Tofu is kind of a miracle food.
Made primarily from soybean milk, this solidified little pack of calcium and healthy fats is a very popular dish in many vegetarian recipes across the world and is a particular delicacy in East Asian cuisines.
However, tofu has become an incredibly popular ingredient in the United States in the last 15 to 20 years, especially amongst people that are looking to cut down on unsaturated fats, as well as keep their calories down overall.
Tofu, with its ability to absorb plenty of different flavors, and its other health benefits, is primed to be a major ingredient in any dieter’s ingredient tool kit.
If this sounds like an ingredient that could benefit your eating schedule, then make sure to check out the following tofu recipes that you can make that taste amazing, while still staying low on those calories!
1. Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
Starting off our list, we have a recipe that isn’t so much a full meal in of itself, but one that can then be added to others.
One of the main ways that tofu is prepared for recipes is to have it fried in oil.
This does still keep tofu vegetarian and potentially vegan-friendly but doesn’t exactly make it as healthy, being filled now with oils and unsaturated fats.
Tasty, but not exactly low-calorie like we’re looking for!
However, with this recipe and an air fryer, you can make tofu that still has that distinct crispy texture, but with next to none of that extra oil and fat, keeping this vegetarian favorite healthy for pretty much any diet!
Now, while this in itself doesn’t sound like an amazing meal itself (after all, while its got great texture, it’s still just tofu), this primes any tofu that you have to be included in your other dishes, from stir fries to rolls to noodles and buns.
Try making some of this fried tofu for yourself, then mix it with one of the following recipes to see what we mean!
2. Tofu Tahini Dan Dan Noodles
Now, if you’re looking for a full tofu meal recipe, you’ve come to the right place with this dish!
Dan dan noodles are some of the most popular noodle dishes in Chinese Sichuan cuisine.
Part of that comes from the massive amount of testy ingredients added, but perhaps the thing that makes these noodles stand out is the noodle paste/sauce that is made for this recipe, being both equal parts sweet and spicy, a staple of Sichuan cuisine.
With a sauce like that, how could we not want to throw tofu in this dish and see how it turns out?
This recipe will help you make a phenomenal-tasting noodle dish, whilst still being incredibly healthy!
How could anyone not love this dish?
3. Tofu Stir-Fry
Stir fries might be some of the most popular dishes that are made across the country.
While it likely first originated in China, this kind of cooking style has spread across the world, partly because of the sheer variety of ingredients that can work with a good recipe, from purely vegetables to meats, dairy, fish, and almost any other food.
So, naturally, there’s going to be a niche for tofu to cut out in this style of cooking!
We see that niche in this amazing recipe.
The sauce that makes up this dish is made from soy sauce, honey, and even white wine vinegar, making this a both sweet and biting sauce that you mix in with your vegetables and tofu.
Plus, with a calorie count as low as this recipe’s (see also: 10 Superb Low Calorie Breakfast Recipes Everyone Will Love!)this is a certifiably healthy dish that still manages to fill you up!
4. Kale Salad With Crispy Tofu
Salads are almost the quintessential healthy meal, packed with tons of leafy greens that are essential to any good diet.
It’s a shame that in this healthiness, there just isn’t that much in the way of flavor or texture variety to go around.
It’s one of the reasons that salads while incredibly healthy, are very rarely the first item that anyone will decide on eating.
So, how exactly does adding tofu to a salad recipe help solve this problem (see also “The Tastiest Superfood Salad Recipe“)?
Well, not on its own, as this recipe shows us. But with the right seasoning, as well as a few extra flavor-filled vegetables to boot, you have something that suddenly looks fascinating as the main meal!
5. Skinny Sheet Pan Tofu & Vegetable Stir-Fry
We can’t stay away from a good stir-fry recipe for long!
One of the reasons that stir-fries are probably so popular (aside from their variety and deliciousness) is the fact that they can be whipped up in next to no time at all.
Many only take a few minutes to be prepared, with the item that needs the longest time to cook often being the protein.
So, what happens if you have some pre-prepared tofu that has been fried at ready?
Well, after a couple of minutes of vegetable cooking and heating the tofu again, you have a rather tasty stir-fry that is perfect for vegetarians to enjoy at the dinner table!
6. Sweet & Sour Tofu
If you’re looking for some classic Chinese cuisine flavors, you can’t go wrong with this dish!
With pineapple, onions, and plenty of sauce in this recipe, you have plenty of amazing flavors for your tofu to absorb, while still keeping the recipe plenty healthy for pretty much any diet, vegetarians included.
When finding ketchup sauce to use in this recipe, make sure that you use a low-salt variety, so that the recipe stays as healthy as possible.
7. Thai Mango Noodles
Mango is a very popular fruit that is not just a treat to be eaten on its own but is perfect for adding to many East and Southeast Asian recipes., both sweet and savory.
Take this recipe, for example.
Mango and tofu might seem like a strange combination at first, but once you have a few other ingredients to help blend the savory with the sweet, such as some fine soy sauce, brown sugar, some garlic, and ginger, suddenly that distance feels non-existent, and you’ll be wondering how you lived without this dish for so long!
8. Low-Cal Crispy Honey Garlic Tofu
Honey, garlic, and tofu are an ingredient combination that just seems to go well together with a variety of recipes.
The same is true for this one as well. Making sure that the tofu has just started to turn that classic golden brown, as well as cooking up some very fresh and lump green beans for the perfect meal!
Combine that with the garlic, honey, tamari, and vinegar for a fine sauce that can be drizzled over your cooked items, and it looks like this flavor trio hits gold once again!
9. Tofu Chickpeas Lettuce Wraps
We’ve covered a lot of main meals that use tofu, with all of them being winners in our eyes. However, when it comes to appetizers that use tofu effectively, it kind of looks like we’ve come up dry.
Not to worry, however, as this next recipe is sure to be the perfect recipe that we’ve waiting for all along!
Once again, much of the flavor of this recipe and from the tofu (see also: 10 Tofu Tikka Masala Recipes For All The Family)comes from the ingredient it is being prepared and served with.
The soy sauce and ginger paste helped mesh the chickpeas and tofu together into a sort of veggie-friendly mix that becomes easy to serve in whatever vessel that you have handy.
In our case, that vessel is an equally edible fresh leaf of lettuce!
10. Miso Mushroom & Tofu Noodle Soup
Mushrooms and tofu are a match made in heaven, at least when it comes to nutritional value. Mushrooms bring protein, while tofu brings calcium and healthier fats to a necessary dish.
They’re both also excellent at absorbing the flavor of another ingredient they are prepared with, so they would work excellently in a delicious soup broth that you could prepare.
Now, if only we had one of those…
Oh wait, we do!
Packed full of veggie and miso flavors, this soup is ripe for mixing with some diced mushroom and tofu (see also “The Very Best Korean Tofu Soup“).
Don’t be too worried about making this dish. Not only is it low in calories, but it is also going to be easy to make, with less than half an hour on the clock needed to whip this one up!
11. Vegetarian Ramen
Finally, staying with the noodle soup, we have an amazing ramen recipe that also uses our favorite vegetarian-friendly ingredient around!
Now, while this recipe does have a few more calories than many of the other recipes that we have covered, we can rest easy knowing that virtually every calorie in this ramen dish is something healthy and hearty that is sure to fill you up!
So, what’s the final verdict on tofu recipes? Overly bland, or a little healthy miracle food?
Well, if you’ve been reading our guide at all, you probably know which way we’re leaning!
All it takes to make a phenomenal tofu recipe are a few other flavor-packed ingredients, whether they are fruits, vegetables, herbs, or sauce, and a little imagination.
That’s all you need to make culinary magic!
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