GBOTW: Freezing Tofu + Sprouting Pinto Beans from Garden to Wok

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This week I have a real treat for you – our guest blogger is Norma from Garden to Wok!

Norma is an accomplished cookbook author, avid gardener and healthy food blogger with a focus on wok cooking.  Garden to Wok is such an amazing resource and wealth of vegetable knowledge.  Norma not only knows how to grow the food but exactly what to do with it.  I am always inspired reading her posts and love learning new tips and cooking techniques from her! 

Recently Norma shared a couple of posts about freezing tofu (changes the texture) and sprouting beans (added health benefits) that I found not only fascinating but couldn’t wait to try! When we discussed Norma guest posting over here, we thought it would be a great idea to remake one of my most popular recipes and incorporate these techniques.  I hope you love it and experiment with these new ideas! A huge thank you to Norma for this great guest post!


A few weeks ago when Alyssa invited me to be a guest blogger and write a post for her new weekly series Guest Blogger of the Week, I was flattered and honored. I have been a follower of Everyday Maven and enjoy Alyssa’s uncomplicated, delicious and healthy recipes, so I did not hesitate to say yes.

When she asked me to introduce my Freezing Tofu and Bean Sprouting techniques to you, her Everyday Beef + Bean Chili recipe immediately came to my mind as the perfect vehicle. I thought it would be so cool to do a makeover of this recipe using some frozen tofu in addition to the beef and sprouted beans. I hope you try it!

Adapted From Everyday Maven’s Everyday Beef + Bean Chili with the following changes:

Substituted frozen tofu for part of the ground beef (click here for how to freeze tofu)

Substituted pinto bean sprouts for the canned beans (used pinto beans only, no kidney beans) (click here for how to grow pinto bean sprouts)

Did not use the polenta

GBOTW: Frozen Tofu, Beef & Pinto Bean Sprouts Chili
5 Points Plus Per Serving -- Recipe Makes 8 Servings -- Serving is approximately 1 cup
Serves: 8
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • 3½ Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 to 2½ cups pinto bean sprouts (see NOTE 1)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ pound lean ground beef (see NOTE 2)
  • ½ – ¾ pound frozen tofu thawed, squeezed dry and crumbled
  • Toppings: fresh chopped cilantro, diced avocado, diced red onion, grated cheese and sour cream
  1. Heat oil in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add in onion, celery, garlic, and jalapeno. Sauté until tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef and break up with a spoon. Add crumbled tofu. Sauté until meat is browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in chili powder, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat beef and frozen tofu with spices for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and pinto beans sprouts. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove bay leaves. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

NOTE 1: If you want to use regular Pinto Beans, substitute 3 cups or 2 15-ounce cans.

NOTE 2: In Alyssa’s original recipe, instruction 5, she suggested to drain meat and vegetable mixture through a colander to remove excess fat. I grind my own ground meat and all visible fat is removed so there is no need to drain meat. However if you are using store-bought ground meat you may want to follow Alyssa’s suggestions.

VEGETARIAN VARIATION – Frozen Tofu & Pinto Bean Sprouts Chili

1 – 1½ pounds frozen tofu for the ground beef
1 cup vegetable broth for the chicken broth

If you would like to learn more about sprouting beans, you might be interested in:

  • Click here for Growing Chick Peas (Garbanzo bean) Sprouts
  • Click here for Growing Lentils Sprouts
  • Click here for Growing Mung Bean Sprouts

Thank you again Alyssa for inviting me to participate in GBOTW and to share my ideas with your readers!

Norma Chang

Garden to Wok

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    • EverydayMaven says

      Joanne – I hope so – I often have the feeling it is because they deep fry the tofu but I would LOVE to believe it is freezing instead 😉

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Jessica! I hope you’ll try some recipes, you will be surprised at how simple most of them are. I am off to check out your blog :)

  1. says

    Great guest post, thanks for introducing us to Norma! I’ve been wanting to make my own sprouts for a while now, so thanks for the resource. Also, it’s funny, I literally just froze tofu for the first time yesterday! :)
    Faith recently posted..Healthy {Packed} LunchesMy Profile

  2. says

    I’d likely use tempeh instead of tofu if I wanted a soy product in a chili. Tempeh has more texture than tofu, so it would be the most like a ground meat. Frozen tofu does have more texture than unfrozen, though, especially if you start with extra-firm tofu (and better, press it first).
    Mary@FitandFed recently posted..Marinated Ginger Garlic TofuMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Mary, I love how versatile the frozen tofu is – it really adds a new dimension to a dish. Thanks for stopping by!

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