Heat up the grill for these easy tropical tofu kebabs with avocado and mango!
One of the main things I work on with clients is helping them learn to think about food in not so black and white terms. As a non-diet dietitian, I’m a big believer that all foods fit, and the only foods you shouldn’t eat are the foods you don’t like. Or, you know, foods that send you into anaphylactic shock or smell like blue cheese when they don’t actually contain blue cheese.
Of course, some foods contain more nutrients than others, and for optimal health, we should eat more of those foods. But nutrition isn’t the only thing that dictates how nourishing a food is.
Don’t overlook the importance of what I like to call “vitamin P” or pleasure! Studies have actually shown we increase absorption of nutrients when we’re getting them from meals we find pleasurable.
Then there’s the pleasure of eating with other people, in a pleasurable environment, laughing and enjoying our company. While I definitely have had my fair share of hastily consumed lunches in front of the computer at work, or zoned out in front of the TV at night, as often as possible, I try to make meals a time to connect with other people.
I remember going to a training on longevity and learning how loneliness was the factor most associated with premature death and chronic disease. Yet most people think health is all about food and fitness. Those things are important, but let’s use food and fitness as a way to connect with others.
I created this recipe for tropical tofu kebabs as an easy recipe to grill out with friends, one of my favorite things to do at the end of summer when the mosquitos aren’t quite so overwhelming. We just got new outdoor furniture, and even though our backyard is still a bit of a mess (2 years after we started our landscaping project – ahem, husband), we love to have friends over to throw an easy dinner on the grill. And this recipe really couldn’t be easier. Just give the protein a quick marinade, throw the vegetable and fruit chunks on a skewer, and pop it on a hot grill.
To add a little tropical flare, I threw avocado and mango in the mix. If you haven’t grilled these before, I think you’ll love it! It adds a smoky taste, and it’s the perfect way to enjoy a slightly firm mango or avocado that hasn’t had a chance to fully ripen yet. Feel free to swap in other vegetables and fruit, like zucchini, summer squash, sweet potatoes, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, scallion, or peaches. You could also use different proteins, like shrimp, chicken or pork. I made this after a very meat-heavy trip to New Orleans, so stuck with tofu.
Fire up the grill for these tropical tofu kebabs with mango and avocado! @RHartleyRD @healthyaperture Tweet this
Tropical Tofu Kebabs with Avocado and Mango
- 1 16-ounce block of tofu, pressed dry
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Mini sweet peppers
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
- 1 red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
- 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lime juice
- Chili powder, preferably smoked
- Cut tofu into chunks. Whisk together lime juice, soy sauce and olive oil in a medium bowl. Add tofu, toss to combine, and marinade at least 30 minutes, longer if able.
- When ready to make kebabs, heat grill on medium-high heat. Place tofu, peppers, mushrooms, red onion, avocado and mango onto skewers. I like to skewer each kebab individually to better control the cooking time. Before preparing each skewer, I like to toss the vegetables/fruit with a little olive oil and salt in a bowl, or you can drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper after skewering.
- Place skewers on the grill, and cook until grill marked and tender. The avocado and mango will take just a couple minutes per side, and the onion will take about 5 minutes per side.
- Before serving, spritz skewers with lime juice and sprinkle with chili powder.