My boyfriend Matt loves, LOVES, honey mustard anything. Period. Which, as we all know, is an issue for vegans. Honey does not sit well with us. So I made a point of creating honey mustard-esque dressings quite awhile ago to help him in his transition to veganism. I don’t know if honey mustard would have been the make it or break it point, but it sure wasn’t working in veganism’s favor that he couldn’t consume it! So, I came up with an awesome salad dressing using agave nectar. Needless to say, his veganism transformation went smoothly there on out (yeah, I’m fooling myself but still ). Eventually the salad dressing led me to create a marinade for tofu, which I later tried on tempeh. I personally think the marinade is even better on tofu than tempeh, but I know there are those out there that feel queasy at the mention of tofu (not to mention any names….Sara and Jo….oops it slipped out, sorry ). So rest assured this marinade works well for tempeh as well!
Agave Mustard Marinade
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp mustard (any kind will do, I prefer spicy brown mustard)
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
Firm (not silken) Tofu or a package of Tempeh
Whisk all ingredients together in the dish you will be marinating in. If you are using tempeh, be sure to cut into the size chunks you desire and boil in water for 10-15 minutes (helps in the digestion of the tempeh, I do this step every time I use tempeh–I also find it gives it a better flavor). Then just drain the water, let tempeh cool slightly and place in marinade. Regardless of whether it is tofu or tempeh, I always place the dish in the fridge.
**If you are only using HALF of an 8oz package of tempeh, then you only need half the marinade recipe. Obviously if you are using an entire 8oz package use the entire marinade recipe.
**If you are going to be using a FULL package of tofu (generally a pound), I recommend using a dish larger than 8×8. I find that when I use an 8×8 dish to marinade it only fits a half of a pound nicely. Plan accordingly!
I always freeze my tofu once I get home from the store (I freeze in it’s package), so I simply take out a package the night before I’m using it. It takes on a slightly spongy texture that readily absorbs marinade and has a nice texture when you’re eating it. Remember to press the tofu before placing in the marinade, otherwise the water will take the space for the marinade and it won’t absorb much, if any, marinade! I would recommend at LEAST 30 minutes of marinade time. I prefer 1-2 hours. You can always marinade overnight as well, but remember to plan ahead and remove tofu from the freezer if you freeze your tofu.
**I recommend flipping the tofu/tempeh halfway through the marinading time.
Since tempeh does not readily absorb marinade as well, I would recommend a longer marinade time. Overnight would be best but at least 2 hours would do.
After your tofu or tempeh is done marinating, you can bake it in the oven or “fry” it in a small amount of olive oil on the stove. I prefer to bake both the tofu and tempeh. If you fry in a small amount of oil, just cook until brown on both sides.
Bake at 350 Degrees F for a total of about 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet or with a silicon mat on the baking sheet. After 10 minutes in the oven, flip the tofu/tempeh over.
I like to serve the tofu or tempeh when I make wraps. I just cut up some veggies (generally carrots, onion, peppers, lettuce and spinach) and use an agave mustard dressing for dipping or for in the wrap itself (as Matt prefers). I actually like just a little Vegenaise in my wrap with all the veggies and tofu. Yummy!! It’s a very quick meal since nothing is cooked except for the tofu/tempeh. If you plan ahead and have the marinade ready before you go to work or school, all you will have to do is throw the tofu/tempeh in the oven while you prep veggies! I love this meal for summer months due to the minimal cooking and tons of fresh veggies!