Bland Tofu? Think Again!
If you are ever interested in nutrition and health, you have probably heard of tofu or the benefit of tofu. Tofu is made of soybeans; it is the bean curd of the beans. Think of it as the cheese from soy milk? Soybeans, just like any other beans, is considered a plant-based protein source. Its benefits include: lowering cholesterol, helps weight loss, good sources of iron, calcium, magnesium and potentially reducing cancer risks. The nutritional value of soy beans are so high, that there is a whole field of research dedicated to soy proteins.
Long time ago there had been some questions about soy protein’s weak resemblance to estrogen (female hormone), therefore raising concerns about soy intake vs. breast cancer. It had been long debunked.
During nutrition consultations, sometimes when we talk about tofu/soy products to clients, who do not grow up with it, the reactions range from “what is that”, “it looks like plaster”, to “yeah, I love it from Panda but I don’t know how to make it”. As a person who grew up and loved tofu, I wish I could shout to the world, eat more of it! You’ll like it! Here are the simplest ways of preparing them. Guess what, some of them don’t even require a stove top. I hope this helps you give it a jump start.
Tofu comes in different firmness. It usually goes from silk, soft, medium, and firm. I recommend tofu beginners to start with firm ones. Keep in mind that tofu IS the protein of the meal, so the best way to use it for weight management would be to replace any meat/chicken/fish dishes with your tofu.
Crispy tofu in oven
Use FIRM tofu
Cut them in approximately 1”-2” cubes
Pad the cubes with paper towels to as dry as possible, this is important
Sauce: Mix about equal part of cooking oil and soy sauce (meaning, 1 tablespoon of oil with1 tablespoon of soy sauce)
You can sprinkle in salt, black pepper, chilli, sesame oil, anything you like
Coat the tofu with the sauce
Sprinkle another part of cornstarch, until tofu is evenly coated
Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes until the surface is crispy
Tofu + cheese in microwave
Use SOFT tofu
Divide a block of tofu in quarter or ⅛, smaller portions help the heat to distribute better
Carefully place a slice of cheese (chadder is good) on each tofu cube
Cover, and microwave for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted
You can top it with pepper, seaweed sprinkles, sesame, tomato, soy sauce, hot sauce
Tofu and edamame beans
Use FIRM or SOFT tofu
Heat the pan with 1 tablespoon of oil
Slice some onions/green onions and saute for 1 minute until soft
Slice a block of tofu into 1”x2” slabs
Add the tofu into the pan and let it sizzle for a little
Add in ¼ cup of chicken/vegetable stock
Let boil, and add in ½ cup of frozen edamame beans
Close the lid and let it boil
Season with salt and pepper, done.
All the ingredients and portions are extremely flexible. I hope this helps to remove any hindrance or doubt for anyone who’s ever curious about making tofu at home. Eat them over salad, with rice, with other vegetables, or alone. Top it with your favorite spice. Think of the weight you can lose and cholesterol that’s been chiseling away!
Enjoy our Savory Cheese Tofu recipe demonstration below! Find more of our recipe videos here.
Interested in learning about weight goal and nutrition needs? Schedule a free body weight and % body fat analysis with our Smart Eater Dietitians at 626-283-5128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.