Wednesday, March 01, 2006

To-Do for your Tofu!

Whenever I marinate and either bake or saute tofu (firm or extra-firm), I always have extra slices or cubes left. You may not want to use them in the same meal again, so, what to do with that leftover tofu...?

Here's my favorite idea. Pop the cubes/slices in a food processor (a mini-chopper works great - mine is an attachment to my handblender - as I've said, I LOVE my handblender). Process it until very crumbly, and it may start to get 'sticky', depending on the moisture in the tofu. This is okay! In fact, it's great, because it will be used to spread on sandwiches, mixing in seasonings that you like.

You can customize these for yourself, your hunny, or your little ones. This variation was for my daughter. Here's "lunchkin for the munchkin". The processed tofu was mixed with a dab of nayonnaise, then spread between two slices of spelt bread with a smear of ketchup (don't you know, everything is better with ketchup?!!) and a little extra ketchup for dipping. (Also pictured are baby carrots and leftover roasted asparagus with Goddess Dressing for dipping - she loves this! - and rice crackers sandwiched with almond butter. Lunch is my daughter's best meal. After this she ate fresh pear and some popcorn.)

Now, for the more 'mature' palates, you can stir/mix in other seasonings with that tofu. Keep in mind that if your tofu was well marinated with tamari (see below note), you may not need much more than a spot of vegan mayonnaise. But here are some suggestions:
- Vegenaise or Nayonnaise on their own, or along with:
- dijon mustard or yellow mustard
- chopped pickles or capers
- dash curry powder or curry paste
- small splash balsamic vinegar and tamari
- vegan worcestershire sauce
- chili sauce
- ketchup (there are some big kids out there, right?)

Why process instead of mashing or slicing it? Well, you can mash it by hand, but it will take longer and be chunkier (if that's your thing, then fine, but you can also 'pulse' it in the processor to keep it somewhat chunky). It also holds better in sandwiches than slices do, and allows you to mix in all those yummy fillings! Plus, for kids or adults that are 'tofu-shy' and don't like to bite through a whole chunk of tofu, this processing 'disguises' the tofu!

Try this filling between bread, in pitas, spread on tortillas, or spread on crackers. I'll elaborate on this idea in my next book, and I'd love to hear any suggestions for your seasonings of choice!

For marinated tofu recipes, check out Lemon-Herb Tofu, p.65 of Vive, Tasty Tofu Tidbits, p.158 of TEV, or simply do this:

Cooking Tip: After cubing/slicing your firm/extra-firm tofu, pat dry a little and transfer to a very lightly oiled baking dish (or line with parchment). Sprinkle on a couple of tablespoons of tamari and a dash of s&p if you like (not necessary). You can also sprinkle on a couple of teaspoons of balsamic or other vinegar if you want. Toss a little, cover the dish with tin foil, then bake about 10-15 minutes at about 375 degrees. Remove tin foil and continue to bake if you want to brown it some. Remove and use in meals or as a side dish!


KaiVegan said...

Hi, Dreena!
I got my VLV yesterday, just in time to make the "Banana Bliss Pancakes" and "Blueberry Maple Syrup" for- oh yeah- Pancake Day dinner! It was awesome. You're one of dd#1's favorite persons now.

Julie said...

Great idea, Dreena! I bet the tofu is just the right texture for little kids (and adults, too!)

My favorite thing to marinade tofu in is peanut sauce~mmmmm.

btw, my little brother would love that plate w/ all its little compartments~ha can't have anything touch!

juliehasson said...

Fabulous idea Dreena! The thing that I love about this is that I can make a large batch of baked marinated tofu, and then use it throughout the week in different ways. Yum!


KaiVegan said...

Non-tofu related again:
We played with the Peanut "Better" Cookies from VLV and the kids are devouring them as I type. I will be posting pics on my blog later on.
Thanks, Dreena for making my job easier!

Dreena said...

Kaivegan - I TOTALLY forgot pancake day yesterday!! Ah, well, I'll make up for it on the weekend. So pleased the pancakes and maple syrup were a hit! Thanks! btw - your zucchini capellini looked incredible on your blog - as did your soups! Just read your last comment - you have been cooking/baking up a storm! :) How awesome, thanks (and also for posting it on your site - now you're making my job easier)!

Thanks, Julie. Yes, I think the girls like it better all blended like this, though the baby loves little tofu pieces she can pick up too (very independent, no more spoon feeding please mom)! I love peanut sauces too - I'm planning to do a couple of variations for book #3 with cashew butter and maybe sunflower butter. We'll see. Funny about your brother! Ha!

Thanks Julie! We have more tofu leftover usually than was eaten, so yeah, this way it lasts throughout the week for sandwiches. Best to whiz it up and store it without any extra condiments like nayonnaise. Will keep longer that way I think!

EatPeacePlease said...

Woo Hoo Tofu!!! (*that was the old name of my blog).

I love tofu. Any way. Oh, except scrambled. I like pureeing tofu to make pies, puddings and sweets.

Danielle said...

You know, I've never had leftover tofu after marinating/sauteeing. I cook the entire block and keep it in my fridge for leftovers.

Carrie™ said...

I would love that in a sandwich mixed with dill or chives (maybe a bit of garlic too). Then get some yummy multi-grain bread, spread on some nayonaise, lettuce, cucumbers, maybe some sweet onion and the tofu. You could add tomatoes, but I don't like tomatoes unless they are cooked. Raw, no thanks.

Carrie™ said...

Thanks also Dreena for the info on flax. I do take some flax seed oil each day, but maybe it's not quite enough. I'll check the label on the bottle again and if I can increase my dose, then I'll give that a try as well.

Harmonia said...

I am def. going to refer back to this post! Thanks!!!

Tofu for TWO! Check out my blog today! Be sure to scroll down...I have 3 posts with pictures!!!

I even attempted your Peanut BETTER Cookies!

Yeah. Me!

Dreena said...

Leslie, I love 'woo hoo tofu' - cute! I may just have you work on recipe names for me... :)

Hi Danielle! If you are using up the extra tofu, that's great. I find not much is eaten again for subsequent meals, then it starts drying out with rebaking, etc. So, this works for my crowd, and also my hubby will eat a couple of pieces of tofu, but not a lot. This way he eats it no problem, esp with something like capers added in.

Carrie, I love the dill and chives idea, thanks for the input. Funny how everyone is different re likes/dislikes. Onions, tomatoes, mushrooms. I like raw tomatoes, but I always scoop out the seeds and juice - don't like those much! You're welcome, btw, hope the extra flax oil helps some. Might be another cause, but it's worth a try.

Hi Harmonia! Whoa, I've lured you into baking now, hey? Good stuff! Will be by soon... :)

Harmonia said...

I emailed the World Harbor Company about their sauces and Marinades to ask about which ones are vegan. The only one I have read reviews online for is the Cuban Style MoJo one. But I checked and didn't think the one I used had any non-vegan ingredients in it. I will let you know what I hear. Also, I answered some more on my blog comments. Thanks!


EatPeacePlease said...

I'd be happy to!!!

Harmonia said...

Oh! One more thing about the cookies...I used a bit more Olive Oil than you suggested in the recipe only because I got nervous that the batter was still powder covered...a little bit more didn't do any harm...I've had 3 people say they like the cookies! Thanks again!

Could you do a post about Peanut on making, preparing - not too sure how you would do that without a recipe but maybe you could.

I've never done anything with a peanut sauce and could use some tips. (Or Julie since she posted it in comments)

As for other tofu's I am still learning and fiddling with techniques...recently I have had two good attempts. Before everything I made was gross except scrambled.

Dreena said...

Thanks Harmonia... there is a bit of a learning curve with tofu, trial and error, and finding what you like. Since I plan to work on some nutty sauces/marinades for my next book, when I nail something down I will post some info! :)

Harmonia said...


VeganDoc said...

What a great idea for leftover tofu! I'll have to try that. Often I'll cube it, mix with a sesame stir fry sauce, and leave to marinate overnight in tupperware, and then eat it raw by itself as a snack.

Dreena said...

Thanks Harmonia and happyvegandoc!