NOTE: A few days ago, right after we were snowed in, I did a posting on Soup toppings, since soup or stew is my mainstay in winter. But then the sun came out, the rain followed and now the ground is almost free from snow, so feel free to use this recipe on soup, salad or stir fries.
Two toppings I did not discuss in Part I were tofu and tempeh, both from soybeans. If you are new to these foods or they are not something you want to tackle enlarge quantities. I suggest using them as toppings or garnishes on your dishes as a “test taste.” Some foods we like or dislike with the first bite, but the taste of others that are foreign to our palate, as these foods were before I gave up eating meat, sometimes need to be acquired. I had that experience with tahini (sesame paste) and sea veggies, both of which I now enjoy.
Let’s tackle tofu first, since it is the more common of the two, found in supermarkets as well as health food stores and Asian markets. Tofu is made by soaking the beans in water and then pureeing them to make as “milk” which is then curdled with a natural ingredient called nigari, which creates the curds. These are gathered and placed into little pockets and pressed to removed the water. You end up with something looking a lot like a bar of soap with little or no taste. (I will make a separate posting for tempeh.)
Fortunately, tofu takes on the flavors of other flavorings added to the dish. Int he case of making tofu croutons for toppings, you need to add the flavorings before placing them the oven to roast. Below the tofu photos is a picture of cream of tomato soup (I purchased a tetra-pack container (no preservatives) in Giant’s natural food section because I don’t like tomato soup, but needed the color contrast. (But my husband likes tomato soup, so I hope he will eat it.)
Easy Tofu Croutons
Utensils: Cutting board & knife, bowl, baking pan or fry pan
Prep. Time: 5 minutes
Cook. Time: 10 minutes
Categories: Vegan, No Sugar (NS) added, GF
This recipe is so easy that I am putting it as a paragraph:
Simply remove tofu squares from the package and dice. Then either place in the oven in a lightly oiled pan for a few minutes to heat or place in a lightly oiled fry pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring once to make sure all the pieces are heated.
Sprinkle onto soups or salads or main dishes as a garnish. These tidbits can also be added to stir fries at the end without reheating them.
(The slashes of sunlight are from my kitchen window with partially closed blinds. I like this effect so it’s not an error.)