Ahhh…tofu, tofu, tofu. We either love it, or love to hate it.
Let’s start with the fact that tofu is soy beans. While there is a lot of controversy out there in the arena of soy, research points it is perfectly safe to consume. Where the controversy stems from is soy contains a high amount of *plant* estrogen (phytoestrogen). Meaning this plant estrogen does not behave in the same way human estrogen does in our bodies—its effects are miniscule.
Not only is soy safe, but it can be beneficial to our health. Soy has been found to decrease the risk for certain cancers, specifically breast and prostate cancer. It is an excellent source of plant-based protein, meaning it is one of the only plants both high enough in protein, but this said protein also contains all the important protein “parts” (aka essential amino acids) that animal sources have.
Still with me? Lastly, it is way, way lower in saturated fat (the not-so-great fat) compared to our typical animal sources of protein. So why aren't we eating this stuff left and right, right?
Cooking with it is, just, well…kinda weird? Only at first, because it is likely not something most of us grew up eating here in America. I am here to show you tofu may not be as intimidating as it may look (and feel) on the surface.
After years of trial and error cooking with this stuff I have finally created a recipe that yields some crispy, tasty tofu.
Making a quick batch in the beginning of the week can be a definite way to ensure well-balanced meals and snacks containing protein come together in a snap.
2 blocks extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
Press tofu for a good 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Slice pressed tofu into cubes and add to a large bowl.
Coat with remaining ingredients and toss making sure tofu is well coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil a baking sheet (or cast iron).
Add an even layer of tofu on the baking sheet.
Bake for about 30 minutes tossing halfway through.
How to Press Tofu:
Drain tofu from water in packaging first. Gently squeeze the tofu block to get some more water secreted before wrapping. Then wrap blocks with at least 3 layers of paper towels. Place something heavy on top to press out all the water trapped in the tofu. Typically, cast iron skillets, heavy textbooks, or something similar works best.
The Adobo Seasoning:
If you plan to toss this tofu in with some sauce in a salad or bowl, I would recommend forgetting about the adobo seasoning and replacing it with a little black pepper.