27 Apr Ask the Dietitian: Protein Sources
I’d like to incorporate more tofu as another protein source for my picky eater. How can I do this?
Tofu, also known as soybean curd, is rich in protein and low in cost. It can be a great addition to anyone’s diet. The key is to know how to prepare it and what to put it in. Tofu has no flavor so it will take on the flavors of whatever you are cooking it with. The following are some cooking tips when working with tofu:
- Match the firmness of the tofu to the type of recipe you want to create. For example, silken tofu is great in soups, smoothies, sauces, and dressings.
- Drain the water from the package. Store any leftover tofu in a closed container and change the water daily.
- Medium or firm tofu’s are great in stir-fries, stews, and soups.
- Firm tofu has less water and springs back when pressed because the outside is relatively dry but the interior remains custard-like. To get the water out of the inside, weigh it down by first cutting it into cubes. Then line a baking sheet with paper towel and place the cubes on the towel. Then add another layer of paper towel and place a few heavy objects over top to help squeeze the water out. Let it sit for up to one hour or overnight in the fridge.
- Firm tofu can then be marinated for up to 30 minutes before cooking. Do not marinate with an oil-based marinade.
- After marinating, toss the tofu in cornstarch by placing the cornstarch in a bowl, add drained marinated pieces then shake off excess.
- Use: soy, citrus, or a vinaigrette for flavoring then grill, roast, bake, or pan fry. If frying, use an oil with a high melting point such as sesame or coconut. Sprinkle on some salt for seasoning.