As you stoke the flames of your grill this season, choose a versatile canvas that allows you to build on flavors and textures, lending itself to a wide range of cuisine and preparation methods. Tofu is a perfect grilling companion – a complete protein that’s low in fat, cholesterol-free and tasty, too.
The benefits of soy
From teriyaki to Buffalo to vinegar-based barbecue sauces, tofu perfectly absorbs your favorite bold flavors from the grill. This easy-to-prepare meat alternative also boasts many heart-healthy benefits.
“The nice thing is that the soybean, by its nature, is a complete food,” said Peter Golbitz, director of International Business Development at SunOpta, who touts the better-for-you benefits of soy foods. “It’s a complete protein, it’s very high in protein, it contains valuable oils, essential fatty acids, fiber – even the sugars in it are considered to be prebiotics, in terms of they are good for the gut.”
Recent findings from the 2013 Consumer Attitudes About Nutrition study also reveal that interest in soy foods is on the rise. “The study has found that 50 percent of consumers are very interested in their diet and are attempting to lose weight or maintain their weight,” said Steve Poole, director of Soybean Oil and Protein Programs for United Soybean Board. “They want to know that soy is good for them, particularly the saturated fat content, and it is. And they also see some heart health benefits associated with soy and protein.”
Tips for grilling tofu
Even seasoned masters of the flame can use some tips for properly preparing tofu. Use these tricks to make your grilling experience a success:
- Weigh it down
Use firm or extra-firm tofu and always press it well before grilling to get extra moisture out. Simply place it between several layers of paper towels, place a plate on top and then weigh down the plate.
- Clean and coat
To keep tofu from sticking to the grates of your grill, make sure the grates are clean and coat them with cooking spray or oil.
- Enjoy a skewer
Place tofu on skewers to keep it from sticking to the grill and to make it easier to handle when turning and serving. Tofu kabobs are fun and easy to prepare. Just marinate chunks of tofu with your favorite flavorings and grill with vegetables or fruit, such as pineapple.
For more flavorful techniques and recipe ideas, visit www.soyfoods.org
Party-Perfect Tofu Skewers with Soynut Satay
Yield: 14 servings
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soynut butter
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soybean oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh green onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 package (20 ounces) extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 42, 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soybean oil
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
14 bamboo skewers
Additional soy sauce and oil for brushing
- To prepare sauce, pulse all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Place in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
- To prepare skewers, marinate tofu cubes with lime juice, oil and soy sauce in large bowl; gently stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight; stir occasionally.
- Assemble three tofu cubes on each skewer. Brush grill with oil. Preheat grill to medium.
- Grill over medium heat 3 minutes, turning frequently and brushing with soy sauce and oil until golden brown. Serve with prepared sauce.