I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 2 years now and have eaten many, many dishes my daughter has made with tofu, as well as commercial products made from tofu, but haven’t really cooked with it myself. Well, I did once, back when my daughter was a baby and tofu was just starting to be available in our local supermarkets. At that time I cut the tofu into cubes and stir-fried it with vegetables, and it turned out reasonably well. I’m not sure why I didn’t continue to use it, but it just wasn’t really in my culinary sphere at that time.
I started out as a lacto-ovo vegetarian, still using dairy products, but in recent months I’ve stopped using them, for the most part. This wasn’t an attempt to move toward veganism but because of the allergic reaction I get whenever I have milk or cheese, complete with severe headaches, stuffy nose, itchy eyes and the like. Once in awhile I’ll “cheat” and have feta cheese in my Greek salad and milk chocolate, for instance, but having very much of those things sets off the allergy symptoms again. For awhile this seemed very discouraging, partially because I really felt I would miss cheese, but also because I was losing a significant source of protein.
For protein each day I generally have an egg and a strip of veggie bacon in the morning, oftentimes rice and beans at lunchtime, then a Boca burger or one of the Gardein items at dinner. I get some protein from whole-grain breads and pasta, and also peanut butter. Women generally need about 45 grams of protein per day, however, and much of the time I was coming up a bit short, so I started thinking about ways to boost the protein in my diet.
Enter tofu! I kept hearing about a “tofu scramble” as a substitute for scrambled eggs, both online and on my favorite cooking show, “Christina Cooks.” I became really motivated to try making one when I learned that an egg only has 6 grams of protein, whereas a tofu scramble has 20 grams! There are scads of recipes out there, so I purchased a package of extra-firm tofu yesterday and decided to give it a go. I found a recipe at VegWeb.com called, “I Cannot Believe They’re Not Scrambled Eggs!” which seemed easy, with very few ingredients, and cooked it up this evening. Amaaaazing! It really does taste like scrambled eggs, same texture and everything! So I was pleased with this quick and easy way to add some extra protein to my daily intake.
I didn’t need all the tofu for the scramble, so as an experiment I cut the rest of the tofu into small cubes and marinated them in a mixture of light soy sauce, cooking sherry, garlic powder and a bit of sugar while I made the scramble. I then fried the cubes in a bit of oil until very crisp, then removed them from the pan and sauteed a sliced onion and some broccoli, pouring the rest of the marinade over the vegetables and covered them to steam a few minutes.
That turned out great as well, so I was pleased with my tofu adventure! The mind reels with possibilities…