Monday, January 16, 2012

New Foods Week Day 1: Trying Tofu

Even though I am not repeating recipes for a year, I do feel like we tend to eat a lot of the same kinds of meals. Therefore, I thought it would make for a fun little experiment to plan a a week's worth of meals that incorporate foods we've either never had or I have never cooked with.

Fun! Of course, the hubs is not necessarily too thrilled with this plan, but oh well. He also doesn't appreciate things like regular salon visits or trips to the mall, so I tend not to pay him much attention.

Tonight, I dove right in with a tofu-based dish, since we often follow Meatless Monday.

Are you surprised I've never cooked with tofu? Remember - the hubs isn't a fan of most veggies or healthy of any kind, so it shouldn't be too shocking. And, while I've had it once or twice in random settings, I have never been particularly motivated to prepare it on my own.

And in case you're wondering, there are loads of health benefits to this soy-based protein. Check out what our friends at World's Healthiest Foods have to say about tofu, because its pluses are way too many to list.

Spicy Stir-Fried Tofu with Snow Peas, Peanut Butter, and Mushrooms
Source: Cooking Light 10, Winter 2009

  • 1 14-oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed (used frozen peas - sorry peeps)
  • 1 c. red bell pepper strips
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 c. sliced green onions
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 c. sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp reduced-sodium tamari
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp salt (skip)
  • Place tofu cubes on several layers of paper towels. Cover with additional layers of paper towels; let stand 5 mins.
  • Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add tofu to pan; cook 7 mins or until lightly browned, gently turning occasionally. Remove from pan; keep warm. Add snow peas, bell pepper, 1/4 c. water, onions, ginger, and garlic to pan; stir-fry 3 mins. Add mushrooms, and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  • Combine remaining 1/2 c. water, tamari, peanut butter, cornstarch, Sriracha, and salt in a small bowl; stir well. Add tamari mixture and tofu to pan; cook for 1 min or until thickened, stirring constantly.
Yield: 4 servings (1.5 c/serving)
Per serving: 212 cals; 8.7g fat (1.4g sat, 3.7g mono, 3g poly); 13.7g protein; 21.5g carb; omg chol; 639mg sodium

Well, two out of three ain't bad. I kind of told the kid it was chicken (despite his pointing out it was Meatless Monday) and he ate every bite, and asked for more red bell peppers - even after I 'fessed up and told him it was tofu. I liked it - spicy but not overwhelmingly so. I did find the tofu a little mushier than I would have liked for a dish like this, but overall it was pretty good.

Then there was the hubs. I knew we were in trouble when he was unpacking the groceries yesterday, saw the box o' tofu goodness and groaned, "Oh. No." Between that and the extreme veggie explosion on his plate, he pushed it all to the side and ate the accompanying brown rice.

Two Forks - but I will try a tofu-based dish again.

Can you spot the tofu?


  1. that looks delish! oh... and you know, if you buy the silken/soft tofu, it's a great add to smoothies!!! (can't taste it, but makes thicker and adds the tofu benefits!)