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Tofu 4 U! (April 2, 2003)


Well, who would have thought... Ron and Helen eating tofu! Oh, sure we would buy it about twice a year with great plans for recipes – salad dressings, desserts and so on. And there it sat, creeping closer and closer to the back of the fridge and oblivion, until one day, thankfully, we would realize that it was three months over the "best by" date, and quickly... down the disposal.

That is, until we got a copy of Tofu, by Brigid Treloar. It's a great book for the tofu toddler, one colourful recipe with photo per page, and the reading is terrific.

Treloar is an experienced food writer and it shows in this book. She's included a fascinating introduction with history, a glossary with the dozens of types of tofu (we thought there were only one or two) and a section on how to create texture and flavour, how to use tofu, and other practical and useful tips on this ancient, healthy food.

Oh, sure, you're saying, but what do you do with it? We say, start right here and try these recipes; you'll be convinced as we were and you'll never look back!

On today's menu:

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (59 KB)


Shredded Beet Strudel with Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce

This is pretty, it's delicious, it's simple and it's good for you. This makes a perfect appetizer, party finger food or light lunch with a crispy salad. The sauce is wonderful and you'll be thinking of a lot of other dishes to serve it with!

Makes 4

    For sauce:
  • 3½ oz. silken firm or silken soft tofu, pureed
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 small English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Salt and cracked pepper to taste
    For strudel:
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup grated beets
  • 1 cup firm or extra firm tofu, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 8 sheets thawed frozen phyllo pastry
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

To make sauce:
In a food processor, puree tofu and yogurt until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and add all remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine carrot, beets, tofu, parsley, pepper, ginger and scallions. Keeping the remaining sheets covered with a damp cloth, lightly spray 2 sheets phyllo pastry with oil. Place one on top of the other and fold in half. Place a quarter of vegetable mixture in center of folded sheet. Fold one end and both sides over filling, then roll to enclose the filling. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling. Spray rolls lightly with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place rolls on a prepared pan and bale in a moderately hot oven (400°F) until cooked and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve with yogurt-cucumber sauce and a tossed salad.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
A a light, fairly acidic red – Côte-de-Beaune Villages, Beaujolais or Ontario Pinot Noir


Chocolate-Banana Pie

This is wonderful. Rich and satisfying and easy. What better combination... and it's using up the tofu! Another slice, please?

Makes one 9-inch pie

    For pie crust:
  • 17 wheatmeal biscuits, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 Tbsp butter, melted
    For filling:
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/3 oz. plain gelatin or 3 tsp powder
  • 3½ oz. chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 13 oz. silken firm tofu, drained
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 small bananas, sliced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Banana slices for garnish
  • 1 oz. dark chocolate

To make pie crust:
In a medium bowl, combine crushed crackers, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and press into a 9-inch round springform pan. Refrigerate.

To make filling:
Put water in a small saucepan, sprinkle with gelatin and let stand for 1 minute. Add chocolate and sugar to saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted. Do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

In a food processor, puree tofu until smooth. Remove and reserve 1/3 cup for decorating. With machine running, gradually add chocolate to remaining tofu and puree until well combined. Pour mixture into a large bowl.

In a deep bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into tofu mixture. Line bottom and side of piecrust with sliced bananas and pour in tofu mixture. Refrigerate until set about 2 hours.

To serve, garnish top of pie with banana slices. In a small bowl, stir reserved tofu and honey together. Put in a pastry bag with large star nozzle and pipe decoration in center or around edge of pie top. Using a vegetable peeler, cut curls from block of chocolate and garnish pie.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
A sweet white wine – Samos Muscat from Greece, Marsala or Asti Spumanti.


We wish to thank the following for permission to publish Tofu, by Brigid Treloar. Material and photography © 2002 Lansdowne Publishing Pty. Ltd. Published by Periplus Edition (HK) Ltd., distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books .


Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (59 KB)




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