A must have for all vegan and vegetarian diets as it is one of the only plant based sources of protein that contains all the essential amino acids. It is also a great source of calcium, thus promotes bone health.

While some of you may struggle with its blandness, tofu is hugely versatile as it takes on the flavour of whatever you are cooking. Failing that, you can always marinate prior to cooking. For those of you who want an even simpler life, there are now many varieties available including, smoked, flavoured with basil or with olives. These can be eaten hot or cold as a snack or meal. Try adding tofu to stir fries or curries as a meat alternative or thrown into a salad or simply served with salad in a pitta pocket, as an alternative to sandwiches at lunchtime.

 

Roasted Butternut, tofu and sprouted shoot salad

This recipe came about as I had a glut of butternut squash being delivered in my weekly veggie box – I wanted an alternative to soup!

The beauty about this recipe is that you can roast the squash whole in the oven and then keep the cooked flesh refrigerated for a couple of days until you are ready to use. Although I like to keep it slightly warm for an Autumnal Salad. Tofu is a great choice of protein for vegetarians and vegans but can of course be enjoyed by all! The spouted shoots add crunch and anti-oxidants to this already nutrient dense meal.

Serves 4

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 100g mini pickled beetroot
  • 150g mixed salad leaves
  • 200g smoked tofu
  • 8cm cucumber, cubed
  • 150g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 100g mixed sprouting shoots
  • balsamic vinegar and walnut oil, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Put the squash on a baking sheet and bake whole for about 1 hour, until tender and cooked through. Leave to cool.
  2. Scoop the squash flesh out of the skin and roughly chop.
  3. Toss all the other ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Add the roasted squash and dress the salad with balsamic vinegar and walnut oil, to taste.