$5 Dinner: Smoked Tofu Loaf

>> 3.29.2012

Another $5 dinner for two tonight. This time, a tofu loaf. Of course, if you aren't vegetarian or very pro-tofu, it might sound strange or not terribly appetizing. I assure you skeptics, though, it's worth a try. The tofu soaks in all the flavors of the vegetables and spices.


DOLLARS AND CENTS:

Tofu: $1.99
Oats & almonds: $1.00
Onions, carrot, mushrooms: $1.00
Condiments/spices/oil: $.50

TOTAL: $4.50

Of course, these are mere approximations. But I always tend to shoot high. Plus, if you don't eat as much as we do, you could easily get two dinners out of it. So, you still have money left for some mashed sweet potatoes on the side!


SMOKED TOFU LOAF

What you'll need . . .
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cooking onions (small), chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained & pressed
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted almonds
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spritz a 5" x 9" glass loaf pan with some olive oil.
  2. Drain your tofu and cut into about 5 pieces. Press with paper towels to get out as much moisture as possible. Set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat your olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and carrots, thyme, paprika, and brown sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.
  4. Add mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from heat and leave in the pan for the time being.
  5. In a food processor, pulse the almonds and rolled oats until they resemble coarse meal. Then add your tofu, ketchup, salt, and pepper. Pulse until mixture is smooth.
  6. Then pour tofu mixture into the pan with the onions and carrots/etc. and mix well.
  7. Pour this mixture into your glass baking pan -- spread evenly.
  8. Then bake for 45 minutes until firm. You may wish to bake longer depending on how solid you'd like the loaf to be.
In other news, we've successfully stuck to our $50 a week grocery budget for the last two weeks. I can't even begin to describe how accomplished I feel being able to share that with you all. It's definitely not easy, but it's much less difficult now that we're learning which meals work and which don't. I plan to give some more specifics soon, but just wanted to put it out there.

OTHER $5 MEALS:

Lemon-Garlic Pasta with Asparagus and Caramelized Onions

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