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8 Delicious Uses for Tofu

8 Delicious Uses for Tofu

by Marygrace Stergakos, Green Options

Tofu. For those of us who have learned to master this culinary chameleon, it’s sort of miraculous. Tofu takes on the flavor of whatever its seasoned or marinated with, while its texture can vary depending on the mode of preparation. I always keep a couple of blocks of the stuff on-hand for quick stir-fries or sandwiches, but really, that’s just the beginning of what tofu can do.

There are two main different types of tofu: Silken and firm. The silken variety is Japanese in origin, and is soft, delicate, and creamy. It doesn’t hold it’s shape too well, so is best used in its pureed form for smoothies, eggless/dairyless pies, dips, or soups. Firm, or Chinese-style tofu, is (as its name implies) much firmer, and holds its shape when sliced for marinating and baking, cubing, or crumbling.

If you’re seeking to expand your tofu repertoire, look no further than this list:

  1. Marinate firm tofu in a mix of tamari, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a little water for a tangy flavor. Slice into slabs at bake at 400 degrees until firm. Use as an alternative protein for sandwiches, or serve with brown rice and steamed or sauteed greens for an easy macrobiotic meal.
  2. Make easy tofu meatballs by combining crumbled, firm tofu with chopped onion, soy sauce, peanut butter, and bread crumbs. Sounds strange, right? Its delicious. For specifics, check out the recipe. Perfect on top of a plate of whole wheat spaghetti with red sauce.
  3. Continuing with the Italian trend, tofu ricotta is great tossed with pasta, used as a filling for stuffed shells, or in between layers of lasagna. Use your food processor to whip up a batch in no-time flat using a block of firm tofu, some basil, salt, and toasted pine nuts and olive oil for richness.
  4. Silken tofu adds protein and creaminess to a fresh fruit smoothie. I like to go tropical with pineapple, banana, and orange juice, but any fruit will work.
  5. If you’re looking for a healthier pie, turn to silken tofu. It works beautifully to make a creamy, custard-y filling for pumpkin or coconut cream pie, and makes a mean chocolate peanut butter silk pie.
  6. I mentioned it in my 10 Vegan Breakfast Ideas post, but its so good that it bears repeating: Golden tofu scram(ble)!
  7. Use 1/4 cup of pureed silken tofu as a low-fat, cholesterol-free egg replacer when baking your favorite cookies, muffins, and quickbreads.
  8. Use firm tofu as the base for a vegan quiche. This recipe from 101 Cookbooks utilizes spinach, but I’m also a fan of asparagus and leek.

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72 comments

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9:51AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

I'm a beginner consumer of tofu, and I like it!

1:55PM PST on Jan 9, 2012

I've learned to love tofu, but wish I was a better cook, so will look forward to try some new recipes.

1:38PM PST on Nov 19, 2011

Thanks for these tips :-) I have to try the tofu meatballs !!!

2:41AM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

I love tofu, it soaks flavours so beautifully !

12:44PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Sounds good -going to try the tofu meatballs!~ Many Thanks!~

11:31AM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

I made a Tofu main dish that my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed. . .it just needs the right flavorings. . .

6:22PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Sounds so delicious :]

2:29AM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

Tofu can also be given to babies, plain, for sour stomachs. And everyone knows Miso soup, with tofu in it, and that's just awesome!

2:37PM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

thank you! I can't wait to try the meatballs!!

8:01AM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

Not a fan of tofu.

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