Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tofu Magic: How to Make Tasty Tofu

photo credit
Salad with Broiled Tofu from

Knowing how to handle and prepare tofu is still a puzzlement to many people. It doesn’t have to be that way. This blog will show you how easy it is to put together a tasty tofu dish, even if you’ve never made one before. Tofu (plain tofu) is gluten free, has only 70 calories in each 3 oz. serving, and is an excellent source of vegetable protein (8 g). One portion contains 6% RDA of iron and 15 % RDA of calcium. Tofu is naturally cholesterol free and bland tasting. A trick to pack it with flavor is to combine it with lots of herbs, spices, vegetables, and seasonings. Sprinkle on spices like chili powder, oregano, or paprika generously to assure your taste buds sing.  

I offer tofu tips and recipe suggestions, especially for those who want an awesome change-of-pace meal, or are moving toward a more plant-based lifestyle. Read on to discover how economical, fun, and easy it can be to prepare tofu dishes you and your family will enjoy.

Transform Meals with Tofu

Lasagna or Stuffed Shells       
Follow your customary recipe, but instead of using ricotta cheese, use organic silken or organic soft tofu for half or all the ricotta cheese. Top with grated organic soy cheese instead of Parmesan.

Wraps, Soups, Chili       
Add pureed, highly seasoned organic tofu or spicy cubed organic tofu to traditional fare to stretch a recipe and be kind to your pocketbook. Substitute crumpled tofu with added spices and herbs for chopped beef, poultry, or dairy in recipes to reduce cholesterol without losing taste.

Flavorful Sandwiches and Salads
Mix chopped firm organic tofu with Sloppy Joe sauce, BBQ, or Old Bay seasoning. Blend equal amounts of organic tofu with canned tuna or crab meat, boiled eggs (use whites only for lower cholesterol), or combine tofu and paprika mashed garbanzo beans. Then enjoy. When making sandwiches, remember to use whole grain roll or bread.

One of the secrets of improving the texture of water packed tofu and heightening its taste is to remove all excess water. Place a brick of firm or extra firm organic tofu on a plate. Cover tofu with another plate and place a weight such as a large can on top of all. Refrigerate for at least one half hour. When you're ready to begin, pour off liquid and follow your recipe. 

Water-packed organic tofu can be found in the dairy, produce, or Asian food case of your supermarket or health food store. It also is offered for sale in aseptically wrapped packages. This form of tofu doesn't need to be refrigerated before opening, has a long shelf life, and is already drained. Prices for organic tofu list from $1.99-$2.50 lb. Figure a portion at 3-4 oz. of tofu per person. How's that for good value? 

Ta-dah! Now, on to my recipe.

Nancy Andres' Broiled Tofu


1 package firm or extra firm Organic Tofu (approx. 14-16 oz.)
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos (gluten free)
2 teaspoons grated fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

What to Do:

This recipe requires advance prep time, but the actual cooking time is only 6 minutes. Early in the day, set up the tofu to drain as shown here and refrigerate. 
Simple way to drain the water out of a brick of tofu from

After a half hour or when all the water is drained out of the tofu, slice it into ½ in. slices. Place the tofu in a large container (one where you can lay the tofu slices out flat without overlap). In a small mixing bowl, blend all the remaining ingredients together to make a marinade. Use a pastry brush or spoon to coat pieces of tofu with marinade, cover container, and refrigerate for one hour or more. The longer tofu marinates, the tastier it gets.

My method for marinating tofu

When you're ready to broil the sliced tofu, put it in a broiling pan. Use a pastry brush or spoon to coat the surface of the tofu with the extra marinade left in the container. Broil 3 minutes on each side or until the tofu is lightly browned.

Broiled Tofu, Sweet Potato, and Kale from

Serve tofu with brown rice or sweet potato, green veggies, and a tossed 

green salad. Tofu is a complete protein and is gluten free. This recipe 

serves 4-6  hearty eaters, depending on what foods you serve with it.

One fabulous way to use leftover broiled tofu is to place a few strips on 

top of a tossed salad for a quick energy lunch (pictured at the top). Another idea is to put a few slices of tofu on rye bread, add sauerkraut and mustard, and you have a tasty sandwich.  

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: In the United States, almost all tofu that is not marked non-GMO or organic is genetically modified. Genetically Modified seeds have their genes manipulated, changed, and put into other species that normally they would not grow in. Incredible results have been produced. Some include mutations, diseases, abnormalities and trigger other diseases that otherwise may have remained dormant. Little testing has been done on the health effects of humans ingesting and using genetically modified products. Tests that have been done on animals that naturally refuse to eat Genetically Modified feed, but are being force-fed the Genetically Modified feed, develop lesions, abnormalities, disease…and some have died.
Following is information from Green America about soy products. I have obtained permission to quote them.

"Soy Has Been Genetically Modified since 1996

How widespread: 94 percent of the US soybean crop was genetically modified in 2011, according to the USDA.

What to watch for: Soybeans show up in many traditional (i.e. not organic) soy products, such as tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, miso, and tempeh, as well as any product containing the emulsifier lecithin (often derived from soybean oil), such as ice cream and candy.Green America Website

Do you already make tofu part of your eating plan? If you have a favorite recipe or tofu tips, won't you share it with my readers and me? Comment in the area provided below please.

Spreading the word about this post on social media is greatly appreciated!

The quotation for today follows: "We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are." Adelle Davis

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  1. I have never learned to like tofu, and because it's a highly processed food, I tend to avoid it, but as we inch toward an all-plants diet, I keep thinking I need to try more recipes in hopes of finding ways we might enjoy it. This looks like it could be a winner at our house.

    One of the tofu drawbacks for me has always been that it sits in water. The water, I admit, is a big ick factor, but there's more to it than that. As a young bride, back in the Dark Ages, I learned that soaking vegetables in water to crisp them leached valuable nutrients, so I stopped doing that. I've often wondered how many nutrients we're sliding down the drain when we pour off the tofu water. Could put it in my soup stock bowl, I suppose, but I also wonder how safe it is, and then there's that ick factor. I just want to hold my nose and get rid of it!

    Anyway, I thank you for providing this information. It impels me to give tofu another try. Your can-over-the-plate trick might work better than my old method, too. I was setting a cast iron skillet on top of a parchment covered brick of tofu. I always had to clear a shelf in my fridge just to drain it!

    1. Dear Kathryn Grace, I hear you about the processing. Tofu is processed to some extent. I think of processed foods as having varying degrees. Technically, if you puree veggies or simmer them to make broth, you’re processing that food, but I don’t think that’s what we mean when we say processed food, right?
      Here’s how tofu is made: Tofu, or bean curd, is derived from soya. It is made by curdling fresh soya milk, pressing it into a solid block and then cooling it – in much the same way that traditional dairy cheese is made by curdling and solidifying milk.
      What is highly processed are those packaged snack and convenience foods that are made with high fructose corn syrup, salt, and preservatives instead of actual food-based ingredients.
      Since tofu is made from a type of bean I have a hint for you. Soaking beans allows them to release indigestible sugar. This helps them cook faster and digest easier than unsoaked beans. Soaking water contains elements that you are trying to eliminate, and if consumed, causes a lot of gas. I discard the soaking water or pour it on plants. They like it. I too use vegetable water in soups, stews, etc. I appreciate that we can learn from each other. Warm regards, Nancy A.

  2. Great tofu tutorial! Thanks for visiting and commenting! - I'm going to link you ;)

    1. Thanks Jennifer. It was my pleasure. Have a great evening. Nancy A.

  3. Hi Nancy,
    Sounds like a tasty recipe. I don't eat Tofu because I get reactions from it. I appreciate you sharing the health benefits with us - that is so important. Thanks for sharing of Real Food Fridays. Pinned.

    1. Hi Marla,Enjoyed being part of Real Food Fridays and makes me happy playing a role in spreading information about plant-based health benefits. Thanks for hosting. Nancy A.

  4. I love baked or broiled tofu so it is so great to see your easy to follow instructions for making this delectable vegan protein source. I have tofu several times a week and it is so satisfying. I make sure to only buy organic tofu. Thanks for sharing your healthy and delicious Nancy Andres' Broiled Tofu with us on the Plant-based Potluck Party. I'm pinning and sharing.

    1. Thanks for your comments Deborah. Any special seasoning you like on it? I'm like you in that I eat tofu several times a week. It's so versatile. Thanks for sharing the love. I appreciate it! Nancy A.

  5. I eat tofu regularly and I love to prepare it in different ways so this recipe is perfect for me! I can't wait to try your yummy marinade. Thank you so much for sharing Tofu Magic: How to Make Tasty Tofu with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I am so delighted that you are partying with us! I'm pinning and sharing.

    1. Dear Deborah, So happy to party with you at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. Enjoy the tofu recipe and thanks for the support. Nancy A.


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Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return again. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Warm regards, Nan