BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

All-Purpose Eats

23 Comments

Patience is not one of my strengths, as any members of my family could attest, and this painfully slow, barely visible advancement of spring is driving me mad. Bolting up and out of bed upon spying little green buds through my bedroom window, I race downstairs to assess the weather… Only to discover yet another clammy, grey morning laying in wait. Feeling thoroughly ambushed by this disappointment, it’s difficult to know how best to displace that negative emotion. Typically taking to the kitchen and channeling frustrations and joys alike into something edible, the lack of seasonal produce has made even that a daunting task at times. So, let’s talk about season-less food, because it’s not all frozen or found in an aluminum can.

One could argue that potatoes are best harvested in the cooler months, but unlike so much other produce, these tubers keep so well and for so long, that they’ve effectively lost their seasonality through modernization. Unless you’re growing your own spuds (and more power to you, in that case) anyone and everyone should have easy access to dozens of varieties, all year round. Having them at the average cook’s disposal for 365 days of the year has led them to morph and mutate into dishes appropriate for any occasion, hot and cold, rich and light- You name it, there’s a potato for that.

And so I land at the recipe, with what some might find a boring, nothing-special baked potato. However, I have yet to meet a single soul who could claim to dislike such a dish, so that sounds pretty darned special to me. The real take-away from this piece though are the tofu croutons. If nothing else, ‘taters or not, you’ve got to give those crispy, savory, and somewhat salty little toppers a go. Plus, if you happen to be lucky enough to enjoy a more cooperative spring, you could just as well pile them on top of fresh, seasonal salads. As for me… I’ll just keep enjoying those potatoes a bit longer.

Loaded Baked Potatoes with Tofu Croutons

Crispy Tofu Croutons:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 14-Ounce Package Extra-Firm Tofu, Drained and Pressed for 30 Minutes

Baked Potatoes:

4 Medium Baking Potatoes, Such as Russet

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 – 3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Soy Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Pinch Sweet Paprika
2 Scallions or a Handful of Fresh Chives, Thinly Sliced
1 Cup Roughly Chopped Steamed Broccoli
1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Roasted Peppers
Vegan Cheddar “Cheese” (Optional)
Avocado, Diced (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a resealable plastic container, combine the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and stir well.

Cut your tofu into very small cubes, about 1 cm each, keeping them as uniform as possible to ensure even baking. Place them in the container with the marinade, seal the container, and shake gently to coat the cubes in the mixture. Let rest until the oven comes up to temperature.

Transfer the tofu cubes and excess marinade to your prepared baking sheet, and spread them out into one even layer. Bake for 60 – 75 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until evenly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare your potatoes by washing them and cutting a slit into the top of each, to vent the steam. Place them in the oven alongside your tofu, and check for doneness at about 60 minutes. The skins will be slightly crispy, and they should be fork tender on the inside.

Let the potatoes cool for at least 10 minutes, and then scoop out the insides, leaving a thin layer of potato around the skins so they don’t collapse. Place them in a medium bowl, along with the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of soy milk, the salt, and paprika. Use a potato masher or fork to break up the potato and incorporate the other ingredient. Don’t overdo it, a little bit of chunkiness is perfect! If necessary, add more soymilk until it reaches your desired texture, and then add in the scallions, broccoli, and roasted peppers. Mix well to combine. Spoon the mashed potatoes back into the skins, and top with the tofu croutons. Finish off with a sprinkle of vegan “cheese” and/or diced avocado, if desired.

Serves 4

Printable Recipe

Recipe originally written for Nasoya tofu

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

23 thoughts on “All-Purpose Eats

  1. You should come visit the South. We went got through spring in about three weeks, and we seem to be on to summer now … Your tofu croutons sound amazing. Thanks!

  2. Boy am I with you on the Spring thing! It’s taking forever and teasing mercilessly. Food to the rescue, at least we can amuse ourselves with yummy creations. Love the green flecks in the filling.
    xo
    Eco Mama

  3. Spring seems to have finally arrived (and hopefully will stay) where I live.
    These potatoes sound delicious. Potatoes are a great dish

  4. I absolutely enjoy potatoes year round, but haven’t yet made the switch this year to warm-weather potato dishes. Therefore, a hot & comforting loaded baked potato sounds wonderful to me… especially topped with those crispy tofu croutons!

  5. Potatoes always make for a great side dish

  6. I know exactly what you mean with the weather deal, it is the same here. This is whole new dimension and meaning to the baked potatoes. Brilliant, I mean tofu croutons. Just perfect.

  7. Nothing better than a fluffy baked potato. Except a fluffy baked potato with tofu croutons!

  8. Girl, I oh so definitely feel your pain. Every morning that I wake up to gray skies is another sad sad morning. But these potatoes seem like they would brighten things up a bit!

  9. Sorry about those gray mornings. We had some of those again then what do you know. This morning was bright and sunny!
    Baked potatoes are such a comfort food and yours look absolutely perfect!

  10. Beautiful. I love the idea of the tofu croutons!

  11. Yum! What a great recipe!

    Takes me back to my childhood…but without the animal suffering :)

  12. Those tofu croutons look awesome, I especially love the small size! I can see those topping any number of dishes. :-)

  13. Those tofu croutons look so crispy and delicious! A perfect topping for baked potatoes!

  14. How in the world have I gone this many years without tofu croutons? There is no excuse to not have these every time I eat. I’m always looking for a good source of protein. Seriously, how did I miss this. Ms. Hannah I will be making these asap.

  15. I can definitely get behind tofu croutons! And while it may be slow, Spring IS heading your way. I know this, because where I am, it’s getting colder and darker all the time!

  16. I agree with you about being hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like a tasty potato dish like this…potato dishes really are crowd-pleasers! And your tofu croutons really make the dish special, I definitely want to try that!

  17. The potatoes look delish! Yum! Sorry your spring has been coming on slow. I hope you have less gray days and more sunshine and buds!

  18. Like the idea of loading potato with tofu…beautiful picture as well. Hope you have a wonderful week Hannah :-)

  19. Potato with tofu croutons? wow…I adore the idea. They sound freaking good together.

  20. Love the idea of tofu croutons — you are such a genius =D

  21. Yummy! I ate a lot of baked potatoes during my pregnancy. My stomach couldn’t handle much. I wish I had this version because this has protein from the tofu which I needed since I couldn’t stand to eat meat at the time.

  22. Pingback: Coconut flour pancakes and an Announcement | tea and chocolate

  23. Tofu croutons! How fun. I love all the extra veggies you stuffed into the potato.

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