Easy Lemon Dill Tofu

144 comments

IMG 8175   Easy Lemon Dill Tofu

I really can’t believe that I went all these years without tofu in my life.

I was under the impression that tofu gave me horrible stomach pains whenever I ate it, so that was the main reason for avoiding it. I recently discovered it doesn’t seem to bother my stomach like I thought. When you have IBS, it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint which stomach issues are food related and which are anxiety/stress related.

I left you guys hanging after my first visit with the Naturopath, but there wasn’t a lot to report. I only went for two visits. The doctor went over my medical history and food intake and also did allergy testing. When I showed him my food diary, he took one look at it and guessed that all the tannins in the green tea I was drinking (often 2 huge strong pots a day…!) were probably irritating my stomach lining. My allergy tests came back negative thankfully. The other piece of the puzzle would be to manage my IBS by continuing to work on my anxiety.

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I thought he was insane for suggesting that my green tea could be a problem for my stomach, but I figured it was worth a shot. I reduced my green tea consumption to just 0-1 cup a day to see if it made a difference. Wouldn’t you know it, my stomach pains reduced by about 50% almost immediately. I’m sure there was also a little placebo effect going on, but after reading up on tannins and stomach issues, I do believe there is truth to it. I have a cup in the morning, but I don’t overdo it anymore. I’ve brought back the water in my life, which was needed. Something so simple, made such a huge difference in how I feel.

But, back to the tofu.

I’ll admit, I was also scared of tofu…a lot. First impressions are everything and the big white hunk floating in murky water just didn’t scream “eat me”. I had to figure out what the heck to do with it first.

One of my favourite ways to prepare tofu is just a simple pan fry. After pressing the tofu for about 25 minutes to drain out the water (this results in a firmer tofu), I preheat a large skillet with 1 tsp of cooking oil and then chop the tofu into small squares. Then I cook the tofu for about 6 minutes on high heat, flip, and cook for another 6-8 minutes or so, reducing the heat if necessary. This method results in golden tofu with a nice crispy exterior.

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Sometimes, all I do is add a bit of ketchup and enjoy it as is or I marinate it first with a bit of apple cider vinegar & tamari.

My other favourite way is to turn it into Crispy Tofu Strips! You must try these if you haven’t. Eric said he would happily give up regular chicken strips for these bad boys.

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Other times, I like to get creative with sauces…like this incredible lemon dill sauce. If you adore my lightened up lemon tahini sauce…and the lemon dill spin-off…you’ll love this super lightened up version. It packs in 3/4 cup of fresh dill and has just a touch of tahini and oil in it. While the tofu is cooking, just whip the dressing up in processor and you’re good to go.

Do I even have to tell you that I used my mini processor again? Gah, I love that thing.

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Maybe you’d like a gigantic tripod leg with your tofu, perhaps?

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Sometimes a close up shot is all you need. That’s what I told myself anyways.

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Easy Lemon Dill Tofu

White, wintery looking tofu is now dressed up in greens for the spring. 

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Yield: 1-2 servings

for the tofu:

  • 1 package extra-firm non-gmo tofu, drained, rinsed, and pressed
  • 1 tsp cooking oil (I like to use safflower oil as it has a high smoke point)

 

for the dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp dill pickle juice (or water)
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup fresh dill weed, large stems removed & roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

 

1. Rinse and press the tofu (see here for a how-to) for about 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the lemon dill dressing in a processor. My mini processor worked well for this (just call me a broken record).

3. Preheat a large skillet over high heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Meanwhile, chop up the tofu into small, thin squares.

4. When the skillet is HOT (the tofu should sizzle when placed on it), add the tofu (being careful not to let the pieces touch too much or they will stick) and cook on high heat for 6 minutes or so, flip, and cook for another 6-8 minutes, reducing heat if necessary to avoid burning.

5. When tofu is golden brown on each side, remove from heat. Pour dressing into a medium-sized bowl and add the cooked tofu and stir well until coated. Serve immediately on its own, in a wrap, on a salad, or over grains and vegetables.

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I’m in love with this lemon dill dressing. Who knew you could pack in 3/4 cup of greens into a dressing?

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The clean up was also minimal.

But first, I devoured this tofu.

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Feel free to enjoy this in a wrap, on a salad, over a bed of grains and vegetables, or on its own like I did. Maybe next time I’ll have a bit more restraint to prepare a full meal with it…

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{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }

Jasper @ crunchylittlebites March 14, 2012

please talk my aunt into eating more tofu? perhaps if I make this for her, it would convince her!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 14, 2012

Yumm! I’m not even vegan or veggie, but I’ll gladly eat tofu and tempeh any day!! Lemon and dill is such an awesome combo, especially for this time of year. I’m glad you’ve been able to at least somewhat identify what was causing some of your stomach pain. I would have never thought it’d be green tea!!

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Siri @ The Herbivoress March 14, 2012

I believe I’ve found my lunch for the rest of the week! This looks amazing! And I think I have the same mini processor as you… it is a lifesaver!

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Sera March 14, 2012

Yay tofu! :D Scrambled tofu is great as well – just had some for breakfast this morning with Linwoods brazil nuts/almonds/flaxseed mix. Yum.

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Lisa March 14, 2012

How long will this keep? I’m the only one that would eat it..Thanks for all the great recipes.

Do you do yoga or meditate for your anxiety? I use to have severe panic attacks and now just the normal everyday anxieties…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 14, 2012

I find yoga helps a lot. Right now Im just doing it at home, but I want to get back into the studio once a week.

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Angela March 14, 2012

I’d say it keeps for a couple days, but it’s best enjoyed immediately as it softens with time.

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Ashley March 14, 2012

Chris and I love tofu! It’s on the menu about once a week over here and surprisingly doesn’t give me stomach issues. Same thing with tempeh. I found a sprouted, organic, non-GMO brand [of tofu] that I love! Current favorite combo: maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cayenne, rice vinegar

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Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life March 14, 2012

This looks great! I have never made tofu myself, have only eaten it out, but this looks like a great recipe to try!

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Faith @ For the Health of It March 14, 2012

So glad you can start re-introducing the wonderfulness that is tofu! Fresh dill has to be the best spice ever, so I can only imagine what it would do to tofu…oh boy!

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Tracy March 14, 2012

I love fresh dill and I can’t wait to try this recipe! During the summer months we have neighbors who grow dill (as well as rosemary and thyme), its great picking off what I need when I need it.

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char eats greens March 14, 2012

Um, yum!!! I’m glad tofu is in your life now because I love it (but yes, I agree with what it looks like before you prepare it!). This sounds so fantastic and you just twisted my arm to make me get out my mini-processor :P

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Cait's Plate March 14, 2012

Mmm I never would’ve thought to prepare my tofu that way but I LOVE the idea!

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Greta @ Staying Lost March 14, 2012

I love tofu, so I’m so happy to see you introducing it in your recipes now! I love how fresh and vibrant the dill looks in the dressing.

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Nobody March 14, 2012

i absolutely ADORED the crispy tofu strips, and can’t wait to try this recipe too!

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Angela March 14, 2012

Glad to hear that!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 14, 2012

Why don’t I use dill more?! I love how refreshing it is in lemon-y mixes. Great idea to use pickle juice too! Yum!

My go-to for tofu lately has been baking it – it makes it really fluffy inside. Almost marshmallow-like.

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Alex @ Raw Recovery March 14, 2012

This recipe has perfect timing because I just bought some dill and tofu yesterday. I absolutely love dill and to me it has summer written all over it. I have IBS too and it’s a precarious situation trying not to upset it. I’ve found that drinking more water, taking a probiotic, and working on my anxiety helps because I also have an anxiety disorder. It’s amazing how much our emotions impact our physical body. Thanks for the recipe and glad to hear you are doing better!

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katie@ KatieDid March 14, 2012

Not a fan of tofu but really love the sound of the dill dressing I have to say! But really anything with tahini gets me!

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jaimie March 14, 2012

i get terrible stomach pains from green tea too! i guess too much of anything – even good things – is not good. haha if that sentence made sense? however, i have to admit, i use the sensitivity to too much green tea as an excuse to not kick the coffee habit – not good!

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Angela March 14, 2012

It’s so true…too much of anything is not good. In the summer I was trying to eat up all my garden kale and I overdid it one week…I had bloating, cramps, you name it.

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Yellow Haired Girl March 14, 2012

I love this! I just started experimenting with tofu last week, and I’m definitely realizing there’s far more options than I thought!

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Jessica March 14, 2012

Hey!
So I have ibs and anxiety as well… And while it’s no fun I have 100% gone off my anxiety pills since sisu sent me their stress rescue pills. I never ever would have believed it!

They are all natural and work amazing which of course has helped with the ibs too since they are so connected!

Thought I should let ya know! I think everyone should know about them!
Ps this tofu sounds food! I love it smothered in mmmm sauce!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 14, 2012

Do you have a link to them? I’d like to check them out.

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Kay March 14, 2012

I love that you’re adding tofu to the repertoire. Ive also always loved your blog for
The un- tofu vegan adventures. You make magic with so many non traditional vegan ingredients.
Also, I didn’t Know you had IBS. I think I do too, chronic constipation and major upset with dairy. How did you determine the major causes of your symptoms?

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Shana March 16, 2012

It amazes me how many people have digestive issues these days. I also have the IBS you are describing and have (so far) had good success with psyllium fiber. You can buy it at any health food store (I got mine at Vitamin Shoppe). It’s basically pure fiber that works by gathering up the extra water in your intestines and acts as a bulk forming agent to make it easier to go. There is some evidence that it may be helpful for diarrhea but is especially helpful for constipation. It is the same ingredient that is in Metamucil but without all the chemical additives and nastiness. I have tried EVERYTHING and I am having the best results with this. Good luck!!!

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Nini March 14, 2012

Hey,

Using less Tofu in your recipes is what I loved about your blog. I think this one looks good and certainly will taste good. But hopefully you’re not putting tofu in every recipe now, like most other vegan-food-blogs and cookbooks do.

please keep on showing the whole variety of vegan food! thanks a lot for your creative ideas!

greets from germany

Nini

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Abby @ Fig & Fork March 14, 2012

I love how versatile tofu is! Lately I’ve been pan-searing tofu in a dry skillet and am loving how nicely it crisps up without oil. I’m excited to give this recipe a try…hello spring-like flavors!

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Angela March 14, 2012

I’ll have to try that!

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Laura March 14, 2012

I’ll be curious to hear how this goes… I can’t seem to do the tofu-fry thing without oil – it sticks terribly… so keep posted!

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Ang W March 14, 2012

Hmmm. You know Ange, I think you’ve actually convinced me to give tofu a go. I’ve always avoided it quite purposefully after a few soggy, tasteless tofu experiences. But these two tofu recipes have me planning to stop on the way home to pick some up for dinner! Thanks :)

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Angela March 14, 2012

I suggest trying the tofu strips (I just typed chicken strips…lol) first! Its a crowd pleaser. Also be sure to get extra firm.

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Ang W March 14, 2012

Thanks for the tips! I told a friend I wanted to make them today, and I accidentally called them chicken strips too hehe :)

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Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 14, 2012

I was planning on making your crispy tofu strips for dinner tonight but this recipe looks great too!!

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Becca March 14, 2012

I am currently studying Naturopathic Medicine. NDs sure have a knack at identifying even the oddest food trigger! Would you say your experience with the ND was a positive one?

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Angela March 14, 2012

Yea, he was great. Who knows how long I would’ve gone on not knowing what was causing the issue. Good luck with your studies!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 14, 2012

Yay for spring flavors! When tofu is dressed up enough I’m a fan, but any resemblance of mushy miso soup type of tofu and I run away quickly.

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Kale Crusaders March 14, 2012

Mini food processors are the so handy! This recipe will be awesome for those times that I inevitably have a whole bunch of leftover dill sitting in my fridge.

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brooke March 14, 2012

i am a new follower of your blog and I love it! As someone who also struggles with IBS I have a life altering suggestion to help with IBS. Acupuncture! It is a miracle because after about 8months of sessions I was cured. Yes, completly free of IBS. Now 5 years later still no signs or symptoms (and I am still a stressed out person!) Hope you can look more into this, honestly a miracle!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 14, 2012

Thats great Brooke, so glad you found relief. :) I’ve heard great things about acupuncture.

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Beth March 14, 2012

Thanks for the update on the naturopath. Aren’t you relieved it was something simple?

And the tofu recipes look great! I feel like there are only so many ways to prepare it, but this gives me two new ideas! Thanks!

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Kristi March 14, 2012

This looks so lovely and springy! I always am throwing away massive amounts of dill from our CSA because we get so much, so I will save this to try!

Ah, the joys of IBS… co-sufferer here.

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Katie @ Creature of Habit March 14, 2012

I will definitely have to try this. While pan fried tofu is still my favorite, I’m trying to find other ways of cooking it that I enjoy just for some variety. I made the crispy strips but I think I may have been too heavy-handed with the breaking because they ended up having too much excess dried flour. But a sauce sounds right up my alley!

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Angela March 14, 2012

Hey Katie, Do you mean the tofu strips had too much flour in them- and not enough breadcrumbs or cornmeal? I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “they ended up having too much excess dried flour”. Let me know…maybe I can take another look at the recipe! :)

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lynn March 14, 2012

i too have ibs and have for years… i can NOT drink green tea at all so have switched back to good old black tea and only 2 a day… green is so hard on my stomach….

recipe looks great… as usual!

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Janet March 14, 2012

I just bought some tofu this weekend to give it another try since my previous experiences have been busts all the way around. I love tofu…when I don’t have to fix it myself. I’m looking forward to giving this a try.

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Lindsey March 14, 2012

Hi Angela- I really adore your blog and recipes. So, I believe that some people have a sensitivity to the whatever is in green tea- I know its so good for you but it makes me feel super sick and queasy after I drink it. I found that drinking it after food- like breakfast or lunch with a touch of non-dairy milk- like coconut or almond milk really helps ease the queasiness.

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Angela March 14, 2012

I cannot drink it on an empty stomach either! I honestly feel like I will hurl…

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Michelle March 14, 2012

This is also one of my FAVE ways to make tofu! I just love the crispiness. I prefer mustard before ketchup. Sometimes I’ll mix some dijon with regular mustard and the teeeeniest drop of tamari for a sauce. But your lemon dill sounds WAY BETTER! I know what I’M having for dinner tonight! WIth asparagus? Mmmmm, yes please!

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Carly March 14, 2012

Angela, I’m glad you’re feeling better! That is so interesting what the naturopath said about green tea! I used to get terrible stomach pains from green tea and was in denial it could be from that. GREEN TEA?! Then one day I had an extra large green tea from Tim Hortons and I had the worst stomach pains for almost 24 hours. It was quite unbelievable. Spinach does the same thing to me – and I miss it so much! Whenever I tell people I can’t eat spinach or drink green tea they look at me like I’m crazy.

I love tofu and tempeh as well. I do admit though I feel guilty eating it because of the whole “soy is bad for you” movement. Do you have any opinions on this?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 14, 2012

I enjoy it in moderation…about once a week or so. The research is still on both sides right now too.

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh March 14, 2012

Your tofu recipes really make me want to try it again. I’m going to have to bite the bullet next grocery trip and bookmark this.

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Krysta March 14, 2012

This looks excellent!!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks March 14, 2012

Your sauce looks and sounds incredible and I love how crispy your tofu looks. I used to pan-sear/pan-fry it like you do; then about 3 years ago I switched to the high heat baking method. 425-450F ish. Lower baking temps, i.e. 350 to 400 just result in burnt yet mushy tofu for me. I find the high heat for shorter duration does the trick but now you have me wanting to panfy it again…Can you tell I like to overthink the food science details? lol

Your pics are gorgeous!

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Angela March 14, 2012

Hmm interesting, I’ll have to try that out!

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Shana March 16, 2012

I also love it baked at 425! The texture is almost eggy but is perfect on sandwiches or adding to salads. I hate mushy tofu!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 14, 2012

I’m so mad that I have tofu marinating in a peanut sauce as we speak! I wish I had seen this post yesterday (or could have seen into the future, I guess!). I will have to try this one out in the future. (and the crispy tofu strips!!)
I get weird stomach issues too at times, but I’m pretty sure that it’s because of periods of too much anxiety and stress. I would have never thought that Green Tea would be a cause!

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