Author: Amber French
Tofu was the “vegetarian” food I embraced last. I ate it in restaurants and loved it. But its white wiggly wet appearance intimidated the cook in me. I have had bad tofu (not rotten, just ill-prepared) and it is enough to turn you off…forever.
If you are new to tofu or haven’t found your groove with it. Maybe what I have learned can fast track you through some tofu disasters and on towards TOFU BLISS.
Knowing your tofu’s and what they do is super important. Tofu comes in different states of firmness and each one is better suited to a different type of dish or cooking technique.
Softened/Silken tofu – soft (can sometimes be sweetly flavoured and called “dessert tofu”) and is great in sauces, batters, puddings etc.
Medium firm to Extra Firm block tofu – These are my favorite especially Extra Firm and can be used to replace the meat in any recipe. It is great in Stir Fry’s and Rice or Noodle bowls.
Buying tofu is the easy part. All grocery stores carry tofu in their produce section. It come prepackaged and ready for preparation. Preparing tofu on the other hand is so varied and totally dependent on preference and the recipe/dish you are creating it can seem overwhelming.
The most important step is the prep before cooking. Silken is ready to go and can be dumped directly into a pot or blender to add additional creaminess to any recipe and tons of protein. I love to make my own Vegan Caesar out of plain silken tofu. It’s super easy and yummy (and cheap). Block firm tofu’s need to be pressed. My technique is this: open package, dump water and packaging, wrap tofu in paper towels, wrap again in a clean dish towel and stick a BIG book on top of it.
It’s as easy as that. Go about prepping your veg or noodle/rice (whatever you having with your tofu). The longer it can sit the better, this is getting rid of any excess water and making the tofu denser.
After that step, the sky is the limit. Let your creativity take over. Some of my favorite ways to prepare it are:
Baking – Dice and place on a cookie sheet heat oven to 375(ish) season tofu (I like all different spices, but keep in mind you end product) My favorite are salt, pepper, curry and nutrional yeast or turmeric. Bake for approximately 30 mins
Stove Top – Crumble drained tofu into a pan lined lightly with veg broth and onions. Add in your tomato sauce once the tofu has browned slightly. This is great in pasta dishes and you can season with oregano and basil.
Slice in long rectangles coat with BBQ sauce or soy sauce. Heat through and cook until edges are browned. Serve on a bun or pita with your favorite toppings.
Tofu is super forgiving and easy to work with. Don’t forget your Mama taught you not to judge a book by its cover and give TOFU a chance.
About the Author: Amber has been in the fitness and recreation game for over 15 years (not including school!!). She made fitness her life because as the age old saying goes, study and teach what it is you need to learn. In other words, she’s battles with some weight issues for many years and wants to share what she has learned along the way.
You can follow her @TheVeganHouse