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Spice-Rubbed Tofu Steaks

These tofu steaks become pleasantly toothsome thanks to their time on the grill, and the flavorful smoky-sweet rub lends delicious dimension to a somewhat plainly flavored protein.

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Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Nutritional Bonus: Mostly thanks to the peppers, this recipe is an incredible source of vitamin C, with a single serving providing over 200% of your daily recommended intake. Did you know that vitamin C may minimize the effects of second-hand smoke? It’s been shown that when non-smokers consume it before being exposed to smoke, both free radical damage and LDL (bad) cholesterol oxidation associated with exposure to cigarette smoke are reduced.

Makes 3/4 cup. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup ground maple sugar flakes, 3 tbsp smoked paprika, 3 tbsp chile powder, 4 tsp granulated garlic powder (or regular garlic powder), 4 tsp granulated onion powder (or regular onion powder), 2 tsp fine sea salt and 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several months.

TRY IT: Rub it on beef, pork, chicken, seafood or vegetables.

Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
60 min
90 min


  • High-heat cooking oil (such as sunflower, safflower, peanut or grape seed oil), as needed
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp Smoky-Sweet Spice Rub, divided (recipe below)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into eighths
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into eighths
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tbsp no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar


  1. Cut tofu lengthwise into 6 slices total (whole pkg into 4 slices; 1/2 pkg into 2 slices) and pat dry with paper towel. Cut each slice in half diagonally, making 12 triangles. Arrange a few layers of paper towel in a baking dish, place tofu on top, then cover with a few more layers of paper towel. Place another baking dish on top and weigh down with a few heavy cans. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or covered in refrigerator for up to 1 day.
  2. Meanwhile, keeping root end intact, cut onion into 6 wedges; set aside.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high and lightly oil grate. Remove cans, additional baking dish and paper towels from tofu, rearrange tofu in dish and sprinkle with 2 tbsp Smoky-Sweet Spice Rub, rubbing it into both sides. Grill until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side; remove from grill. Add onion and peppers to grill until softened and lightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes per side; remove from grill. Grill tomatoes, skin side down, until softened and lightly charred, about 2 minutes; remove from grill. Transfer tofu, half of peppers and 4 onion wedges to a platter and cover to keep warm.
  4. Prepare Grilled Pepper Sauce: In a food processor, purée remaining peppers, 2 onion wedges and 2 tsp Smoky-Sweet Spice Rub with tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar. Serve tofu and vegetables with sauce on the side.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 3 tofu steaks, 2 pepper slices, 1 onion wedge, 5 tbsp sauce
  • Calories 191
  • Carbohydrate Content 17 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 8 g
  • Fiber Content 5 g
  • Protein Content 15 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 0.25 g
  • Sodium Content 230 mg
  • Sugar Content 8 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g