Tofu is one of those foods that home cooks shy away from because they are unfamiliar with it. And for some folks who have tried may think that they don’t like it because it was prepared poorly. So today, I am want to share a little helpful information about tofu and some of the health benefits of soy and I want to share two tasty recipes that are easy to make!
Tofu is curdled soy milk. I like to use the comparison to making cheese. The Splendid Table Splendid Table website provides some great information on how to make it at home. And I want to share their information to give an understanding on how tofu is made.
Tofu is packaged in water and after opening the container, drain it and begin preparing it. If you have leftover unprepared tofu, you can put it in a container and change its water at least once a day and it will keep for about two days. If you are not going to use it within that time, you will need to freeze it.
One common challenge for many people is which tofu to purchase. Tofu comes in three different textures which includes soft/silken, firm and extra firm. I use soft/silken to make smoothies, desserts and a recipe that I am sharing today which is overnight oats. For grilling, baking and stir frying, I use the extra firm. This post from The Kitchn does a great job discussing the different types of tofu and what to do with it.
For those who think that they don’t like the taste of tofu don’t know that tofu has a mild flavor and takes on whatever flavor that is used to season it. So if it is seasoned and prepared, it can be absolutely delicious!
To squeeze out some of the excess fluid from firm or extra firm tofu, it might be a good idea to press it. You might be wondering what I mean by pressing it. I put it on a cookie sheet between two pieces of wax paper and put some heavy cookbooks on top of it. This little description from Cooking Light gives a nice explanation on pressing tofu.
Why Bother Eating Tofu and Other Soy Products
Soy is one of those foods that has become very controversial and many people have become confused whether they should eat it or not. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, this is an area that really interests me and as a practitioner, it is important for me to share the most up to date and valid research out there with my clients so here are a few things that I would like to share. Soy is a great source of protein and low in calories and just like many foods that may have health benefits, some people go overboard so moderation is the key. Here are some of the recent information that I want to share on soy.
Grilled Tofu with Teriyaki Glaze
Extra firm tofu is grilled until slightly crispy and brown on a barbecue grill. Then it is glazed with a teriyaki glazed. This recipe and chewy enough for the pickiest carnivore.
1 box extra firm tofu
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 pressed garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1- 2 tablespoon brown sugar (depending on taste)
1 teaspoon (or more depending on how spicy) Sriracha sauce
2 teaspoon arrowroot starch mixed in 1 tablespoon water
Additional soy sauce and sesame oil to marinate tofu
Chopped cilantro and tomatoes for garnish
Cut tofu into 1/3 inch thick pieces cutting along the width versus the length. Marinate in a small amount of sesame oil and soy sauce to coat it for the grill. Heat the grill according to directions. While the grill is heating, in a small saucepan over low heat, cook the crushed garlic and grated ginger in the sesame oil. Turn off the heat and stir in vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and sriracha. Make a paste of arrowroot and water. Add all the ingredients to the sesame seed oil mixture and heat until it thickens.
Place tofu on the grill and cook about 3 minutes on each side until it is brown and crisp, depending on the heat of the grill. Use caution to flip the tofu so that it does not tear. Carefully add teriyaki sauce to both sides of the tofu pieces until it is heated through and take them off. Garnish with cilantro and chopped tomatoes.
Strawberry Coconut Cream Overnight Oats
I am new to overnight oats. This is the first time that I have eaten them and it is the first time that I made them! Most recipes that I have seen use yogurt or plant milk but I thought this popular breakfast would be a great way to introduce soft/ silken tofu! Since it is strawberry season, that is the fruit to make my first batch!
Makes 2 servings
2 pint mason jars
To make the strawberry tofu cream:
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package soft/silken tofu
1/2 cup washed and chopped strawberries
Pinch of salt
Place maple syrup, vanilla, tofu, salt and strawberries in a food processor. Process until it is smooth and creamy.
To make toasted pecans and coconut:
1 tablespoon pecans
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
In a small skillet over low heat, toast pecans and coconut until lightly browned.
1 cup additional strawberries, washed and sliced small
1 cup oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
In a bowl, mix the strawberry tofu cream, oats and chia seeds together. Then in each mason jar, add 1/4 of the oat mixture to the bottom, add 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/4 nut/coconut mixture, the other 1/4 oat mixture and top with the 1/4 nut/coconut mixture. Add wax paper or the jar top and allow to let the oats set overnight and enjoy!
More Recipes Using Tofu
I hope that this blog post helps you feel more comfortable working with tofu and that you give both extra firm and soft/silken tofu a try. I love pairing teriyaki sauce with grilled, baked or stir fried tofu. And soft/silken tofu makes a creamy ingredient to many recipes. If you are new to the blog, welcome and if you have come by again, I hope that you come back again soon! I love sharing healthy recipe and meal ideas that we make at home. You can find out more here.