Trendy Tofu

Alright. So here’s the deal. Remember all of those times I declared I didn’t care for tofu?

Forget it. Lately, I’ve realized something: I love tofu.

I’m not sure if previously I just wasn’t preparing it to my liking, or I just wasn’t buying good tofu. Not to mention the fact that I had negative thoughts associated with tofu anyways. Every time someone would see me cooking or eating, I was obviously eating/cooking toe-fu something. And I never was. So just to spite them, I would declare “I don’t even eat toe-fu!”

And yes, I would always say it toefu, as if it was fu from somebody’s toes. I was also skeptical of how much conflicting information is out there re: the possible hazards of non-fermented soy products.

Anyways. I found this locally-produced tofu, and I’ve done all sorts of things with it and now I have dreams of tofu, I love it so. Maybe it’s just the fact that it’s really fresh tofu that makes all the difference? Or maybe I’ve just finally figured out what to do with it? I don’t know.

First thing’s first – buffalo tofu. I knew I loved buffalo tempeh, and thought maybe buffalo tofu would be a good way to give tofu yet another chance.

I didn’t allow much marinating time – just simply sliced the tofu and placed it in a baking dish, pouring a mixture of Frank’s, olive oil, garlic and water over the top of it, and baked for about an hour. To get a little crispy-crusty action going on, I pan-fried it prior to smacking it in a sandwich filled with fresh herb lettuce, hummus, tomato and pickles.

Oh, yes, please.

After that experience, I knew tofu might be earning a spot in my heart.

My next tofu experiment came from my little black book:

Er, okay, maybe it’s a bulky blue binder. This is where I keep recipes I clip from magazines and such. It’s much more practical than keeping a bajillion magazines around for just one recipe that I don’t even remember seeing.

However, it tends to be put on the backburner for “real books.”

Was there a recipe for sweet potato gnocchi with lemon-basil sauce and panfried tofu with onions and mushrooms? Absolutely not. Did I develop a recipe for gnocchi with lemon-thyme sauce into the aformentioned gnocchi dish?

Why yes, yes I did. I feel like I’ve been eating too well lately. Why am I this lucky? Anyways. This is adapted from a recipe out of Cooking Light.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Lemon-Basil Sauce

served with onions, mushrooms, peas and grilled tofu 

For the gnocchi:

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • water (for boiling)

Bake (microwave or oven) the sweet potato. When cooked, allow to cool a few minutes before removing skin and mashing in a bowl. Add in the flour and salt. Stir to form a dough and then turn out onto a clean surface that’s been dusted with flour, adding in more flour until you get a smooth dough. Divide into four pieces, and roll each piece intoa 10″ log. Cut into 1″ pieces. Press against a fork to get indentations on one side (your thumb will lightly indent the other side)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in 5-10 gnocchis at a time, and leave in the simmering water for 2-3 minutes. When they’re ready, they will float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in a strainer. Repeat until all are cooked, and move onto your sauce.

For the veggies and sauce:

  • 1/2 block tofu, sliced into 1/4″ slices and then triangles
  • 1 t. earth balance or butter
  • 1 t. basil oil
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • 1 lemon – you’ll need the juice and the zest
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. frozen peas
  • 3/4 c. sliced mushrooms
  • salt and pepper (I used lemon pepper)

In a saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil and butter. Add in the onion and cook until softened. Add the mudhrooms and cook until almost softened. Season with salt and pepperAdd in the lemon zest, lemon juice and dried basil.

In a tupperware or bowl, place a layer of tofu and then veggies, repeating until used. Cover and allow to sit at least an hour.

When ready to prepare, heat the skillet and add in the veggies and tofu. Make sure the tofu is lying flat in the pan. Cook until golden on both sides, removing from heat when done. Add in the gnocchi (you might need to add more oil at this point) and cook just until they get a deep golden crust on both sides. Add in the frozen peas halfway through.

When done, serve over a bed of herb salad.

I’m not sure which dinner I liked better – that one or this one:

Chutney “Chicken” One-Pot.

And by chicken, I mean tofu. Since it wasn’t marinated and simply added in towards the end of cooking, the tofu was a wonderful way to “cool down” my mouth from the gradually increasing heat of the dish from the ginger and cumin.

I omitted the parsnips and apple fromt he original recipe purely because I didn’t have one, and instead subbed half of a roasted butternut squash and carrots. I also didn’t use quite as much dried fruit, used nutmeg and clove in place of the allspice, candied ginger instead of fresh ginger, regular balsamic instead of white balsamic, applesauce instead of apricot preserves and vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. I also added a pinch of white bean flour to thicken a touch.

I think this dish would be superb with figs, too – and maybe fig preserves instead of apricot? Either way – it was a serious winner, in my book. I love you, Rachel Ray.

In other news?

My computer is toast. Well, let’s classify it as burnt toast. I sort of like toast, so just calling it toast is sort of putting it lightly. That’s why blogging’s been a bit sporadic lately – it takes so much more time, and my mom is usually on her computer at night, anyway. I’ve had almost the whole week off from work (hence being so productive in the kitchen) so I have a bit more time for blogging in the afternoons for the time being.

Of course, that’s only after my Teddie time and walks with Kaia, which we’ve been doing lots of lately. We both love it :) And Teddie? Man, that pony is rockin’ lately! I am so proud of him – but I let him gloat about that on his own blog now ;) (even though he posts pictures where I look like a dorkus.)

Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that I’m a proud new Mac momma…but it’s not getting here fast enough!!

Do you like tofu? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

And/or – what’s something you thought you didn’t like, only to find out you actually do?

20 Comments

Filed under cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, recipe

20 responses to “Trendy Tofu

  1. I love the sweet potato gnocchi. That looks amazing. You sure are inspiring me lately!

  2. I LOVE tofu. But you know that. My favorite way to prepare it is to roast it, usually with some combination of spices including garlic powder or salt, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper… and I will stop now.

    I’m glad that you’ve discovered a love of tofu, because now it means I can copy the way you prepare it!! That buffalo tofu is going to be tried very soon.

    In recent memory — I thought I didn’t like tarragon, mostly because I don’t tend to like herbs much, even though I don’t know if I’ve ever tried tarragon before. But I love it!

    Sorry about your computer troubles — but when you didn’t post yesterday, I thought it was because you had no power, so it could always be worse? ;) (And as a random aside, you should arrange a visit to Whole Foods in the next couple of weeks. The coconut milk kefir is on sale. Travel a few hundred miles for kefir?… Why, yes, people do that ALL the time.)
    <3 <3

  3. Oh oh oh! The sweet potato gnocchi lemon basil sauce tofu plate oh my gosh just died and went to hypothetical foodie heaven. Holy cow.
    I used to think I hated ginger, and still do – but in the occasional spiced baked good, with the inclusion of nutmeg and cinnamon – it works! Hooray :)

  4. Oh, and heck YEZ! J’adore tofu :) fried with soy sauce….yum.

  5. I’m possitively stupefied that you are making your own sweet potato gnocchi.

    Hahaha, just checked out Teddies blog, it’s a sweetie :-). Still, yours is a bit more…informative. I am imagining the HUGE keyboard Teddie need to write his posts using his Haflinger hooves…

  6. I’ve actually been wanting to try a good tofu recipe since I started the blog. The one time I did have it, I don’t think it was prepared good it was kinda just thrown in my pad thai. so yeah, I need to try it!!

  7. sheanaj

    Just found your Blog.
    I have forced bad tasting “toe-fu” down for years! You have given me hope!

    The only way I have prepared tofu that actually tastes good is in a tofu scramble. I mash it up into little crumbles, season it with salt and pepper, add diced tomatoes and chili peppers. I cook it all together in a frying pan and voila, breakfast, lunch or dinner! This scramble is good on toast and with cheese or with a cheese substitute.

  8. I like tofu, I just think I need to allow more time to marinate and prepare it. Speaking of preparation, I finally cooked tempeh! I used 101 Cookbooks’ pan-glazed orange tempeh recipe and oh my goodness tempeh is out of this world amazing when seared and simmered in a sauce!

    And for your question, I remember a long time ago my mom showed disgust toward mango for heaven knows why and I got a fresh one and prepared it. I was completely floored by how sweet and juicy it was and I even got her to try it and she forgot why she disliked it in the first place… :P

  9. Lucky you, with all those awesome eats! I love tofu also, but when I get bored of it… I blend it into PUDDING to change up the texture :) So good! Just throw it in the blender with cocoa powder, sweetener and just enough milk to get things moving.

  10. Looks delicious. Love the sweet potato gnocci.

  11. My mouth was watering at the tofu to begin with and then you went and put Frank’s on it…Oh tofu how I miss you…let me count the ways. I swear, in another life, I will get to enjoy it again. I will pray for the speed in delivery of your baby!

  12. So glad you have found a love for tofu! I love a good tofu scramble or cut and baked into fries with a marinade of oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, Bragg’s, and LOTS of ginger!

    Congratulations on ordering your Mac! Do you have a PC now? I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it!

  13. Sweet potato gnocchi with lemon-basil sauce and panfried tofu with onions and mushrooms? Do you realize that you are like my idol? Haha!
    I’m not so much referring to the tofu, because I’ve never really made tofu for myself nor do I plan on it anytime soon… but you are such a foodie! Seriously, I wish I was as talented and productive as you are in the kitchen. Jess gets three gold stars!
    Which Mac did you end up springing for? The iMac or the Macbook?!

  14. Stefanie

    I thought I did not like tempeh until I tried the marinated package of it from the store. It had the perfect texture and flavor. I’ve been eating more tofu then normal these past couple of months. This past week, I used it in a lasagna in place of ricotta cheese. If I could perfect pan frying it I would be happy. Your dishes look good, especially the gnocchi.

  15. never tried tofu..wouldn’t mind trying it…everything looks scrumptious as always! :)

  16. LOVE tofu. My favorite way to eat it is actually raw- people hate the texture, but it’s how I enjoy it most!!

    Oh, and I was totally grossed out by the butter flavor pretzels I opened this afternoon at first. Now I can’t get enough of them. That was s pretty quick turnaround :)

  17. Mmm…sweet potato gnocchi. I must try this! :D

    I’m learning to love tofu as well! I never used to prepare it right (i.e., soggy mess) but the right cooking technique really brings it out and makes for a lovely meal addition. :D

  18. Yes, I LOVE tofu! I love marinating it in soy sauce, maple syrup, and sesame oil then baking it. I’m so glad you finally found a love for tofu so that I can get some recipe ideas from you now! ;) And speaking of recipes, that sweet potato gnocchi looks incredible.

  19. Love the idea of sweet potato gnocchi!!!!! I will definately be making these this weekend!!!!! My favorite way to make tofu is roasting it with either hot sauce or homemade barbecue sauce and roasting in the oven till the outside gets nice and crispy and of course served with roasted sweet potato rounds!!!

  20. Pingback: A Day of Ouches |

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