I’ve been on a tofu kick this week. Tofu is amazing; don’t listen to the haters if you’ve yet to try it out. I was a bit sceptical of tofu the first time I decided to add it to my grocery cart. I had seen dozens of recipes calling for tofu but the white brick of soy protein, honestly, freaked me out.
I know I was not alone in my feelings about tofu. Many people dismiss the idea of cooking with tofu because they never had it growing up or they don’t know how to prepare it. If you’ve been thinking about buying tofu or want to learn more about it, look no further, I’m here to help.
Tofu, which is also called bean-curd, is the result of curdling fresh soymilk and then pressing it into a solid block. The three most common types of tofu are silken, soft, and firm. I use firm or extra firm tofu when I cook because it holds up well with stir-fry’s and doesn’t fall apart in the frying pan. If you are just starting to introduce tofu into your diet start off by adding it to salads or stir-fry’s. Tofu absorbs the flavour of whatever sauce you use so many people don’t mind the taste of it. When you want to start getting fancy, add tofu to sauces and desserts to get a rich creamy texture.
To prepare tofu for cooking, most people press the tofu to get the water out. You can buy pressing machines to do this for you, or you can do it the old fashion way by stacking books on top of it (directions here). Once pressed, you can cook the tofu however you please!
Creamy Tofu Spinach Pasta
- 1 pkg gluten free pasta (macaroni, fussili, etc)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 pkg extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups baby spinach (divided)
- 2 tbsp dry white wine
1) Soak cashews in water for an hour (you can soak for minimum 30 minutes, but the longer you can soak the better).
2) In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3) In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add diced onion and minced garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes until brown. Add one cup of spinach and saute for another 2-3 minutes until soft. Set aside (don’t clean the saucepan).
4) In a blender, add cashews and vegetable broth. Blend for 2 minutes (until nice and creamy). Add the tofu, almond milk, and onion/spinach mixture. Blend for 2 minutes.
5) Meanwhile, in the same saucepan you sauted the onion mixture, add white wine. Heat the wine over medium heat and let it pick up all the flavours from the bottom of the pan. After 3 minutes, add the sauce from the blender. Add the remaining cup of spinach. Heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted.
6) Add the pasta to the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.