Tofu is an excellent meat substitute. Like miso and tempeh, tofu contains phytoestrogens, or weak plant-like estrogens. These phytochemicals are known as isoflavones; and eating soy foods, especially starting in adolescence, can reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, as one study of Canadian women suggested.
If you’re trying to have meatless Mondays or just reduce your meat consumption whenever possible, these tofu recipes offer healthy, satisfying and delicious options.
Sweet and Savory Maple Herb Roasted Tofu
If you think tofu lacks flavor, you have to give this sweet, savory, and herbaceous soy-based holiday entree a try. A simple blend of oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari or soy sauce combine to create a flavorful entree that’s wholly worthy of a coveted spot on your holiday table. The added aroma from fresh, wintry herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage is just a bonus. Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will love this comforting and festive main dish!
Prep Time: 40 minutes (including 30 minutes to press tofu)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total TIme: 1 hour 10 minutes
1 block drained and pressed extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
12-16 sprigs fresh herbs (I used a blend of rosemary, thyme, and sage)
Extra virgin olive oil for serving (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Slice tofu into 3 squares by cutting block twice along thinnest edge. Spread tofu squares on baking sheet and set aside.
2. Whisk together grapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari/soy sauce in a small mixing bowl and then brush mixture generously onto each side of the tofu squares. Spread sprigs of fresh herbs on top of tofu squares and place baking sheet on center rack of oven and bake until golden brown and aromatic, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove tofu from oven and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving if desired.
Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry
My Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry will provide you with plenty of health-boosting vegetables. Broccoli is a good source of lutein, a hedge against macular degeneration. Broccoli, cauliflower and kale have phytonutrients that protect against cancer. I use a wok to prepare this dish, but a large skillet will work, too. The tofu doesn’t have to be fried first, but frying gives it a nice texture.
1 package (8 oz.) firm tofu
6 Tbs. peanut oil
1 Tbs. grated gingerroot
2 Tbs. minced garlic
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup snow peas
1 cup broccoli florets, cut or separated into bite-size pieces
1 cup cauliflower florets, cut or separated into bite-size pieces
3 cups chopped kale
2 chopped scallions
2 Tbs. oyster sauce combined with 2 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup cold water
- Drain the tofu and press between paper towels to remove excess water. Cut tofu into 1- to 11⁄4-inch cubes.
Heat 4 Tbs. of the peanut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and fry until golden brown, about 2–3 minutes. Remove tofu from pan and keep warm.
3. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. peanut oil to the pan and sauté the ginger and garlic over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the carrots, snow peas, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook until just tender but still crunchy, about 7–10 minutes.
5. Add the kale and scallions and continue cooking until kale softens, about 4–5 minutes.
6. Stir in the oyster sauce mixture and cornstarch mixture and cook until a thick sauce forms, about 2 minutes. (If using unfried tofu, add now and cook until heated through, about 2–3 minutes.)
7. Remove vegetables from heat. Fold in tofu.
Tofu Tacos with Kimchi Slaw
In this convenient and satisfying vegetarian entree, savory baked tofu is topped with homemade vegetable kimchi slaw and fresh avocado. This dish is convenient enough for quick, weeknight meals but also festive enough for entertaining and parties. Feel free to substitute with your favorite protein sources (try fish, shrimp, or black beans) and you’ll want to make these tacos over and over again.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total TIme: 40 minutes
1 block extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and chopped into squares
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
4 corn or whole grain tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
½ cup kimchi
¼ cup shredded carrots
½ large cucumber (about ½ cup), sliced into small strips
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
1 lime, zest and juice
1. Preheat oven to 400-degree F and prepare a baking sheet. Add tofu squares to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and pure maple syrup in a separate small bowl and then toss with tofu. Transfer to baking sheet and bake until tofu is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
2. In the meantime, prepare the slaw using same mixing bowl. Add kimchi, carrots, kale, cilantro and lime and stir until mixed. Set aside until tofu is cooked.
3. Lay tortillas on a flat surface and remove tofu from oven. Divide tofu between tortillas and top with sliced avocado and slaw before serving.
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