Confession: The texture and taste of tofu used to totally creep me out. I loved that it was a low calorie source of protein, but I was preparing it all wrong and didn’t do it any justice so would have to choke it down. Luckily for me, I learned how to prepare it the right way, and now it’s a big staple in my diet that I absolutely love – what a difference!
Tofu has a really mild flavor, so it basically soaks up any flavor you cook it with, and if you prepare it the right way, the texture is actually really satisfying and not creepy at all. =)
It all starts with pressing the tofu. You can press a block of tofu by wrapping it in lots of paper towels or a kitchen towel and placing it on a plate with heavy objects on top to get the liquid out, or you can use this genius creation, a Tofu Xpress (aff).
Full disclosure, I received this tofu express for free a long time ago and already wrote a review on here and therefore don’t have to talk about it ever again, but let me tell you – one year later, it’s one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I’s something I would highly recommend buying if you eat tofu at all regularly, or you want to start since it’s such a cheap and versatile form of protein.
The base is made perfectly to fit a whole block of tofu straight from the package.
Which starts out very thick and packed with liquid.
The top part of the press goes on with a spring and starts extracting the liquid right away.
After about an hour, the tofu is fully pressed and check out how much liquid came out:
If you don’t feel like waiting an hour to eat, I have put a block of tofu in there in the morning before work, placed it in the fridge, and let it press all day many, many times before and it works just as well.
Once it’s pressed, you pour off the liquid and are left with your pressed block of tofu, ready to be cooked any way you desire.
I used to always bake tofu, which is definitely a good option, but frying it in a pan is so much quicker and it turns out just as good if not better since it gets browned and crispy! Because a whole block of regular tofu is 12 pts+, I usually divide it into three 4 point servings, with 8 pieces each.
I heat up a pan with nonstick spray, and place the pieces in an even layer in the pan once its hot over medium heat.
Now is where patience comes into play. Let the pieces sit until they are browned, about 5-7 minutes per side. Find something to do with yourself so you’re not tempted to turn them over sooner because the less you interrupt the cooking, the better they will turn out.
Now let the other side cook for about the same, and you will have the perfect tofu ready to be flavored however you like.
This week, I did buffalo tofu, so I took 2/3 of the block (for dinner and lunch the next day) and put them into a plastic container.
Topped with a generous amount of Frank’s Red Hot.
Shake it up, and you’ve got delicious, crispy buffalo tofu.
To go with the buffalo tofu, I made an awesome healthy version of creamy blue cheese dressing. Start by adding 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt and 1 oz. of blue cheese crumbles to a bowl.
Next add about 1/2 tbsp water (more or less until it reaches your desired consistency) plus a sprinkle of salt, and you have an amazing, HEALTHY version of chunky blue cheese dressing that you can use in so many ways.
The whole bowl (which is a large amount!) is 4 pts+, so I used half for each of two meals.
How delicious does that look!?
Served with broccoli, and you’ve got yourself a super satisfying and delicious 6 pt+ dinner.
I ended up having the third serving of tofu for lunch again the day after, and that time I brought BBQ sauce to dip it in, and it was DELICIOUS. 3 meals out of 1 block of tofu that cost less than $2? Score!
What’s your favorite kind of salad dressing?
I love ginger dressing that you get at Japanese restaurants, but blue cheese is definitely one of my favorites. That said, I rarely if ever get it because its so calorie dense, but this version tastes the same and is JUST as good!