Simple Baked Tofu


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Happy Soy Foods month this April!! Today as I was eating left-over stir fry with veggies, rice, tofu and curry sauce for lunch, I overheard a conversation between two tofu haters. They were talking about how much they dislike tofu and their tricks for culinary disguise.

I often hear people diss tofu, but I’m still not sure why. It seems to me the most unassuming food with very few drawbacks and many benefits. Some people claim they dislike the “texture”, some people dislike the taste and others I think just have a negative association with what they consider the culture of tofu. Also, many people are unsure of how to prepare it.

Extra firm tofu is pretty chewy and has a very different texture when baked than what you start with (the white slippery stuff). Tofu doesn’t have a strong taste in my opinion – it will take on whatever sauce or seasoning you introduce to it. You could use a curry or peanut sauce, something spicy with chilies, a sweet Teriyaki or salty soy sauce – whichever you prefer the most! You could also use some ginger or garlic; whatever you like. Tofu is high in protein, goes easily with many dishes and flavors and has health promoting compounds called isoflavones that provide cardiovascular benefits. Soy contains phytoestrogens, or healthful plant compounds that hundreds of vegetables and grains also contain. Keep in mind that plant estrogens are not the same as human estrogens and studies have shown health benefits from consuming these foods because they act like estrogen antagonists – or against estrogen in the human body. 

On that note, I am providing a very quick tofu recipe that we use every week in our house:

 

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Simple Baked Tofu
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Open the package of tofu and drain water. Place block of tofu on a cutting board and gently squeeze it with a paper towel until excess water is drained. With a sharp knife, cut the block into bite-sized squares and place in a single layer in a glass baking pan. Sprinkle soy or teriyaki sauce to taste, if desired. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven. Great served over rice and vegetables with sauce of choice.

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Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

An award-winning, nationally recognized nutrition expert and media spokesperson.

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