From my book “What the Fork Are You Eating” © Stefanie Sacks, 2014
Tofu is made not from soybeans but from their milk. Although native to east Asia, soybeans also grow in the U.S. About 94 percent of the U.S. soy crop is genetically modified, so it’s best to choose organic soy, if possible. Tofu is made by curdling soy milk with heat and a coagulant like nigiri. The curds are then pressed into a sliceable cake. Tofu is available in varying degrees of softness.
Cook: The key to cooking with tofu is to drain its water and press it dry. It can then be successfully used as a filling, as with this dish, or as the main event of any meal. Tofu will absorb the flavor of seasonings and marinades just like any animal protein does.
Eat: This dish is great straight up, on toast topped with avocado, or even tossed into a salad.
Store: I always use an airtight glass container so the dish keeps for four days. Do not freeze. To reheat, add to a pot with a touch of water or oil.
Waste: Use whatever vegetables and herbs you fancy for this dish. I like to take an inventory of what’s going bad and use that to cut down on waste.
Connect: Since there is some prep involved (crumbling tofu and cutting vegetables), invite family members to help, even the kids.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper, small dice
- 1 small yellow squash, small dice
- 2-3 large scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil on medium. Add vegetables, toss and cook for 2 minutes. Add spices and mix well. Let cook for another 2 minutes.
- Drain tofu from water, wrap in a paper towel and press gently to remove excess water. Then crumble the block into the pan and mix well. Add tamari and salt, mix well and cook for another few minutes, regularly tossing. Add more salt to taste.
Nutrition: 4 ounces (about 1/4 block) yields 18 grams of protein and 77 percent of the daily value of calcium. Tofu is a very good source of manganese, copper and selenium, in addition to other vitamins and minerals.