So many vegan recipes call for tofu, and Anthony and I do love the wonderful soybean curd, but all those recipes became pretty useless to me once I suspected the severity of Abbie's allergies: tofu for cream pies and sauces, tofu for mayonnaise, tofu as an egg replacer, even tofu used for ice cream and vegan cheeses. What was I going to do without tofu? I was seriously set back when I realized that I had to banish it from my cooking. Part of me was hoping to wait it out, wishing that Abiline would soon outgrow her soy allergy, since Sawyer seems to have, but the other night she touched an edamame pod and got a rash, so that is not looking too hopeful. But that's ok because now we have soy-free tofu in our arsenal.
I did an online search a while back for tofu without soy, and found a few recipes for Burmese tofu, which apparently is made with chickpea flour. Basically, it is prepared in a manner similar to polenta, where you boil the liquid and gradually stir in the flour, whisk constantly for about 20 minutes until it firms up, and then refrigerate it until fully set. The texture of chickpea tofu softer, not chewy like soy tofu--not surprising considering the difference in preparation--but it can be eaten as a protein source in its own right. I have had success dicing it and roasting in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and then using it in soup like croutons.
However, when I tried putting it in sauces, the chickpea flavor wasn't melding quite right. And then there is the problem of the yellow color that just doesn't work in some desserts, sauces, etc. in which one would normally use soy tofu. So I ventured to make no-soy tofu using white bean flour, which I found handily available on Amazon.com. The result has been quite useful in the past week, as I have used it in creamy sauces, desserts, and veggie burgers calling for both silken and firm, water-packed tofu, since the texture is in between the two traditional tofu varieties. The flavor of the white bean tofu is not as pronounced as chickpea tofu, and it is white, so it doesn't discolor the dishes to which it is added. So far, this is a success. I am looking forward to trying it in the many tofu-based recipes I have been sighing over for the past year!
**Update: It is great in my soy-free vegan cheesecake!
1 1/2 cups white bean flour
5 1/2 cups water
Oil a bread loaf pan. Bring 3 cups of the water to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pan. While you are waiting for the water to boil, whisk the bean flour with the remaining 2 1/2 cups water to make a thick, goopy paste. Once the water is boiling, start whisking in the bean flour paste, a little bit at a time (about 1/4 cup) so as to avoid lumps. An easy way to do this is to mix the flour and water in a blender and just use the blender pitcher to gradually add the mixture to the boiling water. Once all of the bean mixture is whisked into the water, keep stirring continuously until the mixture reaches a really thick, glutinous consistency--to the point that you can barely stir it any more. This should take 15-20 minutes (yes, it is a workout). Pour the mixture into the oiled loaf pan and smooth out the top. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 24 hours before slicing.
In other great news, everyone loves Daddy.