It's A Mistake To Always Think Of Tofu As A Meat Substitute

If you're mainly a meat eater, you may have gotten the wrong idea about tofu. You may think that it's bland, gross, or only exists as a meat substitute, but one delicious preparation of it, and you'll realize you never knew what you were missing. Tofu is a delicious food staple all on its own, with a plethora of ways to use it. There's a reason that there are numerous cookbooks out there that focus entirely on tofu recipes, such as Bonnie Chung's "Tofu Tasty: Imaginative Tofu Recipes for Every Day" or Les Ilagan's "Tofu: The Ultimate Recipe Book."

Considering the fact that there are entire tomes dedicated to this ingredient, it goes to show that it's important to treat tofu as its own star, sometimes as a meat dupe, and sometimes as something different altogether. When you start to think of tofu in this way, you'll be able to incorporate it into your meals in more significant (and delicious) ways. And if you think skipping a meat serving will short you necessary protein, think again because tofu is jam-packed with it. A 3.5-ounce serving has 17 grams of protein, alongside minimal carbs (just 3 grams) and plenty of essential vitamins. All it takes is some research to find the perfect tofu recipes for you — but we'll get you started. 

Tofu can be used for every meal

Despite having a reputation for being bland, a simple crispy tofu recipe — using just salt and pepper for seasoning — is much more delicious than you may think. However, tofu also acts as the perfect vessel for just about any flavor, from sauces to spices. It often appears in Asian cuisine as the star of certain dishes, such as a tofu curry or an essential element of miso soup. Further, swapping in tofu for a dish associated with meat — such as orange chicken — makes for a whole new experience of the dish. Orange tofu and orange chicken, despite sharing a sauce, taste wildly different from one another. You might want to try Tasting Table's baked General Tso's tofu recipe. You could also throw tofu in a stir fry or use it to add some chewy texture to your favorite salad.

Tofu can also be integrated into breakfast. Next time you're making scrambled eggs, you can add some to create a healthy and delicious tofu scramble — because tofu is malleable, it blends into an egg scramble much more easily than most meats would. Plus, the different types of tofu, silken or firm, make tofu even more versatile. A silken tofu will blend perfectly into a smoothie — and give it that extra protein. It also works as a dessert ingredient for cheesecake, pudding, or mousse — the latter just requires blending some silken tofu with maple syrup and chocolate.