Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.

The post Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m sooooo ready for the lighter foods of spring and summer! This week I made a deliciously light and fresh noodle bowl with crispy tofu, fresh vegetables, and a simple peanut lime dressing. I’m just loving all the cold crunchy vegetables and the light and airy rice noodles in this bowl. As always, I’ve got some substitution options for these Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls below, so make sure to keep reading!

Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl on a blue background and a fork on the side

What Kind of Noodles Can I Use?

I love rice noodles for this bowl because they’re super light and they taste great cold. I used a vermicelli style rice noodle because that was what was available at the store, but a slightly wider noodle would probably work best (wider noodles tangle less).

If you don’t have rice noodles available or want a less expensive option, these bowls are very similar to my Cold Peanut Noodle Salad, which uses whole what spaghetti, so I think that could also work here.

A third option is to serve these bowls over rice in stead of noodles. Jasmine rice would be my pick!

A fourth option is to serve this like a salad over shredded cabbage or lettuce.

Can I Substitute the Tofu?

Sure! I think both chicken and shrimp would also go great in this bowl. For chicken, just cube it up and sauté in oil until cooked through. You could even toss it in a little bit of the peanut dressing, making sure to save some for the rest of the bowls. For shrimp, just make sure they’re peeled and tails removed, then sauté in oil over medium until they’re opaque and pink (this only takes a few minutes).

Are Tofu Peanut Noodle Bowls Served Hot or Cold?

I eat this bowl cold. When you make them fresh the noodles may still be slightly warm or room temperature, but they’ll be cool enough to not heat the rest of the ingredients. The tofu also cools very rapidly.

How Are the Leftovers?

These bowls hold up pretty good in the fridge! The tofu doesn’t stay crispy, like any fried food, but it’s still tasty in the bowl. You can refrigerate these bowls, with the dressing kept separately, for about 4 days.

Three peanut tofu noodle bowls in glass containers, dressing being poured over one
Overhead view of a peanut tofu noodle bowl with a black fork on the side

Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls

These Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls feature light and airy rice noodles, cold crunchy vegetables, and a deliciously bright peanut lime dressing.
Total Cost $10.40 recipe / $2.60 serving
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 53.25kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Crispy Tofu

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $2.79
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04

Peanut Lime Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter $0.38
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger $0.05
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil* $0.04

Bowls

  • 8 oz. rice noodles $2.69
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 cucumber $1.49
  • 1 carrot $0.08
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro $0.40
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12

Instructions

  • Start by pressing the tofu. Remove the tofu from the package, then place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a cutting board, plate, or another flat object over top, then place something heavy on top of that, like a cast iron skillet or a pot of water. Let the tofu sit with the weight on top for about 30 minutes to press the excess moisture out of the tofu.
  • While the tofu is pressing, prepare the peanut lime dressing. Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, soy sauce and oil in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set the dressing aside.
  • You can also prep the vegetables while the tofu is pressing. Slice the red bell pepper, slice the cucumber into thin sticks, shred the carrot using a cheese grater, and remove the cilantro leaves from the stems (or just roughly chop them).
  • After the tofu has been pressing for about 30 minutes, pour off the excess water from the baking sheet. Transfer the pressed tofu to a cutting board, and cut the block into ½-inch cubes.
  • Place the tofu cubes in a bowl or shallow dish and sprinkle with salt and cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu cubes until they are coated in cornstarch.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu cubes and cook on each side until golden brown and crispy. Once crispy, remove them from the heat.
  • Finally, cook the rice noodles. Bring a pot of water to a full boil, then add the noodles. Boil only for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cool water. Let the noodles drain well.
  • To assemble the bowls, place ¼ of the noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Top with some bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, cilantro, and crispy tofu. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts over top, then drizzle with the peanut lime dressing. Enjoy!

Notes

*Any light, neutral-flavored oil will work here, like canola, peanut, sesame (not toasted), avocado, grapeseed, etc. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 53.25kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.08g | Protein: 25.35g | Fat: 38g | Sodium: 437.33mg | Fiber: 6.05g
close up side view of peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

How to Make Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls – Step by Step Photos

A block of tofu on a baking tray with a cast iron skillet on one side, cutting board on the other side

Start by pressing the tofu. This removes the excess moisture and takes about a half hour, so start with this first. Remove the tofu from its package and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Place something flat on top, like a cutting board or plate, then place something heavy on top of that. I use a cast iron skillet, but a pot of water also works. Let it press for about a half hour. You can see in the photo above all the water that came out.

Peanut lime dressing being whisked in a bowl

While the tofu is pressing, make the peanut lime dressing. Add 3 Tbsp natural-style peanut butter, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ½ tsp grated fresh ginger, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 tsp soy sauce, and ¼ cup neutral oil (anything light flavored) in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Prepped vegetables on a cutting board

You should also have time to prep the vegetables while the tofu presses. Slice one red bell pepper, one cucumber (depending on the size you may only need half), grate one carrot using a cheese grater, and pull about ½ bunch cilantro leaves from the stems.

Cubed tofu being sprinkled with cornstarch

After the tofu has pressed, transfer it to a cutting board and cut it into ½-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl or shallow dish, then sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp cornstarch. Gently toss the tofu until it is coated in cornstarch.

Crispy tofu in a skillet

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove the tofu from the heat.

package of rice noodles

Lastly, cook the rice noodles. I used vermicelli, but if you can find a slightly wider rice noodle that may work better because they won’t tangle as much. I used one 8 oz. package of rice noodles.

Cooked rice noodles draining in a colander

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the noodles and boil for about three minutes, or the recommended time on the package. Drain the rice noodles in a colander and rise briefly with cool water. Let them drain well.

rice noodles in a bowl topped with tofu, bell pepper, cucumber, and carrots

Now it’s time to build the bowls! Place ¼ of the rice noodles in each bowl. Top with bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, and tofu.

Finished peanut tofu noodle bowl, minus dressing

Top the bowl with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.

Peanut lime dressing being drizzled over a peanut tofu noodle bowl

And finally, drizzle that delicious peanut lime dressing over top of the peanut tofu noodle bowls when you’re ready to eat!

Half-stirred peanut tofu noodle bowl with a fork in the center

The post Peanut Tofu Noodle Bowls appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegetable Tofu Scramble

This super vegetable packed tofu scramble is an easy, freezer-friendly, fiber and protein packed meal that is perfect for meal prep!

The post Vegetable Tofu Scramble appeared first on Budget Bytes.

A few weeks ago someone asked me to make a homemade version of Amy’s Tofu Scramble. I had never had it before, so I went out and purchased one right away so I could give it a try. Well, it totally exceeded my expectations and I knew I needed to make something similar at home. This vegetable tofu scramble was flavorful, filling, and had an incredibly simple ingredient list. Those are all things I love, so I immediately set to work recreating it!

Vegetable Tofu Scramble in a skillet with a spatula

It wasn’t hard to create a similar vegetable tofu scramble at home, but I did have to make a few substitutions. I used different vegetables than in the store-bought version because there were too many for me to fit into one recipe. I also leaned heavily on frozen vegetables to make this easy, but you can totally use fresh if you prefer (check suggestions below).

And lastly, I only made the tofu scramble part of the recipe here, whereas the store-bought version comes with hash brown potatoes as a side. I did end up making some of my Smoky Roasted Breakfast Potatoes to serve on the side, but during the recipe testing phase I ate the scramble on its own and it was delicious alone as well. For that reason, I’m keeping the roasted potatoes as a separate recipe, even though they come with the store-bought frozen meal.

Choose Your Own Vegetables, Fresh or Frozen

This recipe is super flexible, so it’s great for using up odds and ends of vegetables that you might have in your refrigerator or freezer. For the recipe below I used some mushrooms, frozen peppers and onions, and frozen spinach. You could also try adding some shredded carrot, finely chopped broccoli, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, green onions, corn, or peas.

I used frozen spinach, despite it not being very “pretty” because I had some in my freezer that was on the edge of being dried out. To use fresh spinach instead, just give it a rough chop so it’s in slightly smaller pieces, then just sauté it in the skillet with the tofu and other vegetables until wilted.

Don’t Skip These Ingredients:

While this recipe is very flexible, there are two ingredients that I wouldn’t skip: the nutritional yeast and the salsa. The nutritional yeast really adds a big dose of umami that just makes this recipe so much more satisfying. It’s a shelf stable ingredient, so if this is the first time you purchase it, don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of chances to use it again. Here are a couple more recipes that use nutritional yeast.

The second ingredient you don’t want to skip is salsa. I find that the fresh, acidic flavor of the salsa really balances the whole dish and makes the flavors so much more complete. Sure, if you can’t stand salsa, go ahead and skip it, but to me, it really makes the entire dish.

Freeze Your Tofu for Better Texture

I highly suggest freezing your tofu beforehand because it changes the texture of the tofu. It’s hard to describe the change in the texture, but I dare say it’s a bit more sturdy after freezing and thawing, instead of being soft and crumbly. I usually just pop it in the freezer (in the original packaging) when I get home from the store, then transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw the day before I plan to cook.

How to Store Tofu Scramble

This vegetable tofu scramble will stay good in the refrigerator for 4-5 days and can be reheated quickly using the microwave. Or, once it has fully cooled in the refrigerator you can transfer it to the freezer and freeze for a couple of months. I reheated my frozen tofu scramble using the microwave.

Salsa being spooned onto a bowl of Vegetable Tofu Scramble
Salsa being spooned onto a bowl of Vegetable Tofu Scramble

Vegetable Tofu Scramble

This super vegetable packed tofu scramble is an easy, freezer-friendly, fiber and protein packed meal that is perfect for meal prep!
Total Cost $5.65 recipe / $1.41 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 259.68kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. firm or extra firm tofu $1.99
  • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.29
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1 cup frozen onions and peppers* $0.35
  • 8 oz. frozen spinach* $0.93
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast $0.42
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 cup salsa $0.50

Instructions

  • If you have the opportunity, fully freeze and then thaw the tofu in the days before making the recipe. While this isn't required, it does produce a better texture. When you're ready to make the recipe, remove the tofu from the package and press or squeeze the excess moisture out of the tofu. You can use a tofu press, or place the tofu on a plate, top it with a cutting board, then place something heavy, like a pot, and wait about 15 minutes while the moisture is pressed out. When tofu has been frozen, it's a bit more spongey, and I can squeeze or press most of it out just using my hands.
  • While the tofu is pressing, clean and slice the mushrooms. Thaw the frozen spinach, then squeeze out the excess water (I just squeeze it in my fist).
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and place it over medium heat. When the skillet and oil are hot, tilt the skillet to coat the surface with oil. Crumble the tofu into the skillet, then sprinkle the garlic powder and pepper over top. Sauté the tofu for 2-3 minutes in the hot skillet. Don't worry if it starts to stick, the moisture from the vegetables will loosen it from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have softened. Add the frozen bell peppers and onions and continue to sauté until they have heated through. Finally, add the thawed and squeezed spinach, and continue to sauté until heated through again.
  • Finally, season the skillet with nutritional yeast and salt. Toss until everything is well coated in nutritional yeast. Give it a taste, and adjust the salt if needed.
  • Serve the vegetable tofu scramble topped with a couple of spoonfuls of salsa, and enjoy!

Notes

*You can use fresh in place of frozen. Simply add to the skillet and sauté until tender.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 259.68kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.68g | Protein: 23.38g | Fat: 16.3g | Sodium: 625.35mg | Fiber: 5.85g

How to Make Vegetable Tofu Scramble – Step by Step Photos

Tofu package

You’ll need a 14oz. package of firm or extra firm tofu for this recipe. You’ll get the best texture if you fully freeze and then thaw the tofu beforehand. I usually pop it in the freezer, in the original packaging, when I get home from the store, then transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw the day before I plan to use it.

Pressed tofu on a plate with paper towel

When you’re ready to cook, press the excess moisture out of the tofu. I find that when I freeze and thaw the tofu it’s a bit spongey, so I can just gently squeeze it with my hands. Otherwise, you’ll want to use a tofu press or place it on a plate, top it with a cutting board, then place something heavy on top and wait about 15 minutes. Wash and slice 8oz. mushrooms while the tofu presses. Thaw and squeeze 8oz. frozen spinach.

Crumbled tofu in a skillet being seasoned with garlic powder

Heat 2 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet and oil are hot, tilt the skillet to coat the surface. Crumble the pressed tofu into the skillet, then season with ½ tsp garlic powder and about ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Sauté the tofu for 2-3 minutes. Don’t worry if it sticks to the skillet a little, as it will loosen once you begin to add some of the vegetables.

Sliced mushrooms added to the skillet with the tofu

Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have softened.

Frozen peppers and onions being added to the skillet

Add about 1 cup frozen onions and bell peppers (or fresh) and continue to sauté until the peppers and onions are heated through.

Spinach added to the skillet

Add the thawed and squeezed frozen spinach to the skillet and continue to sauté until the spinach is heated through.

Nutritional Yeast being sprinkled over the tofu scramble in the skillet

Now it’s time to give the tofu scramble its final seasoning. Sprinkle in about 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast and ½ tsp salt. Stir until everything is coated in nutritional yeast, then give it a taste and adjust the salt if needed.

Vegetable tofu scramble in a glass meal prep box with roasted potatoes

Serve topped with a couple spoonfuls of salsa, or pack it up into meal prep containers (I added some Smoky Roasted Breakfast Potatoes to my containers), and refrigerate or freeze for later!

The post Vegetable Tofu Scramble appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, super easy, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

The post Quick Tofu Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Here’s a little quickie for you this weekend! This super simple tofu stir fry is a riff off of my favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry. It’s super fast, easy, filling, inexpensive, and endlessly customizable. Keep reading to see all the possibilities for making this tofu stir fry your own!

Quick Tofu Stir Fry in a skillet with sriracha and a bowl of peanuts on the side

Use any Stir Fry Sauce

This recipe is so flexible that you can literally use any type of stir fry sauce, so go with whatever you like best. The stir fry sauce for the Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry, which this recipe is based upon, is a spicy and super simple 4-ingredient sauce, but I switched it up this time and used a non-spicy sauce, then just added sriracha on top for heat as needed. Feel free to use that original sauce, something a little less sweet like the sauce used in my Ground Turkey Stir Fry, a richer oyster based sauce like in my Garlic Noodles with Beef and Broccoli, or even something a little sweeter like a bottled sweet chili sauce. It’s so flexible!

Change Up the Vegetables

I love using bagged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) in stir fry because there’s no prep involved, it’s filling, and it’s still super inexpensive. I used about ½ of a 1 lb. bag of mix here, but you could probably even add more if you want it more vegetable heavy. You can shred your own cabbage and carrots (you’ll want about 5 cups), or even use a bag of frozen stir fry vegetables in place of or in addition to the shredded cabbage.

If using frozen vegetables, I suggest adding them to the skillet before the cabbage because they’ll need a little longer to cook. If you are increasing the amount of vegetables, you may wan to also increase the sauce and add half to the tofu and half after adding the vegetables.

Substitute the Peanuts

If you don’t like or can’t have peanuts, don’t worry! They’re totally optional. I love the crunchy texture they add to the dish, but you can either leave them out, substitute with another nut (maybe cashews or almonds), or add a few sesame seeds to the stir fry at the end. It’s up to you!

How are the Leftovers?

I’m going to call the leftovers of this one “subjective.” Haha! Dishes like this will seep water as they sit in the refrigerator and the cabbage (or other vegetables) will soften further, but that wouldn’t stop me from reheating and enjoying the leftovers. If you’re a bit more sensitive to texture and flavor changes, you may not enjoy the leftovers.

front view of three bowls full of quick tofu stir fry
three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

Quick Tofu Stir Fry

This super fast and inexpensive tofu stir fry is super filling, easy enough for busy weeknights, and endlessly customizable!
Total Cost $3.82 recipe / $0.96 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 272.43kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp water $0.00
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.10
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger $0.10

Stir Fry

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu $1.79
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts $0.12
  • ½ lb. coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) $0.90

Toppings

  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (optional) $0.11

Instructions

  • Prepare the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Set the sauce aside.
  • Slice the green onion and chop the peanuts.
  • Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid from the package (no need to press the tofu as the water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry for about 5 minutes, or until there is no longer any water pooling on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the prepared stir fry sauce to the skillet and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more. Finally, add the slaw mix and chopped peanuts and stir fry for 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt. Top with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 272.43kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.98g | Protein: 14.53g | Fat: 17.73g | Sodium: 815.75mg | Fiber: 3.33g
close up of quick tofu stir fry in the skillet

How to Make Quick Tofu Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

stir fry sauce in a white bowl with a fork

Make the stir fry sauce first. In a bowl, combine 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp water, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and about 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Set the sauce aside.

chopped peanuts and sliced green onion

Chop ¼ cup peanuts and slice two green onions.

tofu and coleslaw mix

These are the two main ingredients in this super simple stir fry–tofu and shredded cabbage and carrots (coleslaw mix). You can switch up the vegetables or add more if you’d like. See the notes above the recipe for ideas.

crumbled tofu in a bowl

Take the tofu out of the package, draining away any liquid (there is no need to press the tofu for this recipe because the excess water will be cooked out). Crumble the tofu into a bowl.

sauce being added to cooked tofu in the skillet

Heat 2 Tbsp cooking oil (your favorite kind) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil and skillet are hot, add the crumbled tofu and stir fry until there is no longer any liquid pooling in the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over top and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more.

shredded cabbage and carrots added to the skillet

Finally, add the shredded cabbage and carrots, and the chopped peanuts to the skillet. I used half the bag, or about ½ lb., but you could probably add more if you’d like. Continue to cook and stir for only 1-2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to wilt.

Sriracha being drizzled over the skillet

Top the stir fry with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha, then serve!

three bowls of quick tofu stir fry

The post Quick Tofu Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.