For whatever reason, a few days ago I got the urge to wrap something in zucchini strips (don’t we all?). My mom had also requested I make a cabernet marinara sauce, like her mama used to. Unfortunately, we don’t have Grandma’s cabernet marinara recipe, so I just adapted the pizza sauce recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance.
I had some tofu in the fridge and not much else, so this dish was born. It looks super fancy and tastes awesome, but is actually pretty easy to make.
For the Lemon-Pepper Tofu (based off this recipe):
1 block extra firm tofu
5 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or tamari sauce, or soy sauce)
1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 TBSP olive oil
For the Cabernet Marinara (based off VWAV pizza sauce)*:
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
few grinds fresh black pepper
1/4 C cabernet sauvignon
1 (15-oz) cans tomato (I used canned chopped tomato)
1 medium zucchini – don’t get one that’s too fat or it’ll be hard to peel the slices once you get close to the middle of the squash.
Press the tofu. Cut into eight 1/2-inch slices, and cut each slice in half to make 16 squares. Place side by side in a wide, shallow dish (I use a 9×9 glass baking pan).
Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour evenly over the tofu. Let marinade for at least an hour and up to overnight, turning once.
Preheat oven to 400F. Remove tofu from marinade and set on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Now is a good time to slice your zucchini and start the marinara sauce.
Take a vegetable peeler and shave thin slices down the length of the zucchini. Set aside.**
For the marinara sauce: in a medium-large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Saute the garlic for about 2 minutes, being careful not to burn. Stir in the oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper, crushing the dried herbs between your fingers as you add them. Add the red wine and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until liquid has reduced by 1/2. Stir in the tomatoes. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.
After the tofu has been baking for 20 minutes, remove from oven, flip, and let cool for about 5 minutes. Wrap each square with a strip of zucchini, making sure it overlaps a bit on the bottom. If your strips are too long, you can rip them down to the length needed as you wrap the tofu. Bake for 10 more minutes.
To serve, plate the tofu and top with a spoonful of sauce. Enjoy!
*This recipe makes way more than you need for this dish. Save the rest and use over pasta with vegan meatballs (recommend: wheatballs from Vegan on the Cheap) or whatever else you might want to do with it!
**Don’t throw out any zucchini scraps you mess up or don’t use! You can use it later in a green smoothie, zucchini pesto, or make some sort of veggie dip. Zucchini is high in protein, so it makes things creamy when pureed.