Not only was it a great pleasure to have my college-aged daughter home for a stretch of time this summer, but it proved to be highly convenient too. Photos of me and my classes, I’ve been told, are somewhat lacking on my website and she kindly offered to fix that problem.

Below are some shots of a recent cooking class. This particular class was designed to meet the interests of the attendees: healthy, gluten-free and family friendly, plant-based recipes. As always, my goal was to provide a fun, delicious and educational experience. With that in mind, we made a Sesame Noodle Salad with Baked Tofu served over a Marinated Kale . First we processed the Sesame Peanut Dressing.


Beantown Kitchen Class


And then we moved on to the part of the class that some call life-changing: Massaging the Kale.


Beantown Kitchen - Massaging Kale


Seriously though…kale in its raw form has a tough and chewy texture and it tastes somewhat grassy, bitter and spicy. Give it a little marinade therapy and it becomes a whole other thing..light, tender and delicately flavored.


I assembled the salad.


Diana Beantown Kitchen



We baked some gluten-free Chocolate Chip cookies, too.


Beantown Kitchen- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


So here it is, one of my very favorite recipes for tofu. It is crispy, flavorful and simple to prepare. And best of all, it is rich in protein.

Crispy Baked Tofu


1 package extra-firm tofu

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Press* the tofu for about 15 minutes.

While the tofu is pressing, preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment-paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Slice the pressed tofu into cubes. Toss to coat in the marinade.

Spread the tofu out on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Use a spatula to turn the tofu to another side. Bake for an additional 15-20 until lightly crispy and golden.


* I use a gadget called TofuXPress. It is hard to fathom how a few pieces of plastic and a metal coil can cost $39.95, but it’s been well worth it. I use it frequently and it really does transform the tofu. Here is a good alternative to a store-bought press: 1) Wrap the tofu in paper towels and then a clean dish cloth. Place it on a plate or cutting board and then pile some heavy books on top. 2) Leave it for about 20 minutes. Either way, the goal of squeezing water out of the tofu will be reached. Removing water from the tofu greatly enhances its flavor absorption and texture.


Happy and healthy September to you all!


With warmest wishes xo,



2015 Beantown Kitchen- Reprint only by permission of the author

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