vaporAnyone, who enjoys a plant-based diet, knows that tofu is a protein staple you need to have on hand at all times. But let’s be honest–it can be a little boring. These recipes can help you add variety when you cook with soy and still keep true to your lifestyle.

And, if you are trying out this veggie alternative to meat to cut fat and calories, you also are in luck!

Many of us have goals of losing weight and getting healthier, and one of these goals may be to eat healthier as well. To look and feel better, people are considering going vegetarian or even vegan to improve their quality of life. This decision is a significant lifestyle change, however, and many who try to make these transitions are unsuccessful.

Switching to plant-based: What does it mean?

Choosing to become a vegetarian involves giving up meat, although there are different variations of vegetarianism. Some people decide to cut out red meat and poultry, opting instead for cuts of fish, otherwise known as pescetarianism. Others choose to remove eggs from their diets as well.

Going veg is another step toward an entirely plant-based diet. Many people choose this lifestyle as a conscious choice to support animal life on our planet, and with a wide variety of products on the market and options for food combinations when planning meals, it has never been easier to remove animal products from your diet. Rest assured, it does involve a bit of a mindset shift. Consider these benefits that may surprise you as you consider making the switch to a more conscious way of eating and living:

You’ll be surprised to learn all that soybean productss can do for your health.

Benefits of Vegetarianism or Veganism

Benefit #1: You’ll reduce your risk of cancer

Believe it or not, red meat tops the charts on a list of carcinogens that can cause disease in humans. Foods such as bacon, pepperoni, and beef are considered just as toxic to us as tobacco use and asbestos exposure.

Benefit #2: You’ll lower your risk of developing chronic disease

Diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes all have their roots in chronic inflammation of the body and its tissues. Plant-based foods are not inflammatory, and they are recognized and easily assimilated by the body for use in rebuilding and regenerating tissues. The result? You have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases.

Benefit #3: You’ll experience better mental health and clarity

Studies now show conclusive evidence that those who follow a plant-based diet have a lower incidence of anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders that can interfere with the quality of life. Those who adopt veganism as a way of life are generally happier and report an improved sense of well-being.

Benefit #4: You’ll experience near-effortless weight loss and weight management

Eating a plant-based diet allows your body to remain in an optimal state of cleansing and renewal; arteries are not clogged by harmful cholesterol, and you are not eating animal fat that can lead to fatty deposits in the body. As a result, you’ll be eating cleaner, you’ll achieve your ideal weight, and weight management will not be an issue. Eating plant-based, whole foods will have your entire system working more efficiently toward optimal health.

vegan diet
Scientists explain how your body benefits from a vegan diet.

What should I be eating if I choose to adopt a plant-based lifestyle?

Those who are transitioning from vegetarian to vegan and beyond do not need to fret; the following information is a collection of recipes centering around tofu, a wonder-protein that is chameleon-like and can be used to meet daily protein requirements in ways that are delicious and transformative. Many people who choose to give up meat and animal products initially worry about meeting protein requirements needed for good health. With tofu, aka soya, a soy-based plant protein, you can improve your protein intake and continue to enjoy a variety of delicious, satisfying foods. Try these recipes out as you are making your meatless transition, and look forward to delicious, nutritious, better health and vitality:

1. Bibimbap with crispy sesame tofu

Asian food lovers, unite! This meatless twist on a traditional Korean dish is sure to please the most discriminating palette:


  • Jasmine rice
  • tofu
  • button mushrooms
  • cornstarch
  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • radishes
  • green onions
  • spinach
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • garlic


Cube the soya and roll the cubes in cornstarch. Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan and fry soya until crispy on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tsp of soy sauce and cook for one more minute. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds; set aside.

In the same pan, sauté mushrooms in oil and deglaze with soy sauce; set aside.

Add 2 Tbsp of water in the pan and sauce garlic and spinach. Cover, let the spinach wilt, but not get extremely soggy. Season with salt and cayenne pepper and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve remaining chopped veggies, spinach, mushrooms, and soya atop a bowl of steamed jasmine rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and add additional soy sauce if desired.

2. Nashville hot tofu nuggets

Miss buffalo wings? Not anymore, with these delicious little dippers that are perfect for any occasion. Eat up!


  • One block extra firm soya, cubed
  • One cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce plus 1 tsp sauce, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 cups panic bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup veggie butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


Press the tofu to remove extra moisture. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cube tofu, and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and 1 tsp hot sauce. In a second bowl, whisk together flour and 1/2 tsp salt. And in a third bowl, place the panko bread crumbs.

Place a few tofu cubes in flour, then milk mixture, then flour, then panko, making sure all sides are evenly coated. Repeat until all cubes are coated.

Place cubes on a baking tray coated with non-stick spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, flipping them when they are halfway done.

While soya is baking, make up the sauce. In a small saucepan, melt vegan butter, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk in 2 T of hot sauce, agave, and paprika. Let simmer for one minute, then turn the heat off. When tofu finishes baking, toss in the sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!

3. Afghan cauliflower and tofu tikka kebab skewers

Anything on a skewer is more fun to eat. This flavorful twist on your meat kebab will have you wondering why you didn’t go veggie sooner.


  • 6-8 wooden skewers
  • Two cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • Five whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorn
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 lb tofu, cut into squares
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • One half a red onion, cut into wedges
  • lemon wedges
  • cilantro


Soak the wooden skewers in water until you are ready to cook. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, garlic, ginger, and lemon juice. Toast the cumin seed and cardamom pods on low heat until they are darker and fragrant, then transfer them to a blender along with the peppercorns and cashews. Pulverize all until you have a powder, then add it to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine.

Toss the cubed tofu and cauliflower in the marinade. You may choose to marinate 30 minutes or cook immediately. The longer it sits in the marinade, the more likely it is to take on flavors and become richer in taste.

Skewer cauliflower, soya, and onion on soaked skewers; cook the skewers on a hot griddle for 25 to 30 minutes, often turning, till marinade has dried and cauliflower has reached the desired tenderness. Garnish with fresh lemon juice and fresh chives or cilantro for garnish.

4. Spicy chili with sour cream

Nothing says comfort more than a tasty bowl of creamy chili. Serve this one up guilt-free, knowing that you are doing good for body and soul.


  • Tbsp of olive oil
  • One block firm soya, crumbled
  • One chopped onion
  • Two cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Two cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 1 cup black beans
  • Cup corn
  • One red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • One tsp cumin
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • One clove garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper


Use a fork to mash the tofu into small chunks, or crumble by hand. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté it for about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender and fragrant.

Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine and allow the sauce to thicken–about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, pepper, corn, beans, and spices and cook for an additional ten minutes.

In the meantime, drain the cashews and put all ingredients for sour cream in a blender; process till smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve chili complete with corn chips, sour cream, and avocado slices.


5. Almond rosemary lemon crusted tofu

You won’t miss chicken cutlets anymore with this tasty, crunchy, delicious recipe. Serve with your favorite salad for a savory and delicious meal.


  • One block extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cut into eight slices
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • Two sprigs rosemary leaves removed
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • lemon wedges for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. To make the almond rosemary crust, grind almonds and rosemary in a food processor till crumblike texture develops. Add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and pulse to combine all.

In three separate bowls, place all-purpose flour, coconut milk, and the rosemary mixture. Dredge pieces of soya in the flour, then coconut milk, then rosemary mixture, pressing to coat. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet–bake for 18-23 minutes or till crispy and golden brown. Serve with lemon slices for garnish and extra flavor.

6. Battered Mexican tortas

Forget the burgers. It’s time for a fiesta with these tortas. Savory and delicious, you’ll swear you were biting into the choicest cut of your favorite meat.


  • Two large poblano peppers
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • One block extra firm soya, cut into eight pieces lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water or beer
  • oil for frying
  • refried beans
  • vegan mayonnaise
  • shredded lettuce
  • bacon
  • Eight sandwich rolls


Roast the poblanos, either over a gas burner or in the oven on broil. Place in a heat-safe bowl and let them cool. When peppers have cooled, peel away blackened layers of skin, remove the seeds, and slice into lengthwise strips.

Prep the cabbage slaw–Toss together cabbage, lime juice, and salt. Adjust seasoning to taste and place in the fridge to marinate further.

Prep the battered tofu. Press slices of soya while you prepare the batter. Whisk together flour, corn starch, salt, and add sparkling water. Add more water or flour to make a consistency that will cling to slices without running off. Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan and fry on each side till golden brown and crispy.

Assemble the sandwiches–Slice sandwich rolls in half, then spread bottom side with refried beans, then vegan mayonnaise. Add poblanos, sliced soya, bacon, slaw, and shredded lettuce. Cover with the top part of your roll and enjoy!

7. Sheet pan fajitas with chili lime sauce

The flavor of the South is calling….and what a tasty call this is! Bold, spicy flavors marry together for the ultimate Mexican experience that will satisfy the strongest craving.


  • 3 portabella mushroom caps, cut into strips
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into strips
  • 3 sliced bell peppers
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, divided
  • 3/4 tsp cumin, divided
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes and pressed
  • lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 400 while you chop veggies and squeeze the soya. Grease 2 baking trays or line with parchment paper. Spread onions across 1 tray, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add portabello mushrooms to a small bowl, season with tamari, 1/2 tsp chili powder, and 1/4 tsp cumin. Mix well; add mushrooms to a baking tray. Add chili peppers to the same bowl and season with chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread among baking trays.

Give the bowl a quick rinse, then add cubed soya, nutritional yeast, lime juice, salt, and chipotle seasoning to taste, stir well to combine. Place on baking trays along with vegetables.

Bake for 35 minutes, taking trays out of the oven every fifteen minutes to stir all ingredients well. Once the soya is crispy, remove from the oven and serve warm with tortillas, avocado, lettuce, and additional fajita toppings.

8. Tofu and kale pesto sandwich

This quick and easy meal is tasty and filling; eat it for quick lunch on the go or a light dinner with some of your favorite soup.


  • 3 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Italian spice mixture
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 7 oz smoked or marinated tofu
  • shredded carrots
  • lettuce
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into slices


To make the kale pesto, combine the first seven ingredients into a food processor and blend till smooth. Cut the soya into thin strips; Stir fry in heated olive oil for 2-3 minutes till brown and crispy. Feel free to add 1/2 tsp of soy sauce if desired. Head some additional oil and stir fry zucchini slices, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

To serve, cut sandwich bread or rolls in half and spread liberally with pesto, top with lettuce, carrots, tofu, and zucchini.

kale and a vegan diet

9. Thai red curry with soya and vegetables

Have a taste for something exotic? Try this delicious Thai recipe that is suitable for evenings in or an elaborate dinner party; the flavors and textures will make your mouth sing.


  • 14 oz firm tofu, cubed and pressed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 each yellow and red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 3 Tbsp bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • dash sriracha sauce to taste
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish


Cube soya and set aside. Heat oil in a saucepan and add onion, garlic, and ginger; saute on medium for 2 minutes. Pour coconut milk into the same pan and add all other ingredients except soya and fresh basil leaves and vegetables; stir well to combine and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add vegetable slices and simmer for an additional 5 minutes before stirring in soya. Add other seasonings and fresh basil; serve with steamed jasmine rice.

10. Sweet and salty soya bowls

Asian inspired fare works well with soya’s silky texture; whip up this quick dish for a decadent evening meal, and watch all your family members gobble it down.


  • One block extra firm soya, cubed
  • 6 Tbsp of your favorite nut butter
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T sriracha
  • 4 T sesame oil
  • 1 T avocado oil for frying
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups steamed rice
  • lime
  • cilantro
  • sesame seeds


Press and drain the soya. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together nut butter, honey, sriracha, and sesame oil; set aside.

Boil broccoli for 4-5 minutes, drain and set aside. Warm avocado oil in a medium-sized frying pan, saute soya cubes until golden brown on all sides. Remove pan from heat, stir in the sauce till soya is coated. To serve, divide rice and broccoli among serving bowls, top with soya and sauce mixture, sprinkle with sesame and cilantro, and a splash of lime.

11. Baked spicy peanut butter soya

Soya and peanut butter combine in the silkiest union to form the basis of this rich, delicious dish.


  • 1 pound extra-firm soya, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/8 liquid smoke
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 ready-made bag slaw
  • One handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • hot chili sauce


Preheat oven to 410 degrees. Drain and dice soya. Mix crunchy peanut butter with tamari, smoked paprika, chili flakes, liquid smoke, water, and tamari, add soya cubes and toss to coat. Spread coated tofu among parchment-lined baking trays and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes or till brown and firm. To prepare the slaw, toss the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Served cooked soya on top of greens, adding hot chili pepper sauce to taste.

12. Sunbutter chocolate and pretzel pie

Round out any meal with this delicious, guilt-free dessert. Who needs an excuse?


  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • One pkg silken soya
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup sun butter or nut butter
  • more crushed pretzels and melted chocolate for garnish


Preheat oven to 325. Combine the first three ingredients and press into greased tart or pie pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes; cool.

For the filling, combine melted chocolate chips, tofu, maple syrup, sun butter in a food processor or blender, and blend till smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and chill for at least 60 minutes; serve garnished with melted chocolate and crushed pretzels.

13. General Tso’s soya

This healthy take on a popular Chinese takeout dish will have you coming back time and time again for second helpings. Serve in takeout boxes for a fun twist at home.


  • One pkg pressed and drained tofu, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  • juice of one orange
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • Four scallions
  • Two large strips orange zest
  • Two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • steamed rice and broccoli for serving


In a large zip lock bag, combine tofu cubes, tamari, and cornstarch; toss well to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch, maple syrup, sriracha, and orange juice. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; add tofu and crisp on all sides, adding scallions, orange zest, and garlic to the pan. Saute for 4-5 minutes; add sauce to the pan and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low, simmering for 6-7 minutes or till heated through and the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice and steamed broccoli, garnish with sesame seeds.

14. Black bean tofu tacos with walnut crumble

Who doesn’t love tacos? Time for some delicious South-of-the-border flavor!


  • Red bell pepper, finely diced
  • Green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 7 oz firm tofu
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup savory sun-dried tomato walnut crumble
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp water
  • Ten hard taco shells
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • avocados, mashed with salt
  • cilantro
  • salsa


Press and drain soya. Heat cooking oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Crumble tofu into a heated pan. Saute on medium heat, frequently mixing until all water evaporates, and the soya starts to turn golden in color.

Turn heat to medium. Add diced red and green peppers and cook till peppers are tender. Add in black beans and savory sun-dried tomato walnut crumble. Mix well, season with salt to taste, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Prep vegan sour cream. Add cashews, cider vinegar, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp salt, and water…process till smooth. Adjust with salt and lemon juice as needed. Chill in the fridge till it is time to assemble tacos.

Bake or microwave hard shell tacos for a short time to slightly heat and cook them. Place a layer of filling at the bottom, top with lettuce, avocado, and diced tomatoes. Drizzle sour cream on the top. Top with your favorite salsa or hot sauce.

15. Goulash with smoked soya and potatoes

A comfort meal at its finest, this meal will satisfy young and old. Delicious!


  • 2 1/2 cups diced potatoes
  • One onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 5 Tbsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 8 oz smoked soya
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste


Dice onion and mince the garlic cloves. Cut potatoes into cubes after washing and peeling. Dice the smoked soya. Heat canola oil in a bit pot. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add potato, smoked soya, and paprika, mixing well. Let it roast for about 3 minutes, then add 2/12 cups water. Cook without the lid on for 30 minutes on medium-high heat. If goulash is getting too thick, you can add more water until the potatoes are soft, and goulash has reached its preferred consistency. Add salt, dried marjoram and tomato paste, stir till paste dissolves. Add salt to taste and enjoy with rice or homemade bread.

16. Chocolate pudding

Yum, yum, double yum! This simple and delicious dessert is healthy, so technically, it can be eaten any time of day or night. Enjoy!


  • 1 block of silken tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 8 dates
  • 4 Tbsp water, depending on desired thickness


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. Add water till you reach the desired thickness. Store in the refrigerator to chill before serving. Garnish with semi-sweet chocolate chips and fresh whipping cream.

tofu and edamame both soy
Learn about another valuable soy protein, edamame.

Final Thought: Enjoy Adding Tofu to Your Meals

There you have it! Plant-based eating does not have to be boring or bland; with these delicious recipes in hand, you’re sure to make the switch to conscious eating successfully! Bon Apetit!