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Tofu Jerky

Thanks to Karen from Karen's Kitchen for this recipe. She put this recipe together for The Zone diet and I only made a couple changes to make it UnDiet compatible.

Slice into 1/4-inch thick slices and place between several layers of towels 4 pounds extra firm tofu . Place a cookie sheet on top of towel wrapped tofu. Fill cookie sheet with flatwear or other weighty items. Let tofu express water for 15 minutes.

Mix in large measuring cup or pitcher

2 cups low-salt soy sauce(to get a rich flavor it's very important to use low-salt)
(3/4 cup barbecue sauce, worchestershire sauce, or liquid smoke)
1/2 cup water, vegetable or miso broth, whiskey, or dry sherry (experiment to see which you prefer)
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon powdered
1/4 cup onion powder, or 1 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon unrefined sugar

Remove tofu from towels and place onto cookie sheet. Pour marinade over tofu slices. Allow to soak for several hours or overnight. Use a spatula to remove tofu slices to cookie sheets sprayed with oil, or dehydrator trays, or oiled screens. Set marinade aside to use for your next batch. It will keep for a month when refrigerated.

Follow drying instructions for your dehydrator, or set oven to 200 degrees. Oven drying requires the most attention. Use a spatula to turn strips over once every hour until dried to a chewy consistency. In sunny, dry weather you can dry the jerky outside on screens (cover with cheese cloth to keep bugs off).

Below are some variations. With the exception of the Sweet Teriyaki which requires a marinade you can sprinkle each tray of marinated tofu with a different spice blend so that you'll end up with a variety of jerkies.

Sweet Teriyaki

Omit the liquid smoke or barbecue sauce and add to the marinade
1/2 cup grated ginger root
1/4 cup grated tangerine or orange rind
an additional tablespoon of unrefined sugar

Hot Jerky

Sprinkle on top of tofu before drying
hot sauce or cayenne pepper

Chili Jerky

Sprinkle on top of tofu before drying
chili powder

Pizza Jerky

Sprinkle on top of tofu before drying
pizza seasoning(or just ground oregano and ground basil)

Lemon & Cilantro

Sprinkle on top of tofu before drying
lemon pepper
ground dried cilantro

Spreads & Dips

Soy Cream Cheese Pesto Dip Neutral

This is such a simple and versatile spread that I'm not going to give an exact recipe but rather the basic ingredients and let you go to it on your own.

Use a fork to mix equal amounts of soy cream cheese and pesto. That's it! The first time I tried this I had just finished making six different pestos so I really went to town. Try using rosemary pesto for a Fruit sandwich - you'll be surprised. If you're making the rosemary pesto just for this dip and plan to use it with Fruit leave out the garlic and Parmesan cheese, and use nut oil in place of olive oil.

Green Pepper Sandwich Filling Neutral

Saute in a little butter over medium high heat until tender

1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped

Reduce heat to low and add

3/4 cup firm tofu, squeezed through your fingers
into the saucepan (so that it's roughly mashed)
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Stir occasionally until tofu is lightly browned. Spoon tofu mixture onto rolls.

4 whole grain sandwich rolls cut almost in half, or whole wheat pita.

Soy Cream Cheese

Drain and rinse:

one package firm tofu

Crumble into the bowl of a food processor or mini processor. A blender won't work with this recipe. Salt to taste and add:

1/4 teaspoon unrefined sugar

Puree until tofu is creamed and mostly a solid ball moving with the blades. You may have to add some heavy whipping cream, but only a little and be patient, it will eventually form into the consistency of cream cheese.

Now that's the basic recipe. Because tofu is pretty much tasteless I like to flavor the cream cheese, which I do when I crumble the tofu into the food processor bowl. Here are some ideas, but you can use your own imagination to come up with lots more.

Soy Mayo

Mix in a blender

1/2 block firm tofu
juice from 1/2 a lemon or lime
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
(black pepper)
(your choice of herbs or spice blends)

With motor running slowly drizzle in until the mayonnaise is the consistency you like

olive oil, canola oil, or soy milk

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Variations: Use the same list from the Soy Cream Cheese recipe.

Asian Dishes

Broiled Tofu

Cut 1 block of tofu into 1/2 inch thick slabs.

Marinate tofu in mixture of vegetable broth seasoned with soy or worchestershire sauce, garlic and black pepper all day or up to several days. Taste the marinade. It should taste a bit too salty and a bit strong, but not too salty or too strong.

Preheat broiler.

Remove the tofu from the marinade and carefully pat dry with towels. Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet. Brush the tofu slices with sesame. peanut or canola oil and broil for ten minutes, until tops are browned.

Place one or two tofu slices on each plate and top with Onion Sauce.

Mandarin Pancakes with Spicy Tofu

I made this dish for a party and received many compliments on my "Moo Shu Pork"! Almost everybody thought that the tofu was pork! When I revealed the secret to my "pork" dish several became tofu converts; others shrugged, said "Really" and now ask me what's in a dish before eating it.

Sauce: Stir together and set aside:

5 tablespoons soy sauce (low salt if you have it)
3 tablespoons vinegar (balsamic, cider, or rice)
2 teaspoons arrowroot flour
3 large minced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili

Mandarin Pancakes:You could also use whole wheat tortillas or lavosh. Mix with a fork until dough holds together:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup boiling water

On a lightly floured board, knead the dough until it's smooth and satiny (about 10 minutes). You could also do this in a food processor, in which case you would mix for about 30 seconds after adding the water. Shape the dough into a 12-inch-long log. Cut into 1-inch-thick slices.

For each pancake, halve 1 piece of dough. Form it into a ball, flatten slightly and using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface roll to a 7 or 8-inch-diameter circle.

Heat an ungreased frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the pancakes one at a time, turning when one side becomes blistered. Cook the other side until  it becomes blistered also. Don't overcook as it will become too brittle to wrap around filling.

Remove the pancake from the pan. Serve immediately or let cool, wrap airtight, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You could also freeze them.

Makes 24 pancakes.

Filling: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add:

1 finely chopped medium onion
1 cup thinly sliced celery. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes. Add:
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli, cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes. Stir in:
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms, continue cooking, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are soft. Add:
2 1/2 cups diced medium-firm tofu and mix lightly until heated through. Sir in Spicy Sauce.

Just before filling pancakes, stir in:

1-1/2 cups bean sprouts and heat through.

Spoon filling down center of each pancake. Roll up and eat! 6 servings.

Sesame Tofu Sticks

Cut 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu into approximately 3/8-inch-thick triangles or rectangles. Marinate in low-salt soy sauce for 30-60 minutes or regular soy sauce for 10 - 15 minutes.

Mix in shallow dish equal portions sesame seeds and whole wheat or soy flour.

Place marinated tofu sticks in pan with seeds and flour and use a spoon to carefully coat all sides of each tofu stick.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon sesame or peanut oil until drops of water sprinkled over pan sizzle. Saute coated tofu sticks in hot oil, turning once to brown both sides.

Stuffed Tomatoes

from Ethnic Grocer

You can find silken tofu, dried shitake mushrooms, and cracked black pepper on-line at Ethnic Grocer.

(4 servings) – Adapted from “Healthful Cooking” by Wei-Chuan’s Cooking

Cut 2 large tomatoes in half so that stem portion is on one half;  remove seeds.

Rinse 4 dried shitake mushrooms and mince. Mix well with 1 box silken tofu and add 4 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/8 teaspoon sea salt, 1/8 teaspoon grained black pepper; mix thoroughly. Divide into 4 portions and stuff into halved tomatoes. Steam over simmering water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sandwich Fillings

Ginger Baked Tofu

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine and heat gently:

1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar or 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, peanut, or canola oil
2 tablespoons mirin(rice wine, found in the Asian foods section of most grocery stores)
1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Or you could substitute The UnDiet Oriental Spice Blend for the ginger and the mustard.

Drain, cut in 1/2-inch thick slices, and dry:

1 pound firm tofu

Marinate tofu slices in the warm marinade for 1 hour. Transfer the slices to a baking sheet, baking until firm, about 45 minutes, basting every 10 - 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer. Baked tofu freezes very well.

You can serve the baked tofu as a dish in it's own right by cutting the slices in half to form triangles and fanning 3 or 4 triangles on a plate, garnished with scallions. Accompany with rice, and/or steamed or stir-fried veggies.

Italian Baked Tofu


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 red pepper, pureed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano or basil(1 tablespoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper

Or you could substitute Italian Seasoning for the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Tofu kabobs:Cut into 2-inch squares, and marinate as directed above:

extra firm tofu

Alternate tofu with:

blanched vegetables(onions, bell peppers, edible pod peas, and/or-yams) on bamboo skewers

Grill or broil until the tofu is browned on all sides, 4 to 8 minutes.

Sandwiches: Cut tofu into 1-inch thick slices. Increase the marinating time to 2 or 3 hours, and bake 1 hour or more until the tofu is dry and very firm. Chill and slice thinly. Serve with all your favorite accompaniments because tofu is perfectly Neutral.

Hor d'oeuvres: Prepare as above for sandwiches. Spread spiced mayonnaise, horseradish, or mustard on crackers, over-sized croutons, or quartered bread slices. Top with thinly sliced baked tofu. Garnish with minced scallions, caviar, minced waterchestnuts, minced cilantro or mint, diced tomatoes*, or chopped olives*.

*These toppings work best with Italian flavored baked tofu.

Soups:Cut into small cubes and add to miso, tomato, vegetable or mock chicken broth, and other soups just before serving.

Rice: Cut into small cubes and add to cooked brown rice with or without steamed or stir-fried veggies.

Stir-fry:Cut into slices and add to stir-fry toward the end of the cooking time.

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