I’ve decided to dedicate Friday posts to new stars in the kitchen – New foods I want to try (and probably many that I don’t…), that are invited into my meals for a little experimenting.
So far, I have these things on the list:
- Beet Burgers (Interesting, no? Hmm..)
What would you add? I’m open to pretty much anything! Let’s have fun with this.
Tofu is the first contender; my initial experience wasn’t great, in fact I left all of the tofu (from a Tofu Berry Salad) on the plate after taking one bite. It wasn’t cooked or flavored. Raw Tofu is not my friend.
To backtrack, what is Tofu? Why would you eat it in the first place?
Tofu is a plant-based protein source, often seen in vegetarian dishes as a meat “substitute”. It provides ~12 g of protein per serving (100 calories), and is a good source of Calcium and Iron. For most Vegans, it serves as the main dietary source of Calcium.
How it’s made: Tofu is a bean curd, created using coagulated Soy Milk. It has very little flavor on its own, lending itself to savory or sweet dishes, easily seasoned or marinated to fit a meal.
Red & Black Pepper Balsamic Tofu
Before leaving for my run, I mixed up a marinade. I’ve never baked/cooked/prepared Tofu before, but if I know one thing, it’s that this stuff needs FLAVOR. My improv-marinade contained the following:
~3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
~1 tsp Canola Oil
Ground roasted red pepper, Black Pepper
The tofu slices soaked in the fridge for ~50 minutes, while I headed out for a run. To bake: heat the oven to 400* and put it in for ~15 minutes.
Roasted Red Pepper slices
Lite Ranch Spread
Sidenote: Apologies for some poor quality pictures. I usually take them with my Blackberry- which, in his defense, takes some pretty good pics! Just not of Tofu. Either way, camera purchase in the works.
Carbs: Whole-wheat Pita
Fat: Avocado slices
Vitamins A & C: Red Peppers, Avocado (vit C)
B vitamins: Avocado
Fiber: Avocado & Whole-wheat Pita
Verdict: I could definitely taste the strong roasted red peppers (fave!) and avocado flavors; the Tofu was there, but simply as a texture. It didn’t add much to the sandwich, other than bulk and nutrients.
One serving was ~2 slices, so I tried my second one with a little marinara (to complement the balsamic / pepper marinade). Thumbs up! Meaning, this can (and will) go in a pasta dish soon. We still have 1/2 block left, so there will be experiment #2. Tina, from Carrots ‘n’ Cake had a great idea – use this instead of Protein Powder in Smoothies. Post Saturday-morning LR? I might see you again soon, white-protein-block!
What’s your favorite way to eat Tofu?
P.S. I’ll be giving a short talk on Sports Nutrition in Alexandria tomorrow for the PRR Marathon (Sunday). If you’re there, come say hi!