Tofu is made not from soybeans but from their milk. Although native to east Asia, soybeans grow well 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 it from its water and press it dry. Then it can be used as a filling, as with this dish, or as the main event for any meal. Tofu will absorb the flavor of seasonings and marinades just like animal protein does.
Eat: Enjoy this dish as you would traditional fajitas. The only difference is that protein from a plant, not an animal, is the culinary celebrity.
Store: I always use an airtight glass container and with that, this dish keeps for a good four days. Do not freeze. To reheat, add the tofu and vegetables to a baking dish, cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Waste: Traditionally fajitas are accompanied by onions and peppers, but I urge you to get creative and use what you have.
Connect: How about Fajita Fridays? Get the whole family involved in prepping, cooking and eating this dish. Don’t forget to gather fixings like avocado and salsa.
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 cup cilantro leaves + stems, rough chopped
- 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1 package tortillas, whole wheat or gluten free
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium and add garlic, onion, leek and pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add cumin and mix well. Salt to taste. Once cooked, remove from heat and toss in cilantro.
- Drain water from tofu and slice into strips a that are 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long. Set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess water.
- Remove vegetables from the pan and place on a serving plate. The pan should still be coated with olive oil; if it isn’t, add another tablespoon. Heat on medium. Salt the drained tofu and add to the pan. Cook until the sides are lightly browned. Once done, add to the plate with the veggies.
- Warm tortillas in foil in a 350 degree oven. Gather fixings like avocado and salsa, if you want, and serve!
Nutrition: 4 ounces, or 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.