Tofu has become a bit of a joke to people who love to eat meat. However, this magical food has been praised by vegetarians for its protein, texture, and general diversity in all kinds of recipes.
So what is tofu?
Tofu is coagulated soy milk that has been pressed into soft white blocks. The more water that is pressed out determines the texture, and it ranges from soft to firm or extra firm. It is a great source of protein, calcium, and iron, and has been linked to numerous health benefits.
Many people might initially be turned off by using tofu in recipes. At first taste, it's bland, spongy, and sometimes reminiscent of jello (in the silken varieties). Because of those qualities, it takes on whatever flavor you give it - which makes tofu very unique and versatile. Here are some wonderful ways to enjoy this superfood that are anything but bland!
Creative Ways to Cook with Tofu
Tofu Stuffed Shells
If you are lactose intolerant, nothing can be more difficult than trying to satiate the craving for Italian foods. Luckily, there is a solution. Take 1 block of firm tofu, wrap in a paper towel, and squeeze excess water out. Add to a large bowl with 2 packets of True Lemon, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast. Mix well with a fork, then prepare any stuffed shell recipe using the tofu mixture instead of cheese and eggs. It mimics the texture, and it's surprisingly tasty!
An added bonus: nutritional yeast is also a great way for vegetarians and vegans to get in the B-vitamins they may be lacking due to their decision to not consume meat.
Tofu Orange-Chocolate Mousse
Silken tofu has a beautifully smooth texture, and is a great alternative to cream or puddings. Just pat a block of silken tofu gently with paper towels to drain excess water, then put in a food processor or blender. Add some melted chocolate (dark chocolate is best, especially for the heart), and 2 packets of True Orange. Blend until smooth. This is delicious when served with whipped cream topping, and some extra dark chocolate shavings. It is a delectable treat that's full of health benefits.
Baked Potatoes with Tofu Sour Cream
Potatoes can be a wonderful comfort food, but they're even better when topped with a big dollop of sour cream. Increase the nutritional value of the whole meal by making your own tofu sour cream! Put a block of silken tofu, a generous sprinkling of True Lemon Pepper, and a couple splashes of white vinegar into a food processor and blend well. Make baked potatoes as usual and top with the tofu sour cream, and fresh chopped chives.
Tofu Egg Salad
Looking for an extra punch of protein, but hate peeling eggs? We have the perfect (and delicious) solution! Make this True Lemon Egg Salad recipe, but instead of eggs substitute a 1/2 a block of firm tofu. Serve on a sandwich with whole wheat bread, fresh lettuce, and sliced tomato.
Spicy Tofu Jerky
Who'd have thought that tofu would dry so well into a chewy jerky? This is a great idea for people who like to make their own camping snacks, or just want a healthier alternative to high-sodium beef jerky. This is a fantastic recipe by Connoisseurus Veg, but we found plenty of other versions online as well.
Whether you're a vegetarian or not, tofu can be a wonderful addition to a healthy lifestyle!
[Credit: Ware, Megan LDN RD, Tofu: Health Benefits, Facts, Research. Medical News Today.]
[Credit: Flager, Madison, This is Tofu?! 7 Awesome Recipes You Never Knew Could Be Made With The Spongy Vegan Stuff. Greatist.]