Easy Lemon Dill Tofu

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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 }

Katie March 15, 2012

Yum, this dressing looks so great! I love that you’ve use dill pickle juice in the dressing. My husband has a jar a week pickle habit, so there is never any shortage of pickle juice in this house!

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts March 15, 2012

It’s interesting to hear your success with reducing green tea. I do tend to find that it makes me nauseous if I drink too much or have it first thing on an empty stomach…it’s great you’ve had such good results cutting it down.

It’s also kind of nice to hear that you’re like the rest of us in coming to certain foods late :) I only jumped on the tofu bandwagon last year and am still figuring out how I best like it; this recipe could be a contender!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers March 15, 2012

I love the dressing, since I’m not vegan, I’m going to try the dressing over chicken!!!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit March 15, 2012

Wow, just a simple change like that is sometimes all it takes to get back to the old you! That’s so awesome. I’m happy you didn’t have to go to the naturopath over and over, or that you weren’t told you were allergic to gluten! I feared for you there for a bit.

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LizAshlee March 15, 2012

YUM! Lemon dill is such an awesome combination!

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Tessa@The Domestic Diva March 15, 2012

Og , figuring out what our body’s trying to tell us can be so maddening….I am sorry you’re struggling with IBS.
The tofu looks fabu, can’t wait to cook some up. pinned!

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Hilary March 15, 2012

I cannot believe that about the tea! I have IBS too and I drink a lot of tea as well … does all tea have tannins? Even caffeine free? I will go check online but very interesting tidbit!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery March 15, 2012

I’ve already commented on this post, but I wanted to let you know I altered the recipe using what I had on hand and used dill, herbamere, a little lime juice and olive oil on the tofu and it turned out FANTASTIC. So fresh, so light, so delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Teri Cummings March 15, 2012

What a wonderful sauce! I’m going to try it out this weekend in a Breakfast Tofu Scramble – I live in Portland, OR – the city with more tofu scrambles on the menus that people I think! I wonder how it would be with Tempeh as well…hmmm…

Thanks for all you do :-)

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Callie McBride March 15, 2012

Angela, my mom and I just made this for lunch and we LOVED it!
Also, on Saint Patrick’s Day I will be making your Peppermint Patty Green Smoothie…its like a healthy version of a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake! Thank you so much for always providing such great alternatives for vegans like us, it saves us so much time and frustration!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 16, 2012

Hey Callie, Im so happy to hear that you both enjoyed it! Enjoy the smoothie too.

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Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie March 15, 2012

Gorgeous photos! That dressing looks great. I agree that tofu is all about preparation :)

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Natasha March 15, 2012

looks absolutely delicious! Dill is one of my favorite herbs, so I’ll definitely have to make this soon :)

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles March 15, 2012

I’ve been hearing more and more accounts of managing stress as a way of curbing IBS. I definitely need to look into it lowering the anxiety!

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kath March 16, 2012

I am all over this recipe!! Great work!

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Tamara March 19, 2012

Hi Angela,

Thanks for another great recipe. May I ask what brand of mini-processor you use? I’m on the hunt for one myself and totally got lost in them all at Cayne’s!

Tamara
PS Enjoy Oakville! I’m not sure if you like theatre but Sheridan’s Musical Theatre program puts on amazing shows and they’re super affordable! Check them out :) (I don’t work for them but am in the biz and my sister goes there so that’s how I know)

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Hong Mei March 20, 2012

I made the lemon dill tofu last night and the crispy tofu strips tonight. My two daughters (2 and 9) hated the lemon dill tofu (more for my husband and I, we loved it) but loved the crispy tofu strips. My younger daughter had already eaten dinner when the strips were finished and when they came out of the oven she took one bite and then couldn’t even wait until they were properly cooled and gobbled down all the strips I had put on my plate for myself.
Her: wow, these are good.
Me: do you know what they are?
Her: of course I do, it’s tofu.
Me: just checking

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 20, 2012

thanks for sharing! So glad to hear that.

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Stephanee March 20, 2012

Perhaps you could replace green tea with herbal tea? I recently stopped drinking caffeine due to my anxiety and I have found that I really enjoy herbal tea. It has also done wonders for my anxiety!

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Maddie March 25, 2012

I finally got around to making this the other day. I put the leftovers in a sandwich and it was awesome.

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Trevor Waterman March 27, 2012

I’m also scared of Tofu but I think your idea’s are great. I especially like the chicken strip idea.

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greenthyme April 4, 2012

Angela, I just had this for dinner and so enjoyed it!! Great, great sauce! I’ve been so boring with my tofu lately and this was such a delicious meal! You’re great. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes like those crispy tofu strips!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 5, 2012

So glad to hear you enjoyed the tofu!

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greenthyme April 5, 2012

My husband, who is omnivorous as they come, even tried a bite….that is saying a lot! And he said, ooh this sauce is good. I didn’t make a big deal of it. I didn’t want to ruin the moment. Haha

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Gary May 17, 2012

We made this tonight. Lovely sauce. In addition to the tofu, I also slathered some over asparagus.

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Maggie May 29, 2012

I just used this dressing as for a chickpea salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and feta and it is delicious!

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janet @ the taste space June 20, 2012

Loved the dressing, Angela. I used it with pan-roasted chickpeas instead of tofu. They absorbed the dressing as leftovers but were great fresh from the pan! Thanks for sharing! :)

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Laura November 6, 2012

Just made this recipe for the first time! LOVED IT. Hands down the best tofu recipe I am yet to come across.. so healthy too! Definitely going to be sharing this with family and friends. Thanks!

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Katherine December 6, 2012

I just made this recipe. Only thing i did different was I froze the tofu and defrosted it first as I heard this helps to remove more liquid when pressing. I sliced the tofu into 1/4” thick triangles. My 8 year old son thought the sauce was too spicy with the raw garlic but ate up the tofu triangles, exclaiming they were like “little tofu cookies.” My two year old daughter offered up a “yum yum.” This is definitely one to work into regular rotation. Thank you Angela, for another winning recipe.

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Caitlin March 21, 2013

Just made this recipe. It’s good, but I made some changes. I found it very, very strong so I added a little agave, extra nutritional yeast. Also added a little arrowroot because it was a little thin. Overall tasty, but may be a little intense if you’re not into super sour dill.

I also put it on broccoli, very tasty.

Normally I bake tofu, marinaded in ginger, soy sauce and garlic marinade, but fried is so much faster.

Another note – you can dry fry tofu as well and get similar result. I like the added fat, but it isn’t 100% necessary.

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Nicole July 5, 2013

I recently discovered how much I love tofu, after being a non-tofu-eating vegetarian for a couple of years. When I first starting following your blog, I was so relieved that there were other non-meat eaters that didn’t eat tofu, either. Now I’m equally glad that we both eventually discovered the amazingness that is tofu, because this recipe just knocked my socks off. I served it over turmeric couscous and sauteed asparagus. :)

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Lena March 15, 2014

Great recipe! Will be trying it out tomorrow!
As for your IBS… Apologies for unasked advice, but my close friend had the same issue, she was trying to get her problem under control for years and not one doctor could tell her exactly what was the cause or triggers.
Until she was tested for gluten allergy. Believe it or not, as soon as she stopped eating gluten she never had issues again. She’s on gluten free life style for over a year now. And additional bonus of that was weight loss of 15 kg!
Maybe you have something similar?

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Kris March 26, 2014

I’ve never eaten anything like this! It’s so full of lemony dilly flavor! I ate it with some brown rice and was particularly generous with the dill. I haven’t been this blown away by a tofu recipe since General Tao’s tofu.

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Florence May 23, 2014

Awesome ! I made this for my father tonight. He is a hard core non vegetarian and was very skeptical when I told him it was tofu-based. But he loved it and told me i should do it again. :)

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CK May 27, 2014

Baaaaaah! I just LOVED this recipe – especially the dressing!! I made it tonight for dinner and still can’t get over how awesome it is. I’m new to your blog and have found several other recipes that I cannot wait to try! Like many have already stated, I too suffer from IBS and have turned to your blog as inspiration to eat a healthier, whole foods diet. Thanks for sharing your story Angela!

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Payton July 28, 2014

This looks awesome! i am going to try it with some angel hair pasta… mmmm.

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