3 Awesome Tofu Recipes You Need to Try

tofu and soya beans

If you recently discovered tofu and want some ideas about ways to cook it, this post is definitely for you. If you think you dislike tofu, this post is also for you. After all, it used to be the case for me until this year… It’s never too late to change your mind. And if you’re a tofu lover and already an expert, keep reading… You might still be inspired, who knows!

First of all, it’s important to keep an open mind when you try something new (especially when it comes to food). I used to really dislike tofu, but it plays a huge part in a plant-based diet. I had to ignore my childhood’s memories and at least give it another go as an adult. The first time I cooked with it was a complete fail… It took me 2 or 3 attempts before I mastered it. But I persisted, and now I’m glad I didn’t give up so easily.

What is tofu?

Tofu is made from dried soybeans that are soaked in water, crushed, and boiled. Then the curdled fresh soya milk is pressed into a solid block and cooled… It’s not far from the process used for dairy cheese, made by curdling and solidifying milk. Except it’s healthier for you! This solid white block comes in varying softness: it can be silken, soft, firm, or extra firm.

Health benefits

It’s a great source of protein, probably one of the main reasons why it’s such a staple in a vegetarian / vegan diet. It also contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as magnesium, copper and zinc. In addition to this, tofu is a valuable plant source of iron and calcium. Can we say it’s healthier than meat? Yes, because just like meat, soy provides an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals – but without the cholesterol and saturated fat. Not to mention it’s a lot lower in calories. Basically, it can replace foods that may compromise your health.

Cooking with tofu

Tofu is pretty bland on its own, which makes it a very versatile ingredient. It will soak in any flavours you want to give it. But it could be a bit intimidating for beginners: how do you learn how to cook with it? Trying with my own ingredients didn’t work well, I had no idea what sauce and/or spice to add with it. So I decided to try a recipe box to give me a good basic knowledge, using Mindful Chef. They have a good range of recipes and you get delivered the exact quantities you need for each ingredient. It’s really convenient when you’re not sure what you’re doing at the beginning.

Below are 3 ways to cook tofu I recently learnt, thanks to them. I have to say I was really impressed with the results. Maybe it tasted even better because I put the effort in… For the 3 recipes below, indicated quantities are always for 2 people. I used the organic super-firm tofu from Dragonfly (300g) each time, which is really easy to find in any supermarket.

1. Tofu & apricot harissa tagine with quinoa

tofu apricot harissa

Here, it’s the apricot harissa that gives the main flavour to the dish. The method is simple: cut the tofu in cubes and add to a pan on medium-high heat with 1/2 tbsp oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes to briefly colour all sides. Then you can add the sauce you mixed beforehand: 2 large diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tbsp apricot harissa paste and 50ml boiled water. It melts in the mouth and the after taste is the right mix of tomato and spice.

Add a bit of coriander if you like, and 20g of flaked almonds for the presentation. For the sides: 180g of green beans and 250g of quinoa are a good option. Total calories per person: 586.

2. Mexican-style beans with scrambled tofu & avocado

tofu scrambled eggs

Eggs are not part of a plant-based diet, so I was really excited to try the tofu version. You just have to scramble it into small pieces with your fingers. Then cook it in a pan on medium heat with 1/2 tbsp oil. Stir for 10 minutes with a pinch of black pepper and 1/2 tsp turmeric, until it turns golden. Then add in 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and a pinch of chilli flakes. It tastes amazing!

The other ingredients added many colours on the plate and made the entire meal very appealing. You need 1 avocado and 120g baby plum tomatoes mixed with a handful of fresh coriander. For the Mexican-style beans: 240g kidney beans, 1 tbsp Mexican spice, 4 tbsp tomato puree and 40g baby spinach. Total calories per person: 573.

3. Sesame tofu & rice bowl

tofu in buddha bowl

Finally, if you fancy a salad-type meal, this recipe is great and doesn’t require much cooking. Tofu is cooked like in the first recipe but cut in triangles instead (or whatever shape you fancy, after all). For the dressing: peel and grate 4cm fresh ginger and add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp rice vinegar. Mix well and add in the saucepan once the tofu has turned golden in colour.

Simply cook 250g brown basmati rice for the base. And for the rest of the salad: grate 100g carrot, thinly slice 1 baby cucumber and 60g radishes. You could also add some kimchi or anything else you want. Sprinkle some sesame seeds for the final touch. That’s it! Total calories per person: 481.

Do any of these 3 recipes take your fancy?

If you’re convinced about the many health benefits of tofu and want to explore further, you can easily find online tons of other great tofu recipes. Let me know how you cook it!

Big Girl x

Quick & Easy Recipe For a Refreshing Banana Sorbet

ingredients for a refreshing banana sorbet

That’s a problem we all had at some point in our kitchen: too many leftover bananas and no idea what to do with them before they become too ripe to eat. The most obvious answer would be to make a banana cake, of course… but isn’t there a healthier option? My mum actually gave me that idea recently and after trying it myself, I thought I had to share my own banana ice cream recipe! It’s easy to make, requires only 4 ingredients, it’s gluten-free and dairy-free (if you opt for a plant-based milk).

Ingredients – for 4 people:

  • 5 bananas (small/medium)
  • 150ml milk (I used unsweetened soya milk)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons honey

Put everything in the blender and mix it until smooth:

bananas in the blender

Pour the mixture into 4 ramequins and leave in the freezer overnight:

banana mixture in ramequins

And the next day: tadaaa…. Enjoy!

delicious banana sorbet

Who said it was too cold for ice cream? Plus you can keep it in the freezer several weeks, it’s really convenient on top of being a healthy alternative to banana cake. One ramequin following this recipe would be less than 150 calories. I love this dessert, it’s sweet and refreshing!

How will you use your ripe bananas next time?

Big Girl x

Delicious & Easy Treat: Strawberries Coated in Dark Chocolate

strawberries coated in dark chocolate

It’s Monday and it’s getting cold out there, I just wanted to share how to prepare this indulgence! Strawberries are great for you, they are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of magnesium and potassium, containing very few calories. Dark chocolate is also good for you (if it contains at least 70% cacao – the darker the better!), it contains antioxidants, fibre, potassium, calcium, copper, and magnesium. But the two of them together might not be that healthy, purely because you would be consuming more chocolate than you need to have a positive impact on your body. Hence why I call them my guilty pleasure! It’s excellent for the mood though.

Who knows, this 2-ingredient recipe could be useful if you want to prepare something a bit special but not too complicated at the same time, something that doesn’t take too long to make and is beginner-friendly too! Chocolate coated strawberries are probably one of the easiest fancy bite-size desserts that everyone loves…

Ingredients you need

First of all, pick fresh strawberries that are quite firm (not too ripe) and with long stems, it will be easier to dip them. For the chocolate part, it’s better to choose a good quality cooking chocolate, to make sure it melts well and then cools down properly. Personally, I like to use Green & Black’s Organic Dark Cooking Chocolate but it’s down to you and your preferences!

Few tips before you start

  • Use strawberries at room temperature (or leave them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before dipping them)
  • Strawberries must be dry before dipping them, the coating will stick better
  • Prepare your workspace beforehand so you don’t have to rush
  • Don’t overheat the chocolate, monitor its consistency every 30 seconds if you’re using a microwave (you can also use a double boiler)
  • As there are only 2 ingredients, the quality of each makes a huge difference

Method (with pictures)

1. Clean your strawberries and let them dry

ingredients: strawberries and dark chocolate

2. Break the chocolate in small pieces and microwave until it’s almost completely melted, then stir with a spoon to get the right consistency (for 250g of strawberries, I used 60g of chocolate)

melt the dark chocolate to cover strawberries

3. Dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate and put them on a parchment baking paper that you’ve prepared in advance

cover the strawberries with dark chocolate

4. Let the chocolate set and rest until it has solidified nicely

strawberries coated in dark chocolate

Additional toppings

That’s the basic version but you can make it look (and taste) even better with additional toppings. You can drizzle them with melted white chocolate afterwards for example, or anything else you want. Here’s some suggestions:

  • Any nuts (crushed),
  • Coconut flakes,
  • Sprinkles,
  • Oreo cookies (crushed),
  • Mini chocolate chips, etc.

Enjoy!

Once done, you can store them in the fridge for a day or two (not in the freezer) or in a dry cool place, but they are much better when consumed on the same day!

It’s the ideal dessert for romantic occasions (Valentine’s day, anniversaries…) but any excuse is good enough. Sometimes it’s important to treat yourself with food that makes you happy, as long as it’s done with moderation!

Now it’s your turn, what’s your guilty pleasure?

Big Girl x