this clever little recipe for baked tofu with coconutty kale, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms totally snuck up on me and quickly became one of my favorite things to make and eat for dinner. i shouldn’t be surprised, since it has spicy tofu, roasty mushrooms, and crispy kale, aka, a few of my favorite things that are not chocolate or ginger.
my first exposure to crispy kale was the surprise delight of the kale, fig, and gorgonzola pizza that i made last spring. raw kale is good in salads with acidic dressings to tame the bitterness but kale in the oven turns out to be a revelation (…to anyone who has never been on pinterest and seen the 1,396,247 recipes for kale chips… ahem.).
the kale’s bitterness seems to evaporate in the oven or something (editor’s note: that’s not even ‘fake science’, it’s just totally made up) and the kale comes out tasting like the dressing you put on it, but with the most shatteringly crisp texture. so. good. (yes, we’re still talking about kale here.)
as far as the roasty mushrooms, they’ve sent me down a roasted mushroom rabbit hole which will soon lead to a delicious soup appearing here. in the meantime though, we get to enjoy them here, where they add some savory depth to our tasty little bowl of healthy dinner.
and spicy tofu is just about my favorite protein. here, because we cook the tofu on a sheet pan in the oven, it gets nice and crispy without pressing the tofu (!) or messing with vats of oil. baking is generally my favorite way to cook tofu because the dry heat of the oven helps dry out the tofu and since we’re not opening the oven to flip the tofu every 3 minutes, it cooks undisturbed and remains much more intact than it does when cooked on the stove.
since we already have the oven on and a sheet pan dirty, we also roast the sweet potato, mushroom, and kale on the same pan, at the same time. this is weeknight dinner efficiency, right here. in the same vein, we also toast our coconut in the same pot we make our rice in, so we only have one sheet pan and one pot to wash.
despite the fact that my husband (aka, the washer of things that i won’t allow in the dish washing machine) likes any recipe that results in few dishes, he told me that he liked this recipe even *before* he saw how few dishes were awaiting him in the kitchen, so i’m pretty sure he actually just likes it. i know i sure do.