
  7. Spread about 1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise mixture over bottom half of each bun.
  8. Top each with 1 tomato slice, 1 tofu slice, 2 Tbsp watercress, and bun top.

1 comment:

  1. I've actually never grilled tofu, which now seems so sad! I bet that smoky flavor adds a lot to what can otherwise be a bland protein source. These burgers are so perfect for spring!