Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

Or – Yes, you too, can eat tofu!

tofu and veg

Crispy tofu and vegetables

Tofu. A simple word that can strike terror in the hearts of mortal men. And women, and kids, too.

It was that mystery block of white stuff that I had to buy for my vegetarian son. I never knew what to do with it. I just cut off slabs, marinated it or glazed it and gave it a grill. Right next to my pork chops. I ain’t eatin’ that mystery white block of stuff!

What a difference a few years make. Now, I always have a couple of pounds of tofu in the fridge and in the freezer! No more pork chops. Family meals are built around tofu. No longer is it an after thought. No longer just  an easy thing to shove at the non-meat eater. It’s a star! I’m going to share an easy recipe to get you headed in the tofu direction. It’s fried, because everything tastes better fried, right? Lets get started.

crispy tofu ingred

A great use for squash. You know, the stuff that shows up on your door step.

You’ll need 3 yellow squash, a red (or any other color) bell pepper, baby bella mushrooms, an onion, tomato sauce and cheese. Oh yeah, you’ll need a block of firm tofu. I use the sprouted kind. It’s easier to digest (read that as – no gas) and has less plant estrogen.


Sprouted tofu

To start everything off, you’ll need to drain and press the tofu to remove the excess water. We really don’t like throwing wet foods into hot oil. Open the pack, pour off the water and set the block onto a paper towel lined plate of board.


Naked tofu

Next, cover it with folded paper towels and a plate, then weight it all down with a cup of water.

pressing tofu

pressing tofu

Set this aside to drain while you chop up your vegetables. Get out a large bowl to pile all the chopped vegetables in. Slice the squash lengthwise and then into slices.

slicing squash

Slice squash

Cut the mushrooms into quarters.


quarter the mushrooms

Chop up the onion.

chopped onion

chop onion

After you’ve dried away your onion tears, chop the bell pepper. This one was extra juicy! And add it to the pile in the bowl.

chopped bell pepper

chop the bell pepper

Now! Let’s get at that tofu! Slice to tofu into 1 inch slabs.

sliced tofu

Tofu slabs

Then, slice the slabs into 1 inch cubes.

tofu cubed

tofu cubes

Everyone in this house loves tofu. Want proof? Look ever there. A little further. See that?

Katie kitty

Katie, the tofu kitty

That is Kitchen kitty’s mom, Katie. Katie the tofu kitty. No relation to Grumpy cat.©.

Ok, everything is ready to cook. Get out a large, non-stick fry pan. Trust my experience on this part. Scraping stuck on, crispy fried tofu is no picnic. Make a few dirty dishes and use a non-stick pan. Crank up the burner to medium high and give the pan a swirl of olive oil. When hot, add the tofu cubes.

fry tofu

pan fried

Let it fry for a couple of minutes, then flip them around to get the other sides.

browning the tofu

browning the tofu

Flip them every couple of minutes to try and get all sides browned. It will take roughly 10 minutes. Remove the tofu to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Not every side has to be golden brown. Unless you want it that way, then go fo it.

fried tofu

Drain the tofu

Grab your grater and grate up a cup of Monterey jack cheese. Use any cheese you want, just try to keep it a milder, white cheese.

grated cheese

grate cheese!

Now, if your non-stick pan is big enough, go ahead and use it. If you are like me, you’ll need to bust out another pan. A BIG pan. Put it on the  stove, over a medium high heat, add some more oil.

oil in pan

a really big pan

Then, dump in the vegetables.

sauted vegetables

saute the vegetables

Stir fry the vegetables for about 10 minutes. You want them to be crisp-tender. I love peppers and onions cooking. The smell always reminds me of the county fairs. All those food booths with the grilled peppers and onions! Memories. Almost done, now. Grab that plate of tofu and stir it back in.

tofu foods

dump in the tofu

Open and add in the little can of tomato sauce. Throw in some salt & pepper. If you like it spicy, toss in some crushed red pepper flakes, too. Yummm.

add sauce

add a little red sauce

Cook it for about 2 minutes or until a little bubbly around the edges.

Sprinkle on the grated cheese.

add cheese

almost done

Turn off the stove and cover the pan. Let it rest for about 2 or 3 minutes for the cheese to melt, then serve! We have this over brown rice. It’s such  nice easy recipe to get into the tofu groove. Give it a try.

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables

supper time

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Crispy fried tofu and sautéed vegetables graced by a light tomato sauce and cheese top.
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu - 12 to 16 ounces, drained, pressed and cubed.
  • 3 summer squash, halved and sliced
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce, 8 oz.
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. DO AHEAD:
  2. Open the tofu package, drain and remove tofu. Place on a paper towel lined saucer. Cover with paper towels, top with another saucer and weigh down with a water filled cup.
  3. Let it press, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Once the extra moisture has been pressed out of the tofu, cut it into 1-inch cubes. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick fry pan, over medium–high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until crispy browned on most sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  5. If needed, add remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet and add the chopped vegetables.
  6. Sauté until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
  7. Return the tofu to the pan along with the tomato sauce. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with the grated cheese, cover and turn off heat. Let rest for another 2 minutes for the cheese to melt.
  8. Serve over rice or pasta, if desired.


Garden bounty! Calabacitas or summer squash casserole.

Where I live, back yard gardens are in full swing. If you are like me, someone has already gifted you with a bag or two of summer squash. You are left scrambling for ways to use your bag of goodness.

I’m going to help you out here and share my recipe for Calabacitas or summer squash casserole.

Your starting ingredients.

Quarter and dice your squash. Add the squash and chopped onion to the oil in a large saute pan.
Saute over medium heat until barely tender, about 10 minutes.

Add in your shredded cheese, the corn, garlic and green chiles. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Pour into your buttered casserole dish, bake and enjoy!

Calabacitas or summer squash casserole.
Recipe type: side dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 4 zucchini and yellow squash, quartered and diced. Any combo to give you 4 squash total.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 - 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1 - 16 ounce can whole kernel corn
  • ½ cup grated Cabot cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Cabot monterey jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute squash and onion in oil until barely tender.
  2. Add garlic, chilies, corn and cheese; mix well. Add in the salt and pepper.
  3. Pour into a buttered 1-quart casserole and bake at 400º for 20 minutes.