Tofu might have a reputation for being “blah” in the carnivore world, but it’s time to give it some major love. Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein, perfect for those who can’t eat meat or choose not to based on an intolerance or ethical belief. Plus, it’s also less expensive and easy to prepare, making it a simple and cheap ingredient on a busy weeknight.
What’s more, it’s even a delicious option for die-hard meat-eaters, too, as long as it’s cooked with rich and bold flavors. (Which isn’t hard to do!)
If added to your diet regularly, you’ll notice some perks. It’s void of saturated fat and cholesterol, so it’ll give your heart a health boost and help keep your weight in check. Plus, it’s high in protein and calcium to help build strong bones and repair muscles. And, as tofu is so versatile, it can easily take on different tastes and textures to complement a variety of cuisines.
Ready to cook with your next kitchen staple? Here are a few tips for inspiration.
In Stir Fry
First off, tofu is packed in oil, so you’ll want to drain and press to help remove moisture prior to cooking. If you’re making a stir fry, you’ll also want to use extra firm, as it’ll withstand the high heat cooking and stirring, without breaking down or getting mushy.
Simply throw in a wok, mix with your favorite vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, and bok choy, and then flavor with a sauce or marinade. A nice soy or curry sauce could be great for adding flavor, here.
Grilled as a Steak
Thinking of ditching the steak and going meat-less for the night? Good call. Tofu as a grilled tofu “steak” is an easy and healthy way to add nutrition, better the planet, and protect your heart. (People who eat less meat have been shown to exhibit fewer diseases.) Plus, you can add a condiment to it to enhance the flavor. For instance, you can use a pesto or fruity salsa on top for a lighter meal, or you can use a teriyaki glaze or thick peanut sauce for a bolder, savory feel.
In a Protein Shake
Sounds weird, but it works! For protein shakes, you’ll want to pick something a little less firm and dense, so a soft tofu would be better for blending. Either way, tofu on its own is pretty neutral in taste, so it’ll pair well with fruits, vegetables, or juices and milks that you’re adding to your shake.
You’ll get in a hearty dose of plant-based protein, without needing to use protein powders, as well. (Some powders, like those with whey, can cause intolerance in sensitive folk.)
In Lightened Desserts
Tofu can be sweet? It sure can! Tofu can easily lighten a dessert recipe and add some extra protein to keep you satiated—where you’ll better resist that second slice of cake. You can use tofu as a filling for cakes and pies, like cheesecake, or instance, or you can use it in a chocolate mousse. As tofu can be soft and mushy, it works really well as a base, and as it’s taste is flavorless naturally, it won’t interfere with all that chocolaty goodness you’re searching for.
How do you like to use tofu when cooking at home? Please share your recipes below!