Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring In the New Year Veganically!

photo from
Ok, so 'vegancially' is not a legitimate word, but you get the idea. . . Came across these recipes and they all look good. Eating black-eyed peas first thing New Years Day (i.e. right after midnight 12/31) is supposed to bring luck and prosperity for the new year--a custom in the Southeast that most likely originated during the Civil War. Black-eyed peas happen to be delicious (and nutritious), so why not?. . . And collard greens can be substituted for any other greens--kale or chard for instance. But collard greens are delicious and full of health benefits--particularly their cholesterol lowering ability.

Tofu Yu tofu works especially well for the tofu recipe in this selection, because it is naturally firm. So whether you cube it or slice it, it maintains its shape and you don't have that extra water that you often get from other tofu brands. And if you prefer walnuts to peanuts--go for it.

In any event, here's to a safe, healthy, and happy New Year and remember "The best things in life are organic."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

photo from the Domaine Carneros website
A bit more information about that organic champagne from Domaine Carneros:

First of all, you realize that what is often called champagne is technically not champagne, because the grapes must have been grown in the Champagne region of France to be called such. But sparkling wines made in the United States and other countries are often given the name "champagne" because of the similarity to these wines.

The festive (peachy pink) Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Cuvée de la Pompadour is a toast to the life and times of Madame de Pompadour (She had a haircut named after her. Think Elvis.). Anyway, Mme. de Pompadour is the person credited with introducing champagne to the court and was quite well versed in matters of art, architecture and philosophy. “Champagne is the only wine a woman can drink and remain beautiful,” once said the Madame.

Well, we don't know if we agree about the "only" part, but a glass of champagne in any hand is certainly complimentary.

Want to visit Domaine Carneros? Find out more at

Monday, December 27, 2010

Organic Champagne for New Year's

photo from
Do you want to greet 2011 with an organic toast? Well, if it's organic bubbly you're after, you may be interested in knowing that Domaine Carneros offers an organic sparkling wine--the only certified organic sparkling wine in the United States. All 350 acres of the estate at Domaine Carneros are certified organic, with official certification from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 2008.

Most sparkling wine and champagne is not vegan, but Domaine Carneros is. . . 
Wine goes through a process called "Remuage," the clarifying process after the second fermentation process, which is where the bubbles come from. The fermentation process typically leaves sediment, usually pushed through the necks of the inverted bottles by either egg whites or isinglass (an extract from sturgeon bladders). Then this agent is removed from the wine, but there are particles left over. Domaine Carneros uses "Clarifiant S, sodium bentonite,"  a clay-based product, to remove the sediment and clarify the sparkling wine, thus eliminating the animal products and making a vegan wine.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tofu French Toast

photo from the Care 2 site
(Adapted from The PETA Celebrity Cookbook, edited by Ingrid E. Newkirk (Lantern Books, 2002), this recipe appeared on the Care2 website.)
Since my daughter and I are planning to share French toast with blueberries and a generous pour of maple syrup--it IS Christmas after all and it's not a day to hold back--this recipe caught my eye. This vegan version has no eggs or milk, but is laden with tasty protein! And if you're a cinnamon-lover like I am, you can always put in way more cinnamon than the recipe calls for. BTW- cinnamon lowers both blood pressure and cholesterol and some studies indicate that it lowers blood sugar as well.

8 slices vegan French bread (a couple of days old is best, ed note: and if you're not vegan, you can choose any type of bread you want--including Challah--with or without egg--which is awesome for French toast)
1 cup whole wheat flour (ed note: the pastry version, which is lighter)
2 cups soy or rice milk
4 tablespoons tofu
2 teaspoons cinnamon (ed note: consider this a minimum quantity)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1. In a blender, blend all ingredients except the shortening and bread. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and dip the bread in, covering both sides.

2. Melt the shortening in a pan and place dipped bread in pan. Add extra cinnamon on top.

3. Brown on both sides. Serve topped with fresh fruit or maple syrup.

Serves 2.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Creme Brulee a la Tofu - Mais Oui!

photo from
Tofu creme brulee. Picture that on your holiday table. Pourquoi pas?

This dandy recipe, which provides you with 7 grams of protein for each serving, btw, is found in the January 2011 issue of Clean Eating. Recipe serves 6.


1 cup 1% milk
3 chai tea bags (or equivalent in bulk placed in a tea ball)
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 cardamon pods
8 oz. firm tofu (Tofu Yu tofu is already firm and drained), drained of all water
1 egg
2 egg whites
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. organic evaporated can juice, divided

Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a small saucepan, heat milk to a simmer over medium heat. Revmoe from heat and add tea bags, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom. Cover and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with a metal blad, combine tofu, egg, egg whites, and 1/3 cup cane juice; process until very smooth.

Remove tea bags (or tea ball) and spices from milk. With food processor running, slowly pour milk through feed tube until combined. Divide mixture equally among 6 ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish and fill dish with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake in over for 18-22 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and chill until serving time. To serve, top each creme with 1 tsp. cane juice and place under preheated broiler until crystals melt and become brown.

Calories: 126
Total Fat: 3g.
Sat. Fat: 1g.
Carbs: 18g.
Fiber: 0g.
Sugars: 16g.
Protein: 7g.
Sodium: 63mg.
Cholesterol: 38mg.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Balti Eggplant and Tofu Stir-Fry

Eggplant is a good source of Vitamin K, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber. And did I remember to say it's delicious?
photo from Mountain Valley Seed Company

Here's an interesting recipe to liven up your holiday table--or any table. ;-) Works well as a main or side dish.

What you'll need:
2 Tbs vegetable oil (we recommend olive)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup balti curry paste
10 1/2 oz. slender eggplant, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
12 oz. firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch squares
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (or you can use an equivalent amount of those delicious cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
1/4 cup vegetable stock (chicken is fine too, but look for the low-sodium/low-fat kind if you don't use your own)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup toasted cashews
saffron rice, ready to serve

Serves 4

Heat a wok or deep frying pan until very hot. Add the oil and swirl quickly to coat. Add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes or until softened and barely golden.

Stir in the balti curry paste (which you can make or purchase where Indian spices are sold) and cook for 1 minute. Add the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the tofu cubes, gently tossing for 3-4 minutes or until golden.

Add the tomatoes and stock and cook for 3 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft. Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just barely wilted. Season to taste, but be sparse with the salt. Eggplant already has a fair amount of sodium in it. Sprinkle the cashews on top  and serve with saffron rice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gluten-Free for You and Me

Interesting that about one percent of the U.S. population suffers from Celiac disease, and because of the range of symptoms the disease presents, it is often difficult to diagnose. Also interesting that many people who do not have any indication of Celiac disease are adopting a gluten-free diet, at least in part. Lately, there are indications that oats, previously thought to be a no-no for gluten-sensitive individuals, may be just fine.

Check out this great link on all things Celiac related.

And keep in mind that all Tofu Yu products are gluten-free (including the teriyaki veggie burgers, which are made with gluten-free soy sauce). The toveggie balls used to come in two versions--one with wheat and one gluten-free, but this proved too confusing to our customers who wondered why that particular product was the only one marked as such. Well, now there's no confusion. We dropped the wheat version of our toveggie balls. So now everything we make is gluten-free. Period.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What to do with that pesto pasta?

A friend of mine who loves our Tofu Yu pesto pasta (she's purchased it multiple times and she ends up eating it right out of the bag) asked me recently what you're actually supposed to do with it. Well, the answer is basically- "Whatever you want." And I'm not being sarcastic.

It's great right out of the package or on top of a salad, mixed in with a salad, etc. Maybe you put it on a plate (cold) and garnish it with fresh parsley, tomatoes, or walnuts.

Or, you may want to heat it up and enjoy it that way: you can steam it, pop it into the microwave (first empty it out of the bag and put it in a glass container; always avoid plastic in microwaves, in spite of what the label may tell you), or you can add a tiny bit of water (just enough to keep it from sticking) and heat it up quickly in a saucepan, or you can add it to a stir fry. In any event, don't overcook, Tofu Yu pasta is fully cooked and ready to eat. All you need to do is heat it up.

Last night I sauteed some shitake mushrooms, onions, garlic, leftover broccoli, threw in the pesto pasta, stirred it all just long enough for the tofu pasta to get hot, then I sat myself down to a quick and wonderful dinner. I almost threw in some cherry tomatoes to add a bit of red to the green (it's the season, after all), but saved those for my salad.

It was tasty, easy, and FAST! Get creative, and have fun. :-)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Tofu Yu Holiday Platters!

Veggie Wraps
Winter holidays are truly around the corner. Picture these on your holiday table. Festive, delicious, and nutritious. Like the idea? We'll make them for you. The toveggie balls come with a curry, chipotle, or garlic/pepper dipping sauce (or all 3).
Organic, gluten-free, fresh, and LOCAL.
$35/per platter. 
Call Kevin at 510-204-9090 for more information and delivery details.
Toveggie Balls (wheat or gluten-free)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So What If You're Not Vegetarian

Just because you're not vegetarian doesn't mean you can't enjoy vegetarian food! I think about this all the time when my meat-eater friends look at me skeptically when I mention a 'vegetarian' food (which in reality simply means that it doesn't have meat, fish, or poultry in it.) Today I noticed something in the NY Times that is right in keeping with how I see it. (We tend to enjoy seeing our own ideas/philosophies reflected in others. ;-))

From the NY Times article "A Vegetarian Thanksgiving, Even for Carnivores": "Michael Anthony, executive chef of Gramercy Tavern in New York City, created a vegetarian tasting menu at his restaurant — but not, he emphasized, to attract vegetarians.
'It’s not a way to pull a niche market into the restaurant, nor is it designed to be an escape from regular food,' Mr. Anthony said. 'It’s meant to be a celebration of vegetables, and a great snapshot of what’s available in the farmers’ market and what’s growing in family farms around our area.' "

So let's skip the labels and just enjoy good food. It's not a matter of being a vegetarian or not, it's a matter of just liking something because it tastes delicious! So enjoy those "vegetarian" sweet potatoes, cranberries, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie, walnuts, extra dark chocolate, and . . . Have a Great Thanksgiving!

-francine s

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tofu Cutlets

[This quick and easy recipe comes to us from Angel, a contributor to Gentle World, for Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm.] 

(Tofu and tempeh can be used interchangeably, so feel free to mix, match and generally experiment until you learn how you like these the best… Once you get the basic technique down, you’ll find that these are really quick and simple to make.)

Feel free to add some of your favorite seasonings – try making them in Indian, Italian or Chinese style!

1 lb. organic tofu, rinsed & drained
2 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
tahini dressing: 2–3 Tbsp. tahini, 2 Tbsp. water, excess marinade (see below)
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp. bran
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
2 tsp. salt-free herb seasoning such as Spike
favorite seasonings (optional)

1.  Cut tofu into six slices and marinate in tamari for 10 minutes.
2.  Make tahini dressing, using excess tamari from marinade. Spread on one side of each cutlet. Add half the nutritional yeast, bran and seasonings.
3.  Place each cutlet, coated side down, in an oiled frying pan on medium heat.
4.  While frying, coat the exposed cutlet sides with the remaining dressing, yeast, bran and seasonings. Cook until browned. Flip; cook 5 more minutes.

(You can skip the frying and make an equally delicious version by simply baking the cutlets on a baking sheet lined with paper. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350º for about 25–30 minutes, but make sure you coat both sides of the cutlets.)

• Variation ~ Dip tofu slices in thick tahini dressing. Dip in breading. Pan fry.

Yields 7 cutlets.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Feathers

  • Native Americans first domesticated turkeys around 800 B.C.
  • Turkeys weren't initially used for their meat, but rather their feathers.
Really interesting article by Jennifer Viegas on Discovery News about the domestication of turkeys. It looks like two different native American groups--in south central Mexico and what is now the southwestern portion of the U.S., were raising them around the same time and could have even been in contact with each other, sharing turkey-raising tips.

So it could very well be that those of us who eat turkey in the U.S. are eating the descendants of turkeys raised by the Aztecs!

- francine s

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tofu Pasta w/ Lemon and Arugula

The idea of it is fun. But wait 'till you taste it. If you get the Tofu Yu pesto pasta, chances are it won't even make it to the heating stage, because you'll be eating it right out of the bag.

12 oz tofu pasta (plain or pesto)
2 cups arugula, finely shredded (or basil, or a mixture of both)
1 T. finely chopped lemon zest
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (more if you like/love garlic!)
1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped (more if you like things HOT!)
1 tsp. chili oil
5 Tbs. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Steam heat the tofu pasta (Tofu Yu pasta is already cooked and ready to eat).

Combine the arugula, lemon zest, garlic, chili, chili oil, olive oil, and 2/3 of the grated Parmesan in a large bowl and mix together gently.

Add the tofu pasta to the arugula and lemon mixture and stir together well. Serve topped with remaining Parmesan and season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.

Serves 4 (unless you've been munching on it throughout the preparation, in which case who knows how many it will serve! :-))

-francine s

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make Your Own Tofurkey!

[this recipe thanks to Natalie on]

Even if you love turkey, this recipe stands on its own merits. Give it a try!

Traditional Tasting Tofurkey

    5 (12-ounce) blocks firm or extra firm tofu [editor's note: Tofu Yu plain tofu is firm]
    1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh chopped herbs (I use savory, rosemary, sage and basil)
    1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder or vegan chicken stock
    2 teaspoons vegan poultry seasoning, or more to taste
    salt, to taste
    pepper, to taste

    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/4 - 1/2 cup red wine
    1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (same as you used in tofu)
    1 tablespoon veg stock powder dissolved in a couple tablespoons of hot water
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 teaspoon of mustard (Dijon or seed works best)
    add a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes if you like (I always do)


1. Roast: Blend tofu in blender or food processor until lumps are gone. You can mash by hand, but I prefer to blend it for a better consistency. Transfer to a large bowl, stir in herbs, vegetable stock powder poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.

2. Line a medium, round bottomed colander with one layer of cheese cloth or a clean dish towel. Put the tofu mixture in colander and fold remaining cheese cloth over the top. Place the colander on a plate (to catch excess water being squeezed out) and put a heavy weight on top. Put in the fridge and press for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight if possible.

3. After pressing and with the tofu still in the colander, scoop out the center, leaving about an inch of tofu around the edges. Place your stuffing in the cavity. Put the tofu mixture you scooped out over the stuffing and press down firmly.

4. Flip the formed turkey on to an oiled cookie sheet, use the excess tofu to form the turkey legs and wings for an added turkey look. 

5. Marinade: In a bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Taste and adjust spices to taste, if necessary. Brush the whole turkey with the marinade.

6. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit about 1-1/2 hours, brushing with marinade every 15 minutes or whenever you remember to.

The turkey can cook for as long as you need it to. Once, I let mine cook all day, basting it about every half hour or so and it turned out great. I usually put it in the oven as I'm starting the rest of the meal. By the time the potatoes and all the veggies are done, the turkey is ready to go.

Serves: 6 or so people; Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 1-1/2 hours

Chronicle piece about Artisan Tofu

San Francisco Chronicle food writer Tara Duggan wrote a good article recently about the growing artisan tofu market. Tofu Yu was mentioned, along with a bit of information about TofuYu founders Kevin Stong and Helen Yu.

Not that long ago, tofu was the subject of much derision in Western cultures. Not anymore. Athough let's face it--in its natural state, it can look like a rather uninteresting glob of gelatinous stuff. The reality is, tofu, along with other soy products, is not only an extremely versatile and tasty food, it's packed with nutrition. And when you consider how inexpensive it is compared to other protein foods, it's extremely cost-effective. And keep in mind that protein is only one of the benefits of eating tofu.

In a 2010 Chinese study, mentioned in U.S. News, it was found that "For women past menopause who have had breast cancer, a higher intake of soy may help reduce the risk of the disease's recurrence." The study findings were published Oct. 18 in CMAJ (the Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The article goes on to say that the study was not large and involved only women who were receiving medical care in Chinese.

Marji McCullough, a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society is quoted in the U.S. News article, "Chinese women may have been likely to have a lifelong high consumption of soy. We don't know whether starting on a diet high in soy after a breast cancer diagnosis would have the same effect as eating a lifelong diet high in soy."

McCullough goes on to say that according to current American Cancer Society guidelines, which are under review, up to three servings a day of soy foods is considered safe. But women are advised to avoid the high soy dose found in more concentrated sources such as soy powders and isoflavone.


Monday, November 15, 2010

It's About Quinoa

Once called "the gold of the Incas," quinoa is high in protein. And that's not all--it's a complete protein, meaning that it has all nine of the essential amino acids. It's especially loaded with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. It's a very good source of manganese as well as magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus. So indications are that it can help people with migraine headaches, diabetes, and arterioscelerosis.

Quinoa is also a good source of riboflavin (also known as B2), which is necessary for proper energy production within cells.

Quinoa is gluten-free and easy to digest.

Look for red quinoa salad from Tofu Yu at the Farmers Market and other local markets!

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Thanks to the New York Times for this gorgeous and mouth-watering collection of vegetarian recipes. If you try one, we'd love to get your feedback!