Monday, March 17, 2014

Tofu, The Basics of Tofu and Recipes!

Tofu, The Basics of Tofu and Recipes:

I wanted to write a post about Tofu. I know it's not for everyone, but if prepared properly, it can be delicious. I happen to like Tofu.
I'll start with the basics of Pressing, Frying, Roasting, Baking and then give some recipe options.
I'm on a new health kick and will continue to post some healthier recipes.

Pressing Tofu:

You'll need:
2 dinner plates ( I use a large soup bowl) ( I place a double layer of paper towels in the bowl)
1 heavy object ( I use a crock filled with utensils)

Place a block of Tofu on a plate.
Cover it with the second plate right side up.
Place a heavy object on top of the plate.
Allow the Tofu to be pressed for 30 - 40 minutes.
Discard the liquid and prepare according to the recipe.

Frying Tofu:

Dry Rubs Add Flavor and Texture

Whether you marinate the tofu or not, a dry rub will help add flavor and a crusty texture when you cook it. Choose a few of your favorite herbs and spices, mix them together in a small bowl, and rub them over the surface of the tofu. When you pan-fry the tofu, that rub will become a delicious crust.
A block of Extra Firm Tofu.
Press the Tofu first.
You'll need Sesame Oil and a Skillet.

Cube the Tofu.
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat,
Add the Tofu and fry until both sides are golden brown.

Roasting Tofu:

Slice dried Extra Firm Tofu into rectangles or Cube it.

In a bowl:
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Sea Salt

Place the Tofu in the bowl and turn it with your hands to coat it evenly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the Tofu on the sheet pan in a single layer.
Roast for at least 30 minutes or until it's golden brown on all sides.
Turning it after 15 minutes.

This was marinated in Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper
and Rosemary that I grow, dry and process in a food processor.
I always have a jar of my own Dried Rosemary available for

In the oven!

The finished product !
I'll cube it and eat it in a salad with Ice Berg Lettuce,
Mixed Fresh Vegetables and a Dijon Vinaigrette.

Baking Tofu:

1 - 16 ounce block of Extra Firm Tofu
1 TBS Sesame Oil
1 TBS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
1 TBS Water
Whisk  together.

Option: 1 TBS of Cornstarch for a crispier texture.

Press the Tofu.
Cut into this slices or cubes.
Place in the container and marinate it in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place Tofu in a single layer. (at this step you can sprinkle with cornstarch on all sides)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes.
Toss every 10 minutes while baking.

Use immediately or cool completely on the sheet pan and refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to use.
It will keep up to 1 week.

Tofu, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich:

Extra Firm Tofu
Sliced Tomatoes
Mustard Sauce (recipe to follow)
Dressing (recipe to follow)

Preheat the oven to 374 degrees.

Mustard Sauce:

In a small bowl:
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 TBS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Adobo Sauce from a can of Chipotle Peppers.
Set aside

Slice the Tofu into rectangles.
Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Spread both sides of the pieces with some of the mustard sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Combine 4 TBS of Mayonnaise and 1/2 tsp of Adobo Sauce in a small bowl.
Spread the dressing on toasted bread,
Prepare a sandwich with a slice of Tofu, a slice of Tomato and some Lettuce.

I also add vegetarian bacon that has been microwaved for 2 minutes until it's crispy.

Tofu Stir Fry with Cashews and Broccoli:

14 oz. of Firm Tofu , that has been pressed
2 TBS Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 TBS Honey
1 TBS Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Cornstarch
3 C Broccoli Florets
3 tsp Sesame Oil, divided
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 C Unsalted Cashews
3 Green Onions, slices
Steamed Rice

In a saucepan:
Boil broccoli for 1 minute in water.
Drain and Set Aside.

In a small bowl:
Soy Sauce
Whisk Well

Cut Tofu into Cubes.

In a Skillet:
Heat 2 TBS Sesame Oil.
Saute Tofu for 4 - 5 minutes, browning on all sides.
Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat remaining Oil.
Saute Bell Pepper for 1 minute.
Add Garlic for 1 minute.
Stir in Broccoli and Tofu for 1 1/2 minutes.
Add Soy Sauce Mixture and Cashews.
Continue cooking and stirring for 1 minute.
Stir in Green Onions.
Remove from heat and serve over Steamed Rice.

Tofu Black Bean Lasagna from Trisha Yearwood , re posted:

It's not easy to find a Tofu recipe that non vegetarians like.
This just may be the one!
This seemed like the perfect recipe for the "Hippy" Blog.


One 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
One 12-ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for pasta
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small onion, finely chopped
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
8 ounces lasagna noodles
1 recipe Tofu Ricotta, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, onions and black beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain the noodles well.

Spread 1 cup of the prepared sauce in a 9- by 13- by 2-inch baking pan. Make three layers each of noodles, sauce and Tofu Ricotta. End with the sauce and make sure the noodles are completely covered or they will dry out during baking. Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered. Allow the dish to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Tofu Ricotta:

1/4 cup raw cashews, finely ground
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
Add the cashews to a food processor and grind them. Then crumble in the tofu, and add the yeast, olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. Keeps well for at least a week. Yield: about 2 1/2 cups.

Cook's Note: To press tofu, drain any liquid from the block of tofu. Fold paper towels around the tofu and then set a big wrought iron skillet on top of it to press out the excess moisture. Allow to sit for about an hour to press.

Sauteed Tofu with Spinach:

2 TBS Grape Seed Oil
12 oz Firm Tofu , pressed, drained and cubed
Sea Salt
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1.8 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Dried Cilantro
1/8 tsp Dried Mustard
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 pounds of fresh Spinach, chopped

Heal 1 TBS of the Oil in a 10" Cast Iron Skillet
Add the Tofu and saute until golden brown on all sides
Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt.

Heat remaining Oil in the pan and saute Onion and Garlic, for 5 minutes.
Add Spices, stirring . Cook for 1 minute.
Add Spinach and heat until wilted.
Transfer to a large serving bowl , season with salt to taste.
Fold in Tofu and serve hot.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cajun  Roasted Tofu:

2 (16oz.) pieces of Extra Firm, drained, rinsed, pressed and each one cut into 3 slices. Then into triangles.

1/2 C Soybean Oil
6 TBS Cajun Spice Mix (recipe to follow)
4 TBS Tamari or Low Sodium Soy Sauce
4 TBS Toasted Sesame Oil
Whisk well

Place Tofu in a shallow dish, in a single layer.
Pour Marinade over the Tofu.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.

Place the Tofu in another baking dish sprayed with Vegetable Cooking Spray.
Pour Marinade over the Tofu.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12 - 15 minutes.

Cajun Spice:

2 1/2 TBS paprika
2 TBS salt
2 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS cayenne pepper
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried thyme
1 TBS black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a jar, shake well and store in the pantry.
I always have a jar available.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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