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Killer Tofu: 3 tofu recipes that will make you a soy believer

Killer Tofu: 3 tofu recipes that will make you a soy believer

Over the last few years, I've tried to give up meat, with varying degrees of success. I've been able to maintain a vegetarian diet for a month or two at a time (with a few vegan days thrown in for good measure), but with a family and boyfriend firmly on the omnivore side, it's been difficult for me to sustain the diet.

What I have successfully done, however, is add way more meatless days to my routine, as well as my boyfriend's. How? Through the magic of tofu.

I love tofu. It may be one of my top three foods. I always have at least one pack of it in my fridge, and I make it once a week or more. People always look at me like I'm crazy when I confess my love for tofu, however. I get it: it's weird looking, squishy and has no real taste. But if you hate tofu, it's just because you're making it wrong. Below are my three favorite tofu recipes that are on constant rotation at my house. Make one of these and then try to tell me that you hate that weird, squishy soy cube.

Mixed Veggie and Tofu Chilaquiles

This Thug Kitchen recipe is one of my all-time favorites. Fun fact: you really can't tell the difference between scrambled tofu and scrambled eggs. And don't be afraid of nooch! (Vegan)

12 corn tortillas
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 block medium-firm tofu
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch!)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 to 2 jalapeños, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 cups fresh spinach
2 1/2 cups salsa verde
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut tortillas into 8 wedges. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes to dry out, stirring them around halfway through.

While the tortillas get crispy, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a big cast-iron skillet over medium heat and crumble in the tofu. (It's okay if it's a little watery!) Stir in the soy sauce and garlic powder and let it all cook together until some of the water cooks off, about 2 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast, turn off the heat and pour the tofu into a bowl.

Wipe the skillet out and heat the remaining teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onion,  bell pepper and jalapeños and sauté until the onion starts to look a little brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach and cook for 30 seconds.

Throw about half of the baked tortillas in with the veggies in the skillet. Add 1 cup of the salsa and 2 tablespoons of the broth and mix together. Add half of the tofu over the whole skillet and then layer on the rest of the tortillas. Top with the rest of the tofu, salsa and broth, and gently stir around to make sure the layers are coated. (You want all of the tortillas to be covered so they aren't all dry and weird.) Let mixture simmer together for about 3-5 minutes so that the tortillas soften a bit but still retain some crunch, and the liquid evaporates.

Tofu and Pickled Veg Bowl

It may seem like this recipe has a lot of steps, but it's actually pretty easy. Just make sure to pickle your veg at least 24 hours before! Tofu marinade from Lazy Cat Kitchen. (Vegan)

For marinated tofu:
1 block medium-firm tofu
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp Sriracha
3 tsp toasted sesame oil

For marinated edamame:
1 bag frozen edamame in shell
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp minced lemon zest
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp red paper flakes
toasted sesame seeds

Rest of dish:
Pickled carrot & cabbage*
1 cucumber, sliced thin
Rice noodles

Preheat oven to 355 F. Press the moisture out of the tofu and cut into cubes. Combine the marinade ingredients and toss the tofu into it. Place the marinated tofu cubes on a greased baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. (Save the leftover marinade! You can toss the baked tofu cubes in it before serving.)

As the tofu cooks, make the edamame according to the package instructions and assemble the marinade. Toss the cooked edamame in the marinade and top with toasted sesame seeds. Now's a good time to make the rice noodles, too (just follow the package instructions). 

In a large bowl, place some rice noodles in the center. Place the pickled veg, tofu, cucumber and edamame around the sides.

Buffalo Tofu Nuggets

Craving McDonald's chicken nuggets? The tofu nuggs have the same consistency as your childhood favorites. Trust. (Vegetarian)

1 block medium-firm tofu
1 egg, beaten
1-2 cups panko
Frank's Red Hot
Blue cheese dressing (for serving)

Preheat oven to 425 F. In the oven, lightly toast the panko. Press the moisture out of the tofu, and cut it into chicken-nugget size cubes. (IT'S NOT A SCIENCE, PEOPLE, JUST GO WITH IT.) Toss the tofu into the beaten egg, and then coat with the panko. Bake for 15-20 minutes. When the nuggs are out, toss them in some Frank's. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

*Making pickles is super easy. Just slice up whatever vegetable you want and place them in a large mason jar with 2 cloves of smashed garlic and some peppercorn. In a sauce pan, combine one cup of water, one cup of distilled white vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, and one tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, and then pour in the mason jar with the veg. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 24-48 hours before opening.

Also check out: Healthyish weekday breakfasts; Best vegan junkfood

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