June 4, 2011

A Recipe to Convert Tofu Haters to Tofu Lovers – #DairyFree #GlutenFree #Vegan #Yeastfree

Sometimes I just want something simple.

A few things about me:
- I love to browse savoury recipes but rarely actually make them without an occasion
- When I do follow a recipe I rarely leave it exactly the way I found it because I either

1. Have to substitute ingredients to accommodate my food allergies
2. Imagine how I can make it better (usually successful!) or easier (not always successful)
3. I mistakenly forget and skip a part

- I am, in general, a slap and dash cooker – I like fast, healthy and easy. Heavy on taste, light on labour
- I tend to look in the fridge and decide what I need to eat and then make it work. I am also oddly quite successful with this cooking method…

And this is what surprised me when I found myself overly excited about adventuresinveg’s blog recipe for roasted tofu... I knew that I was going to try making it before even reading the actual recipe! And that’s what I did – I read the firm, not silken tofu part and the ‘maybe herbs’ bit and I ran off to the Asia Market on Drury St (Dublin 2), bought some tofu, came home, preheated my oven to 220C and gently tossed my tofu cubes in sunflower oil (adventuresinveg suggested using an oil spray bottle which would have been ideal) and that’s about where I left the recipe and started winging it….
I oiled a baking tray (baking paper was recommended, but I didn’t have any), laid out my oiled tofu cubes and then liberally sprinkled dill, ground galangal (available in the Asian Food Co. on Mary St, Dublin 1), sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

I put them into the oven, ignored them for about 15 minutes, gently flipped them, re-seasoned, and a few minutes later (ideally 10min but my went a bit faster) – WOW! I don’t even like tofu until this day happened! It reminded me of something between cheese and eggs. Now that doesn’t sound very appetizing so you’re just going to have to trust me on this one…

Roasted Tofu = Taking the ‘A’ train to Yum-Town.

The other surprising thing about this recipe is that it is completely versatile and free from almost every common food allergen I can think of other than soya.

- Dairy free/Milk free
- Lactose free
- Wheat free
- Gluten free
- Egg free
- Corn free
- Sugar free
- Potato free
- Yeast free
- Nut free
- Vegetarian
- Vegan
- At least...

My biggest problem with this dish, however, is that it’s tofu. I try to not eat soya (as I’m sure I’ve said a million times). That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate what soya has done for the dairy free world (it’s done a lot of very tasty things) but in general, if it’s not fermented I try to reserve my soya intake for occasions like birthdays and special summer ice cream days or Christmas season indulgences! I won’t go into it here, but unfermented soya just seems to lose more than it gains when it comes to nutrition. I momentarily thought (when buying my tofu and eating it roasted) that tofu would be ok because maybe it was fermented but sadly this is not the case… After thoroughly licking my lips I began to question it more and after much late night research I found that although there does seem to be a fermented tofu, somewhere, I don’t think that mine was it and I don’t even know where I can get it or what it looks like and is it completely fermented??
Does anybody know about this?? I would very much like my new found roasted tofu to be part of my life but … sigh, I fear that it will not be the case.

Anyway, if you don’t give a damn about fermented or non-fermented soya, don’t have a soya allergy, have been doubtful of tofu or just have a slab of firm tofu calling out to you from your fridge then I tell you solemnly that this recipe is waiting for you!

If you’re interested:
Also in the title shot I have a side of greens on quinoa. No real measurements – all just to taste but the basic deal is:

Lightly stir-fry the below ingredients in a bit of sunflower margarine (or oil, margarine is just what I had at hand) and serve it on top of some multi coloured quinoa – recipe for this at the bottom.

3-4 stalks Choy sum
1 stick Celery
1/3 fennel bulb chopped well
A handful Sunflower seeds
A handful Mange Tout chopped
Pure sunflower margarine
Ground galangal

Cook Quinoa in two parts liquid (ideally vegetable stock) one part quinoa grain If you don’t have stock then chop off the end of a leek and some celery, a bay leaf and some mixed herbs, salt and pepper and pop it into the water while cooking the grain, remembering to remove the large pieces before serving). Bring the liquid to a boil, add the quinoa, keep a tight lid on the pot, reduce to a simmer until all of the water is absorbed (about 15-20min) and serve.

Cut firm tofu into cubes, toss gently in oil. Lay out on an oiled baking tray (baking paper is recommended instead of oil). Season with the below herbs and spices and roast in a preheated oven (220C/430F) for 15 minutes. Turn the cubes to expose the opposite sides, re-season and put back into the oven until crispy on the edges and golden brown (about 10minutes). The tofu should puff up and look delicious!

ground galangal
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Thank you to Adventuresinveg’s ‘Tofu for Dummies’ for introducing me to roasted tofu and thank you to GlutenFreeGirl’s ‘Roasted Tofu with Dipping Sauce’ for inspiring Adventuresinveg who in turn inspired me! For more tasty variations you should definitely check out their posts!!

Happy Roasting!


Adventures in Veg said...

So glad you liked it! I was trying to lower my soy intake (I rarely eat fake meats etc so it's usually tofu I use if I need something meaty, but beans and lentils are what I prefer to use) but thanks to discovering this recipe on the Gluten Free Girl blog my soy intake has gone up! I have to limit this to a few times a month, heh.
Have you tried tempeh? It's a brick of fermented soy beans. You'll find it in health food shop freezers usually. It's trickier to cook & has a v strong taste but when done well is great!

Aurea@Survival Guide said...

hey, thanks - i did try tempeh & loved it a while back but think it was a flavoured version? with soy sauce?(which Ive been recommended to stay off for a while) but I'll have to have another look! Just reading about it on wikipedia & the title picture looks like slabs of pork or something! Ha! But if the ingredients work out I'll be trying a lot of new recipes! :D

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Anonymous said...

I haven't lived in Ireland in a while & my vegan diet has changed very much after my gut got damaged by a virus,so I now live on tofu to get enough protein & calories.I will be flying in March & need to find out if tofu is allowed through customs & if not,where I can buy one that is high in protein.I usually get this one : http://www.kungmarkatta.se/produkter/visa-produkt/tofu-naturell-270g-774/ because it doesn't have any spices (which i react to) & also because its soybean content is higher than water content...
I'm not even sure where exactly I will be staying in Dublin,but if you could list the most common shops that sell this kind of tofu & also I can eat Frys vegetarin sausages but only 1/day.
Any help would be extremely appreciated!

Have a nice weekend!