Sunday, December 18, 2011

Three Easy Tofu Meals...Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 Since giving up meat, tofu has become a regular part of our meals.  Years ago I never would have believed that my husband and I would become such fans of something that looks like a sponge! But as we are evolving, we are learning to love and appreciate all kinds of new foods.  We now use tofu in so many dishes, from our favorite tofu scramble to our veggie soup.  Learning to cook with tofu was challenging at first, but with much research and practice, it has become second nature.  So I would like to share three of my favorite easy tofu dishes, one for each meal of the day. If you have a fear of tofu or just don't know what to do with it, here are a few easy ways to start... 

 Breakfast: Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble has become a regular Sunday breakfast in my home (well, at least for my husband and I).  After giving up our traditional Sunday  breakfast of scrambled eggs, we were in search for our new Sunday tradition.  Then one day I came across a recipe for Tofu Scramble, and we have been making this on Sundays ever since.  I never imagined tofu could be such a great breakfast item, but it works and taste great!  

For this dish I use 1 pack of firm tofu, 1/2 diced onion, 1/2 diced green pepper, 1/4 cup diced mushrooms, 1 diced clove of garlic, 1 tbsp of vegan butter, 1tbsp of oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast, and salt & pepper.
To start, squeeze the excess water from the tofu—I use paper towels. Then saute the veggies in a little oil until tender. Add the garlic, stir and let cook for another minute or two. Take the tofu and break it up into small pieces and let fall into the pan. Stir, be careful not to mash up the tofu, and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the vegan butter, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, salt & pepper and stir together.  Let cook for 3-4 minutes and then remove from heat.

Lunch: Tofu and Veggie Rice Bowl

This has become my quick go to lunch when I am at home during the day. I always prefer a hot cooked lunch over a sandwich or salad, so when I am home for lunch, this is what I will have.

This dish uses mostly the same ingredients from the tofu scramble. I usually make this with tofu, onions, green peppers, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes and raisins, but you can use any veggies that you like.

There is really no specific recipe or amount of ingredients for this, I just use whatever amount I feel like having or what I have left over from before.  About 1/4 of a cube of firm tofu is enough for one person to two people. I like to cook the tofu separate and then combine when done.  I cut the tofu into cubes and cook in a saute pan with a drizzle of oil.  Make sure to turn pieces over so it cooks on both sides. Set aside when done. 
In another pan, saute sliced or diced veggies for a few minutes until almost tender.  Then add one diced garlic clove, diced tomatoes, raisins, a tsp of oregano, salt & pepper and let cook for 2-3 minutes more.  Toss in cooked tofu and serve over brown rice.

Dinner: Tofu Stir-Fry

I love making stir-fry meals. They are fast and easy to make. Even better, there are no can use just about any combination of veggies that you want. I have found a much easier and quicker way to prepare this is to use a combination of fresh and frozen veggies.

For the fresh, I use onions, carrots and mushrooms. For the frozen, you can use a pack of frozen stir-fry veggies, but I like to use one of those stir-fry meal packs, like Green Giant's Teriyaki Stir-Fry Create a Meal (it includes the sauce). This saves me from having to buy more veggies like asparagus, broccoli, snow peas and water chestnuts and sauce. If I bought all these fresh for one meal, it would cost much more and they would go bad if I didn't use them quickly.

Like the previous meal, I prepare the tofu separately and combine later.  I slice 1/2 cube of firm tofu into cubed pieces.  Then saute in a small pan with a drizzle of oil, then set aside.

In separate large pan or wok, I saute sliced onions, carrots and mushrooms in a little bit of oil in a for 2-3 minutes. Then I stir in the frozen veggies, cover and let them cook for about 5 minutes or until veggies are cooked through, stirring frequently to avoid sticking or burning. Then I remove the cover, add the sauce and tofu, stir and cover for 1-2 more minutes, then remove from heat.

Serve over brown rice and with veggie spring roll, and enjoy!

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