Tofu Chick-fil-a Chicken Nuggets?

I miss the slow-ness of blogging. I miss reading blogs from those who have moved on to capitalize on the fast paced world of social media. I’ve chosen to take off the month of May, and maybe longer, from Instagram and thus focus on sharing slower stories here instead.

I have recently gotten very interested in exploring what I can enjoy with tofu. I wasn’t a huge tofu eater my entire life, and always just enjoyed it in Indian dishes. After my elimination diet, I found I had intolerances to 7 out of 8 of the top allergens, and I only consumed soy when it was within products as that didn’t seem to bother me as much.

Last year, I decided during the pandemic to try exploring old foods again to expand my options. I found that I didn’t have the reactions to tree nuts as I did before, which emboldened me this year to add tofu to try again. I believe through the past four years I’ve healed my leaky gut to a great extent through working with my gastro and with making a more focused switch to plant based eating I am feeling much better.

In the past few weeks I learned about the technique to freeze your tofu first, then thaw it. Mary’s recipe is here. You can do this process twice, but once seemed to be enough for me (and it takes a few days if you’re doing it twice). It creates such a chicken-type texture that even my little one likes my new vegan nuggets.

I attempted to try it out on a faux Chick-fuh-lay recipe I have. We make their faux Chic-fil-a sauce all.the.time. and it’s delicious. Much to my surprise, the chick’n came out amazing. I deep fried it the first time to go for the entire original recipe, but the second time I made this recipe I skipped deep frying and used the air fryer (not as brown, but just as crispy!).

Tofu Chick-fil-a Chicken Nuggets

You can see below the texture from one freezing doesn’t look exactly like Mary’s, but it surely doesn’t look that far off from the pressed chicken nuggets from any fast food place or frozen brand. I would imagine the tofu would take on any marinade flavor very well, too. So, possibly if you wanted to marinate it in a chicken broth or various other seasonings it would be even more salty or flavorful.

Tofu chicken nuggets

I have tried this with various types of tofu. All organic and non-GMO, but different firmness tofu and brands. I found Trader Joe’s firm works well to make it the most similar, but they all taste great regardless of shape, size, or texture. I never thought I’d love tofu, but I now enjoy it 1-2 times per week and it’s been great. It is really filling and so much less in calories than chicken or other proteins.

In addition, I found a simple and quick way to enjoy a salty and crispy air-fried tofu from Caitlin here and it’s been my go-to many times in the past month for a quick delicious meal.

So, I’m glad tofu is a “go” in my life again. I never enjoyed it much before, but it is delicious and so versatile. It’s nice to press it, marinate or otherwise, and then chop up however I’d like. I can pop a bite in my mouth while preparing it to no ill effects, because it’s great fresh and plain, too!