Although many shy away from tofu on account of its potentially bland taste and at once soft but firm texture, this soybean-based product is a staple in vegetarian cooking and offers meaty substance in ways that vegetables cannot. It indeed has a somewhat plain flavor on its own, but since it’s rarely eaten like that — without having been transformed by sauces or spices — it deserves a chance to shine in meals for non-meat-eaters and carnivores alike. Just like the everyday chicken breast, tofu too is a blank culinary canvas that can easily adopt the bold, full flavors that come from marinating, grilling and sauteing with any number of your favorite ingredients, including barbecue and soy sauces, garlic and curry. By cooking tofu with tastes you already know and enjoy, you can be sure that you’ll appreciate its taste and place in the dish as well.
In its top-rated recipe for Tofu Parmesan Subs (pictured above), Food Network Magazine swapped in slices of tofu for traditional eggplant or chicken, coating each piece in a cheesy breadcrumb crust and sauteing it until deliciously crispy and golden brown. Layer the tofu between a garlic-tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella cheese on Italian bread and finish each sandwich with baby spinach for a satisfying meal that’s ready to eat in only 35 minutes.