100 lb. Club - Tofu question, help asap please :D

09-08-2009, 03:45 PM
My bf will be going shopping soon and I usually get chicken breast for my dinners but I am thinking of switching to tofu because I have read it is pretty cheap. My questions are - if I get firm tofu, is is pretty inexpensive and how many servings are in a package and is it filling like chicken is?

09-08-2009, 03:56 PM
When I make tofu, one block generally gets me a portion, my husband two portions for dinner and one for lunch the next day. We get it at Trader Joe's for 1.79 per block. I used to do tofu once a week and have just gotten away from it. Thanks for reminding me!

09-08-2009, 03:57 PM
Thanks Eumie :)

Lori Bell
09-08-2009, 04:02 PM
Get in the car and go with him. You can do a lot of price comparisons and see your options. Take a calculator or a pad and pencil and make your own choices. Do it Michelle. Get in the car and go with him.

09-08-2009, 04:11 PM
Well, I would (maybe :o) but he is meeting up with his parents at the base commissary to buy groceries cheaper there :o

09-08-2009, 04:15 PM
Sounds like a good time to finally meet his parents. Go to the store WITH him.

09-08-2009, 04:24 PM
I mentioned it to him and he gave me that look that means to me that it ain't happening today so whatever :|. I ain't fighting, not today :|

09-08-2009, 04:38 PM
Aww I'm sorry :(

I made tofu last night (simmered it in a sauce I had bought), it was part of dinner and part of lunches for today and will be part of dinner tonight. So basically 6 meals total but then again I'm serving it with a bean dish and veggies.

09-08-2009, 04:40 PM
I will most likely have it with a veggie too. Thanks nelie :)

09-08-2009, 04:41 PM
be sure to press and if you have time, freeze it after you press it* first.

pressing gets the water out and make sit more firm and less mushy.

09-08-2009, 04:43 PM
Press? Explain, I am tofu newbie :|

09-08-2009, 04:58 PM
When I buy an extra-firm tofu block, it gives 2 dinners for my husband and I. As the main, but certainly not sole, basis of our dinner.

I am pleased for you :-) I eat chicken too, less often, but I am very enthusiastic about tofu in a way that I couldn't be for chicken.

09-08-2009, 05:04 PM
Thank you so much! I told him to check for the tofu so hopefully he will cause I am eager to try it :)

09-08-2009, 05:20 PM
I tried Tofu and I didnt like it I thought it was Nasty. I will stick to my chicken. Sorry

09-08-2009, 05:28 PM
I HATE tofu with a passion that nobody should hate a food with. Get one block and try it THEN if you like it get more.

09-08-2009, 05:31 PM
Here are a couple recipes you can look at to get an idea of how to cook it:

And for the simplest one of all!

Baked tofu is super easy, just do a simple marinade with whatever spices, slice it up and let soak in marinade for a short while then throw it in the oven.

09-08-2009, 05:35 PM
Okay, it's official nelie, I love you. Please marry me :D

09-08-2009, 05:36 PM
Oh and I am wondering, will lemon-pepper marinade work with tofu or it would be ickish?

09-08-2009, 05:46 PM
Well if you like lemon-pepper then it'd work. Tofu doesn't have any flavor by itself. It just takes on flavors of whatever you cook with it. The simmer sauce I used was a citrusy pepper sauce.

09-08-2009, 05:48 PM
Thanks again nelie :D :hug:

09-08-2009, 06:36 PM
I do a lemon lime pepper tofu and I think it is yummy, so lemon pepper should be good, assuming that you like lemon pepper. A lot of people incorporate tofu into breakfast as well. Also, I don't know if you have ever used recipezaar.com or not, if not now would be a great time to check it out because they have tons of tofu recipes (currently a tofu search turns up 1,333 recipes there). One of the recipes is directions for pressing it - http://www.recipezaar.com/How-to-Press-Tofu-For-Marinades-or-Frying-312486

Good Luck!

09-08-2009, 06:56 PM
Thanks I bookmarked the page :)

Where would I find tofu at in a grocery store?

09-08-2009, 06:59 PM
Stores here usually stock it in the produce section - near the wonton wrappers/salad in a bag/herbs.

09-08-2009, 06:59 PM
Thank you Amanda!!

09-08-2009, 07:55 PM
Quick update

he didn't get chicken or tofu :o, said they were out of the chicken he usually gets me and he forgot to look for tofu :o

09-08-2009, 08:09 PM
for your original question, I usually stretch it out to 4 servings a block. stir fry it with vegetables or baking it is good too. For me, it doesn't fill me up the way chicken does, I think my body digests vegetable protein more quickly. but everyone's body is different so see how you feel on it.

I don't eat it as much as I used to because I read and heard soy isn't so good for us all the time.

no chicken or tofu, I hope you have something to eat? Keep taking care of yourself.

09-08-2009, 08:32 PM
It'll either be canned green beans or eating his breaded chicken strips which I really don't want to do :S

09-08-2009, 08:49 PM
A heads up for next week (hopefully you'll get some tofu!). I freeze mine solid, then thaw it out, and put it on some paper towels or a kitchen towel that isn't terry cloth. More towels on top, then a heavy pan (I use my huge cast iron skillet). Then I walk away from it for a while. When it's dry, I marinate it with whatever I'm using. I usually bake it, but if I'm in a hurry I'll put it on the indoor grill. Depending on how big the package is, I get 4-6 servings out of it.

If you're going to eat it as you would a chicken breast, I'd suggest firm or extra firm - not anything that says silken. It'll hold up better. I've noticed you sometimes have protein shakes and smoothies - silken tofu is great in those. You can also cook silken tofu like you would scrambled eggs, since you said you're out of those too.

Tofu comes two basic ways - water packed and refrigerated, or shelf-stable. I toss all of my refrigerated in the freezer. You can also pre-portion it before you freeze, so you just pull out what you want for the day, the same way you would chicken.

If you're looking for cheap protein, you may want to also look into making seitan. I haven't perfected it yet, but it's really cheap, super filling, and if you start with vital gluten, it doesn't take long. There's a thread or two about it in the veg section. I've never had "real" ribs, but the seitan ribs I made were pretty tasty, and fit well within my calorie count.

09-08-2009, 08:53 PM
Great info, bacilli! Thanks so much :hug::hug:

09-08-2009, 08:57 PM
If you're looking for cheap protein, you may want to also look into making seitan. I haven't perfected it yet, but it's really cheap, super filling, and if you start with vital gluten, it doesn't take long. There's a thread or two about it in the veg section. I've never had "real" ribs, but the seitan ribs I made were pretty tasty, and fit well within my calorie count.

Have you tried steaming it?

Also, I recently saw a recipe how to make seitan from wheat flour rather than just from wheat gluten. It actually isn't hard although definitely adds another step.

09-08-2009, 09:03 PM
I haven't tried steaming it, I'm afraid to. Ever since Fat Free Vegan posted the vegeroni recipe, I'm afraid I'll like it as much as DH likes pepperoni, and eat a whole roll!

09-08-2009, 09:10 PM
Goodness honey, you need more than canned green beans for dinner!!! I'm almost fuming right now... please take care of you, and if you want a phone number to contact me if you need to please PM me!

09-08-2009, 09:11 PM
Fawn, you're great. I have some other stuffs like oats and lettuce but he generally buys stuff for 2 weeks at a time so I try to stretch it out for that amount. I will be fine, I promise :) :hug:

09-08-2009, 09:27 PM
I haven't tried steaming it, I'm afraid to. Ever since Fat Free Vegan posted the vegeroni recipe, I'm afraid I'll like it as much as DH likes pepperoni, and eat a whole roll!

I think seitan is hard to binge on :) I mean its good but it can be heavy.

09-08-2009, 10:41 PM
Tell me what is seitan? Is it really cheap? Can I eat it? :o

09-08-2009, 10:45 PM
Ok, I see someone else has answered about pressing. :)

also, I like to toss mine in nutritional yeast, dunno if you can get that, maybe just bread crumbs? and I spray it with some pam olive oil and bake it and it gets nice and crispy!

09-08-2009, 10:46 PM
Thank you, lottie :)

Jennifer 3FC
09-08-2009, 10:54 PM
For those of you that posted that tofu is unappealing, try it another way before you decide for sure. I agree it can be overwhelming in taste if not cooked properly. It can be like hating steamed vegetables but loving them roasted. It's all what you do with it. :)

09-08-2009, 10:55 PM
Seitan is wheat gluten, basically. It's like tofu in that it takes on whatever seasoning you put in/on it, but it's got a different mouth feel. It's more dense, and has more of a meat texture than tofu typically has. It's super cheap to make, a few dollars worth of ingredients and you have enough protein for lots of meals/people.

DH doesn't like it at all, but he's barely agreed to eat tofu so I'm not sure I'd trust his tastes. :D

09-08-2009, 10:57 PM
For those of you that posted that tofu is unappealing, try it another way before you decide for sure. I agree it can be overwhelming in taste if not cooked properly. It can be like hating steamed vegetables but loving them roasted. It's all what you do with it. :)

YES! The first time I had tofu it was huge chunks barely cooked in some sauce from a chinese place. It was super slimy and had no taste at all, it felt like I was trying to chew a mixture of rubber and raw eggs. So if you don't like it at first, try it prepared differently. It's very versatile.

09-08-2009, 10:58 PM
How do I make it? :o

09-08-2009, 11:03 PM




Google has lots of recipes, and they're all basically the same general concept. I've always baked mine. I'm itching to try the italian sausage recipe from the website Nelie linked earlier though.

09-08-2009, 11:09 PM
Yay, thanks :) :hug:

09-08-2009, 11:19 PM
It took me a while to get the courage to cook tofu myself and even now I consider myself a tofu beginner although it is a pretty cool ingredient.

09-09-2009, 06:53 PM
Tofu isn't like chicken in my opinion, its got a watery texture and isn't meaty like chicken is. If you want something that's more like chicken try Quorn, it's got the thickness of chicken unlike Tofu..
However I still think that Tofu can be really nice , as long as you season it properly!

09-09-2009, 07:22 PM
I'll keep that in mind, thanks :)

09-09-2009, 07:48 PM
SoulSurvivor - Tofu can be meaty but for the most part it is mostly egg like. Baking tofu makes it meaty as well as freezing it and cooking it makes it meaty.

Quorn is pricier and not as accessible as tofu. If someone wants something truly meaty, I'd recommend seitan as it is also cheaper if you make it yourself.

09-09-2009, 08:02 PM
Quick question, when you freeze tofu, do you thaw it before cooking or..? :|

09-09-2009, 08:20 PM
I freeze it, then thaw it, then smoosh the water out, then cook it. It makes it (imo) have a much better consistency. It thaws pretty quickly, too.

I bring it home, portion it, then freeze it. When I'm going to use it, I plop it in the fridge in the morning, and by the time I get to it it's all thawed. The smooshing takes 10-20 minutes, depending on how dry you want it and how heavy the pan sitting on it is.

09-09-2009, 08:21 PM
Yup. Basically open the package, drain the tofu, put it in another container. Freeze, unfreeze, then cut in slices or chunks, depending on how you want to use it. You might also want to squeeze some of the water out before or even after freezing. You can do so in your hands.

Of course this is dependant on you getting the firm/extra firm tofu in the refrigerated section. Soft or even asceptic (shelf stable) tofu is a bit different.

09-09-2009, 08:25 PM
On a completely unrelated note, this thread makes me happy. There aren't a lot of threads lately that I've felt like I had anything productive to add, but I seem to know a fair amount about tofu! :D

09-09-2009, 08:41 PM
Thanks :)

09-09-2009, 10:27 PM
I wanted to throw this out there..

Anyone that has any tips/ideas/advice for tofu, just feel free to share here with me, please :)

09-09-2009, 11:32 PM
You could also look into TVP
I use it in spagetti sauce, chilli anything that you need ground meats for like meatballs. I cant remember where I found some good recipe sites. But there are tons of them. And its cheep and goes along way. You could call the commissionary to get the prices and brand names they carry.

09-09-2009, 11:33 PM
TVP? :o

09-09-2009, 11:36 PM
TVP? :o

Oopss sorry I thought I pasted the link
Textures Vegetable Protein

09-09-2009, 11:40 PM
Thanks Julia :)

Jennifer 3FC
09-10-2009, 12:34 AM
Nelie and I shared a plate of wicked good 'hot tofu wings' in Asheville last year. YUM! They were basically pressed out tofu strips, marinated in wing sauce and um... cooked in an unhealthy manner. :lol:

A restaurant in my town that is famous for their marinated tofu burgers (and we are not a vegetarian friendly town) is that he does the freeze technique, but he marinates in his sesame ginger dressing asically just an oil/vinegar dressing) before he freezes it. So then when he thaws and presses out, the marinade is already deep inside.

Also, like somebody said before, tofu can be watery. But if you press it out, you've compressed it and it's now much more dense. If you leave it loose and spongy, it's going to soak up any liquid or oil that you have in the pan. And it will still be soft. Some people like it soft, but not me.

When I press my tofu, I put the block in a colander, put a bowl on that, and then a large can on that and let it press for about 20-30 minutes. I flip it half way. You can also wrap it in cheesecloth or a clean, lint free towel (like a bar towel) and press it that way.

I'd suggest picking a recipe that you've read people have tried and really like, and then experiment from there. :)

09-10-2009, 02:38 AM
i love tofu. it truly is so versatile, i use it in alot of stir frys, and just add some broth of beef or veggies or chicken, toss it with some brown rice and veggies and the kids and i eat it up. we use silken tofu in shakes, extra firm for stir frys, i also grill it, lightly brushing it with olive oil and seasoning it with what i would normally season meat with, putting just a dab or 2 of bbq sauce on it, slap it into a flat out wrap like i would shredded chicken bbq.

09-10-2009, 10:01 AM
Thanks so much Jennifer and Angi :)

09-10-2009, 11:50 AM
Ok you all are making me want to try tofu again. When I tried it I knew nothing about squeezing it or anything I jest cut it tossed it in some olive oil and added veggies and I didnt like it. I will have to give it another try if I can find a receipe that I like.


09-10-2009, 01:16 PM
I am way too lazy to bother with squeezing, freezing etc. I buy House brand tofu cutlets, they are wonderfully firm and meaty. I just slice and use. One entire package has 200 calories, 10 grams of fat - I easily get 2 good-sized servings out of it.

But yeah, tofu on its own is pretty gross, it has NO TASTE. Tofu in a yummy stir fry with yummy sauce, well, it tastes like the yummy sauce.


09-10-2009, 01:17 PM
Thanks Glory :)

09-10-2009, 01:25 PM
I agree abou the seitan. you can buy 6 lbs of it for 20$ and it will last you a really long time.

I was buying it 3 lbs at at ime for 10$ but I can't get to the co-op health food place too often, I depend on someone else for a ride, so I'm buying it 6 lbs at a time now, but I read somewhere that it is 1/4 the cost of meat.

it's also very easy to prepare, lots of recipes online, you can make it into lunch meat or 'seitan wings' which are REALLY GOOD. lots of recipes for it over at www.vegandad.blogspot.com :)


seitan is made from wheat gluten which is a powder, you buy however many lbs of powder, you mix it with some water and seasonings and it comes out doughy, but when you cook it it comes out meatier. a very heavy texture, it's very good, my bf loves it! :) he likes tofu though too ;)

09-10-2009, 01:26 PM
Thank you, lottie :)