Anddddd it’s November!
Personally, October went by way too fast for me this year, because I am completely not prepared for the holidays. Once November 1st hits, the last two months of the year just seem to fly by.
Before you know it, we’re in a whole new year, with all new goals and resolutions. It seems the older I get, the faster life gets. That’s why I say it’s best to not waste any time trying to be healthy and try to be the best versions of ourselves as possible.
Life is too short to live it any other way, in my opinion.
For those of you who don’t already know (and most of you probably don’t), I was a vegetarian eh, borderline vegan for 4 1/2 years when I was 16-20 years old.
If you’ve ever gone without meat for a long period of time, you know the difficulty of finding new foods to eat.
One of my favorite foods to eat when I was a vegetarian, believe it or not, was tofu.
I know, I know. Tofu looks and sounds like dog food to most people.
The problem is, is that most people have no idea how to cook tofu. Or at least how to cook it the right way. The consistency of it, even the extra firm tofu, is soft and crumbles easily if you’re not careful with it.
But when cooked properly, it actually has a meaty texture. To get it that way, you have to dry out the excess moisture.
Here’s how to do it:
You need to absorb the liquid from the tofu by weighing it down with a heavy plate and onto a paper towel. The longer you do this the better, but you’re going to want to let the tofu block sit for at least 20-25 minutes.
While you’re doing this, preheat your oven to 400 F. After you’ve drained most of the moisture out, go ahead and cut your tofu into whatever size pieces you want and add them to a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake your tofu for a good 30-40 minutes, or until your tofu has firmed up.
Sounds easy enough, right?
The cool thing about tofu is that it will absorb any flavor it’s cooked with. I’ve been cooking tofu for years, and my all-time favorite way to eat it is in a stir-fry. You can add any kinds of veggies you want with it, or have it over rice or some glass noodles, BUT!
There is one ingredient that I use to cook my tofu ALWAYS!
I’ve been cooking tofu with this spice for years. This blackened steak magic seasoning gives the tofu the little kick it needs to become really flavorful. When paired with a yummy stir-fry, it’s magic. (Hence the name.)
Last night, I made a blackened tofu stir-fry with sesame oil, ginger, Braggs Liquid Aminos, and Japanese veggies. This recipe is simple, quick, (once you have your tofu dried out), full of flavor and low in calories. With 21 grams of protein a serving, and only 320 calories, this dish is super healthy and super yummy.
For sesame oil, I’ve always used the Ty-Ling brand. It’s super affordable and it’s 100% pure sesame oil.
Any sort of tofu will do, as long as it’s not silken. You want firm, or extra firm. I use Nasoya Tofu Plus. It’s fortified with extra vitamins and it’s extra firm so it’s got a firmer texture once dried.
You can use any veggies you want. I stick to frozen stir-fry vegetables but you can get crazy and throw in bamboo shoots, baby corn, water chestnuts, or any oriental veggies you want.
Start by chopping your garlic cloves, and frying them in the sesame oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Throw in your frozen veggies, allowing them to cook down before adding your tofu.
Next, you’ll want to add your spices and soy sauce (cayenne pepper, ginger, blackened seasoning & Braggs). I usually add one more tablespoon of sesame oil at this point, coating the tofu and vegetables along with the seasonings until the vegetables are heated through.
And, there you have it! A yummy, healthy, easy and QUICK method for eating a low calorie, high protein dish that’s great for after a workout. This easily makes about 4 servings, (even though I probably could eat two myself).
Tofu doesn’t have to be boring and bland! It can, however, be meaty and flavorful if done the right way.
I hope this method of cooking tofu helps you discover a different way of enjoying a vegetarian/vegan dish, and opens up new creative ideas for you to start cooking with tofu on a regular basis!
Let me know if you’ve enjoyed this recipe by leaving a comment below!
And as always, thank you for reading!
Kisses and hugs, love bugs!
(Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you make a purchase through the link.)