Learning How to Use Tofu
Tofu was one of those ingredients I didn’t know how to use. After 15 months of culinary school and over 400 hours in a restaurant, I had never touched the stuff. We had spent hours learning how to filet fish. Yet, us future culinary professionals never tackled tofu.
It wasn’t until months after graduation, when I was hired as the Wellness Club chef at Whole Foods Market that I finally learned about tofu. I must admit, I was skeptical. Tofu had always been a “hippie food”, right next to sprouted mung beans and spirulina powder. Perhaps it was healthy. But it could never taste good.
I was wrong.
Tofu Replaces Dairy
One of the first things I tasted with tofu was Vegan Lemon Curd. During my 2-week immersion in Austin, the chefs at Whole Foods served it for dessert. Right away, the fresh lemon flavor popped. The sweetness was just enough to satisfy. Yet it didn’t have the cloying sweetness that so many desserts can have. And the texture? Well, it was creamy, fluffy, light – everything a lemon curd should be.
Over the next two years, I got to experiment with a lot of tofu. Some of the most common ways to use tofu are:
- Silken tofu replaces buttermilk in creamy Green Goddess Dressing
- Silken tofu can also be used to replace milk for a creamy Strawberry Banana smoothie
- Firm tofu can be used as a substitute for cheese with Tofu Vegan Feta Cheese
- Firm tofu can be crumbled and sprinkled with yellow turmeric to replace eggs in an easy Tofu Scramble
- Firm tofu can be cubed and used to add healthy, plant-based vegan protein to Almond Butter Pad Thai, Black Forbidden Rice Asian Miso Bowl, and Vietnamese Orange Ginger Stir-Fry
Vegan Tofu Lemon Curd with Berries
Easy | Servings: 6| Ready In: 5 minutes + 20 minutes to set | Yield: 3 cups lemon curd + 2 cups berries
The colors and flavors of summer sing in this light, healthy dessert. Soft tofu creates the creamy base for this plant-based pudding. Fresh lemon zest and juice adds bright flavor. Serve with fresh berries for an easy, yet elegant, finish to your summer holiday parties. If you like this, you’ll also love Broiled Peaches and Plums with Vegan Cinnamon Cashew Cream, Lemon Poppy Seed No-Bake Energy Bars, and Easy, Gluten-Free Blueberry Oat Crisp.
- 1 (14-ounce) package soft tofu
- 8 dates pitted
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from one lemon)
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest, divided (from one lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cups fresh strawberries and blueberries, cut into bite-sized pieces
How It’s Done:
How to make the Vegan Tofu Lemon Curd with Berries: In a blender, combine the tofu, dates, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, vanilla, cardamom, and turmeric. Puree until creamy, about 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the blender, as needed. Taste to adjust sweetness. Add more dates or lemon, to your taste.
To assemble the Lemon and Berries Bowls: Portion the Tofu Lemon Curd evenly between 6 serving dishes. Even distribute the berries among the bowls. Garnish with the reserved lemon zest and serve!
If you like this, you’ll also love Broiled Peaches and Plums with Vegan Cinnamon Cashew Cream, Lemon Poppy Seed No-Bake Energy Bars, and Easy, Gluten-Free Blueberry Oat Crisp.Print Recipe
Chef Katie’s Tips:
Make Ahead: This is a great dish for make-ahead enjoyment. Make the lemon curd and cut the fruit a day ahead. The day of your party, you can assemble the bowls up to 4 hours in advance. Making the curd ahead of time will allow the flavors to come together.
Why add turmeric and cardamom? Turmeric adds natural, golden yellow color. Because lemon juice is mostly clear, this helps tell eaters that the curd will taste lemony. Cardamom adds bright, minty flavor. However, if you don’t have it, you can omit.
Soy-Free: Substitute 1 cup soaked cashews for the tofu. Drain and rinse the cashews before pureeing with the other ingredients. You will need to add more liquid during blending, probably ½-1 cup liquid.
Other Variations: Use this curd recipe as a template for other citrus juices. You can make this with key limes, grapefruits, or even blood oranges.
Includes Lemon Curd + 2 cups fresh berries
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 3 g||4 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||2 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 1 mg||0 %|
|Potassium 128 mg||4 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 15 g||5 %|
|Dietary Fiber 2 g||10 %|
|Sugars 10 g|
|Protein 6 g||11 %|
|Vitamin A||1 %|
|Vitamin C||38 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|