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Introducing: Protein French Fries

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These are not French fries…

healthy fries

And yet…

They are just as crazy addictive!

protein fries

Do you get enough protein?

Eleven years ago, as a teenaged animal lover, I decided to completely stop eating meat.

My nervous mom worried I’d have difficulty getting enough protein, and she made me do extensive research to ensure I’d be a healthy vegetarian. Consequently, I learned all about vitamins, nutrients, food groups, and their relevance to the human body.

I also learned to cook.

At the time, I was living in China, so vegetarian convenience items such as Luna Bars, Gardenburgers, and Amy’s meals weren’t an option. However, they sure had tofu! In that first year, I consumed a lot of tofu—I put it in stir fries, sloppy joes, and even Vegan “High-Protein” Chili.

Although I don’t eat much tofu anymore (aside from my favorite chocolate pie!), I still make the following “protein fries” once a month or so. As I said before, they are crazy addictive!

protein french fries

These also make a terrific snack. Feel free to get creative and change up the marinade.

Protein French Fries

(Can be gluten-free!)

One of my High-Protein Recipes.

  • 14 oz firm or extra-firm tofu (not silken or Mori-Nu)
  • 3 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (or gluten-free soy sauce) (or low-sodium)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

Mix last three ingredients in a glass. Drain the tofu and pat it dry with paper towels, getting as much of the moisture out as possible. Then cut into fry form (or squares if you’d prefer), lay the fries out in a lidded container, and pour the contents of the glass evenly over the fries. Let sit at least 10 minutes (or up to a few hours), then flip the container and let sit another 10 minutes.

Transfer fries to a lightly-greased aluminum pan, and bake in a preheated oven (400 F) for 30 minutes. Shake the pan and bake until desired texture is reached. (I usually bake ten more minutes, then turn the oven off but leave the fries in for 20 extra minutes to firm up.) Let cool completely before storing in the fridge and don’t completely cover, when storing, if you don’t want them soft.

View Nutritional Info

protein fries

Feeling brave?

Try dipping these fries in some Blueberry Ketchup.

Remember blueberry ketchup??

healthy french fries

Question of the Day:

Do you eat a “high-protein” diet?

Do you pay attention to the amount of protein in foods? The first question many people ask when they hear I’m a vegetarian is, “Where do you get your protein?” It’s actually a myth that getting adequate protein on a vegetarian diet is difficult. As long as a person takes in enough calories, getting enough protein—without even trying–shouldn’t be a problem. Even broccoli has 3 grams per cup!

If you’re interested in high-protein diets, you will love this awesome post written by my incredible friend (and bodybuilder) Robert:

Build Muscle without Meat

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. What a cool idea! I love baked tofu – actually made a sesame baked tofu last night.

    I try to have a higher protein diet, but it is more challenging on a (mostly) veg diet.

  2. Now that I’m expecting I have to search out some protein at every meal- it has been a tad tough but it will be so worth it in the end!

  3. Katie says:

    I’m really going to have to try these. Maybe this weekend.

    I’ve been struggling with protein. I avoid red meat as much as possible, and I’m finding I’m having a problem coming up with ways of filling that void- I do eat a lot of chicken and beans, but I’m in a food rut. I just upped my exercise levels by a lot and now I’m hungry all the time. I’m always looking for new ways of using tofu.

    1. Steph says:

      Sorry to mention eggs on a vegan site, but since you’re not vegan, try egg whites! They’re a little bland by themselves but they are a pure source of protein and are very filling!

      1. Guest says:

        Since I’m not a fan of the yolk, I only ever eat the whites. My favorite way to eat hard-boiled egg whites is to put some hot sauce on them. Or, if you’d rather scramble/omlette, then two whites and one full egg (to help bind things together) is good too; not too ‘eggy’, haha.

  4. Are these guys crunchy or chewy? Very cute presentation! I get plenty of protein from dairy & eggs since I’m lacto-ovovegetarian.

    1. It definitely depends on how long you leave them in the oven. More chewy/soft if you take them out sooner. More crispy if you leave them in longer and more of the moisture gets out. And if you want them less soft, don’t completely cover when storing them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I definitely do eat a lot of protein. I’m a female who bodybuilds/weight trains. That being said, I steer totally clear of soy products. It’s a HUGE misconception that as vegans we don’t get protein. Protein is made up of amino acids, eat the appropriate aminos in a day and you’re good to go (amino acids are present in all foods, eat a diverse diet and it’s impossible to get too little protein). I’ve built more muscle faster on a vegan diet than I EVER did being an omnivore 🙂 GO VEGAN!! Quinoa and Hemp seeds are also complete proteins all on their own 🙂

    1. Why do you steer clear of soy products?

      1. I can’t speak for “anonymous” but I know that there is quite a lot of controversy surrounding the health benefits and dangers of soy products and foods. Here is an article that may be helpful in understanding some of the reasons why someone may choose to avoid soy:

        http://www.alternet.org/health/56087?page=entire

        As a general rule of thumb, it’s the processed soy-products in a lot of packaged foods and oils that can create the most problems. Traditional fermented soy isn’t as much of a worry, nor is tofu on occasion (once or twice a week). Eating it daily, however, could pose some problems hormonally due to phyto-estrogens in soy. Hope that helps!

        1. Anonymous says:

          Hi! To answer your questions regarding soy. I’m a certified holistic nutritionist as well as being certified in a few other holistic healthcare modalities and in my experience, personally and with clients, it’s been a huge culprit regarding hormonal, thyroid and a few other health concerns, including hormone related cancers. I’ve seen a lot of people have very health damaging adverse reactions to soy (yes, even organic, non GMO soy). It’s all personal choice though :). I do know people who eat it without issue as well, I just personally choose not to. Fermented options are a much better choice if you are going to eat soy based products and even those should be eaten on occasion. They “fries” do look good though! 🙂

          1. Anonymous says:

            *the* fries 🙂 haha

          2. Thanks to both of you for the info.

  6. Zestful Lou says:

    These look just fabulous. I am such a kid at heart because anything that I can make into a “french fry,” I will. Green beans, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, zucchini…I’ve done it all. These are on the menu for TONIGHT!!

    P.S. I love ketchup. Which is why I think I love making “fries” so much.
    😉

    1. Kenny says:

      You should get real adventurous and try making a fry from a potato; I hear they make great fries!

      1. Becca R. says:

        She did! She said sweet potato! You can’t discriminate and say sweet potatoes aren’t potatoes! 😉

        1. Anna says:

          @ Becca R.
          Actually, I’ve heard that sweet potatoes really aren’t related to potatoes at all! People just call them “potatoes” because they look so much like them. I don’t have a site for my info. though, so I could be wrong. I just remember reading about sweet potatoes vs. potatoes in a magazine and thinking “wow, that’s weird.” 🙂

  7. This is a great post, Katie. I’m 99.9% vegetarian and I’m looking for ways to add a little more protein to my diet. I use the Lose It application to monitor my daily protein. I know as a vegetarian, you can get enough protein, but sometimes it just requires a little extra effort. This is a great option that I think I’ll be adding in soon.

  8. Samantha says:

    There is the bar in Seattle that has some pretty good tofu fries and I haven’t had them in ages. I love that yours are baked. I will try soon.

    I get totally annoyed with the protein question. I have been vegan for so long and definitely am not low on muscle bulk. If anything I would say I consume a lot more protein than a lot of females I know because of just how much I eat and how whole foods based it is. It is probably one of the last things I worry about missing out on as a vegan.

    Send some Texas sun my way!

    1. Samantha says:

      PS. Thanks for the body building interview link. It was a good read and I hadn’t seen it before on your site. 🙂

  9. Marilyn says:

    When do you add the garlic? I think I missed it!

  10. Sheree says:

    Katie, these look delicious~~and I think you might want to put the tofu at the bottom of your ingredient list so “mix the first three ingredients in a glass” will be correct?

    Can’t wait to try these~~actually have everything I need right here in the house (and I made some spicy ketchup last weekend and I bet it would be good on these!)!

    1. Oops! Thanks for letting me know!

  11. Brittany says:

    Love theses! They are a favorite treat of mine. It is too easy to consume WAY too many!

  12. Intresting! I just don’t know if I can do tofu, but I am going tot ry it with your recipe. It sounds intresting and I am always willing to try something at least once.

  13. WoW! That is such a creative recipe 🙂 Not to mention so much healthier than actual french fries…. How is the texture of these bad boys? 😛

    1. Depends on how long you bake them. Bake longer for more firm texture, and you can even broil them if you want them more crispy :).

  14. Amy J says:

    These look like a yummy alternative to the traditional french fry! I have two little kids (almost 5 and almost 4) who eat pretty healthy because I like to cook healthy 🙂 and I think they’d love these…and I’ve been wanting to try out your blueberry ketchup so I think it’s time! I’m a relatively new follower of yours and I have several of your recipes on my “to-do” list. I’ve recently started juicing here and there, as well as eating mostly veggies and fruits. And, while I’ve been preparing rather healthy meals for quite some time, I am starting to cut down on using dairy and meat, and using more beans/lentils/alternate milks/etc. It’s challenging at times-but quite fun! Your recipes have been an inspiration!

    1. Samantha says:

      Hooray! I am glad I am not the only person that is all over the blueberry ketchup. I am planning on trying to make that tomorrow – how could I resist? 🙂

  15. Becca says:

    I am not at all saying that a vegetarian/vegan diet is bad (hey, I’m vegan too!), but it is NOT a myth that you can not get enough protein!

    I hate to think that people think they can eat veg without putting any thought into their protein. Just think about it: What are all of our muscles made up of? …and what about all of our cells? …our immune system also completely depends on protein. In order to get enough protein, we need a wide variety of amino acids (from different plant protein sources) everyday; not all proteins are made up of the same amino acids and not all proteins are absorbed the same by the body.

    Power to vegans, but remember: we can’t thrive on just greens alone!

    1. anon says:

      Actually as kt says in her post, you can. I would say that the issue with just eating greens would be that it would be hard to get enough calories which is why protein would be hard too. If you somehow managed to get enough cals on greens alone you’d get enough protein. Not enough balance or nutrients, but enough protein! But you should read the last link of kt post because its really good. Sorry for typos. I hate phone typing

  16. Mmmm, it’s 8am and suddenly I want tofu! I have to admit, I first saw protein fries & thought “uhhh…” and then realized it was tofu strips 🙂 they look delicious!

    I love Robert! He’s such a sweetheart. I used to stress a lot about getting “enough” protein, and ate a high-protein diet for a few years. Now I just eat normally. I don’t really think about it, because I remember hearing the same thing you said about protein- it’s literally impossible to have a deficiency in protein when you’re eating enough. And I have no problem eating enough 😉

  17. I’ve done this before with both seitan (in my gluten-eating days) and tofu! Oh man, your blueberry ketchup would be awesome with these.

    Protein has never troubled me, although at the moment I’m eating a little more of it on purpose (via raw vegan protein shakes), only because I had to cut out all grains and legumes recently. 🙁

  18. Those look so good! I miss tofu and wish I ate it more before I found out I can’t have soy! haha. and I am definitely big on protein, I get it mostly from greek yogurt, eggs and occasionally meat

  19. Um, okay, you are just amazing. I’m so trying these with my kiddos. 🙂 We need a little more protein around here. PS- your pictures make me smile everyday. They have this happy feeling about them. 🙂

    1. Aw, you just made ME smile! 🙂

  20. These sound addictive andyummy. Love how easy they are too Katie!