Recipe ReDux: Smoky Barbecue Tofu with Healthy Slaw

I just returned from a beautiful trip to Costa Rica.

costa rica sunset

The food there was surprisingly delicious because it included an abundance of fresh summer ingredients, such as papaya, pineapple, and watermelon. Since it’s winter in NY, I can’t get any local summer produce like I did in Costa Rica. But this month’s Recipe ReDux gave me an idea for how I can continue my summer eating style in the dead of winter: barbecue! January’s Recipe ReDux challenge is to “Show us the healthy dish you’re heating up with smoke and/or spiciness.” I originally wanted to make my own marinade featuring smoked paprika, but I went to 3 different grocery stores and I couldn’t find smoked paprika anywhere! So, I figured its best to omit this hard to find ingredient because my faithful readers wouldn’t be able to find it either. Instead, I opted for this McCormick barbecue seasoning. It’s a bit salty, so I don’t recommend using if you have any health conditions (such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure).

bbq seasoning

But the salty, sweet, smoky flavor of this seasoning gave the tofu a wonderful smoky taste! And what barbecue is complete without slaw? Slaws are traditionally made with cabbage, which are winter vegetables, so this recipe definitely bridges that gap between summer and winter. I omitted the fatty mayo in my slaw, so eat as much as you want!

*This recipe can also be made vegan with the omission of the honey.

tofu cooked v2

Makes 4 servings


For tofu:

1 block of extra firm tofu

juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning

cooking spray

For slaw:

½ Small head of red cabbage

½ Small head of green cabbage

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

⅓ cup vegetable or canola oil

½ teaspoon honey


  • Dry out the tofu using the plate method (read the second bullet point).
  • Prepare the marinade by whisking together lime juice, vegetable oil, and barbecue seasoning in a small bowl.tofu marinade
  • Cut tofu into 2 inch slices. Drench each slice with marinade.
  • Let tofu marinate for at least 30 minutes or longer (it can marinate overnight).tofu marinating
  • While the tofu is marinating, start to prepare the slaw. Cut each ½ head of cabbage into thin slices and place in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, oil, and honey in a small bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage. Cabbage is very crunchy and will not get soggy, so it’s okay to dress the cabbage right away. It will stay crunch for a few days.
  • When ready to cook the tofu, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place tofu slices on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on 1 side, then flip and bake 10 minutes on the other side. Each side should be crispy.

tofu plate

Nutrition Notes:

  • One cup of cabbage has over 50% the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. That’s your best defense for winter colds.
  • One cup of raw cabbage has only 22 calories and is loaded with fiber. The fiber will help keep you regular, keep cholesterol down, and leave you feeling fuller longer.
  • A ½ cup of tofu contains 10g of protein, making it one of the best sources of vegetarian protein.
  • Tofu is high in protein and low in calories.  A ½ cup of tofu contains 10g of protein and only 95 calories, while 95 calories of beef contains only 8g of protein.

More Costa Rica pictures (just for fun):

IMG_3606 IMG_3614 IMG_3591 IMG_3618 IMG_3629 IMG_3644 IMG_3653 IMG_3647 IMG_3628IMG_3632


  • Reply
    Anne|Craving Something Healthy
    January 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I love Costa Rica and baked tofu! Great idea 🙂

    • Reply
      Nutrition a la Natalie
      January 21, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Costa Rica was amazing. The sunset looked like that every night. It was sad to leave!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    How upsetting that you couldn’t find smoked paprika!! I got mine from World Market – they have a surprisingly great spice section. Either way, this tofu looks mighty tasty, and your Costa Rica picture is lovely 🙂

    • Reply
      Nutrition a la Natalie
      January 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks! Sometimes grocery shopping in NYC is not always easy. The markets are really small and have a limited selection. I’m going to be on the look out for it everywhere now! Costa Rica really was lovely, and the sunsets are unreal.

  • Reply
    Katherine Baker
    January 21, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Mmmmm!!! I love tofu and have been looking for new ways to enjoy it. This is so perfect thank you so much !

  • Reply
    A High Protein Snack: Crunchy Chickpeas Two Ways | Nutrition à la Natalie
    April 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    […] ways, one with salt and pepper and one with a dried spice BBQ seasoning that I use for tofu. A great snack for meat eaters and vegans alike, these Crunchy Chickpeas can be eaten alone or […]

  • Reply
    April 9, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Back from Costa Rica? Lucky girl! Smoked tofu is my favorite so I’ll enjoy this tofu dish but I’ll serve it with a warm side-dish 🙂

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