I’m blocking out the sounds of the television as I write because we managed to have such a productive day, the kids are getting to enjoy a show while I take a few moments at my desk. The toddler is napping, my tofu is pressing for dinner, and I’m sipping some afternoon tea in this nice, quiet moment after a full day of learning, reading, playing, and an outing to the library. I made it to my scheduled writing time without even scribbling a tiny note on a scrap of paper today; the productivity of today feels noteworthy!
And, just like that, after 10 minutes of writing, I was distracted for 3 hours playing Stratego with Jude (his 4 year old version), finishing dinner, and cleaning up dinner. However, that’s okay because now I can talk about the tofu that I nonchalantly mentioned above. In reality, this is the first time I’ve tried cooking it. And truthfully, I’ve been scared to attempt it. I decided, however, I needed to try something new for protein after eating an on-again off-again vegetarian diet for about 7 years and never once using tofu. I’ve eaten a lot of tofu prepared by restaurants that has left me more than unsatisfied, and I think I’ve assumed if they can’t cook it in a way that I like, why would I ever be able to do any better? I found a few recipes I want to try eventually, but I finally settled on this recipe from ohmyveggies.com entitled Baked Barbecue Tofu (Tofu for Tofu Haters). This seemed like a good place to start, when barbecue is loved in our home and tofu is new.
To begin, I research research RESEARCH everything to the extreme, and cooking tofu was no exception. I learned from a vegan cookbook from the library that firm tofu cooks best, and all tofu has to be pressed to remove the excess water from it so the blandness of the tofu can be replaced with whatever flavored sauce you choose to cook it in. I followed the tofu prep directions from the cookbook and the recipe closely, and I think I can say it was a hit! Kids weren’t clamoring for more, but we all ate what was on our plates and only the two year old wouldn’t eat his. For dinner tonight I paired it with roasted potatoes and a simple oven-roasted asparagus recipe (one of our favorite’s) from the pioneer woman. I’m still unsure of the texture; I think that’s the number one reason I’ve been disappointed with tofu before. However, as far as a meat replacement, it took the place of chicken in a way black beans never can. I’ll be trying this recipe again but not before I try crumbling tofu in vegetarian tacos first. I’m hoping crumbling it will hide the texture…? I’ll let you know when I try it!
What about you? Are you a tofu lover or tofu hater? Do you have a favorite tofu recipe? I would love to hear your favorite way to eat it!