Cold, rainy winter days got you feeling a bit blue? Missing warmer weather and backyard bbqs? I know I am! To combat the chilly, winter wind whipping relentlessly around my hilly neighborhood the past few days, I decided a quick ode to the beloved summer picnic was overdue and kept this baked bbq tofu dish simple by utilizing ingredients already in my pantry/fridge. The wifey requested macaroni salad so that’s what I went with but really any favorite side dish, such as roast potato wedges or sauteed vegetables, will do.
1 pkg extra firm nonGMO organic tofu, pressed and cubed
1 cup Stubbs Smokey Mesquite bbq sauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp Penzeys BBQ 3001 seasoning
1-2 cups cooked macaroni noodles
1 cup chopped mixed vegetables such as carrot, celery, bell pepper, and cucumber
1 bulb black garlic, skins removed and discarded
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayo, or add more for a creamier dressing
1/4 tsp raw sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste
1 tsp Dijon mustard, or to taste
salt and pepper as needed
In a covered mixing bowl, gently toss the cubed tofu with the grapeseed oil and bbq seasoning until well coated. Set aside to marinate 30 minutes to overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a Ninja or blender add the black garlic, yogurt, mayo, red wine vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Blend until well combined adding a bit of water, if desired, to thin out the dressing. Alternately, add more mayo or yogurt if you prefer a creamier pasta salad. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the cooked macaroni, chopped vegetables, and black garlic dressing and stir until the pasta and vegetables are well coated in the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Cover and chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
Remove the tofu from the marinade and place on a lightly oiled aluminum lined sheet pan. Bake in the oven about 20 minutes, or until tofu has just started to firm. Remove tofu from the oven and baste with the bbq sauce on all sides. Return tofu to the oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until tofu is very firm and slightly crisp around the edges.
Warm the remaining bbq sauce in a microwave safe bowl until just heated through, maybe 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Toss the baked tofu in the extra sauce. Serve immediately with the pasta salad.