Tofu Orange Veggie Skillet 🥕Savory pan-seared tofu with vibrant veggies, chickpeas and citrusy slices of bright fresh orange make this a super nutrish & delish dish! GF & oil-free.
Not long ago, my husband ran across a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens that caught his attention. It looked really good, but he had some ideas of his own.
The recipe called for orange juice. Since we had an abundance of fresh oranges in our yard, he decided to boost the flavor and texture with fresh orange slices and pan-seared tofu. Better yet, he prepared it with no added oil.
The contrast of juicy sweet orange combined with the flavors and textures of carrots, cauliflower, chickpeas and tofu is so tasty! Loaded with protein, vitamin C and no added fat, this is likely one of the most healthy meals I’ve had in months.
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How to Make Tofu Orange Veggie Skillet
🥕If you’re unfamiliar with tofu or just learning to cook with it, here’s everything you need to know to get started! Otherwise, just scroll on down to the recipe!
What is Tofu?
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a nutrient-rich food created from soy milk that has been heated and coagulated. The soy milk curds are then pressed and formed into blocks, much like traditional cheesemaking. The word “tofu”comes from the Japanese term for bean + curdled or fermented. Tofu or bean curd is often served as a plant-based meat or egg replacement in many recipes. Mild in flavor, tofu readily absorbs seasonings or flavors of any other ingredients it is cooked with. According to Wikipedia, tofu first originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Today, tofu is a staple in many Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea.
🥕 Did you know . . ? As if he wasn’t already amazing enough – Benjamin Franklin, the brilliant polymath inventor, publisher, writer, postmaster, diplomat, and Founding Father – became an ethical vegetarian at the age of sixteen. He was also the first American known to mention tofu, according to a letter he wrote in 1770, where he referred to it as “cheese from China”.
Is tofu good for you?
Yes! There is good reason why tofu is so popular with vegans and vegetarians. Not only is it perfect for preparing delicious dishes, it is also super nutritious! Low in calories, high in protein and iron, tofu contains all 9 essential amino acids, as well as calcium and magnesium.
🥕Is tofu gluten-free? Plain tofu is usually gluten-free, but some seasoned tofu products may contain gluten or have been processed with shared equipment. If you have gluten allergies, be sure to purchase only certified gluten-free tofu.
Is it hard to cook with tofu?
It’s easy! Sometimes people are a bit intimidated by tofu because they don’t know what to do with it or are worried they’ll prepare it incorrectly. Here’s a little tip: Tofu is very forgiving. You can add almost anything you want and it will turn out tasty! It’s hard to undercook or overcook. In fact, you don’t have to cook it all in some recipes. Tofu is very subtle in flavor and is perfectly suited for using with marinades and seasonings. It absorbs and takes on the flavors of whatever you prepare it with. Once you learn the basics about preparing tofu, it will quickly become one of your favorite ingredients to use.
How to choose which tofu to use?
Here’s how… One of the first things you should know is tofu comes in different firmnesses: Silken (for puddings, desserts, and sauces), soft (desserts, dips), medium & firm (tofu scramble, eggless egg salad), and extra firm (braised or seared tofu, strips, sandwiches, barbecue, skewers). The texture and levels of firmness may vary depending on the brands you buy. I suggest trying a few different brands and finding the ones that work best for your particular recipes. For this recipe, you will want to use firm tofu.
How to cook with tofu
Step #1 Remove the water. Tofu is packaged in water. Before you use it, you will need to drain off all of the water and press any excess liquid out of the tofu. This will make the tofu absorb marinades and seasonings much better. The simplest and fastest way is by using a tofu press, but you can also sandwich the tofu between two cutting boards (I suggest first slicing the block of tofu into 1″- 2″ thick slabs) and then press down firmly, or, place heavy cans or books on top and let it sit for 10-15 minutes (on a slight slant so the liquid drains into a bowl or sink).
By EZ Tofu Press $22.99Rated 4.7 out of 5 by 2008 reviewers on Amazon.comBuy Now
Why cook with cast iron?
I always prepare tofu in a cast iron skillet. In fact, my favorite skillets are cast iron and there are several very good reasons for that. First and foremost, cast iron is chemical-free. Unlike non-stick cookware, I don’t have to worry about accidentally creating a toxic environment in my house if a pan overheats. I’ve heard too many heartbreaking stories about pet birds and small animals succumbing to poisonous fumes caused by teflon-coated or non-stick pans left unattended and over-heating on stovetops. I’ve also seen what happens to coated non-stick cookware when the surface gets scratched or abraded. Teflon in my food? No thank you.
How to make Tofu Orange Veggie Skillet
Since my husband loves tofu, he added firm tofu wedges pre-seasoned with a spicy rub and soaked in orange juice before searing in a hot cast iron skillet.
Then he combined and cooked the other ingredients in this order.
Next, he added the browned tofu wedges and fresh orange slices. The aroma of all those spices and ingredients . . . it smelled amazing!
Finally he plated it with a side of steamed wild rice and a sprinkle of fresh orange zest and herbs for color. It was DELICIOUS!
Orange ya glad you saw this recipe? 🍊 Here are some more scrumptious citrus-centric ideas for you!
- Vegan Orange Cranberry Bread
- Citrus Infused Vegan Butter
- Vegan Coconut Orange Curd
- Citrus Carpaccio
- 14 Favorite Vegan Recipes Made with Oranges
- Citrus Iced Tea Cubes
very vegan 🌱 very good
Tofu Orange Veggie Skillet
- Tofu press
- Chef's knife
- 12" or larger skillet
- Medium baking dish
- 1 package tofu firm – completely drained
- 2 15 oz cans chickpeas drained & rinsed
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 lb carrots cut in rounds
- 1 large orange peeled, sections cut in half
- 1 tsp paprika divided in half
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt coarse
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 – 1/2 cups orange juice
- 2 Tbsp orange zest
- 2 Tbsp fresh herbs basil, mint, parsley – your choice
- Prepare a seasoned rub for tofu by combining 1/2 tsp paprika and 1 tsp salt.
- Cut drained tofu into approx 1/3" thick slabs.
- Rub surface of tofu slabs with spices.
- Cut slabs into small triangles.
- Place tofu triangles in baking dish. Cover with orange juice. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- After tofu has marinated, place triangles into skillet with about 1/3 of the marinade. Cook over medium – high heat until tofu has lightly browned. Remove from pan. Save the rest of the marinade.
- Place drained/rinsed chickpeas into hot skillet. Cook approx. 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned.
- Add carrots, cauliflower, remaining paprika, cumin, and 1/3 leftover marinade from tofu. Cook for a few minutes until veggies are slightly tender.
- Add remaining marinade and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer, uncovered, until sauce slightly thickens.
- Gently toss in tofu triangles and fresh orange pieces.
- Remove from heat and serve. Sprinkle with orange zest and fresh herbs.
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