Tofu Stir Fry {How to Cook Crispy Tofu You’ll Love}

how to cook tofu, crispy tofu, tofu stir fry
Because I’m always posting low sodium recipes here that are all meat based, I’m not certain that everyone knows I’m a vegetarian. It’s not something I advertise I guess and all of my family members are meat eaters, but those close to me know that I’ve been a true vegetarian (not vegan because I love my cheese) for 30 years now. I’m always looking for a way to add protein into my diet. I eat nuts, beans, and leafy greens, but I’m often left wanting something more substantial so I turn to tofu.

Now before we continue, yes, I’ve heard the banter about soy being bad for me, but I’ve also read many more studies about the benefits of soy by dietitians and doctors than I have about the detriments. It’s all about moderation and choosing the right forms of soy. Just like carbs, red meats, and other food sources that often get a bad rap, if used in moderation, soy products like tofu can actually benefit you. In fact, tofu is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. It’s an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium, and phosphorous. In addition, it’s a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the tofu cooking process.

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I know what you’re thinking. Tofu is squishy, slimy, and it just can’t be done right from home. Every time I hear someone say they don’t like tofu, I automatically think it’s because they don’t know how to cook tofu. It took me a while to get it right, but I love my at-home tofu recipes now as much as I love the ones I order in restaurants. Cooked correctly, tofu is perfect as a protein substitute in many dishes, but my favorites are Asian and Mexican like stir fry and taco salads. Start with a high-quality block of organic tofu (if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where tofu is made fresh at a local market, get that instead).

preparing tofu, cooking tofu, how to drain water out of tofu

Place your block of tofu between 2 plates and use something relatively heavy to place on the top plate to squeeze the juices from the block, about 5 minutes on both sides, draining in between. It may take longer, just watch until the juices stop draining out.

preparing tofu, how to cook crispy tofu

Carefully cut your tofu in to slabs. I cut mine in to 3 blocks length wise, then slice it about 1/2 inch thick across the width. Then season as desired. I use a little bit of sea salt and some black pepper on each side. It’s a simple flavor combination that pairs well with most dishes.

how to cook tofu, cook crispy tofu, tofu stir fry

Heat about 5 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in a deep frying pan or wok on medium heat and fry your seasoned tofu on each side for 5-6 minutes each. Just watch for crispness because you’ll know when it’s done. This tofu is NOT squishy, slimy, or yucky. In fact, it’s simply delicious and it really doesn’t take any time at all to make. You can even store the leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to use throughout the week. It’s perfect in a stir fry, tacos, burritos, taco salads, or really anything you’d use chicken strips for. You’ll never look at tofu the same once you try this.

Tofu Stir Fry
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked tofu
  • 1 red bell pepper, pitted and cubed
  • ¼ red onion, cut into squares
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup snow peas
  • 1 cup stir fry sauce of choice (I use a low-sodium General Tso's Sauce)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Fry tofu and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil.
  3. Cut onion, pepper, and mushrooms, and place in heated oil.
  4. Put whole snow peas in the vegetable mixture.
  5. Heat on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Vegetables should still be crisp, but a little tender.
  6. Stir in sauce and toss.
  7. Put the tofu in the pan and toss and cook an additional minute or so until everything is mixed well and heated.

  tofu stir fry, how to cook crispy tofu

Tofu, it’s what’s for dinner. Try it. You might like it. It’s a great source of protein, it tastes great when it’s cooked right, and it’s extremely versatile. How do YOU tofu?

What’s in Your Anti-Aging Arsenal?

For the record, I received product from Valentia Skin Care to facilitate this review. All opinions are entirely my own based on my personal experience with this product.

anti-aging products. Valentia  Even Glow Serum, anti-aging, aging with grace, beauty products

Let me just put this out there, I spend a lot of money on my face. A LOT. In an attempt to maintain a youthful appearance, I literally have an arsenal of products that I use daily or weekly. The island climate can be rough on my skin so I have to work extra diligently to defy the signs of aging. Recently, I’ve added Valentia Even Glow Serum to my arsenal which already consists of wrinkle creams, anti-aging concealer, sunblock, teeth whiteners, lengthening mascaras, lip plumpers, and many more products. If I have all of that other stuff, why would I need more, right? Well, honestly, you can never have enough stuff, and I’ve found that no one product works on everything that I need to address.

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The Valencia Even Glow Serum is strategically formulated with powerful natural ingredients to support and enhance Vitamin C efficacy. This antioxidant treatment serves to brighten, protect, and even skin tone to reduce the appearance of aging. It helps to increase your skin’s glow and radiance, absorbs quickly, boosts collagen production, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Please take note that I said FINE lines and wrinkles. If you need to take care of deep wrinkles, might I suggest shots in your face? But that’s another topic.

I’ve been using this product daily for about 2 weeks now, and I’ve noticed a difference. My skin is definitely softer and has a softer appearance. Although uneven skin tone has never been a huge issue for me, it has helped with the little bit of an issue that I have there. I’ve also seen a decease in the fine lines around my mouth and cheeks (dang it, I need to stop smiling so much). It’s simple to use. Just wash your face, apply a small amount to face and neck, allow to dry, then apply your favorite moisturizer. You’re done.

The product retails for $35 and it seems like this one bottle will last me FOR-EVER. It’s available on Amazon and totally worth the investment in my opinion. Especially considering all of the other money I dump in my face. This is a great deal!

Valentia Even Glow Serum, beauty products, anti-aging products

Do I look 20? Of course not, silly. I’m more than twice that. Does anyone ever guess my real age? Nope, and I’ll take that. I can still hang with my 30-something husband and feel comfortable that people don’t realize we’re ten years apart. That’s a tall order and Valentia Skin Care is helping me with my mission. So what are you waiting for? Want to look younger too? Then click on over to Amazon and place your order today! Plus, you’re welcome.

Daddies, don’t tell your daughter she’s pretty. Period.

Growing up, my dad always introduced me as the pretty one. Period.

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The Thompsons 1970 – L to R: Christy, Vicki, Cathy, Elsie (mom), and Ron (dad)

My sisters were pretty, but they had other attributes he chose to point out when introducing them to friends and business colleagues.

Meet my oldest daughter, Cathy. She’s so sharp. She’ll be an architect, an accountant, or a lawyer some day.

Meet Vicki, my middle daughter. She’s a natural born leader and very intelligent. She’ll be a teacher and make a difference in this world when she grows up.

Meet Christy, my baby, she’s so pretty. Period.

That’s all I ever got. Pretty. Period. It stuck with me my whole life and that label, that concept, has probably, in some way, been transferred into the minds of my own girls. Period.

Pal-Mac Varsity Football Cheerleaders - Look Ma, I'm up top - no hands - aren't I pretty?

Pal-Mac Varsity Football Cheerleaders – Look Ma, I’m up top – no hands – aren’t I pretty?

My whole life, I’ve been consumed with “pretty”. I was afforded all of my opportunities because I was pretty. Period. There could be no other answer. In high school, I made the cheerleading squad. I was captain in fact. It was obviously because I was pretty. Period.

I got good grades in high school and college. I’m sure it was because I was pretty. Period. Pretty people always get everything handed to them. Period.

Milliken Associate of the Year 1996.jpg

In my 20s, I got jobs, when there were countless applicants, because I was pretty. I wasn’t the smart one. I certainly wasn’t cut out to change the world. I was just pretty. Period. And people admired that and they gave me all of the opportunities I was afforded because of that. Period.

Surely, I never got anything based on my merits. I couldn’t. I was pretty. Period.

I’m pretty, I’m thin, I’m nice, and GOSH DARN IT…people like me. That’s my life’s platform. I’m afraid that’s what I instilled in my girls. Because…pretty. Period. That thin thing often brings up talk of  Body Dysmorphic Disorder amongst my pretty (not-so-period) friends. I’m taken aback, but I get it. 

My oldest daughter is thin as a rail, and she’s pretty. My second daughter is struggling with her weight since the birth of her daughter, but by God, she’s pretty. My 7-year-old daughter is basically a stick, but she talks about the fat content in her food despite my constant insistence that she allows me to “worry” about her health while she just enjoys her youth. It’s not pretty. Period.

my babies

You see, I don’t want her, or any of them, to worry or stress like I did. My dad, my high school boyfriend (4 long years), and my 1st husband (10 long years) reminded me how important it was that I was thin and pretty. Period. That lead me to years of binging and purging, anorexia and bulimia, that not many people know about. But I was pretty! Period.

It’s a life-long lineage that stemmed from the fact that my dad said I was pretty. Period. Constantly.

As I look back on my life now, at all of my accomplishments, at all of the jobs I’ve secured, at the financially-secure place I am at now, I realize that it wasn’t “pretty” that got me here. Period. Sure, I might have gotten my foot in the door when I was 20 because I was “prettier” than another candidate, but it wasn’t because I was pretty. Period. I got those jobs, those opportunities, because I was pretty intelligent, pretty charming, pretty entertaining, pretty convincing, pretty funny, and pretty damned amazing. Period.

I’m 47 now and “pretty” doesn’t get me far in life anymore. I get me far in life. I always have. Period. The inside of me is so much more powerful than “pretty” and that’s what I want to pass on to my daughters. Even though I’m sagging, my abs will never be what they once were, I’m still pretty. Period.

So, a message to my dad, and to all of the dads (and moms) out there, please don’t just continue to tell your daughters they’re pretty. Period. Don’t ever end pretty with that period. Instead, say, hey baby, you’re pretty amazing. You’re pretty intelligent. You’re a pretty good reader. You’re pretty intuitive. You’re a pretty great family member, friend, and an all around great person. In fact, you’re pretty good at EVERYTHING you do. Period.

Serve your daughters well. We struggle with pretty enough. Please don’t make us think that is the be all and end all of life. We won’t stay pretty, young, and thin forever. We just can’t. Period.

And I’ve finally accepted, despite what I’ve heard my whole life, that I’m pretty freaking amazing. Not just pretty. Period.