>> Monday, January 18, 2010
I've been busy on A Life Less Sweet Reviews! Jump over to find out how to enter to win a Gatorade G2 gift basket, how to get a free sample of tea, and more!
Start to delve into the meatless world and you are bound to run into tofu. My problem...I don't like tofu...at all. I don't like its texture, and I don't like the way it tastes. I pick it out of my miso soup. I cringe if I find it in my stir fry. But, as you may have guessed, I have found ways to use tofu that I do actually enjoy.
My exploration with tofu actually started when my daughter was a baby. She had a lot of food intolerances and was slightly anemic. Add in the fact that she really didn't like meat, and I started playing around a bit with tofu. Tofu, a soy product, is high in protein and other good stuff - like iron, manganese, and calcium. Tofu is also a complete protein, making it especially attractive if you're going meatless.
But how to get around the texture. Even the firmest tofu is on the squishy, slimy side. I've used a couple of methods to address this.
First, hide it! Silken tofu, which has a soft, custardy texture, disappears in a smoothie. In a dessert, it adds to the texture, but you never even know it's there. The taste? That texture? Totally disguised.
To that end, a couple of recipes for you. This Peanut Butter Power Smoothie is a fantastic smoothie. It's packed full of protein and is absolutely delicious. Drink it for breakfast or a liquid lunch, and it will keep you going for a while. (And yes, I know that peanut butter in a smoothie sounds totally weird. I didn't think that I'd like it either, but it really is good.)
And from Fix Me A Snack, silken tofu in a pudding - Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding. This pudding is really tasty, really filling. Make it in small portions and serve as a protein packed dessert or as an after school (or work) snack.
Second, transform it. While firm tofu in miso soup or added at the last minute to a stir fry makes my stomach turn a bit, if I cut it into small squares, marinate it for a while and then saute or bake it, the tofu transforms into tasty little almost-meaty blocks. The outside of the cubes develops a crust that really changes the texture of the tofu. The inside retains that tofu texture, but if you make your cubes on the small side, it's just a nice counter for the crust.
For a tutorial on baked tofu, check out this old post on "How to Make Tofu (So It Doesn't Suck)" at May's Machete.
For sauteed tofu, I drain firm or extra-firm tofu and cut it into small cubes (about 3/4 - 1" cubes) and simply marinate it in soy sauce for a while. I have no set time for marinating the tofu. In fact, sometimes I don't marinate it and just add soy sauce at the very end of sauteing - the crust soaks up the soy sauce. Then simply saute with a little oil over medium-high heat until your tofu blocks are crusty. Sprinkle with some green onions or garnish of your choice and enjoy!
How do you like your tofu? Any good recipes or tips for those of us that are tofu-phobic?