Superbowl Sunday is just a couple days away and if you’re anything like me, you like indulging on some of the classic tailgate appetizers like beer cheese dip and chips and salsa while balancing that with some fun and HEALTHY appetizers.
These tofu wings are a great option for vegetarians, health enthusiasts, or really anyone that likes food. They are vegetarian, gluten, and dairy free. They also offer a great source of plant-based protein, selenium, phosphorus, and calcium. You can substitute them for standard wings or do both!
Soy products like tofu often get a bad rap but I can tell you that talking about the benefits of soy is one of my favorite soap box topics as a dietitian. Tofu is a whole soy food and soy eaten in moderate amounts (i.e. 2-3 servings per day) has actually shown protective effects when it comes to cancer risk and heart health. Whole soy foods, such as tofu, contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant estrogens or phytonutrients that occur naturally in certain foods derived from plants. They are found in other foods, such as nuts, seeds, legumes, cashews, garlic, apples, cabbage, and fennel.
Contrary to popular belief, phytoestrogens are not estrogen. In fact, they protect and help regulate estrogen receptors. They also help with the metabolism and detoxification of estrogen, which can be particularly useful in estrogen dominance, heavy periods, and reducing PMS symptoms. What types of soy should I be consuming if I do? I would stick to organic, non-gmo whole soy foods, such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, miso, and soy milk.
When should I limit whole soy foods?
If you have any thyroid issues, you’ll want to be careful with your soy intake because soy can interfere with thyroid peroxidase, the enzyme largely responsible for the production of thyroid hormone. To be on the safe side, limit your soy intake to 4-5 servings per week and wait two hours after consuming soy to take thyroid medication for adequate absorption.
Now that we cleared that up, let’s get to the recipe! One variation that would be for all my hot and spicy wing lovers would be to add 1-2 tsp of chili powder to the breadcrumb mixture and use hot chili pepper sauce instead of sweet chili sauce for the coating. Enjoy!
Sweet Chili Tofu Wings
- 1¼ cup gluten-free Panko bread crumbs Equal to 1-7 oz package
- 1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
- ½ cup all-purpose gluten-free baking flour
- 1 cup your choice of milk
- 1 tbsp parsley, dried
- 2 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
Sweet Chili Sauce
- ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
- 3 tbsp plant butter
- ¼ tsp sea salt
Place a paper towel over a plate and place the tofu brick on top. Place another 1-2 paper towels on top and place a book or heavy pan on top to help press any water out of the tofu. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the milk into a bowl and the flour into a separate bowl. On a large plate, pour the bread crumbs, paprika, parsley, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Using your hands, mix the spices and bread crumbs together until evenly combined.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
Take the tofu and cut into strips length-wise and about ¾-inch thick (about 16 strips). Place the tofu strips on a plate. Next, set up your prep line...plate of tofu first, then the bowl of flour, then the bowl of milk, next plate of breadcrumb-spice mixture, and lastly the baking sheet.
Using your prep line, place the tofu wings in the flour first, then dip in the milk, roll in the breadcrumb-spice mixture to coat, and then place directly on the baking sheet. Once all the wings are done, bake in the oven for 20 minutes, flip, then for another 10 minutes.
In the last 10 minutes, prepare the chili sauce. Melt the butter and stir in the chili sauce and salt. Once the wings are done baking, place in a large mixing bowl and pour the chili sauce over them. Using the bowl, shake and flip the wings until evenly coated. Serve immediately with celery and your favorite dipping sauce. Mine is Ranch 😉 Enjoy!