For those who adhere to a vegan lifestyle, which excludes the use of all animal products, finding foods that are high in protein can be difficult. Vegan tofu is not only a great source of non-animal protein, but it is also extremely malleable in that it can be incorporated into pretty much any dish. Since it comes in a variety of styles that encompass many different textures, running the gamut from soft to firm, it can serve as a substitute for virtually anything from beef, chicken or pork to cheese and milk. It’s nondescript flavor profile and smell also makes it a possible companion piece to any number of dishes.
Below are some ideas for traditional 3 course meals that use vegan tofu instead of animal-based ingredients:
For a light delicious appetizer, try this quick and easy zucchini and tofu recipe.
- Start by heating 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large frying pan.
- Then, add 2 large, coarsely chopped zucchini and 1 brick of diced tofu.
- Stir until the tofu is golden brown, and then add 2 handfuls of cashews and a sprinkle of tamari.
This appetizer will be sure to leave the taste buds primed and ready for the main course.
For the main course, try orange teriyaki tofu.
- Start by cutting 2 blocks of firm tofu into bite-sized cubes, and place these in a large bowl.
- Then, blend 1/4 cup of tamari, 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, a 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1 teaspoon of grated ginger, 2 cloves of minced garlic, a 1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard and 2 teaspoons of grated orange peel and pour about 3/4 of this mixture over the tofu pieces, making sure that they are all evenly covered.
- Then, let this sit in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- Once the marinade is complete, pour the tofu into a casserole dish, covering it with the remaining marinade.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees and then serve over brown rice.
Chocolate tofu cheesecake is a decadent dessert that can be ready in under an hour.
- To make the crust combine 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of unbleached cane sugar and ½ cup of safflower oil in a bowl, and then press the mixture into a 9 inch spring form pan.
- The filling is a combination of a 10 oz. package of vegan chocolate chips, two 12.3 oz. packages of extra firm Mori-Nu Silken Style Tofu, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and an 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- Once you’ve melted the the chocolate chips in the microwave, combine the pressed tofu, melted chocolate chips, and remaining filling ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
- Then, just pour the filling into the crust and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.
As you can see, tofu does not need to be a substitute for flavor. All of these options are hearty, filling and delicious in their own right. And they are low in calories, fat and cholesterol, so you can enjoy this meal without any guilt.