ClassPass + Szechuan-Style Baked (Hemp) Tofu and Green Beans

By November 17, 2014 nourish No Comments

This month I’m getting the chance to try out ClassPass. What is ClassPass? It’s a monthly membership that allows you to try out different fitness studios and classes around your city (currently in NYC, LA, DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle). In other words, for $99 a month you get a gym membership that isn’t tied to one place. So you can take spin classes at one studio, yoga at another, martial arts at another… Amazing, right? Especially in a city like NYC with cool new boutique studios popping up every week.

There are some limitations, though. While you get to sign up for unlimited classes each month, you can only visit the same studio 3 times per monthly membership cycle. Also, while there are a ton of participating studios, you have to be okay with not always getting the classes you want each week. The studios can limit which classes and how many spots are available to ClassPassers. That said, even though I have been mildly frustrated about not being able to get into a couple of studios and classes that I’ve been dying to try, I’ve also gotten to try out some others that I’ve loved. 

I’ll be doing a full write up at the end of my month, but what I’ll say for now is that I’m going to have a hard time not continuing with ClassPass when this month is up. My only fear is that so many people will start signing up that the competition for limited class slots will begin to get unbearable. Hopefully CP will figure out a way to manage that.

Now on to a new yummy recipe I tried this week…

My friend Christine, my healthy foodie cosmic twin (and seriously amazing cook), gave me this Szechuan-Style Baked Tofu recipe that she had been raving about. While I do eat soy occasionally, I try to minimize how much I eat since it can be goitrogenic (aka not so good for those with a history of hypothyroidism). I’m always hesitant to make too many recipes featuring tofu in case it’s so good that I want to eat it more often than I should. 

Introducing: Hemp Tofu

When said friend also mentioned that she heard about hemp tofu, I hunted it down at Whole Foods. They didn’t have every variety listed on the Living Harvest website, but I grabbed 4 packages hopeful that it would become one of my new favorite protein source for main dishes. With 15g of protein per serving, along with being rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, the hemp tofu could make for a great main dish protein source.

As soon as I got home, I could not wait to try it out. I found the texture to be somewhere between tofu and tempeh – grainier, with seeds interspersed, less creamy and more likely to crumble (especially at the edges). As for taste, don’t grab yourself a pack thinking that it will taste just like soy tofu. It definitely has a nuttier flavor.

For Round 1, I had decided to slice and pan fry it as I would tempeh. I was taken off guard at first by the nutty taste but still found myself enjoying it over a spring mix tossed in lemon flax oil & salt, along with caraway sauerkraut. For Round 2, brunch the next day, I decided to make the hemp tofu as I would a regular tofu scramble. I sautéed it in a pan with coconut oil, breaking it up with a spatula into crumbles, and then added shiitake mushrooms, turmeric and salt, garnished with fresh parsley. Over some mixed lettuce, this was delicious. 

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Round 3 is my favorite so far. Ideally, it is best to marinate the tofu overnight (or at least for a few hours) for optimum flavor. This first time I did the recipe, however, I only marinated for 1.5 hours between coaching calls and it still turned out amazing. Note that for the second round in the oven after adding the sauce, you can cook longer than 10 minutes if you prefer a slightly crispier texture. It was just as yummy the next day as lunch leftovers. 

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Szechuan-Style Baked Tofu and Green Beans
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Marinade
  1. 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or tamari soy sauce)
  2. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  5. 1 pound extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes and patted very dry
Sauce
  1. 1/2 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
  2. 1 tablespoon nut butter or tahini
  3. 2 tablespoons rice wine
Green Beans
  1. 1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  2. 12 oz (1.5 cups) fresh green beans
  3. 1 teaspoon Coconut Aminos (or Tamari Soy Sauce)
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl combine the marinade ingredients. Gently stir in the tofu and coat well. Let marinate for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours. Cover and chill if longer than 30 minutes.
Baked Tofu
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the tofu and its marinade into a shallow baking dish in one layer. Bake for 15 minutes, tossing once with a spatula.
  2. Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the tofu. Toss to coat evenly. Return to the oven and bake 10 more minutes, or until golden brown. Let sit 10 minutes before serving; it should be served warm, not piping hot.
Green Beans
  1. Near the end of the tofu cooking time, or as it cools, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add in green beans and sauté until begin to soften, then add in coconut aminos. Cook until reach desired doneness (I like mine a little browned).
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