project tofu (part 1)

Posted on December 11, 2012

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image via the pioneer woman

image via the pioneer woman

A few weeks ago, I woke up craving the fried tofu from a bowl of pho. Not the pho itself, but just the tofu – so I went up to the store and bought a block of extra-firm tofu at the grocery store. I did my research and learned how to press the water out and fried it with moderate success- in that it was edible.

A few weeks later, I was wandering the aisles at Cash & Carry and I was blinded by a deal (as so often happens at Cash & Carry, resulting in all sorts of unnecessary bulk purchases) – an enormous block of tofu for something ridiculous like $3.99. I couldn’t resist. I really couldn’t.

I’m sad to say that the giant block of tofu sat in my refrigerator through the Thanksgiving holiday, giving me anxiety. Despite my mediocre success with simply frying up tofu, I felt a bit nervous about opening up the watery package and having to fully commit to several meals made out of the stuff. But finally I ran out of other things to make and it was the only thing left in my fridge, so I decided to go for it.

I started by going to to see what The Pioneer Woman had to say about tofu. I didn’t expect it to be much, and I was right. There are only two lonely tofu recipes in her repitoire, not that I was surprised – I mostly love her because of all of the meaty goodness on her blog. But I knew that if I tried whatever it was that SHE made, the likelihood of it being delicious was high.

The recipe was Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps. Simple enough to make, a very short list of ingredients, and pretty decent comments and reviews by people who tried tricking their families into eating tofu (most of the time it worked!). I knew it was worth a shot.

The dish took less than 15 minutes and was deliciously crunchy and flavorful and was the healthy meal that I needed after a straight WEEK of crap food, caffeine and booze (ah, the life of an event planner during the week of the event). I felt good about nearly every bite – the exception being the very end of the lettuce which was tough and couldn’t fit any of the tofu mixture on it. But that was easily discarded. I devoured several lettuce wraps in mere minutes and had plenty leftover for lunch today.

Project tofu, meal one was a success!