My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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spicy smoked maple tofu

Back with another recipe to get you out of the dinner rut you’re currently in.

Or is it just me?

I made this tofu recipe on a whim last week and decided it was too tasty not to share.

If you’re looking for a tofu pressing tutorial, check this post.  If not, carry on.

When the first batch of tofu was made last week, I paired it with buttered + salted quinoa. 

Tasty, but boring. 

If you’re looking for a sure fire way to cook tofu, I recommend broiling.  It’s the quickest and easiest method.  You just need to keep a close eye on it, to ensure it doesn’t burn.

During round two I made a few tweaks to the tofu and came up with a simple recipe that turns this into a full meal.

I’m a bit spinach-ed out at the moment and wanted something with a little more bite.

Curly kale can sometimes be a bit chewy and rough, so I chose lacinato [dinosaur] kale.  Curly kale is my go-to for kale chips, but lacinato kale is what I use for salads and sautéing.

The tofu is lightly crisped with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy, smoked flavor.

Then it’s mixed together with chewy rice and a sautéed kale mixture.

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Spicy Smoked Maple Tofu [entire recipe together yields 3-4]

  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 1.5T safflower oil
  • 1.5T maple syrup
  • 1T rice vinegar
  • 1/2t liquid smoke
  • 1/4t garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2t cayenne pepper
  1. Drain your tofu and cut into 8 equal slices.  Lay the slices out flat on a doubled over kitchen towel with another doubled over towel on top.  Lay a large cutting board on top and place a few heavy books on top. [tofu pressing how-to]
  2. Press for 25-35min.
  3. Preheat oven to broil with a rack on the top slats.
  4. Whisk all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
  5. Slice tofu into 1/4” wide strips or small squares.
  6. Place tofu in the large bowl with the wet ingredients and stir very gently until well coated.
  7. Lay tofu out on a parchment lined pan and broil for 4-8min, until golden brown with slightly darker edges.  Time varies depending on your oven.  Flip and broil for another 4-8min until golden brown.  Typically, the second side browns a bit faster.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Rice + Garlic Maple Kale

  • 4c cooked wild brown rice [1c dry + 2c water]
  • 8c lacinato kale, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1T safflower oil
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 2T rice vinegar
  • 2.5t garlic, minced
  • 1/2-3/4t salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne if desired
  1. Cook desired grain according to package directions.  You want 4c cooked.
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium.
  3. Add the onion and cook for 4-6min, until it starts to brown, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 30sec, until just starting to brown, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  5. Add the kale, maple syrup, rice vinegar, 1/2t salt and black pepper, stirring frequently for 2-3min.  The kale should be just starting to wilt.
  6. Add in the rice and stir to combine, for 1-2min.
  7. Gently mix in the tofu.
  8. Taste + add more salt and pepper [and/or cayenne] if desired.

Now I think we’re in need of a new dessert…



Reader Comments (53)

I love using maple to bake tofu with because it just adds a great flavor and gets a little bit caramel-ey...Your bowls look wonderful!

I love tofu, but it is so easy to get stuck in a rut with how you prepare it. I'll definitely be trying this out, it looks delicious! Combined with the kale it looks positively to die for, yum :)

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmilia

I can't eat tofu...but a local company makes tempeh from other beans (like jacob's cattle and black beans) and I think I could do the same sort of thing...because spicy smoked maple sounds too good to pass up!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlauren@spicedplate

Oh, I want that Rice! I am craving a big bowl of sticky-gooey, tasty rice and this looks like it would satisfy that!!!

This just looks absolutely incredible. I love that you put kale in this dish. I think it was such a good call!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate

This recipe looks so tasty!! It also looks like one I could take in my lunch too..dinner and lunch done...I'll take it! Thanks for sharing..have a great day!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

Yum! Looks great :)

I made Mama Pea's Tofu Dippers last night!! SO great! Making these with my next block - I love how small you sliced the pieces.

This looks delicious! I'm convinced that maple syrup makes everything better.

OMG, thank you! I will for sure be trying this!
I only have one variety of kale available in my area and it isn't labeled, so I'm not sure what kind it is, hmmm. And it comes chopped into smaller pieces so I can't really tell if it is curly. Any other way to tell?

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Excited to try this! Also, headed to WP for the weekend!! Can't wait for some skiing!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa

I wish I could find lacinato kale but I swear it just doesn't exist around here so I just deal with the bitterness in my salads.

I finally perfected the art of cooking tofu, and am going to be going on a crazy tofu rampage over the coming weeks. This recipe looks like a winner!
And really, I'm a sucker for any combination of tofu+veggies+grains in a bowl.

not a fan of tofu but dig the maple garlic kale idea!!!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkatie @KatieDid

I agree with Katie! I'm not the biggest tofu fan, but the kale sound tasty!! Love it Ashley! Im super impressed that you know which type of kale to use for which dish ;)

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam @ Bellaspire

I've definitely been in a cooking rut. Once the summer ends, I'm so excited to turn on the oven and get cooking. By this time of the year, I just want something warm and simple--like tofu, kale, and rice. Thanks, Katie!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKale Crusaders

They look like tofu fries! We love to broil our tofu & get that crisp outside, but I've never cut it into that shape before. I think this recipe will be up next for dinner!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa

I'm new to tofu so i love these recipes, keep them coming!

ugh, I need to use your tofu pressing how-to.. I can never get it crispy enough!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa @ Life of bLyss

I've tried baking but never broiling tofu. Gotta try! This looks awesome Ashley.

my crisper is overflowing with kale...and the maples are overflowing with syrup. perfect.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeirdre

This sounds delish. I just now discovered the wonders of liquid smoke, so I can't wait to whip this up!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate @ get up and flow

YUM. I am loving kale with everything these days... and as I've only recently acquired the taste for tofu, I haven't made my own at home yet! Can't wait to try on of these tofu recipes!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Beautiful! I am hooked on Kale and Tofu lately!

Oh my gosh, I just bought a bottle of liquid smoke simply because it confuses me and I don't know what to do with it... and here you are with a recipe including it!

Thanks girl. You [continually] rock my culinary world.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaley

I love the recipe, I recently tried smoked tempeh and I was impressed how good it tasted!

looks amazing! I loooooove anything with tofu and kale! Where do I get liquid smoke? I've heard good things about it

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

What a nutritious combo! Can't wait to try.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAli

Looks and sounds delicious. I love tofu and kale. Great combo!

I love how versatile tofu is, it's like a clean palate that you can add any number of flavor combinations and keep reinventing the result. This looks delicious and I love the rice + kale base that you mixed it with!

I can't believe you cut your tofu up into that many pieces - that's dedication. And I'm sure it is well worth the effort. Also, maple kale??! Yessss.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

This looks delicious! The combination of flavors you used sounds wonderful. I've been eating a lot of kale and a lot of tofu lately, but I'm getting a little tired of my usual recipes. This looks like just what I needed! I can't wait to give it a try!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

you make us want to give tofu a try with a delicious looking recipe that like!!! looks great Ashley!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPure2raw twins

This sounds and looks delicious. I like using lacinto kale for salads and cooking as well! I just imagined it with some toasted shredded coconut on top... or toasted pecans or almonds :) yummy


March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatharina

[...] Spicy Smoked Maple Tofu [...]

I use an organic, sprouted, non-GMO kind that I love! Other brands tend to give me some digestive issues, but this one does not! Nasoya also makes a sprouted version that I've tried as well!

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha, it only takes a minute and another minute to flip! Looks worse than it is. :)

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I found it at Whole Foods for under $2. I'm sure it's available many other places, but I'm not positive on where.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

One thing to know - a little goes a long way! But it's really great to add to anything that you want a smoky flavor on! ie: bean burgers, eggs, dressings, marinades, etc.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It tastes about the same, but takes 1/2 the time. :)

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I wasn't a big tofu fan until I started making it at home. When I've had it out at restaurants [typically Thai] it's never cooked all that well. I don't think they press it and they definitely don't bake or broil it to make it crispy.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Do you find curly kale bitter? I don't notice a difference in taste with lacinato and curly kale, but purple kale is super bitter!!!

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You can definitely use curly kale in this or whatever type is in that bag. :) I would just steer away from purple kale [looks purple-green] because it's pretty bitter.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

The small pieces give the best texture!

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes! I would just pan saute the tempeh, until brown on both sides! Broiling the tempeh will probably dry it out.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I don't know why I said bitter, totally meant chewy (like you said above. I find myself having to "massage" it for quite a long time to get past that and at a certain point it just gets a little weird to be man handling your greens that much!

This looks so freakin good! Can't wait to try it!

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFit Chick in the City

Looks delicious! I just made the tofu and my husband said it reminded him of French toast sticks. I thought it came out really good. I love how crispy it gets when broiled.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie Paquette

My mother in law thought tofu tasted like french fries when I made it at their house [diff. spices]! She loved it. :)

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Made this for lunch and put it in my Hugh Jass Salad. This will be a regular, it is AWESOME!! Keep the high protein options coming! Any chance you will be switching to Recipage anytime? I tried to use your print button but I don't have a google account so it wouldn't let me. Back to copying and pasting I go.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

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