Tofu is such an awesome vegan staple that its true potential can sometimes be overlooked. It has become almost a cliché, but its popularity is well-deserved. Many people underestimate just how much you can do with tofu. If you use it right, you can end up with an array of foods so varied and flavorful that even your non-vegan friends will be begging you for recipes.
Here are some delicious ways to use tofu that you may not have thought about. Try tofu in a new way tonight and expand your meal options!
1. Tofu Scramble
The tofu scramble is a must-have staple. Not only does it offer you the chance to replicate a breakfast classic, but it also gives you a platform for a wide variety of flavors and the chance to experiment with whatever vegetables you have on hand, making it an excellent way to clear your fridge.
One example is this simple but scrumptious Southwest Tofu Scramble . With just some simple ingredients (many you probably have on hand already), you can whip up a savory dish that is packed with flavor. Red peppers add both color and taste, and kale packs a nutritious punch as well. The standout of this dish is the pourable sauce, allowing you to customize your level of spice. It can be a great breakfast or brunch dish or even a quick weeknight dinner.
2. Stir Fry
Stir fry is a delicious way to combine vegetable flavor profiles and tofu is the perfect ingredient to add some varied texture.
This Teriyaki Peanut Stir Fry is a great starting place for using tofu in this way. The mix of ginger and sweet and spicy peanut sauce provides a satisfying, tangy flavor. A combination of carrots, red pepper, and zucchini comes together to offer a hearty, tasty dish that’s perfect to pack for lunch.
3. Smoothie (with Silken Tofu)
Smoothies are a wonderful, portable meal that are great for on-the-go nutrition. Making them at home before you head out the door helps ward off temptation to stop by the drive thru and gives you the energy boost to start your day off right.
4. Tofu Jerky
Did you know that tofu can provide a delicious vegan version of jerky that delivers the same salty satisfaction?
Give this Spicy Siracha Tofu Jerky a try for a treat with a tangy zing. This simple recipe only requires five ingredients, and the resulting jerky makes for an excellent on-the-go snack that can be packed in a lunch box or carried along for a hike. When you’re making any tofu jerky, it helps to use a tofu press so that it more easily sucks up all the marinade.
A good chili needs to be hearty, filling, and robust, and sometimes it can be boring eating the typical vegan chili with only beans, peppers, and onions. Tofu can be used to add texture and heft to a delicious chili that makes a tasty dinner with leftovers that can easily become lunch the next day.
This Mushroom Tofu Chili is packed with hearty ingredients to make for a filling dish, and the flavors of cumin, chili powder, and even a little cacao powder make for a smoky flavor that is quite satisfying. Give it a try on its own or with a sliced French loaf.
6. Spring Rolls
Spring rolls can be an excellent side dish for Asian cuisine. They’re also great on their own as a light lunch. The pop of color from vibrant veggies and the invigorating taste of a well-seasoned sauce make this a full sensory pleaser.
These Purple Cabbage Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce deliver on both the pleasing appearance and the flavor-packed sauce. Stuffed with sweet potatoes, crispy tofu, and black rice, these rolls are hearty enough to serve on their own.
Kebabs are an excellent summer food that are perfect for tossing on the grill. They are also very versatile and can be created with different flavors to match any palate.
As the BBQ season ramps up, try out this Mediterranean-Spiced Tofu Kebab . Fresh zucchini and crisp red peppers join tofu to make for a great grilled treat. Flavors of turmeric, paprika, and cayenne pepper let you make this dish as mild or spicy as you’d like.
8. Tofu Feta Cheese
We often think of tofu as a meat substitute, but it can also serve as a cheese substitute. It truly is that versatile! In just 15 minutes and with a simple marinade, tofu can provide both the flavor and texture of a crumbly feta to add to salads.
Try this Vegan Tofu Feta Cheese recipe that uses apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano to provide a flavorful cheese replacement.
9. Ricotta Cheese
Vegan ricottas can be made with nut blends, but if you find yourself without the ingredients on hand (or prefer to skip the nuts for other reasons), tofu is a great substitute.
This Quick Vegan Tofu Ricotta takes only 11 minutes and a food processor to create a delicious “cheese” ready for use in lasagna or wherever else you’d usually throw in some ricotta.
10. Alfredo Sauce
One last cheesy substitute that tofu can provide is a creamy, mouthwatering alfredo sauce. Serve it over pasta for comfort food at its finest.
This Tofu Alfredo Sauce recipe come together in just a few minutes with a few staple ingredients including Italian seasoning and vegetable broth.
Tofu is truly a
star in the kitchen. It can serve as a substitute for eggs, meat, and cheese
and provide protein and texture in a wide range of dishes. With all these
possibilities at hand, tofu should be on every everyone’s list and kept on hand
when quick meals or last-minute changes are required. Many of these recipes are
adaptable and ready for your personal touches, so get in the kitchen and get
Joey Bruno runs the blog ThriveCuisine.com a website dedicated to making vegan eating simple. You can also find him on YouTube
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