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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Low carb, high protein snack foods

If I titled the post Tofu Jerky, would you have bothered to read?  Thought not.

It's been a bazillion years since I made this, and I forgot how much I actually like it.  Granted, you gotta like jerky in general.  But let me tell you, the kiddos are loving it...their gateway into the world of truck stop food :D  And it doesn't need refrigerated (which a lot of low-carb snack foods do).

The trick here is to press as much water out of the tofu as possible first so that it takes up as much marinade as possible.  That means this is a 3 step process (press, marinate, bake) and none of those steps are short ones.  So make a lot at once to make it worth your while.  Also, slice the tofu as thin as you can manage to get a better finished product and to shorten up the baking time...more thickness means more moisture means longer baking. 

If you have a food dehydrator, you can use that too instead of baking or Alton Brown had some kind of jerky-making set-up involving a box fan and an A/C filter that you can try, if you're so inclined.

Tofu Jerky
Makes about 40 pieces

2 14 oz. blocks extra-firm tofu, drained
2/3 cup soy sauce (low-sodium)
1/2 cup liquid smoke
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sweetener (sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup or artificial sweetener)
2 tsp - 2 tbsp coarse ground black pepper

Wrap the tofu blocks in paper towels and put in a colander in the sink.  Put a brick or other weight (something flat that won't leave indentations) on the tofu to press them down.  Leave at least 8 hours or overnight.

Mix soy sauce, liquid smoke, water, onion powder, garlic powder and sweetener together.  Slice tofu as thinly as possible, no more than 1/4" thick, but thinner if you can manage.  Lay as many of the tofu strips as you can in a baking dish (I got half in one layer).  Pour some (half) the marinade over the tofu,and sprinkle with some (half) of the pepper.  Lay down more strips, laying them crosswise so no two strips are stacked directly on top of each other.  Pour more marinade over and sprinkle with more pepper.  Repeat until all tofu is covered.  Leave at least 8 hours or overnight, refrigerated.

Heat your oven to its lowest setting (usually 175F or 200F).  Put tofu strips in a single layer on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (I needed two quarter-sheet pans).  Bake 4-6 hours, turning strips every hour until they are chewy and firm.  If some strips are done before others, pull them off and keep baking the remainder. Pin It

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