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Hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be.

What is tofu?

This blog tells you how to make tofu. Take soy beans, blend them, cook the milk, strain out the pieces, coagulate the milk with seasalt, or epsom salt, or lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar, and press out the water and shape it into squares.  There you go.

How do you obtain tofu?

Not going to make it yourself?  Okay.  At the grocery store, it comes in square packages in the refrigerated area of the produce section.  At Safeway, it costed $2.00 but at the Asian Market H Mart, it costed $.88.  You can buy it in various stages of firmness, depending on what you are going to use it for.  I got one silken and one extra firm, the first time.  I use one block per meal for my family of four people of varying smallishness.

What do you do with tofu?  You pretend it is not tofu.

Here are Ten Things to Do With Tofu.

1. Scramble it. Break up the block of tofu, add some salt, pepper, soy sauce, onions, greens peppers, and mushrooms and cook it the same way you would scrambled eggs.
2. Add it to lasagna instead of ricotta cheese
3. Replace meat in a casserole. Cut firm tofu into cubes and fry it until it is brown.
4. Stir-fry. Add tofu and vegetables and olive oil and soy sauce
5. Replace eggs in Egg-Salad Sandwich. Tofu, onion, celery, mayonnaise, lettuce on bread.
6. Veggie Sandwich. Cut a few slices, fry them with sliced squash and zucchini. Put them on a bun with lettuce tomato, plus condiments.
7. Make a protein shake or smoothie. Blend silken tofu. Add fruit, 1 cup skim milk, 1/4 cup ice.  Add sugar, or not.
8. Tofu Taco. Crumble and brown it with taco seasonings. Substitute for meat.
9. Add to pasta dishes. Brown and add.
10. Add to salad. Don’t brown and add.

Here is what I have tried and how we we liked it.

Scrambled Egg-fu.

Drain the (silken) tofu by wrapping it in paper towels (greener houses than mine might use a regular towel.) Squeeze it between two plates to get the extra liquid out.  Whatever that extra liquid is.  They say mash it, but not too much because it’ll get mashed enough when you scramble it.  Saute an onion in oil, drop the tofu in the pan, add whatever you would add to eggs, but don’t stir it too much.  Let it sit and get brown.  In this batch, I put peppers, tomatoes, and cheese. And lots of seasonings.  Tofu has zero taste without it.

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Heidi liked hers, until she got a big bite of squishy tofu.  Before that, she had been mixing it up with peppers, onions, and tomatoes and it was working for her.  I should have broken up the tofu chunks a little more for her.

Peter loved his.  I don’t know why he’s crying in this picture.

I should have browned the tofu in a little more oil; the tofu somehow stuck to my non-stick pan and left a white residue that I was really concerned about for a while.  It has mostly come off after using the pan a few more times, which is a little gross, but better than ruining my pan.  The next times I browned tofu, I used more oil.

Spaget-tofu.

Similar to the Scrambled Egg-fu, except here you are pretending the (extra firm) tofu is ground beef.  Brown it and add the sauce.  This one was just fine too.  Having noodles in there helped break up the squishy-ness of the tofu.

The only problem was that Bryan lost his man card for eating tofu for the same meal that his brother ate a big, juicy, manly steak.

Sorry, Bryan.

Tofuna Casserole

This was delicious.  I browned the (extra firm) tofu in lots of oil, then pretended it was tuna and made my tuna casserole like I usually do.  And by “usually do,” I mean substitute or somehow alter 50% of the ingredients.  I put rice in it because I didn’t have enough noodles, I only put 1/4 cup cheese in because we’re running low, I put in some cream cheese because we’re trying to use it up, and I didn’t put mushrooms in because we didn’t have any and I didn’t put chips on top because I don’t keep them in the house.  Much to the chagrin of everyone who is not me.

Peter gobbled his portion.  He usually doesn’t eat as well as I think he should, but he cleared his plate and asked for more several times. “Mo!”  When he did start throwing food, he only threw noodles.  Heidi also ate all the tofu and only left noodles on her plate.  Which are usually the first to be eaten and asked for more.  (Use that sentence on a Passive Voice worksheet.)

I think the rice helped disguise the tofu.  When you take a bite of something squishy like tofu, I think your brain interprets it as lard, or something, and decides it doesn’t like it because it knows it’s not good for you.  But if you know that the squishy thing is just rice, your brain is cool with it.

Tofurritos

Another win.  Chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado, cooked beans, cheese, green onions, crumbled tofu browned in oil.  Mix in a big bowl, scoop onto tortillas and wrap up.

Tofookies.

Bryan made these.  I would give this recipe a “meh.”  Not because they aren’t good, but because they aren’t these.  Also because I got the recipe off a forum post on makeuptalk.com. But they make a really great cookie substitute.  They have no eggs, no butter, and no milk.  You can eat them as dough without fear of salmonella.  And they have protein and oats and raisins in them.  Now, those three might be reason enough for you to not eat them, but they are reason enough for me to give them to my children and tell them it is a cookie.  I think I’ll eat one right now.

Mmmm.  Tofookies.

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