Protein is awesome. Hell, that word itself is pretty much the constituent of all that we are and all that helps us to be who we are and do what we do. So do you need protein in your diet for more than just muscles? Absofreakinglutely. While protein, in particular, complete proteins, are of incredible value to us, it can take away some value from your wallet. That stuff can be expensive but I have a nice affordable, anyone-can-do-this-no-fail way, that you can get in a few high protein meals for under $5.
What you will need is the following:
An oven set to 425 degrees
A baking sheet
Butter (small chunk is about $3)
Cinnamon (no name little bag is about $2)
Brown Sugar (buy the smallest no name brand for about $3)
Tofu (you can get a slab of this stuff at the local grocery store but I typically get mine at the Loblaw’s near me and this is what I am going by) which costs under $5 and will give you at least 3 protein meals or snacks. In comparison, 3-4 chicken breasts typically are priced more than double that price and can get boring to eat.) That is the actual brand and kind I use for reference. The other ingredients are not included in my price in the title as many have these already and well, they are not the protein food 😉
Cut about 1 tbsp of butter from the brick and use it to butter the baking sheet. So now what you will do after heating up your oven, you will drain the tofu. Be sure to keep it in tack as a big brick. I do this by simply poking a few holes into the lid and turning it upside down over the sink.
In a small bowl, mix up 1/2 cup of brown sugar with 1.5 tsp of cinnamon. Sometimes I like to add a bit of vanilla and nutmeg but I didn’t the last time I made this for a client so that’s not included here. Melt about 1 tbsp of butter and pour it into the mix. This will be your marinade that you will now rub over the brick of tofu. The marinade is not really going to ‘stick or stay’ so to speak, and that is normal. You will be re-spreading it as you cut the tofu and once it is placed on the baking sheet.
Peel off the top of the tofu container and place the brick onto a plate. Take a very sharp knife and cut the tofu into thin slices. Thin slices are super important as it makes it more like a crispy chip snack. Place those slices evenly onto the baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets or you can simply cook only half of the package at a time).
Rub or ‘sprinkle’ the remaining, or the particles of the marinade that fell off, onto the tofu slices. You may or may not need a bit more of brown sugar and cinnamon but that is a preference. To be honest, I used the sugar simply to make it more palatable for her so she will actually eat. You do as you wish. By the way, it did work and she liked it so much she did end up eating it all. That is a great feat I promise you!
Once you are done, set the oven timer for 20-25 minutes and get to baking. You will reset the time for another 20-25 minutes once your first time has passed and you take the tofu slices out and flip them over, again, sprinkling any remaining marinade over the top.
When the time is up, take the tofu out of the oven and let it cool before removing with a spatula and putting it on a place for snack on by itself, or with some cottage cheese, Greek/Icelandic yogurt or some delicious fruit like sliced pears, apples or mixed berries. 4 slices should be about 15-20g of protein.