Tasty Tuesday: What to do with TOFU?!?

Tofu was once considered an exclusive hippie-dippy food. One would conjure images of braids, hemp jewelry, and funky bell bottoms when they pictured someone munching on tofu. However tofu is slowly making its way into the mainstream! As more and more people are decreasing their meat consumption and exploring healthy alternatives, tofu is making a name for itself as a valid protein choice.

Okay before diving in to the world of tofu, here’s a few quick tips to help ensure a pleasant, happy experience! So often people say to me “I have tried tofu once and didn’t like it; I couldn’t get past the texture”. If that’s the case, then you probably didn’t have good tofu that was properly prepared. 🙂 So don’t judge all tofu by one bad experience. I encourage you to give it another try! Here are some tips to get you started:

  • First of all you want to be sure you get organic, non GMO tofu. This is essential! I won’t touch tofu that isn’t organic because soy is a food source that is mass produced and regularly genetically modified (ew!!).
  • Most recipes that call for tofu turn out best if you use a firm or extra firm tofu (the exception is when using tofu in place of cream…then you want a soft silken tofu).
  • Tofu varies widely per brand. You may need to experiment a little with whatever brands are available in your area to find one that you enjoy. I personally like Trader Joe’s High Protien, Super Firm Organic Tofu. I pretty much use that brand exclusively and on the rare occassion I happen to use a different brand, I am usually disappointed with the flavor. So be selective with your tofu to find one to your liking.
  • You need to squeeze out excess water from tofu in order for it to cook properly. There are all kinds of elaborate ways of doing this…pressing in between books or using a tofu press. As usual I like to keep things as simple as possible so I just squeeze mine by hand between a cloth napkin. That’s known as “Sarah’s quickie tofu press method”. 😉

Okay so you bought some tofu and it’s just sitting in your fridge because you don’t really know what to do with it? Don’t just let it rot in there…pull it out and try this recipe! It is super duper easy and takes less than 10 minutes to make. You can use the prepared tofu in a sandwich (in place of lunch meat), chopped up on a salad, served over some rice, or enjoy it on its own! We make it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even just as a snack. When my five year old came downstairs this morning and saw that I was made tofu, he immediatly grabbed a piece and starting chowing…didn’t even wait for it to cool down.

Ingredients:

1 block of tofu, pressed

olive oil

onion powder

garlic powder

oregano

soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos which is an awesome soy sauce alternative)

Directions:

Cut tofu block into 4 equal slabs. Heat a generous amount (enough to amply coat bottom of frying pan) of olive oil in frying pan at medium heat. Place tofu in pan (you will hear it sizzle if oil is hot enough). Allow to cook a few minutes. When it is slighlty brown on the bottom, turn to other side. Now if it sticks to the pan there are two potential culprits: there was too much water left in the tofu or oil was not at a good tempature. This stinks when this happens! But let’s assume your tofu browns perfectly and flips easily. Now cook for a few minutes on the other side. When it’s brown on the second side, sprinkle liberally with spices (to taste, but remember tofu is pretty bland, so flavor it up!) and drizzle with soy sauce. Remove from pan and serve accordingly!

Off to enjoy some tofu myself!

-Sarah 🙂

Tags: excess water, firm tofu, healthy alternatives, non GMO, organic tofu, protein, recipes, Tasty Tuesday, texture, what to do with tofu

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