As a vegetarian, tofu and soy have a strong presence in my diet. I was recently contacted by Nasoya, a tofu manufacturer, to see if I would be willing to participate in and advertise their Tofu U program (note: I was compensated with a coupon for one free Nasoya item). Being that today is Monday, and Meatless Mondays are a new trend in the food world, I felt today would be a great opportunity to talk about tofu!
As with any food item, I believe in eating tofu in moderation. Eating whole, unprocessed soy (tofu, edamame, tempeh) has been shown to reduce heart disease, diabetes, provide calcium for bone health, and many other diseases. Though I have found conflicting studies about soy's estrogen hormones, there is evidence that soy doesn't identically mimic these qualities, and the benefits far outweigh the risks. As I said, I believe in soy in moderation, and in it's whole form - like Nasoya Tofu!
When I cook with tofu, I prefer to use it in Thai, Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern applications, which means I generally choose extra-firm tofu. However, tofu can be used as a cream substitute or in smoothies, and soft tofu is a common substitute for that. Throughout the week, I'll be posting some of my favorite tofu recipes, with a recap and giveaway on Friday! In the mean time, I invite you to check out Tofu U where you can learn all about tofu and soy, and even pledge to cook with tofu once a week for the next month, which makes you eligible for a Tofu U shirt or shorts. You'll even get some coupons - so sign up now!
Broccoli and Tofu in Spicy Peanut Sauce
adapted from Mollie Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest
1/2 c. natural, unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 c. hot water (or vegetable stock)
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bunch of fresh broccoli, cut into florets
1 tbsp. canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 bunch thinly sliced scallions
1 c. coarsely chopped peanuts
2-3 tbsp. tamari (dark soy)
To make the sauce:
In a small saucepan, whisk together peanut butter and stock until melted together.
Whisk in remaining ingredients, keep over low heat and set aside.
Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.
Add oil and half of the garlic, salt lightly.
Saute' for 1 minute, do not let garlic burn.
Add tofu cubes, stir fry for 5 minutes, constantly tossing to ensure it doesn't burn.
Transfer tofu and garlic mixture to the saucepan with peanut sauce, gently mix.
Wipe wok out, return to the stove.
Add oil and remaining garlic, salt lightly and add scallions, black pepper and broccoli.
Add tamari and peanuts, toss and stir fry until broccoli is tender but still bright green.
Pour tofu and peanut sauce over broccoli, gently toss everything.
Serve over any grain, like rice or quinoa.