the long road to healthy

June 9, 2009

Tofu Tuesday – tofu tips

Filed under: good eats — karena @ 12:52 pm

Brought to you by…
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

When I was a veg*n newbie, I remember being quite intimidated by tofu. It was supposed to be some miracle food that could sub for meat, milk, eggs, cheese…. But how? When it was so flubbery and tasteless? Chances are, this is not the first veg blog you’ve come across. But just in case it is, here are a few basic tips:

*if you freeze the tofu first, the texture becomes spongier and “meatier”. I freeze it right with the water.
*drain as much water out as possible before you cook, or you will have tofu soup. I wrap a block in a kitchen towel, place it on a plate, then weigh it down with my heaviest cast iron pot for an hour or so.
*marinate, marinate, marinate. Your choices are endless. Tofu is like a sponge and will soak up the flavor. Then you can fry, bake, grill, etc.
*it’s not cheese. So don’t expect it to taste like cheese.
*it’s not an egg. So don’t scramble it and expect it to taste like eggs. It will taste like whatever you season it with.

Really, the first few of those are easy to come by. The last two, well, I really wish someone had explained that to me. When someone says a recipe “tastes just like the real thing,” 99% of the time they’ve been vegan way too long to remember what the “real thing” tastes like. But it doesn’t have to taste like cheese, or eggs, or chicken, or tuna, or whatever. If you drop those assumptions, you’ll enjoy your meals a lot more, trust me.

Five of the million and one uses of tofu:

1. puree one box of silken tofu and one jar of pesto sauce (Galroy Farms is vegan) together to make a creamy pesto sauce. A box of pasta and you’re ready to eat!
2. use silken tofu to replace milk or cream in cream-based soups. Some day I’ll post my “cream” of broccoli soup recipe.
3. 1/4 silken tofu = 1 egg. works well in muffin and bread recipes, usually. (you’ve got to play around with vegan baking, let me tell you)
4. one block of firm tofu, a little nutritional yeast, a little soy sauce, and you’ve got a good base for scrambled tofu for two or more. My fav is with onion, garlic, and bell peppers.
5. cube a block of firm tofu (drain it first, obviously) and roll cubes in your favorite bbq sauce. Bake in the oven at about 350 for about, I don’t know, twenty minutes? My kids love this. It was my five year old’s choice for supper last night!



  1. Thanks so much for the tofu tips this week. I’ve got a BBQ tofu on my meal plan this week. It was supposed to be tonight but we left this morning and have been gone ALL day. So that didn’t happen. But I wanted to let you know I did post today…just a little, um, late. đŸ˜‰

    Comment by Kelli@GohnCrazy — June 10, 2009 @ 12:01 am

  2. Kelli — glad you made good choices. It’s hard, especially when everyone else is omni. Hope you enjoyed the BBQ tofu — we’re all about kid-friendly in this house!

    Comment by karena — June 10, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

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