Why in the world would anyone want to corn tofu? Yes, it sounds strange, but since going vegetarian I wanted to have some version of old favorites. I love corned beef. However, it has too much salt and isn’t the best for you. I actually became inspired by a small restaurant in Kalamazoo, Michigan called the Crow’s Nest. They had a version of a Reuben sandwich made with tofu. It was really good, but I wanted to try my own version. I am going to make a sort of Reuben bowl. With my own version of corned tofu. While I don’t think this will taste just like corned beef, it will taste good regardless. I am using the recipe from the Hidden Veggies for this. However, I will make a couple of changes to add a bit more umami and less salt. Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I am replacing the salt with soy sauce to add umami flavor and to lower the overall sodium.
  • I am adding Worcestershire sauce to add more meaty flavor
  • I am using rice to make this into a bowl so it is freezable.
  • I am using light thousand island dressing to keep the calories low
  • I am adding in a vinegar coleslaw to increase the vitamin A and C.
  • I increased the servings from 4 to 5 to lower the calories slightly.

Here are the final stats:

Here are the final recipes:


Vegan Corned Tofu

Serves 5

  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp pickling spice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 leaf bay leaf
  • 1 small beet 
  • 2 14 oz packages tofu 
  1. Make a flavored brine by adding water, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pickling spice, mustard and coriander seeds, a bay leaf, and a beet to a medium-sized pot.
  2. Boil the brine for about 10 minutes to get the spices to release flavor.
  3. Add cubed tofu.

  4. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then turn off heat and let it sit for about 30 minutes. (or cover and put in the fridge until you are ready to bake).
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 375° F

  6. Bake the tofu on an oiled cookie sheet at 375° F for about 1 hour until it starts to get crispy at the edges. (exact cooking time will vary depending on moisture level and thickness of tofu or vegan “meat”).

Vinegar Coleslaw

Serves 12

  • 1 head of green cabbagefinely shredded
  • 4 large carrotgrated
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow or red onionfinely sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packed low calorie sweetener
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Add the vegetables to a large bowl and toss to combine.  Mix together the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid.  Shake to combine.  Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine.

Vegetarian Reuben Bowl

Serves 1

  • 1 serving corned tofu
  • 1 serving coleslaw
  • 1 tablespoon low fat thousand island dressing
  • 1/3 cup brown rice


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