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Tofu - do you eat it? How do you prepare it?

Aunt Spiker

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I realized that tofu is higher in protein than beans - so I decided to try to add it to my diet (if not just mine, then everyone else's too). One serving (3oz) is low in calories, fat, sodium - high in protein, iron and calcium.

I bought some soft (silken) and firm (regular) - and I'm surprised at how cheap it was (a package with 4 servings was $1.00).

So - what to do with it? I've never - ever - eaten before and would like my first round of experimentation to be good.

Any suggestions?
 

Mell

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Yeah, I eat it. If you can cook well, you can make it taste great.

Here is one of my favourite ways to cook it.

Heat coconut milk with lime leaves, a stock cube, onions, garlic, tumeric and anything else you think would go well in it. Slice or cube plain tofu and put it in an oven proof bowl with chopped assorted vegetables. Pour the heated coconut mixture on top of it, and leave overnight, so the tofu can absorb the flavours. Then bake all this in the oven. Serve with things like boiled rice and cubed fried potato and whatever else seems like a good idea.
 

ecofarm

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I eat tofu sometimes (too often lately, actually, I've been bad about my beans+nuts+greens daily). That said, problems with tofu:

1. It's processed food.
2. Soy is a major monoculture, devastating habitats and biodiversity around the globe.
3. Soy is one of the most common genetically modified crops (after corn and cotton). Most tofu is "GM-free", which goes along with being greenie... but still.
4. There is some small concerns about estrogen-interaction, but that most likely is not a significant or meaningful risk.

So, if one likes processed monocultures that are a top GM crop species and might mess with hormones... have at it.

(This morning I had a sandwich... with white bread, tofu and potato chips instead of lettuce inside.)



@Mell:
You might want to try adding a bay leaf. IIRC, it does nice things with coconut milk. Basil is also nice with coconut milk.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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Thanks Mell! I'll try that!
 

spud_meister

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i've only tried it once, and i had it in a sort of pudding creation, i mixed the tofu in with melted chocolate and let it set, it tasted really odd, not bad, just odd.
 

Aunt Spiker

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well I ate some - mixed it with basil, garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme and pepper. Spread it with strips of tomatoes on toast. It was pretty good.
 

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I only eat tofu in miso soup and Inarizushi.Inarizushi is basically a pouch made with fried tofu stuffed with rice, it is a type of sushi.
 

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No, I don't eat it, and if I had to prepare it, I'd flour it and deep fry it in pure bacon fat to make it palatable.
 

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Sometimes, I eat tofu.

Usually I just fry it with some soy sauce. Very simple, but tasty.
 
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The biggest advantage of tofu is that it basically absorbs the flavors of whatever you cook it with/in so it's an extremely versatile food. The different firmnesses also adds to this.

So I don't ever really believe whenever anyone says "I don't like tofu." That doesn't really make much sense. Usually people say that when they tried tofu that was cooked/prepared poorly.

Here's a really quick/easy Tofu Lo Mein recipe that utilizes Ramen (both the noodles and the seasoning packet) to make a really quick and delicious tofu recipe. I tried this and loved it, and make it somewhat regularly.
 

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The silken tofu is good for blending into vegan recipes, in lieu of dairy products.
The firm tofu, I usually just cut it into rectangles, about the size of a domino, and fry it until it's a little bit browned on both sides.
It soaks up sauces pretty well, so you could simmer it in some soy sauce or Italian dressing, or else marinate it in vinaigrette before you fry it. Put some seasoning salt or garlic salt on it.

That's how I always cooked it for my family, and they liked it.
 

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No, I don't eat it, and if I had to prepare it, I'd flour it and deep fry it in pure bacon fat to make it palatable.

Sounds similar to fried cornmeal mush(known as polenta to some people) and drizzled in syrup or honey.
 

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The biggest advantage of tofu is that it basically absorbs the flavors of whatever you cook it with/in so it's an extremely versatile food. The different firmnesses also adds to this.



So does cardboard. If you need to flavor something that has no flavor to taste like something else, my culinary mind is not grasping the reason to not just serve the thing that is giving the flavorless thing its flavor... unless of course its a texture thing. But I don't think tofu has a desired texture at all. :shrug:





So I don't ever really believe whenever anyone says "I don't like tofu." That doesn't really make much sense. Usually people say that when they tried tofu that was cooked/prepared poorly.


I can cook it, better than you. :pimpdaddy: it still sucks.
 

ecofarm

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Tofu and Ramen was a college staple food (careful which Ramen). It was my Mac and Cheese.
 

Ockham

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I never prepare it or cook with it but my sister who's a vegetarian cooks with it all the time. My favorites of her's are a veggie & tofu chilli and a tofu lasagna.
 

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I never prepare it or cook with it but my sister who's a vegetarian cooks with it all the time. My favorites of her's are a veggie & tofu chilli and a tofu lasagna.

Tofu Chili and tofu lasagna? Those things sound like culinary abominations to anyone who actually likes real lasagna or real chili. Why tease yourself if you are going to give up meat?
 
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ecofarm

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I don't like fake meat. I use tofu as a nutritional crutch (but not psychological), like most vegs. Nonetheless, I understand wanting a classic Italian dish without the meat. Spinach is nice.

It's not like every dish that traditionally contains animal is all about the meat, right? I understand steak being all about the meat, but lasanga? Come on. The whole idea of sausage being important at all (in today's world) is rather disgusting. As I've mentioned before, tastes are acquired - we have control over them; be self-aware and think about what being a meat fiend entails.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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Ratatouille and Eggplant Parmesan (sans the Parmesan if it violates dietary beliefs) are both very yummy Italian dishes that are meatless and can easily be made dairyless if you do desire.

Italian = spices and herbs. Cheese and meat are not a requirement :)
 

ecofarm

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And fresh tomatoes prepared in a not-mexican manner. I find the options to be Citrus (basil, lemon, pepper, varities of basil...) and Earthy (oregano, thyme, rosmary...). I divide my menu geographically. I have a few meals each from (for examples): thai, indian, mid-east, italian and mexican.

I want to note that in today's day and age, there is no "well, I've got to eat something" excuse. Taking part of the industry is entirely voluntary and becoming more informed every day. If someone advocates the industry, they are fully aware of the atrocities (to animals, to society and to ecology) and are also fully aware that taking part in it is optional. From a self-aware point of view, it is a pretty damning action. It demonstrates a lack of self-control, if not humanity.
 
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Tucker Case

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I eat tofu vicariously.

Here's how I prepare it:

Step 1: feed to tasty animal.
Step 2: eat tasty animal.
 

ecofarm

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Here's how I prepare it:

Step 1: feed to tasty animal.
Step 2: eat tasty animal.

And that is the crux of my problem with animal products. It takes 10 lbs of plant protein to make 1 lb of animal protein. As a simple matter of efficiency, it is ludicrous. I understand using animals as capital and, basically, calorie-storing-items... but this is the 21st century and there's just no excuse in the developed world. I can understand families that live off their land, but people with supermarkets?

I understand the whole "in Sweden the land froze half the year and it was animals (stored in ice) or starve". That's why Swedish dishes are bland, it's not spice-land. Yes, I get that. That's where the taste for meat came from. But those times are gone and we need to evolve - not for the earth but for ourselves.


Meat is like a convenient battery. We charge it at great costs. We should just take the energy directly.

We simply cannot keep paying the price (socially or ecologically), we've got to cut out the middle-man.
 
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Tucker Case

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And that is the crux of my problem with animal products. It takes 10 lbs of plant protein to make 1 lb of animal protein. As a simple matter of efficiency, it is ludicrous. I understand using animals as capital and, basically, refridgerators... but this is the 21st century and there's just no excuse in the developed world. I can understand families that live off their land, but people with supermarkets?

I eat animals because vegetables taste like **** to me. Plus, I think eating mostly farm-raised plants is immoral because it kills more animals due too pesticides. That's why I eat organic, grass-fed beef. It actually leads to fewer animal deaths than any other form of farming*.




*I don't discriminate against animals based on their leg count;)
 

ecofarm

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*See username.
 
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ecofarm

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Now I gotta be perfect? I'm not even a fruitarian, I kill the plants I eat. And I cook food.


The ecosystem you describe (organic grass-fed cows) is highly degraded and inefficient. Total output is weak. It probably needs water from outside and it probably uses organic-approved pesticides. It would be better to restore (improve) the land to (organic, of course) agro-forestry and harvest plant proteins/energy directly.

Obviously organic cows are better for us socially and ecologically than conventional, but cow pastures are still degraded and likely unsustainable systems. A cow pasture is a step away from desertification and we need to go in the other direction. I know that sounds silly... "we gotta turn this boat around right away!", but our dependence on meat is worse for us than our dependence on oil and carries a much higher price. Diet is a source, not a symptom. Oil is a symptom, and we use perhaps most of it on agriculture.
 
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