Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meatless Monday and a Lesson in Tofu

Meatless Monday approaches. Do you have your Meatless Monday meal planned? Well, just so you know, you can find some truly awesome recipes from Meatless Monday participants on their website:

I recently tried a few out.
Ok, this may sound gross or otherwise unappealing, but I tried out Barbequed Tofu!!!
I admit it. I have been a tofu skeptic. I would much rather use a vegetable or bean than a flavorless block of white spongy sliminess. I have tried tofu in stirfries with plenty of ginger and sesame oil...but it still was too tofu-ey.

With all this said, I loved the Barbequed Tofu...and amazingly... my husband did too! And he is even more of a tofu snob than me.
You can look up the recipe on the Meatless Monday site, but I'll just tell you what made this tofu experience different than all of those sad sad times before.
  • First, you FREEZE the tofu.
  • Then you slice/shave the frozen almost replicates sliced turkey in appearance. 
  • Finely chop some onions (Sweet Vidalia, in our case). 
  • Smother in BBQ sauce (Dinosaur Jr. for us). 
  • MARINATE in the fridge for a while (4 hours, in our case). 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour or so. 
  • Serve on Sesame Buns with Coleslaw and a Pickle.
Oh my Barbequed Goodness! This was delish!

The MARINATING is really what made all of the difference here...and I think the thin meaty-looking slices helped too. There were no leftovers in our house.
So the valuable lesson about cooking with tofu is this: Since it is utterly bland on it's own, marinate it in a strong flavor, and you will have much better results.
Tofu is made from the ever-versatile and healthful soybean. And boy oh boy, is it cheaper than meat. The block o' tofu I purchased was $1.99 at Wegman's.

We only used half the block for the Barbequed Tofu recipe. I think I will slice the other half, marinate it in a Thai Peanut sauce, serve it with shredded steamed carrots over noodles. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Any tofu cooking pros out there? Any suggestions or recipes? I'd love to hear all about it.

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Gray Sea

Gray Sea