Sunday Cooking: Tofu “Cheese”

I first tried tofu cheese at the Andersonville Farmers’ Market.  I am lucky enough to live in a great neighborhood, where we have a weekly market from June-October.  (The Winter Market is going on now, but I’m a bad neighbor and haven’t been yet!)  One of the vendors is a local tofu producer, Phoenix Bean, and they bring a variety of soybean treats to market.  The spicy tofu salad is one of my favorites…  until I tried tofu cheese.  When I asked what the recipe was, they said “Google it!”  (Nice one, Librarian…)

So, I picked up some Phoenix Extra Firm Tofu, and then I did just that.  I came across Tofu for Two‘s recipe for tofu “cheese.”  The blogger points out that, if you are serving this to people who love cheese, you may not want to call it cheese.  I think that’s a wise piece of advice.  Let’s just call it tofu spread.  Or maybe veggie spread for those who think they don’t actually like tofu.  Here’s a secret:  tofu will take on any flavor you add to it!  I don’t cook with it very often, but this recipe may become a party favorite at my house.

Veggie Spread (Adapted from Tofu for Two’s Tofu Cheese Recipe)

10oz Firm or Extra Firm Tofu
1tsp soy sauce
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil

1.  Press the tofu.  You need to do this to get the extra moisture out of it.  I didn’t quite press mine enough, so the spread is still a little watery.  The method that has worked best for me is to slice the tofu in to smaller slices, then line a plate with a double layer of paper towels, put the tofu on the plate, then put another layer of doubled towels on top.  I then put either a cookie sheet or a 2nd plate on top, then find your heaviest book or the most canned goods you can pile on top, to press out the water.  After one hour, swap out the wet paper towels for new dry ones.  Press the tofu for at least 2 hours.

2.  Crumble the tofu in to a bowl.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice and garlic to the bowl and mix it all together.  (I just used my hands, especially helpful to crumble the tofu.)

3.  Mix in the olive oil.  Add salt if needed.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or preferably over night.

Enjoy this with…  anything.  🙂  Really, the tofu takes on the garlic and salt and is just really tasty.  I have used it as a vegetable dip with carrots, celery, etc.  Or you can spread it on toast or crackers.  Tofu “cheese” is also great as a mix-in with your scrambled eggs.  You’ll get the extra protein punch with a LOT of extra flavor.

I figured this was 6 servings (serving size: 2tbsp), and that factors out to be 2 Points Plus if you’re following Weight Watchers.  Enjoy your tofu!


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