Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

User Friendly Tofu

I wrote this post last night but for some reason accidently deleted it. (sigh) I will try to recreate.

During my month of not eating meat, I decided to incorporate tofu into my diet. I bought a package of extra firm. Admittedly, tofu looks strange and unappetizing because it’s just a white blob.

I removed the tofu from the package, rinsed and patted dry. Then I sliced into thirds lengthwise and then cubes. I placed on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and put in the freezer overnight.

I just changed the texture of tofu.

The next day I bagged half the frozen tofu cubes and used the other in a delicious dinner.

I bought a jar of Trader Joe’s punjab spinach sauce and poured it into a big fry pan along with about 6 oz of water and cooked on medium heat until a low boil. Then I added half the frozen tofu cubes, a generous handful of fresh spinach, and half a can of rinsed and drained cannelini beans and simmered for 25 minutes.

Aromas of tumeric, cumin, and cinnamon permeated the kitchen.

I served it with brown rice and had a delicious filling meal where I didn’t even miss the meat.

How did I know to freeze the tofu to change the texture? Many years ago, I took a joy of soy class and learned a few tricks.

Tofu will absorb the flavors of whatever you integrate it with. Tofu has many healthful benefits.

Here are two books to get you started:

101 Things to do with Tofu – You should find a few recipes that are appealing.

Tofu 1-2-3 – I want to eat everything on the cover!

If you have any good tofu recipes, please share them here.

  1. That sounds delicious. I love tofu but have not done much cooking with it. It is one of those ingredients that I always buy at restaurants when available. You have inspired me.

    Yes, taking a cooking class can really break down barriers put up by intimidating foods. I took a Japanese cooking class once and cooked things I never thought possible — even recreating one advanced recipe at home for friends. But it is a skill that you either use or lose. 15 years later, I now look at the recipe and I have no idea what the ingredients are.

  2. I made your tofu recipe with Trader Joe’s Punjab Spinach Sauce last night and it was delicious. It was so quick and easy to make too. I didn’t have any fresh spinach and used frozen instead. It was not as spicy as I was hoping for, so next time I will add some of my own.

    Believe it or not, my husband Jim actually had picked up the Punjab spinach sauce from a previous Trader Joe’s excursion and it was already in our food pantry. He is quite the adventurer and loves to try new things.

    What I especially like about Trader Joe’s in general, and this punjab spinach sauce in particular, is that the ingredient list is all food and no chemicals. Here it is: tomato puree (tomato paste, water), spinach, light cream (milk), tomatoes, onions, lemon juice concentrate, ginger, garlic sea salt, canola oil, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper, cinnamon, cloves. I find this simply refreshing!

    I also tried your tofu freezing technique. It actually made it taste more like how I’ve experienced it at restaurants. A positive improvement — it had more substance and texture as a result.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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