Use tofu as a protein substitute in baked, braised, broiled, fried poached or boiled savory dishes. In desserts such as pies, cakes, cheesecakes and smoothies, tofu replaces dairy and eggs. Dips and cream sauces use silken or soft tofu as a base in place of sour cream, yogurt and mayonnaise.
For baked tofu, cut firm or extra-firm tofu into 1/2-inch thick pieces, season to taste, place in a single layer in baking pan, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. When marinating, first freeze and then thaw tofu for faster absorption. Soak thin marinades for 10 to 30 minutes, and thicker marinades for several hours to overnight before cooking. In soups and stews, cut extra-firm tofu into cubes to replace protein, or use silken to replace cream bases for chowders.
Tofu is low in calories, free of cholesterol and gluten, and high in protein, calcium and iron, making it a healthy substitute in many desserts. In recipes, 1/2 cup of silken tofu is the equivalent of 1 egg, and silken tofu blended with water replaces milk. Smoothies use soft or silken tofu mixed with water, fruit or vegetable juice to the desired consistency.