Friday, March 23, 2012

Tofu, Yummy Tofu!

Yes I know. Tofu... The mention of the word probably brought a chill to some spines and possibly a gag reflex to those who think tofu is simply gross or weird. Well I must tell you it's not. Tofu is really good and good for you. If you don't like tofu it may be because you had it prepared poorly. I will admit if done wrong it could turn out spongy, bland or maybe even slimy. *Shudders* For now turn your thoughts away from what you think you know about tofu and make this recipe.

My friend Jessica asked what everyone was having for dinner on Facebook and I shared that I would be having leftover manicotti made with tofu. She eats a lot of very healthy and yummy sounding foods so I wasn't surprised when she asked for the recipe. I love this recipe. My mom made it when I was growing up and now that I cook for my family I love to make it. Joe even eats it and has said that if he didn't know it was tofu he wouldn't have guessed it. Give it a try! Seriously it's good and good for you so don't judge, just eat.

Cannelloni
From the cookbook Tofu Goes West 

Tofu

Cook and drain
8 MANICOTTI SHELLS
*I made a whole box of manicotti shells which is 14 total. With this recipe I can usually fill all but maybe one of the shells.

Mix well in a large bowl
*I actually put everything in a gallon sized zip lock bag and mix it up so I can then easily fill the manicotti shells by snipping the corner of the bag and piping the filling into each shell.
1 LB. TOFU, MASHED WELL WITH A FORK
1 EGG, LIGHTLY BEATEN
1 1/2 TSP. PARSLEY
1/2 TSP. NUTMEG
1/2 TSP. BASIL
1/2 TSP. SALT
1/4 TSP. PEPPER
1/4 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
1 CUP GRATED CHEDDAR CHEESE

Fill the manicotti shells with the tofu mixture.
Lay the manicotti down the center of an oiled 9"x13" baking dish.
*I just spray the pan with Pam or put down some sauce before laying down the filled shells.

Cover with
1 CAN (15 OZ.) ITALIAN-STYLE TOMATO SAUCE (MIXED WITH ANY REMAINING STUFFING).
*I usually use a jar of pasta sauce because I am all about quick and easy and I don't ever have any remaining stuffing. You could definitely use homemade sauce or follow the recipe as is.

Sprinkle with
GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Serves 4.
*Obviously if you make it like I do with a whole box of manicotti it will serve more than 4. I sometimes sprinkle with whatever leftover cheddar I have on top too.
That's it! It's super easy and quick to put together. While the shells are cooking you can get everything else assembled and the oven preheated. If you find yourself without an egg (as I did yesterday when I made this) I have just added a couple spoonfuls of pasta sauce in with the mixture and it holds together well enough to stuff the shells. Oh and I use the firm tofu for this recipe. Do NOT go with a soft or silken tofu or I would think your filling would end up as mush and that would once again fuel the fear of tofu.

If you make this recipe please come back and comment and let me know what you think. If you're still a little hesitant to try this I suggest buying (or making) a pasta sauce that has meat in it. Mix some of the sauce in with the filling instead of the egg and top the filled shells with the meat sauce and you seriously won't know it's tofu. You might think it was some kind of ricotta type filling instead and with some meat in the sauce it may alleviate any fears you have about tofu. Once you've made it once you can definitely add your own spin by changing up the spices, cheese or sauce depending on your personal taste. I love it and I hope you will too.

Enjoy!

4 comments:

  1. I've had some tofu I've liked and some I haven't. I've never cooked with it before, but should try. :)

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    1. Tofu is great to cook with. It's very versatile since it doesn't have much flavor on its own and it comes in different textures. You could use it in stir fry, soups or like this with pasta. If you use the silken tofu I have heard it makes great desserts. YUM! Plus it's high in protein which makes it a great substitution for meat any time. :)

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  2. Okay, girl. You really have to teach my about tofu! I really want to be able to prepare it in a way that we'll love it.

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    1. Girl tofu is awesome! I want to learn to cook it in new ways too but I love it in this recipe. I also like it cold with soy, ginger and some green onion. Also you can batter it in a light egg batter and fry it. YUM! It's all tasty. I'll have to have my Mom show me all the ways she can make tofu so I can learn some new ideas.

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