Every home needs a quick and easy meal now and then. Tofu is one of those tasty and easy to use proteins. Try these delicious vegetarian meals.
What’s the deal with tofu anyways?
Tofu is made with soybean curd. Mostly found in Asian cuisine, it is now creeping into Western food culture, with many Western foodies swapping out the chicken for tofu and or merely using it to make wholesome, hearty meals.
No matter whether you love Mexican food or rich Thai curries, there are even creamy pasta dishes made with tofu too! Tofu is a healthy cholesterol-free complete protein. Tofu is low in calories and has zero saturated fats, which is why everyone from Gym-bunnies to health enthusiasts is incorporating it into their diets.
While tofu is easy to use and cook with, there are a few things to note. You should only buy the kind of tofu that your recipe calls for if you are converting a recipe from meat to vegan, use Google to check which kind of tofu you can substitute in.
Pressing your tofu before using it is the best way to ensure that you end up with crispy tofu every time. Press your tofu in between two chopping boards or invest in a tofu press. Aim to press your tofu for 15-20 minutes, adjust according to your specific needs. The less water in your tofu the crispier it will be.
These tasty bite-size pops will become a family favourite in no time. Even the kids will love them.
- 3/4 cup Vegan mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs/panko crumbs
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp paprika (for an even tastier pop use smoked paprika)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 14 oz firm tofu, pressed and chopped into cubes
- Optional: Seasoning and chopped spring onion to garnish. Nutritional yeast. Sweet chilli sauce or vegan cream cheese dip to serve.
Preheat oven to 200C (400F) In a bowl mix the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, and garlic powder, combine well. In a bowl toss the tofu cubes and the mayonnaise until thoroughly coated. Coat the tofu in the bread crumb mixture, ensure the cubes are coated—Bake on a baking sheet for 40 minutes. The nuggets should be golden brown and crunchy.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving with a dip and chopped spring onion.
Tip: these tofu pops can be baked or fried!
Sliced tofu and peanut sauce
This tasty tofu meal can be eaten on its own or served on a bed of noodles or fried rice.
- 1 cup peanut butter, salted and smooth
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 3-4 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (alternatively agave or honey)
- 1-2 Thai red chilli, minced
- 2-3 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Water (to thin the sauce)
- 14 oz block firm tofu, pressed and sliced into 1inch thick slices
- 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tbsp sriracha sauce (Use mustard if Sriracha is too hot)
- 1 cm finger grated ginger
- Bread crumbs
- Oil for pan-frying
Once your tofu is pressed and sliced, toss in a bowl with the grated ginger, sriracha sauce and 3 tbsp soy sauce. Allow mixture to rest while making the sauce.
In a blender, blend the peanut butter, coconut oil, soy sauce, chilli, maple syrup, lime juice. Blend until all combined, add water to thin the consistency as desired.
Coat the tofu pieces in the bread crumbs, pan fry until golden brown on each side. Heat the peanut sauce in a pan and drizzle over the tofu. If you are serving with noodles, coat the noodles in the sauce for added flavour. Serve sprinkled with chopped spring onion, and sesame seeds.
Sweet Asian BBQ Tofu w rice noodles
Are you ready for your new Sunday staple meal? Here it is!
- 12 oz Sliced and pressed firm tofu
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cm finger grated ginger
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 – 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 5 tbsp cornstarch
- Cooked rice noodles
- Roughly chopped veggies: bok choy, peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms
- To garnish: Spring onion, sesame seeds, cilantro
In a mixing bowl add in the soy sauce, half cup of water, ginger, paprika, vinegar, garlic, and sugar. Mix the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved, then add the veggies and the tofu. Marinate for 30 minutes. Once the tofu has marinated, mix 2 tbsp cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Pour into the tofu mixture and combine well. In a large pan or a wok, cook the mixture on medium to high heat, stirring constantly. Once the sauce thickens, it becomes glossy. Cook until the vegetable are al dente, and still have some crunch. Add the noodles to the wok and toss until coated with sauce. Serve with chopped cilantro, sesame seeds, and chopped spring onions.
If the sauce isn’t thick enough, add the remaining cornstarch to a little cold water and combine well in the pan.
Creamy, cheesy tofu pasta
This easy, quick and utterly delicious meal is safe for even the fussiest eaters.
- 1 package soft/silken tofu
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk
- 4 servings linguini pasta, cooked
- Optional extras: sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, caramelized butternut cubes, or crispy bacon bits
In a blender add in the tofu, nutritional yeast, spices and the mustard, blend until smooth and creamy. Add in the milk to thin the sauce out. You can pour the sauce through a strainer to remove any lumps and for a smoother consistency.
In a saucepan warm the sauce allowing to simmer while stirring for a few minutes. Add a dash more milk if the sauce thickens too much. Add the cooked vegetables/bacon bits and the cooked pasta. Fold together so that the pasta is evenly coated with sauce. Serve immediately.
The take away: Tofu is easy
From Thai green curry in a hurry to creamy pasta, there is an easy tofu dish for everyone! Tofu is not only easy to cook with it is easy to find in a supermarket as well. This Asian staple will soon become a staple in your home.