Tofu is pretty plain and boring in its raw form…but it’s the perfect flavor sponge to soak up all sorts of seasonings! Its mild, earthy taste works especially well with savory, umami flavors, like sesame oil and salty soy sauce. Combine them in a simple marinade, and you can infuse their umami goodness into these baked sesame tofu cubes!
Tofu can be cooked in all sorts of ways, from pan-seared to scrambled to fried. And, unlike animal proteins, it’s even safe to eat raw. You can blend tofu up in a smoothie for a protein boost, or use it as a creamy element in vegan desserts! Yet, some people don’t enjoy or won’t try tofu because of its soft, mushy texture. (Often, even after it’s been cooked.)
But, these baked sesame tofu cubes might change your mind… After some time in the oven, they become deliciously crisp—perfect for munching, as part of a vegan Buddha bowl, a vegan poke bowl, or served however you like!
Packing Protein into a Vegan Lifestyle
On a totally vegan, plant-based lifestyle, quality sources of protein are crucial. But, they can be hard to come by. Now, many plant-based foods contain quality proteins that we can use as fuel. But, some foods are better sources of protein than others, with a higher protein content and more essential amino acids.
In general, animal proteins are considered the highest quality protein sources because they contain more protein per serving than most foods, and they contain all nine essential amino acids. But, tofu is a surprisingly rich source of protein. In just one serving of these baked sesame tofu cubes, there’s a whopping 16 grams of protein!
And, tofu is one of the few plant-based protein sources that contains all nine essential amino acids. While the body can make some (nonessential) amino acids on its own, there are nine essential amino acids that the body can’t synthesize on its own. So, we have to get them from our diet, which is trickier on a vegan lifestyle.
Luckily, tasty recipes like these baked sesame tofu cubes make it easier! Not just because you get a hearty dose of protein, but also because you’re giving your body all nine of the essential amino acids that it needs. And, just like the marinade in this recipe, you can explore other sauces and flavorings to try with tofu so it never gets boring!
Low Carb Baked Sesame Tofu?
Unlike animal proteins, tofu and other plant-based proteins also contain dietary fiber! That fiber can help to keep us feeling full and keep our digestive system healthy. But, tofu is a particularly unusual plant-based protein source because it’s also rich in dietary fats, rather than carbohydrates like beans and lentils.
It’s an awesome option for low carb vegan recipes! In a 4-oz serving of baked sesame tofu, there are 20 grams of satiating fat and only 6 grams of net carbs! Cutting your tofu into cubes helps it to crisp up more in the oven, and the bite-sized pieces are perfect for low carb vegan snacking.
But, you could also use these baked sesame tofu cubes as a protein component in all sorts of plant-based meals. Try them on top of a vegan Buddha bowl with your favorite grain, veggies, and dressing! Or, keep your vegan lunch low carb with a base of greens or roasted vegetables. A versatile recipe that you can use in your vegan meal prep over and over—in new ways!