This barbecue sauce contains no refined sugar and is lower in sodium than packaged barbecue sauce. If you’re used to highly salted foods, it may taste bland unless you add more salt. I recommend you do this after it’s cooked so you’ll have a good idea of how much is needed.If you don't have a slow cooker, follow the Oven Instructions instead.
2 14-ounce packagesextra-firm tofufrozen and defrosted
8large cloves garlicminced
1/2cuppitted datesabout 2.5 ounces
1 1/2cupcrushed pineapple in own juice
2fresh hot chile pepperschopped
2inchesginger-rootpeeled and minced (about 3 tablespoons minced)
2tablespoonstamari or lite soy sauce
generous grating of black pepper
Salt(optional), to taste
At least 1 day before you plan to cook, place two packages of extra-firm tofu (water-pack style, not silken) into the freezer. Freeze at least 24 hours (this makes it firmer and sponge-like, which helps it hold up to long, slow cooking). Remove from freezer and allow to defrost in the refrigerator or use a quick defrost method (microwave or hot water bath).
When tofu is completely defrosted, cut each block into halves horizontally and cut each half again vertically. Take each piece of tofu between your hands and gently press over a sink to squeeze out as much water as possible. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
Saute the onion in a non-stick pan (or on the browning setting, if your crock-pot has one) until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Scrape the onion/garlic into a blender and add all remaining ingredients except tofu and salt. Blend on high speed until sauce is a uniform consistency.
Place the tofu into the slow cooker (sprayed with non-stick spray or canola oil, if necessary) and pour the sauce over it. Stir very gently to make sure all sides of the tofu are covered. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or until sauce is absorbed and thickened. (Note: some crockpots run hotter than others so check once or twice to make sure the tofu isn’t sticking or falling apart.) Check seasonings and add salt and extra lime juice as needed. Serve over salad greens.
Follow steps 1-3 above. Combine tofu and sauce in an oiled casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 for a half hour. Remove cover and bake for 15-30 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
Slow cooking mellows out the flavors of the garlic, ginger, and chile peppers, so if you want a spicier dish, either start with more or add extra after 6 hours.