Tofu keeps well in the fridge for weeks and can become the basis of a tasty meal in minutes, making it a versatile protein that’s great to have on hand. Here are three very different ways to enjoy this adaptable vegetarian staple.
Note in the recipes below that only ¾ pound tofu is in the scramble and a little is saved for the dressing. If you don’t use the whole block of tofu, place any leftover into a container or jar, cover with cold water, seal the container and store in the fridge for up to a week. Changing the water every couple of days will keep it fresher longer.
This tofu scramble is a nice change from the usual breakfast routine and comes together just as quickly as any style of eggs. Make it with spinach, shredded carrot and any herbs — but don’t forget the turmeric, as the spice gives the tofu its lovely golden hue. Enjoy over avocado toast for a hearty and tasty breakfast.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ a medium red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
¾ pound firm tofu, rinsed and patted dry
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon tamari
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Large handful chopped parsley
Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper and a pinch of salt and saute for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown. Lower heat slightly and crumble tofu over the peppers. Sprinkle turmeric and tamari over the surface of the tofu and stir to combine. Add scallions and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve warm.
Creamy Tofu Herb Dressing
Makes about 1¼ cup
This dairy-free creamy dressing is delicious served over crunchy vegetable salads and steamed vegetables alike. You can also increase the amount of tofu and use it as a dip for vegetables (just season to taste before serving). Since it’s best not to eat tofu raw, I blanch it briefly before blending.
¼ pound firm tofu, rinsed and patted dry
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped dill
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup apple juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes, add to pot and blanch for 30 seconds. Pour into a strainer and set aside to cool. Place all ingredients in an upright blender and blend until completely smooth. Store any leftover dressing in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Ginger Sesame Baked Tofu
This is the ideal make-ahead dish as it can marinate in the fridge for a couple days. Simply bake when you’re ready to eat. Alternatively, you can skip the 30-minute marinating time and pop the tofu straight in the oven. You’ll still end up with a succulent, flavorful dish that tastes great over whole grains, noodles or steamed or stir-fried vegetables. Any leftovers can be used as a sandwich filling or cut up and tossed into salads.
1 pound firm tofu, rinsed and patted dry
2 garlic cloves
1 inch piece ginger, peeled
½ cup apple juice
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons unrefined sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Slice tofu into ½ inch slices and cut each piece into 2 triangles. Place in a baking dish in a single snug layer and set aside. Add remaining ingredients, except sesame seeds, to an upright blender and blend until completely smooth. Stir in sesame seeds and pour over sliced tofu. Marinated for 30 minutes or up to 3 days (covered) in the fridge. Bake for 40 minutes or until top and edges are beginning to brown. Remove from oven and serve warm or room temperature.
Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen will be available fall 2014. She blogs at Coconut & Quinoa.