Baked Tofu with Mushroom Rice Pilaf

So I must admit.. I’ve been holding out on ya’ll…
Yeah, that’s right. This blog post has been hanging out for over 2 months now.. yep two (2) months. I know I know… but it’s here now so all must be forgiven..right? 
Well regardless, I know all you with “cleaning up the diet” as your New Years resolution will appreciate this dish. At least all of you aren’t mad at me. 
I came up with this recipe when I came home for Thanksgiving all the way back there in 2011. I grew up where my parents still currently live, in a small beach community on the north side of Boston. The town is literally no more than 3.5 miles small and is completely stretched across the fishing beaches of Massachusetts. It is truly a beautiful place, and I know I am more than blessed for having my childhood there. The pictures below are of the waves roaring on the drive north into town. The pictures barely do the waves any justice at how big they are, but just try to imagine the road is about 1 story above the beach, and the waves are hitting the walkways at street level. 

Okay okay so back to dinner. I made a side of steamed broccoli for my family that was not eating my meal. I’m not going to include that in my instructions, but heres a picture anyways!

What you need:
1 Package firm or extra firm tofu
2 Tbsp. olive oil or oil of choice
2 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 Tbsp. Garlic powder/salt
1 tsp. Freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp. Freshly ground salt
2 Cups of salad greens ( I did Kale and spring mix)
1 Package of your favorite rice (I used a flavored instant wild grain and quinoa blend, but if you want to do normal rice, plan your time accordingly and add more of the above seasonings to zest it up)
1 Package of dried gourmet mushrooms (typically some sort of shiitake and porchini blend so if you would prefer to use fresh mushrooms pick these)
2 Cups mushroom broth
2 Cups water

What you need to do:
Preheat your oven to 375.
Read the instructions on your rice, and plan to cook accordingly- the tofu with take 45 minutes in the oven and you need your rice about 10 minutes before the tofu is ready.
Drain your tofu and pat dry.
Cut into thick strips and pat dry again.
Arrange your slices in a roasting pan or a pan with higher edges.
Drizzle your olive oil over the tofu and flip to give a light coat.
Sprinkle your seasonings over the tofu and flip to coat.
Place your tray in the oven and cook for 20 minutes (about half your total cook time).
After the first 20 minutes, flip your tofu and bake for the remaining 20-25 minutes.
Note: Depending on your oven, you may need to flip your tofu even more often to prevent burning, so check it every 10 minutes and flip to cook each side if necessary.
Immediately after your tofu is placed in the oven, bring your water and mushroom broth to a light boil and add your dried mushrooms.
The mushrooms need at least 30 minutes, and sometimes 40 to rehydrate fully.
After your rice and mushrooms are ready, bring a large pan to medium heat.
Add your rice to your pan.
Using a strainer spoon transfer your mushrooms directly from the broth to the rice pan.
Add about two cups of the brothy water to your rice and mushroom mixture.
Cook until your tofu is finished.
Taste your rice mixture and if it is lacking flavor add more of the tofu seasonings to liven it up.
To serve, pile fresh greens on the base of your plates, next the rice, and finally top with 3 slices of tofu.

Have you ever used dehydrated mushrooms before?
Do you like baked tofu? If so, how do you typically cook it?
Baked Tofu with Mushroom Rice Pilaf

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