I originally shared this recipe two years ago when my daughter was just a wee thing.
My daughter is a history buff. If left to her own devices she often creates a world around her that is the 1880s, a fantasy which is charming (and socially acceptable) because she is only eight. When she or little brother sense I am busy in the kitchen they are inspired to ask me to do one thousand things, including play with them.
On one such occasion this summer, while I was prepping burrito makings, I pretended to add a log to my new GE Profile range. When this little prairie child asked what I was cooking, I said deer meat (showing my non-meat eating habits by not thinking to call it venison). My little plant eater looked at me like I was insane for a moment before giggling and falling back into her make-believe world. And that is how my taco tofu became known as deer meat. This is a flexible taco or burrito filling that will are texture and flavor to your meal and probably be acceptable to your meat-eating guests as well.
I prefer it a million times over faux meats because I can better control the flavor, it is less processed and it is super cheap. One package of organic extra firm tofu rarely costs more than $1.79 at Whole Foods or any other grocery store I visit regularly.
When you cook the tofu, the water will be reduced and the spices and flavors will intensify. Remember this when you are seasoning to taste. If you need to multitask or working to reduce calories from fat, skip cooking on the stove and put it right into the oven, for approximately 40 minutes.
- One pound of extra firm tofu
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you’d like to punch up the heat!)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil/neutral high heat oil (and 2-3 more to cook)
Prep Work Slice the tofu into pieces about 1×1 inch and set aside on a dish towel for about an hour before you’re ready to cook. The longer you let it site, the faster it will be to cook.
Roughly chop the tofu into irregular, smaller pieces.
Heat canola oil on medium heat, and add the tofu. Stir the tofu around to allow it to brown evenly and encourage moisture to evaporate. When the tofu has turned a light golden color add remaining canola oil, spices, soy sauce and nutritional yeast. Turn down the heat and cook slowly as the tofu continues to brown. If the heat is too high you will burn the oil and the spices. I will add a little more oil as it continues to cook, and then the heat back up just before it is ready to serve, adding a little extra crisp. Salt and fat make this taco filling hit all the right notes, so don’t be shy with your seasoning.