Tag Archives: tofu

Dairy-Free Manicotti

26 Jun

Confession: I love things stuffed with cheese. But while the fast food industry continues its endless quest for new ways to stuff cheese into things, I think we can all agree it’s best to limit one’s consumption of such foods. That’s why when I recently saw a recipe on Eat Live Run for manicotti made with a mixture of tofu, spinach and nutritional yeast instead of ricotta I knew I had to try it. And guess what? It was so good!

To make the “ricotta” filling, you just put a 16 oz. block of tofu that has been drained and patted dry into the bowl of your food processor. Then add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. This is the important part; nutritional yeast has a “cheesy” quality that really makes this dish. If you can’t find nutritional yeast, don’t try this recipe! I was able to find it in the bulk containers at Whole Foods. Then add 2 garlic cloves, a tablespoon of olive oil, 1.5 tablespoons of salt and mix it all together. Add a package of frozen spinach that has been defrosted and drained of most of its moisture. Blend it all together again and your filling is ready!

As I was filling my shells I tasted a bite of the mixture and could not believe it! It tastes so creamy and flavorful. You truly would not believe this is tofu if you didn’t know better. This recipe is great for those watching their waistline or with lactose intolerance.

You can find the whole recipe here at Eat Live Run. Enjoy!

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Tofu Stir Fry

25 Apr

I love tofu. Like, seriously, love it. I’ve been cooking it at home for several years and it’s taken a while to find a method I really like that mimics restaurant-style tofu. My favorite way to prepare it is to fry it. I’ve tried baking it a myriad of ways, but can’t get the texture to my liking. Clearly, frying isn’t the healthiest way to cook it, but tofu is about the only food I fry at home so I’m ok with it. If you are completely averse to frying it, baking is good, too. Just be careful to cook it long enough or it can be a bit mushy.

Last night I made tofu stir fry for dinner. This is a dinner I make pretty regularly using different vegetables (basically whatever I have on hand). Sometimes I make my own sauce and sometimes I use a store-bought sauce. Trader Joes has some tasty sauces with pretty decent ingredients.

When you buy your tofu put it in the freezer as soon as you get home. As soon as it’s frozen you can move it to the fridge to thaw out and it should last a while. I’ve heard that freezing it changes the texture. I’m not 100% sure if it’s true or not but it’s something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing. Once you’re ready to use it, open the package and drain the water from it. You will want to drain as much water from the tofu as you can to get a firm texture. There are tofu presses you can buy to do this or you can improvise like I do and just wrap the tofu in a paper towel, set it between 2 plates and place something semi-heavy on top. Leave it for an hour or so and it should be good to go!

Once your tofu is drained cut it into bite-sized squares and I like to dredge each piece in corn starch or flour. It helps give it a nice crispy outside when you fry it. If you are baking it, you can omit this step.

Heat some oil in a skillet. I use my cast iron skillet which I am IN LOVE with. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one! I usually use canola oil to fry my tofu. You can tell if your oil is hot by dropping a bit of corn starch or flour into it … if it sizzles and bubbles it’s ready. Drop the tofu in and turn it to let each piece brown on all sides.

When your tofu is done, move it to a plate and set aside. Drain the excess oil from your skillet and add in your veggies. This time I used snow peas and a red onion. I added a little bit of chili oil and soy sauce to cook the veggies in and a splash of water to keep them from burning in the hot pan. About 30 seconds before your veggies are done, add in some chopped garlic and saute until fragrant. Remove cooked veggies from pan.

I like adding a scrambled egg to my stir-fry. Beat an egg and add a little sesame oil to it. Add back into hot pan and cook. It will cook fast! When it’s done just toss it on top of your veggies. Add your cooked tofu back into the pan and add your sauce.  Let it cook for a few minutes and you’re done! Mix everything together in a serving bowl. You can garnish your stir-fry with chopped peanuts or sesame seeds if you’re feeling fancy.

So, to recap, what you need for tofu stir-fry:

1 block of Extra Firm Tofu

Corn starch or flour

Veggies

Oil for cooking (canola, sesame, vegetable, etc…)

1 egg

Follow instructions above and enjoy!