This recipe is sponsored by House Foods.
One of the best things about living in New Jersey is all the diners. No matter the time of day, you can count on a delicious, quality meal. Even though some of those deeper cuts on the menu might be tempting (beef wellington does sound pretty good for breakfast), I think it’s always best to go simple. One of my favorite diner orders—especially for lunch—is a BLT, and in New Jersey they are made with plump and flavorful Jersey grown tomatoes. Today I’ve decided to make a slightly healthier version of a Jersey BLT by swapping out the bacon for a delicious and nutritious alternative—tofu.
I’m partnering with House Foods on their 50 plates of tofu campaign—in honor of National Soyfoods Month! Each recipe incorporates tofu and is created with a regional dish or popular ingredient in mind. Tofu isn’t a boring health food, it’s a super versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet or savory dishes, either as the star of the show or a complementary piece of the whole.
For this New Jersey-inspired sandwich, I decided to replace the bacon in a traditional BLT with tofu because it’s lower in calories and cholesterol while still a great source of protein. Plus, it’s not hard to make tofu taste salty and smoky—similar to bacon. To do that, I sliced a block of House Foods firm tofu into thin strips, marinated it in my favorite barbecue sauce (to allow the tofu to absorb that mouth-watering smoky-sweet flavor), then cooked it up in a pan until crispy and browned! It worked!
If you’ve been hesitant to try tofu, start with this recipe. I’m convinced it’ll turn anyone into a tofu fan!
Loaded Tofu Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich
- 1 package House Foods firm tofu
- ½ cup smoky BBQ sauce
- 8 slices whole wheat bread
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce
- 2 medium ripe New Jersey tomatoes
- 1 medium avocado sliced
- Drain and dry the block of tofu with paper towels. Wrap the block of tofu in a thick layer of paper towels and place on a plate. Lay another flat-bottomed plate (or small cutting board) on top of the tofu and place a can or two of beans on the plate/cutting board to weigh down the tofu, which will help press excess moisture from it. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Cut the tofu into ½-inch-thick slices. Spread half of the BBQ sauce in a shallow baking dish. Lay the tofu slices in the dish and top with the remaining half of the BBQ sauce, tossing each slice to make sure all sides are coated. Let marinate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spread the marinated tofu on the baking sheet, reserving the remaining BBQ sauce for brushing. Bake for 25 minutes. Flip the slices, brush with the reserved BBQ sauce, and bake for 25 more minutes, until browned and crisp.
- Toast the bread. Layer 4 of the bread pieces with lettuce, sliced tomato, and avocado. Divide the sliced tofu among the 4 and top with the remaining 4 pieces of bread. Serve immediately.