If you’ve struggled to find ways to prepare tofu and are about to give up on this bland, squishy soy product, hold on. Here are five different ways to cook tofu so that it looks and tastes delicious. Tofu has a high nutritional value – just one block contains 36g of protein and abundant iron, calcium and magnesium, so it is definitely worth giving a second chance.
- Smoothie: Although it might seem strange at first, adding tofu to a smoothie is a perfect way to get in some extra protein and nutrients without even knowing it’s there. Silken tofu is your best bet because it is soft and blends well. Sneaking this in will give your smoothie that extra boost of nutrition, without ruining the taste of your drink.
- Burger: A fun and creative way to use tofu is making it into a burger patty. With a quick google search, you will find countless tofu burger recipes. For example, you could coat a slab of firm tofu in BBQ sauce and bake it in the oven until slightly brown, or you could chop the tofu up and combine it with veggies and other ingredients to create an appetizing patty.
- Stir fry: For stir-fries, its best to buy extra firm tofu, and you’ll want to press the tofu first to remove as much liquid as possible. You can do this by cutting the tofu into cubes, wrapping it in paper towels and placing a weight on it such as a can of tomato sauce. Then, let it sit for about 20 minutes. Stir-frying tofu is simple, you just need to coat a skillet with some olive oil and then arrange the cubes in an even layer, stirring them around in the pan for a couple of minutes. You can sprinkle the tofu with some sea salt and cook until golden brown. This is a simple way to prepare tofu that can then be added to any sort of bowl, or a big plate of stir-fried vegetables.
- Bake: Baked tofu is a wonderful addition to salads, burritos or soups. Firm or extra firm tofu work best, and you should press the tofu to remove the water content as described above. Next, you’ll want to cut the tofu into cubes, coat it with olive oil, and sprinkle it with cornstarch salt, pepper, garlic powder or any seasonings of choice. Then, spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of crispiness, making sure to flip the tofu half way.
- Scramble: Tofu scramble is a great way to simulate scrambled eggs if you’re vegan, but it is perfectly enjoyable for non-vegans as well. Adding crumbled up firm tofu to pan with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, turmeric, and various other spices of choice will result in a simple and filling dish. You can also add chopped veggies like kale, mushrooms, red bell peppers or tomatoes to make it even healthier and more flavorful.
Tofu is versatile and works well in just about any dish because it absorbs the flavor of whatever it is cooked with. Next time you don’t know what to do with that tofu sitting in your fridge, try preparing it in one of these five ways, and enjoy!
Gini Warner is a health nutritionist based in Laguna Niguel, CA. Contact Health by Gini for personalized nutrition counseling. www.healthbygini.com