Tofu used to scare me, but now we’re quite comfortable with each other. I pick up a package once a month or so to add as a nice meat-free protein source to my favorite recipes. I find it works best in dishes with very high flavor profiles, such as sweet and spicy pad thai, since tofu lacks much taste on its own but absorbs seasonings well.
Though tofu can be tricky to master at first, once you get the hang of it it can prove quite useful as an alternative and cost-friendly meat alternative in your diet.
Health benefits: Tofu is a bean curd that’s made by adding mineral salt, such as calcium sulfate, and water to a soybean “mash.” The salt makes the protein and fiber in the soy turn thick and smooth, and it’s then pressed in to a block for packaging. Tofu is a great and cheap source of calcium and vitamin E and is very rich in protein. One half-cup serving contains nearly 10 grams.
Tofu also boasts such benefits as lowering bad cholesterol, alleviating symptoms of menopause, and even lowering risk of cancer when eaten regularly. (more…)
High nutrient and whole foods: FOR THE WIN! A recent study was conducted to evaluate the effects of diet on cholesterol. It was observed that people who ate food such as nuts, soy, avocado, olive oil, and oats saw a greater drop in cholesterol than those who maintained a low-fat diet.
A 6-month study was conducted in four different locations in Canada. Two groups of participants were selected and all had elevated cholesterol levels. One group was put on a diet that included foods believed to improve heart health, yet were high in healthy fats. The other group was placed on a diet that emphasized low-fat foods, including whole grains and high-fiber options.
The first group obtained their food list from a US Food and Drug Administration list. This list contained approved suggestions for better heart health. Foods on that list included olive oil, avocado, oatmeal, soy, tofu, beans, lentils, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Many of these foods contain high fat levels. However, they are natural and healthy fats.
I love pasta. Like, I would eat it every night if I could. But alas, pasta is high in calories—even the whole-wheat, high-fiber kinds—and I don’t do pasta portion-control well. A half-cup serving just isn’t enough in my book, no matter how much I try to fill up with a side salad. So, when I first heard about Tofu Shirataki Noodles, I was elated. These noodles are made out of tofu, which is a tad odd I’ll admit (and I’m even a regular tofu nut), but one package has only 40 calories, one gram of fat, four grams of fiber and two grams of protein. Wow.
I’d heard mixed reviews about the noodles. Hungry Girl is a huge proponent of them, but even she admits that they’re not for everyone. I figured that for 40 calories it was definitely worth trying. I picked up four packages of the noodles—two spaghetti and two fettuccine—at Whole Foods. Each package costs about $1.75, so it wasn’t crazy expensive. With my new noodles, I tried three different ways to munch them up, all which had some pros and cons that I’d thought I’d share.
When you’re planning a picnic or cookout, creating a perfect menu can be challenging when you have vegetarians coming to dinner.
Though most vegetarians eat a varied, balanced diet, carnivores might have a difficult time coming up with inventive main dish options for guests with dietary restrictions.
Rainbow Sandwich: If cold cuts are on the menu for your next picnic, don’t relegate the vegetarians to cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly. Tomatoes, avocado and pesto make for such a delicious sandwich that even your meat eaters in the group will want one.
Fourth of July is here and burgers sizzling on a hot grill is practically the American dream, but with so many people watching their weight, the typical high-fat beef burger is no longer the best barbecue option.
Not only are typical burgers high in saturated fat and calories, but the toppings people use to dress them, like bacon and cheese, can be calorie bombs themselves. With seafood, chicken and vegetables offering a lower-fat and calorie option, there is no shortage of grill fare to choose from when it’s time to plan your next party.
The book Burger Partiesby James McNair and Jeffrey Starr (Ten Speed Press) offers a variety of party menus centered around burger recipes, including beef alternatives like chicken burgers with jicama slaw an swordfish burgers with tangy apple tartar sauce.
This year, when you’re grilling to celebrate your favorite patriotic holiday, opt for something lighter than the traditional burger. Look to different protein options, such as chicken, fish, turkey and tofu to fill your menu.
Despite reports of higer-than-ever obesity rates and an increase in other diseases that result from a diet lacking essential nutrients, consumer interest in nutrition is also increasing.
This year, the United Soybean Board conducted an annual study that reported 86 percent of respondents expressed concern about the nutritional content of the food they eat.
Whether you maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet or are cutting back on the amount of meat you eat to lower your saturated fat and cholesterol consumption, tofu can be a simple, delicious way to get the protein you need. (more…)
I decided I needed a night off from the kitchen. I typically make three meals a day in my kitchen, so I don’t usually have a hard time justifying letting someone else wear the chef’s hat! I’d planned on having us dine out once this week, so that we could experience the vegetarian side of a menu for once. I also wanted to try tofu for the first time tonight. All of these needs were satisfied at P.F. Chang’s. Watch to hear how vegetarian day five went.
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