Mention the word “tofu” and you're almost certain to get some strong reactions. For meat lovers, it can seem like a foreign concept. What do I do with it? Why is it so bland? What kind of texture is that? For vegetarians, it can be a daily staple you can’t imagine living without—though let's be real, it usually turns into a scramble or stir-fry. Whatever your notion of tofu may be, there are so many ways to use it that go way beyond acting as a simple meat replacement: Sneak it into desserts, apps, and meals to add some extra protein into your day. We’ve rounded up some of the best "this is tofu?" recipes to try, and we promise, they're anything but boring.
Chocolate and mint ice cream you can feel good about eating? *insert praise hands emoji* Tofu, coconut oil, and cocoa powder make this sweet treat much healthier. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, just blend the mixture then leave in the freezer overnight.
The best part of the lasagna is the cheese, amirite? This vegan lasagna makes sure not to skip it (or at least, the taste) by including a genius dairy-free ricotta made from tofu, hummus, basil, and a few spices.
Mousse can be a hard texture to replicate without heavy cream, but subbing in tofu does a surprisingly good job. And with three-ingredient coconut whipped cream on top, this dessert is kind of a dream come true for vegans and dairy-free folks.
We’re down to try just about anything in the shape of fries, and these don’t disappoint—partly because they are the easiest finger foods to make. Slice extra firm tofu into thin strips (like fries, duh); brush with olive oil; and top with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, and out comes magic, a.k.a. healthier fries.
The ingredient list for this dip looks pretty different from what you’re used to (read: you may only recognize the spinach), but the end result tastes just as good. Blend cashews, tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, and vinegar, then add to a pan of spinach and water chestnuts. Serve the vegan dip at your next sports or dinner party; your non-veg guests won’t know the difference.
Sometimes you want egg salad but don’t have the time to hard-boil eggs—or just don’t eat eggs, period. Satisfy your craving in half the time (and without the smell) with this tofu “egg” salad. Mix diced extra firm tofu with vegan mayo, diced veggies, dill pickle, red wine vinegar, tahini, and spices. Serve on a slice of toast, over greens, or in a wrap.
Tofu has proven itself to be a secret weapon in vegan desserts, but this cheesecake takes it to another level. Silken tofu makes for a healthier base in this treat, and coconut sugar, lemon juice, oats, and almond butter keep it relatively clean. Second slices for all.