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The New Southern-Latino Table

  • Sweet Tomato Cobbler
    See photos of dishes from my book, The New Southern-Latino Table, including exclusive web-only photos we didn't have room to fit in the book!

Sandra in the Kitchen

Sandra Gutierrez

  • About Sandra
    Born in the USA, Sandra grew up in Latin America, where she learned about Latin American cuisine. A food writer by trade with over 1,000 articles published up to date, Sandra is the former food editor for The Cary News, where she featured a weekly column covering topics as varied as food history, ingredient-based cooking, ethnic and American cuisines, cookbook reviews, and cooking techniques. She featured exclusive interviews with celebrities including: Emeril Lagasse, Sara Moulton, Alton Brown, Steven Raichlen, David Rosengarten and many other world renowned culinary personalities. Sandra is the author of The New Southern-Latino Table (UNC Press; 2011) and of Latin American Street Food (UNC Press; 2013). Her latest book, Empanadas: The Hand-Held Pies of Latin America (Stewart, Tabori, & Chang) will be released in April 2015. As a recipe tester and developer, Sandra has had thousands of original recipes published. Her work has been featured in myriad publications, including: USA Today, The Local Palate, FOX Latino, Huffington Post, NBC Latino, RELISH, Military Officer Magazine, and Cooking Pleasures magazines, as well as in many newspapers around the world. As a recognized expert in Latin cuisines, she has taught cooking classes throughout the country including at: Southern Season, Williams-Sonoma, The Miami Culinary Institute, Lake Austin Spa, Kitchen Outfitters in Savannah, The Cook’s Warehouse, and many other schools. She has assisted other culinary personalities in their classes or book signings in and around the Triangle area, including chefs Emeril Lagasse, Sara Moulton, Daisy Martinez, Giuliano Hazan, Presidential Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, and the Grande Dame of Mexican Cuisine, Diana Kennedy and has been featured on television and radio shows. Sandra is media trained by the Lisa Ekus Group in Massachusetts. In a career that spans two decades, this food writer and professional cooking instructor has taught thousands how to cook. Sandra is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals IACP and of the James Beard Foundation and she has served as a judge for the cookbook awards for the JBF.

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Tara Mataraza Desmond

Wow, that looks fresh and delicious! Perfect prequel to Peanut Butter Tart with Ganache!

Jennifer St. James

I personally like making tofu "ricotta" and either stuffing shells or (my favorite) making spanikopita. No one will know the difference!

Sandra A. Gutierrez

Pie sounds so delicious! Send me a slice! So glad to be at this party with you!

Sandra A. Gutierrez

Mhmm....that sound very good to me! Thanks for your suggestion. I'll have to try this for sure! :)

Sandra A. Gutierrez

That sounds absolutely delicious. I'll have to try it! :)

Tofu Mom (Marti)

That looks amazing!! YUM!!

Shannon Blackwell

I've been the victim of a tofurkey and a tofu cheesecake courtesy of my vegan sister. Bleck. To get over the aversion I suggest deep frying some little nuggets. Not healthy, but a good way to see it CAN taste yummy, and make the next tofu adventure a little more palatable. :)

Anna Jenkins

Tofu is great for everything- it takes on what ever flavor you give it! It is only 'flavorless'if you make it that way. Soft tofu makes very healthy puddings and pies. I makes one killer pumpkin pie with tofu! Believe it or not, you can also you tofu in cakes! It makes them so moist and delicious. You can make cheesecake with soft tofu too. It is a great addition to smoothies too! It can be used as a substitution for cheese too. I also make a vegan quiche and 'scrambled eggs' with it. Firm and extra firm tofu can be cooked many ways. I love grilling firm tofu with some seasoning and a vinaigrette. It is also great stir fried- the flavor of what every sauce it is in is intensified. You can also bake it just as you would chicken! Firm tofu can also be crumbled and fried like ground beef or bacon bits. I don't like raw tofu either, but that just shows that it really can taste good- because I LOVE tofu. There are so many recipes online-- make some pudding, a pie, or maybe grill some tofu. Or go to a Thai restaurant and order a dish with tofu. See what you think! I hope I've convened you that tofu can be good!


I like marinaded tofu dishes and sandwiches. Here's a good place to start:

BBQ tofu sandwiches are another good way to go. Side with mac n cheese and a green!


I found the pistachio addition interesting too. Why not try making a chocolate cream pie with the tofu?

Sandra A. Gutierrez

Wonderful suggestions so far! Keep them coming! You may convert me after all!


I started out with an aversion to tofu too and it lasted until I had an amazing dish with macadamia nut-crusted tofu...just wonderful! That's been my favorite way to eat it ever since, "breaded" with something rich and crunchy, like finely-chopped macadamias or cashews or crushed cornflakes or crushed seeded crackers...whatever you usually crave. Add whatever spices you enjoy and bake. Absolutely delicious!

Garden Girl

Tofu doesn't taste like meat and doesn't "chew" like meat. It is its own animal (pun intended). There are many different forms of tofu, from very soft to extra firm. I like to saute cubes of the firm style with coconut milk, red curry paste, scallions and cashews. When firm tofu is frozen then defrosted, you can crumble it, kind of like ground beef. Saute it with onions and garlic, then add tomatoes and seasonings for a basic pasta sauce. A favorite go-to recipe is a stew with southern greens, chickpeas, cashews, crumbled tofu, onion, garlic, tomatoes and Indian spices including turmeric, cumin and cilantro. Saute it with onions, garlic, peppers and sliced summer squash for a tasty enchilada stuffing or crumble it into a bread and nut stuffing for bell peppers. You won't like tofu if you slice into a big slab of it, but used judiciously with seasonings and other ingredients just might win you over.

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