Add anti-inflammatory sesame seeds to your lunch or dinner routine with this easy and delicious vegetarian tofu recipe.
Sesame and other seeds are storehouses of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. And while it may be easy to sprinkle them on yogurt and cereal or add to a smoothie, there are other ways to include them in your diet. This sesame-crusted tofu recipe offers a great way to add seeds to your lunch or dinner. Sesame seeds contain a compound called sesamin, which may help reduce joint pain in people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee by protecting the cartilage.
To make this recipe you will need a knife for slicing, a bowl, plate and a non-stick skillet.
Nutrition information (per serving)*: Total Fat (9g); Carbohydrates (8g); Sodium (359mg); Sugar (3g); Fiber (3g); Cholesterol (0mg); Protein (13g)
1 lb. firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup nonfat milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp. dried breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. sesame or canola oil
12 green onions, ends trimmed, cut in half crosswise, then halved again lengthwise
1. Cut and brown the tofu
Cut the tofu crosswise into 12 slices. Place the cut tofu in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to plate to cool.
2. Make the milk mixture
In a bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper until blended.
3. Make the sesame seed mixture
On a large plate, combine the breadcrumbs, white and black sesame seeds and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and mix well.
4. Dip the tofu in the mixtures
Dip tofu slices into milk mixture, then dredge in sesame seed mixture.
5. Cook the breaded tofu
In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat and cook tofu slices, turning once, about 3 minutes. Transfer 3 tofu steaks to each of 4 plates.
6. Sauté green onions and serve
Sauté green onions in a pan for 3 to 4 minutes to use as garnish. Serve immediately with low-sodium soy sauce.
Note: this recipe is excerpted from The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook (Oxmoor House, 2004).
Ingredient Tips & Benefits
- Sesame seeds may seem quite basic, but they’re loaded with health benefits. From reducing heart disease risks to lowering blood sugar and even providing fiber, protein and antioxidants, they’re small but mighty. Sesame seeds and their oil may also have anti-inflammatory effects, which is helpful for managing arthritis symptoms.
- Tofu is a low-calorie food that is high in protein, contains all the essential amino acids and has a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Tofu is made from soybeans, which have natural plant compounds called isoflavones that may provide a variety of health benefits, such as reducing heart disease, diabetes and cancer risks.
- To extract as much excess water as possible from the tofu, wrap in a cloth or paper towel and place a heavy cookbook, cutting board or cast-iron skillet on top for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pat dry with a fresh towel and you’re ready to prep and cook.
*Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided is approximate and based on USDA measurements. Actual amounts may vary based on exact ingredients used, how they are prepared and serving size.
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