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3 marinades for pork, chicken and tofu

Chef Kevin has three different marinades for foods, depending on what you're in the mood to have.
Credit: Monica Pazmino


Sweet Savory Marinade


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Creole seasoning or salt and black pepper (to taste)


Whisk all ingredients or shake in a jar until combined.

So many options which include:

Pork: Marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Grill, pan fry, brushing the pork with a little reserved sauce during cooking to make it extra juicy.

Chicken: Marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Pan fry, bake, or cook in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes. Shred or chop the chicken for a salad or add-in to another recipe.

Tofu: For best results, squeeze all the water out of the block of extra firm tofu and then marinate the intact block of tofu overnight. The next day, cut the block into cubes and pan-fry, brushing with reserved marinade.

Portobello Mushroom Caps: Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Grill or pan-fry until roasted, sticky and moist. 

Veggies: Works great with just about any veggies. 

Garlic Tomato Sauce 


  • 2-3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • Creole seasoning or salt to taste


  • Place the tomatoes in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat with no oil. Blister the outsides of the skins a little bit.
  • Once the skins get a little blistered and the tomatoes are looking soft, turn the heat down to avoid splatter, and add the olive oil and garlic. Careful not to brown the garlic.
  • Press the tomatoes gently with the back of a wooden spoon so they break open and release their juices. Add the balsamic and let the whole mixture reduce until it’s thickened a bit, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Finish with the butter and season with Creole seasoning or salt to taste.


  • If you want a thinner sauce to go on pasta, add 1/2 cup of water just after adding the balsamic and just let it cook down a bit.
  • Fresh basil can be added if desired.

Avocado Herbed Sauce with Pistachios 


  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves 
  • 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pistachios


  • Pulse all ingredients – except pistachios – in a food processor until incorporated.
  • Add pistachios and pulse until mostly smooth.
  • Serve as a dip, spread, or sauce — or add additional water or oil to thin the sauce for use as a dressing or a marinade.

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