Curious about tofu, but not sure what to do with it? Afraid of the texture? Fear no more!
My favorite preparation is baked tofu. It’s great in sandwiches, stir-fries, over noodles, on rice, the options are endless. It has a meatier texture which makes it particularly good for tofu newbies. Even if you’re a novice cook, tofu is simple and forgiving unlike meats or fish which can be very temperamental if not cooked properly.
The recipe below is perfect for sandwiches. You can cut slices so it lies flat in bread or in a wrap, and top with veggies, sprouts, hot sauce, hummus and avocado.
For use with noodles or rice, I like to cut it into bite size cubes first, then marinate and bake. In this version you can put the cubes in a plastic bag and pour a couple tablespoons tamari over them to marinate. The cubes will have more flavor because the tamari can soak in further.
To make a complete, quick meal, combine baked tofu with any sautéed vegetable, and either rice, or quinoa (which cooks incredibly fast). Be sure to season each component well so nothing is bland. Make all the sides while the tofu is baking so you’re ready to go as soon as the tofu is done. Or for a quick weekday dinner, bake the tofu over the weekend so it’s ready any night of the week.
Tofu is low-fat, high in protein, low cholesterol and a good source of calcium.
Fun facts (courtesy of About.com):
- One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 10.1 grams of protein.
- One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 94 calories.
Fun, right? And the best part is, tofu is a total chameleon. It’s like a sponge, taking in whatever flavor you throw at it, making it incredibly versatile. So if you’re looking for a healthy protein replacement, look no further.
Tip: Make batches and keep some in your freezer for later use as a meal or snack. You can also use the same technique with BBQ sauce, miso sauce, balsamic vinegar, or any other marinade you fancy.
Simple Baked Tamari Tofu (from Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
- 1 package extra-firm or firm tofu
- 2 Tablespoons organic low sodium tamari
- Canola high heat spray
1. Set the oven to 350F.
2. Spray a quarter sheet pan with canola oil spray.
3. Gently press out water from the tofu block with paper towels.
4. Using a pastry brush, coat all sides of tofu with tamari until completely absorbed.
5. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 1 hour or until tofu is firm and browned.
Alton Brown has a great recipe for Asian Slaw here. I adapted his dressing by adding garlic and using almond butter instead of peanut. I also had a bag of Trader Joe’s pre-cut carrot/broccoli stalk that I used. Next time I’d try Alton’s version with cabbage. I short-cutted here using the pre-cut veggies and it showed. I liked my adjustments to the dressing though.
The Vermicelli recipe was a complete whip up. sautéed sliced garlic in olive oil. Removed garlic. Sautéed broccoli florets in same oil. Added cooked vermicelli, mixed all together with 2 T tamari, sesame oil (to taste) and red chili pepper flakes. Garnished with fried garlic slices.
When shopping for tofu, choose USDA certified organic to avoid consuming GMO soybeans (genetically modified organisms). GMO foods have been linked to cancer, sterility, and developmental disorders. Click here to learn more about the dangers of GMO foods.