Dieter’s Tomato-Tofu Sauce
Ubiquitous (being found everywhere) is not a word I get to use very often, although I really like the way it sounds: the tart, hard consonants b, q, t and the soft vowels. The word reminds me of a crunchy, well-textured salad…but I digress. Ubiquitous is the perfect descriptor for tomato sauce, which is used in almost every North American kitchen.
In fact, prior to being a food refashionista, I always had jars of tomato sauce on hand. I used to make my own sauce back in the olden days when stores only stocked lousy-tasting canned sauces, but I had stopped because there was now such a good choice on the grocery shelves. Unfortunately, as we know, these choices are full of sugar, oils, and additives; healthy eating meant getting off the fast-food track and going back to basics.
So what makes this a dieter’s sauce? No meat, no oil, no sugar, no tomato paste—just tofu and loads of vegetables. And this is one of those recipes that invites variations, so have fun!
A word about taste and texture: Most people have their own seasoning preferences so please consider my choice of herbs as a suggestion only. For the thickest sauce, use only crushed tomatoes, but sometimes I use only diced tomatoes or a mix of both, depending on what’s in the cupboard.
The tomato texture will also depend on 1) how many mushrooms you add as they give off liquid when they cook; and 2) the kind of tofu you prefer. Silken tofu, which I used, just mashes down into small white “crumbs” that are hardly noticeable. More solid tofu will be more like hamburger meat or sausage.
Makes approximately 10 cups
- 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 1- 2 8 oz. packages of mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 10-12 ounces of silken tofu, diced into small pieces (We have 300 gram packages here.)
- 1 large onion, diced fine
- 1 medium carrot, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup canned bamboo shoots, drained (optional) (Bamboo shoots are mild and absorb the taste of the sauce.)
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. salt or to taste
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley or ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano or ¼ cup fresh oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil or 2 tbsp. cup fresh basil
- Put all ingredients together in a large sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil, mixing occasionally to make sure the bottom isn’t sticking.
- Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour.
- Eat over rice, rice noodles, or shirataki noodles.
For Weight Watchers: The only points are in the tofu, and the value will depend on the kind of tofu you use. This recipe came to, roughly, .5 point per cup in the PointsPlus program.