Italian Herbed Tofu and Kale with Caramelized Leeks

Whenever I am planning a move (either across town or across several states), I always find myself putting organizing and packing off till the last minute. I know that I need to get it done sooner rather than later, but I am not very good at listening to my own advice. So now, with less than two months to go, I am finally beginning the huge task of going through all those things that don’t really serve a purpose (except, perhaps, a sentimental one). I started by going through all the cookbooks my mom and I have accumulated. Let’s just say I love reading recipes almost as much as cooking them, so my collection of cookbooks is fairly extensive. As my mom and I went through books, reminiscing about recipes we had tried and loved (or hated), we came across an envelope of recipes written by my great aunt and my great grandmother. They were reminiscent of the recipes I write myself, hurriedly scribbled on bits of paper (such as old fashioned credit slips from department stores), in pencil or pen. Many of the recipes had obviously been loved a great deal, with drips of sauce or a little oil here and there on the paper (which was dog eared and worn on the edges from many years of being handled). I felt an instant connection with these women whom I had never met through the realization that they loved cooking as much as I do. I couldn’t read the handwriting on many of the recipes, another trait that looked familiar (I often scribble my recipes down in such a sloppy manner that I think I am the only one who could possibly read them).

After going through all of the recipes and packing them away carefully, I felt that I really, really needed to cook something that felt comforting and nostalgic. It needed to at least feel as if somebody’s grandmother had made it.


I started by making Italian bread from scratch for the first time in my life. The recipe needs to be tweaked a bit, but I will be sharing it with you soon. 🙂 The bread took care of the nostalgic part of the meal, as I find few things as comforting as freshly baked bread. As the yeasty aroma of rising bread dough filled the kitchen, I prepared tofu cutlets with an Italian inspired marinade. The herbs stand out beautifully in a simple sauce, characterized by the smooth, full flavor of olive oil.


It was starting to rain by the time the bread and tofu were ready to go in the oven, and it was turning into a rather chilly evening. To add a comforting warmth to the meal, I made a slightly spicy leek and kale dish. The flavor was very surprising, and even my husband (who NEVER eats more kale than I force him to) went back for seconds. It would make a fabulous side dish for many other meals besides this tofu.


Have a wonderful Monday!

Italian Herbed Tofu and Kale with Caramelized Leeks

Italian Herbed Tofu

2 14 ounce packages extra firm tofu, drained and pressed well

2 vegan chicken flavored bouillon cubes dissolved in a tablespoon of boiling water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Slice each block of tofu into two thinner layers, and then slice each layer into two triangles. You should have 8 triangular cutlets. Place the cutlets in a single layer in a glass baking dish and set aside. (9”x13” works well. I used a slightly smaller one because I was baking bread at the same time and needed more room. A larger pan with result in a crispier cutlet, while a smaller pan will keep the marinade from evaporating as quickly, and the cutlets will be moister.)
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Stir well. Pour evenly over the tofu cutlets.


  1. Allow the cutlets to marinade for an hour or more.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 ˚ F.
  3. Bake the cutlets for 45-60 minutes. Baking for a longer time will result in a crispier cutlet.


Kale with Caramelized Leeks

1 large leek, sliced thinly and washed well

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 large bunch kale, stemmed, washed and tenderized

2 teaspoons raw agave nectar

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the leek and chili flakes and cook until the leek begins to brown.
  2. Add the kale and agave. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover and allow the kale to wilt. Toss to mix before serving.




  1. Organised of not, packing is the pits! 😦 …Although it can be therapeutic to have a good route through old things! Having so many books is a guilty pleasure (we know!), but having to move them is not an easy task! Good luck with all of your preparation. Great recipe btw! It looks delicious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 Yes, too many books… We will definitely be getting our resistence exercise in while getting them all packed and moved. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! It’s always useful when you can multi-task! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh that sounds gorgeous! Will have to try it. We have so much Kale in the garden right now and the Leeks are nearly ready. Thank you for the inspiration 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Wow, this recipe would be absolutely divine with garden fresh produce. You are inspiring me to try out some gardening of my own once we get settled. 🙂


  3. I think I may need to try this! I’m trying to rekindle my friends relationship with tofu – the first time she had it, she ate it straight from the packet so it’s no surprise she thinks it’s horrible! This might just do the trick:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, I did the same exact thing! I didnt try it again for about a year, lol… This recipe may just do the trick, I wish somebody had made it for me after my “out of the package” experience 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too! I missed out on a few years of tofu consumption due to eating it straight out a packet. Very glad I gave it a second chance though:)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a nice story to go with these creative recipes! I enjoyed reading about your cookbook nostalgia. I share this love of family ritual and history. I look forward to trying your dishes. Thanks for posting!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome, and thank you for your thoughtful comment 🙂


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