Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Live Long (and well)!

photo via
As we greet 2012, it's natural to think about the well-being of the planet and all living things--peace, happiness, and longevity. According to an article that appeared recently in Martha Stewart publication's whole living, the Okinawans seem to have tapped into some secrets for health and longevity. Apparently the number of islanders from this small Japanese island who reach 100 is as much as five times higher than that of Americans. And scientific markers of biological age indicate that Okinawan bodies are younger than their actual calendar years. Go figure.

If we apply the statement 'You are what you eat" to Okinawans, we observe several interesting ingredients in their diet. You guessed it. Soy is definitely in there--in the form of tofu, miso, edamame. They don't just use it in stir-frys. They use it in cheesecake, salad dressing, and more. The thing to do is just start experimenting. (Remember we recently used it in pumpkin pie!)

Bitter melon is another ingredient (a relative of cucumber and very high in vitamin C). This one--you've no doubt been eating for years--carrots. But don't toss the tops! That's right. Before you head to the compost pile, chop up those tops and add to vegetable soup or scrambled eggs (or tofu scramble!)

Hechima, a gourd that can be found at Asian markets, is great with tofu. Use it like you would zucchini. In fact, if you can't find any hechima--use zucchini! Okinawans are free with the herbs--turmeric (which fights inflmmation), chili (good for the heart), fennel (nice for the digestion). . . get creative. Herbs are your friends.

Seaweed--so full of folate, iron, and magnesium, is also full of lignan, a cancer-fighting phytoestrogen. Try them in salads, soups. Make your own pseudo sushi by wrapping small balls of rice (or tofu) in strips of seaweed.

Sweet potatoes are sweet. Very sweet for your health. Antioxidant as all get-out and so delicious. Make sweet potato fries by slicing sweet potatoes julienne style, put on a cookie sheet, douse with olive oil, and sprinkle with as much cayenne as you dare and pepper. Put in a 300-350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Just 'til you see them start to brown. If you're watching your sodium, know that the bite of the cayenne pretty much replaces the salt and you can eat to your heart's content. . . (literally and figuratively).

Okinawans know the riches of whole grains--millet, rice, barley.

Now it's not just what you put in your bodies, it's how you treat daily life. Slow down, be kind, do something to make someone happy. You're doing everyone a favor, because studies show that strong social ties are linked to low rates of just about everything you don't want. . .

A toast to good heath! And let's bring in the new year with good intentions, understanding, and being good to the planet and ourselves.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all the holidays around the world!

photo via
In this season of lights, we at Tofu Yu want to extend our sincerest wishes for a safe and happy holiday.

The best gift of all is love. And love is free. It doesn't need to be wrapped. It can be given without the worry of "Is it the right color, the right size, the right style?"

Although there are different kinds of love to fit all shapes and sizes, love is all around us. So breathe it in, breathe it out, and share it with everyone you touch this season and for all the seasons to come.

Peace and joy!
-The Tofu Yu Team

Friday, December 16, 2011

Did you know that certain foods are antibiotic?

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We've all had doctors prescribe antibiotics to combat various ailments from a skin infection to bronchial conditions. Antibiotics are powerful drugs that are designed to kill harmful bacteria in our bodies. The downside to these drugs, however, is that in the process of doing what they were meant to do, they also do something else: they kill off some good bacteria, leaving our bodies depleted of living microflora that support our immune system. The interesting thing about foods with natural antibiotic properties, is that do not function in the same way. They seem to target specific types of bacteria, leaving the good ones alone. . .

Thanks in large part to Delia Quigley's article that appeared in 

Garlic and onions
In addition to fighting off colds and flu (which both garlic and onion are know for), onion’s high phytonutrient content are known to “mop up” free radicals that can lead to cancer in the body. Garlic help prevent yeast infections and combat viral conditions. In addition, it is attributed with freeing the arteries from plaque, thereby helping to lower cholesterol and maintaining a healthy heart.

So delicious a treat, honey has been used to treat wounds (probably because of an  it contains that releases hydrogen peroxide and prohibits the growth of certain bacteria). In addition, Chinese medicine tells us that honey "harmonizes" with the liver, neutralizes toxins, and relieves pain.

The sulfur compounds in cabbage fight cancer and believe it or not--a mere cup of cabbage provides you with 75% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. In addition, the article tells us that raw cabbage leaves applied to tender breasts can relieve inflammation from mastitis, fibro cysts and menstrual breast tenderness.

Fermented Foods
That means foods that replace valuable microflora that are destroyed in our digestive systems. Try some sauerkraut (unpasteurized). And by the way, cabbage is only one of the powerful group of foods we call cruciferous vegetables (others are broccoli, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts).

Cinnamon, cloves, oregano, cumin, thyme, mint, basil, dill parsley. . . so many. Chances are good that whatever herb you add to your food, you're doing yourself a health as well as taste favor!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Leftover Tofu

photo courtesy
I discovered some tofu in my refrigerator recently (beautifully hidden behind a large carton of juice) and saw that the small piece in a small bowl of water was yellowing, smelly, and entirely unappetizing. Reluctantly (because I hate to waste food) I threw it away. Which is precisely what you should do if this ever happens to you. Although packaged tofu can have a shelf life of up to 10 months, once the package is opened, the tofu does not remain safe to eat for very long. When living in your refrigerator (which should only be a few days), it is important that the tofu is kept cold enough and in clean fresh water, changed daily. We don't usually think of tofu as something that can cause food poisoning, but it can.

This is from an article that appeared in


Tofu should be stored in the refrigerator below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. Aseptically packaged tofu has a shelf life of 10 months, but once it has been opened it should be refrigerated and used within two days. For tofu packaged in water, open the package, drain off the water, and replace the water with fresh water daily. This type of tofu should be used within a week of opening the package.

Tofu can also be stored in the freezer. If you choose to store tofu this way, it should be thawed in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Once tofu has been cooked, any leftovers should promptly be refrigerated.


Cooking and Serving

Most packaged tofu sold in stores has been pasteurized, packaged and refrigerated. Therefore, packaged tofu should be safe to use without cooking, as long as food safety precautions have been followed. Raw tofu sold in bulk bins poses a higher food safety concern. Since this product has not been pasteurized, it should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit prior to consumption, according to Colorado State University Extension. This can be accomplished by cutting tofu into chunks and steaming or boiling it for five to ten minutes.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's In There, Anyway?

Tofu--white, bland, weird, fabulous. . . the chameleon, the wonder, the blob. You name it. I was looking around for an article that discussed all the nutritional aspects of tofu and came up with something you may find interesting via

Protein content in tofu:

One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 10.1 grams of protein. The recommended daily intake is 56 grams for most men and 46 for most women. A half-cup of tofu is approximately 4 oz by weight, or just under 1/3 of the average sized 14 oz package of tofu. By comparison, 1/2 cup dairy milk contains 5.1 grams of protein, one 3 oz egg contains 6 grams and 4 oz ground beef contains about 26 grams of protein. Tofu is an excellent source of vegetarian protein.

Calories in tofu:

One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 94 calories. By comparison, 4 oz ground beef contains 331 calories, 1/2 cup of 2% milk has 60 calories and 4 oz of cheese packs 320 calories.

Protein versus calories in tofu:

Tofu is low in calories for the vegetarian protein it packs in. Here's how it compares to a few other foods. For each 100 calorie serving, tofu contains 11 grams of protein. By comparison, 100 calories of ground beef provides 8.9 grams of protein, and a 100 calorie serving of cheese contains 6.2 grams.

Fat and cholesterol content in tofu:

One half-cup serving of raw firm tofu contains 5 grams of fat. Low fat tofu is also commercially available, and contains 1.5 grams of fat perserving. 4 oz of beef packs a whopping 15 grams of fat, and one egg contains 5.5 grams of fat. Tofu is a cholesterol-free food , as are all plant-based foods. By comparison, a half-cup of 2% milk contains 9 mg of cholesterol, 4 oz of fish contains 75-100 mg of cholesterol and 4 oz ground beef contains about 113 mg cholesterol.


One half-cup serving of firm tofu contains about 227 mg of calcium or about 22% of the RDA. Tofu may contain a little bit less calcium depending on the brand and the way it was made so be sure to read the label if you're concerned. Silken tofu contains approximately 133 mg, again depending on the brand.


One half-cup serving of firm tofu contains about 1.82 mg of iron, though this can vary greatly, depending on the brand. The RDA for women is 18 mg, and 8 mg for men.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Keep the Digestive Fire Going

photo via
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from the team at Tofu Yu. Whatever way you like to celebrate Thanksgiving (with turkey, tofurkey, veggie tacos, or fasting), we hope the day brings (brought) you bountiful joy, love, and peace.

Holidays have a way of bringing out the best and worst of us sometimes. The pressure of enjoying the holidays and impressing others with our culinary and conversational skills can put a damper on things and affect our digestion. Remember to breathe. Take your time to inhale and exhale. Slow breaths. It's just food (and no doubt delicious) and conversation.

Now when it comes to digestive tranquility, here's what Ayuredic and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Scott Blossom has to say in an article published on

"For successful digestive fire tending, at least from an Ayurvedic perspective, consider these images:
  • Heavy foods, like flesh foods, dairy, highly processed and intensely sweet foods are big logs. (Actually, dairy and intensely sweet foods, especially sweetened dairy foods like ice cream, are more like green or soggy logs, since they are the hardest to digest for most people.)
  • Nuts and legumes, which fall in the middle of the spectrum from heavy to light, are well-seasoned medium logs; their vegetable fat and protein content make them both easy to burn and substantial enough to burn for awhile.
  • Vegetables and fruits are light foods, easy to burn but quick to burn out.  Fiber-rich foods like these are the sticks that keep the fire burning, that stir it up and keep air circulating within it (via healthy peristalsis and elimination patterns).
  • Judicious amounts of alcohol (apertif anyone?) and seasonings are your matches and kindling."
So if we think of our feast as a well-tended fire, it seems that as usual moderation is the key. Not too much of anything. Although we'd like to add one ingredient not mentioned above: LOVE. (And lots of it.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You Are What You Eat - Beat Genetics

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Genetics you're stuck with--like it or not. But the ramifications health-wise, you're not. According to an article written by the Berkeley Heart Lab in San Francisco, studies have indicated that carriers of specific 9p21 gene variants have increased risk of :
1) a heart attack before the age of 60 in women and 50 in men,
2) an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and
3) blocked coronary arteries or a heart attack at any age. 

People who are known to have this gene are told to watch their weight and if blood pressure is an issue, it's treated aggressively with medication as well as other more moderate means (yoga, exercise), but now research is showing that diet plays a larger factor than originally thought. (Remember the statement "You are what you eat." made famous Frances Moore Lappe? While studying food supply at UC Berkeley, she had an epiphany: It is possible to feed and nourish every person in the world if everyone simply eats less meat and more vegetable proteins. She had this epiphany more than 40 years ago. Her book Diet for a Small Planet spells out her philosophy and it is as relevant and groundbreaking today as it was then.

The Berkeley Heart Lab cites a study published in PLoS Medicine, which concludes that the risk of heart attack, and heart disease in general, associated with the 9p21 variants appeared to significantly decrease with consumption of a diet high in fruits and vegetables. To the degree that their risk of a heart attack or heart disease was the same as those without the risk variant. So even if your genes are not on your side, you can do something about it. You truly are what you eat. So who do you want to be?

(BTW, if you want to find out if you carry the 9p21 gene, talk with your physician about the test. And here is a link provided by the Berkeley Heart Lab that will give you more information about the gene and its association with heart disease. Apparently 73% of Caucasian carry the gene. So if you have it, you're certainly not alone.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tofu with the tasty and healthy benefits of BASIL!

Did you know that the Japanese word tofu comes from the chinese word doufu which means fermented, or curdled, bean? In any case--although tofu originated in China, it was introduced to Japan during the 11th century.

Here is a very basic Japanese recipe for tofu we hope you enjoy. The recipe is courtesy of, where you can find lots of other wonderful recipes as well. Enjoy!

photo courtesy
BTW--Lots of health benefits in those little basil leaves. Not only do you get the wonderful flavor (so familiar to all of you enjoy pesto!), but it turns out basil offers protection against unwanted bacterial growth. The flavonoids provide protection at the cellular level. Two water soluble flavonoids--Orientin and vicenin--protect cell structures and chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.

In an article published on the Whole Foods website mention is made of studies published in the February 2004 issue of Food Microbiology, which showed that washing produce in a solution containing either basil or thyme essential oil at the very low concentration of just 1% resulted in dropping the number of Shigella, an infectious bacteria that triggers diarrhea and may cause significant intestinal damage. The suggestion here is to add thyme to your recipes--particularly those that are not cooked (like salads!)
Basil Tofu

- 5 green onions, minced
- 6 or 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 package firm low-fat tofu, well-drained, sliced and marinated in soy sauce
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed chili pepper sauce (sambal oelek)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
cooked brown rice

Cook onions and garlic in water or stock or vinegar until tender. Add marinated tofu and cook another 5-10 minutes. Stir in basil, chili pepper sauce and soy sauce and heat through. Serve over brown rice.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Apple Time

It's certainly Fall. With leaves of many colors blowing across the street. Bundling up with knitted scarves and woolen hats. Boots, gloves, a sip of hot apple cider. . .

photo via
APPLES - Remember the old "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."? Well whoever came up with that (maybe a physician) definitely knew what they were talking about. According to an article in whole health, Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D. wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, suggests looking for the darkest apples in the bunch. Those are the ones that are the healthiest for you. So pick a Red Delicious over a Golden Delicious. And whatever you do, don't remove the peel. If you do, you're stripping this wonder fruit of valuable fiber and antioxidants.

Be sure to choose organic, as apples are high on the list of produce that is heavily sprayed with pesticide. By the way, the antioxidant quercetin is the kind that apples hold within their tasty selves. This protects against heart disease and asthma. And the soluble fiber lowers cholesterol. So go ahead--have an apple a day. In fact, have two. And think applesauce or sauteed apples as a side dish to sauteed tofu. Mix together with a bit of cinnamon and a dash of cardamon for a hint of India. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Keep It Down - Your Blood Pressure, That Is

My muse
We probably remember as children hearing our parents or grandparents saying to one another, "Be careful, watch your blood pressure." Elevated blood pressure comes from many things--anger being only one of many. Plenty of genetic factors come into play, biological changes in our bodies, outside factors such as being stuck in traffic with someone behind you blowing the horn, too much salt in our diets. . . etc.

Here are few tips for what you can do to help keep your blood pressure in check, courtesy whole living magazine.

1) (My favorite) Hang out with your animal pal(s). When we give a cat or a dog or any other creature (including human, for that matter) a hug, lots of nice things happen. One of them is that we "slow down." Try standing for a minute or so while holding a purring cat. You'll find yourself slowing down to match their breathing pattern.

2) Enjoy some berries. As little as a cup of raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries can cut your chance of developing hypertension by 8%. Now if that isn't a pleasant prescription, we don't know what is! This is according to a study of 156,000 people, so we shouldn't take the results lightly.

3) Watch a silly (even stupid) show on TV or video. Now there's a prescription for you! But it makes sense. The key here is not the idiocy of what you're watching, but it's your laughter. "A few good belly laughs can improve blood-vessel function," according to the whole living article.

4) Be loving. Hold hands with your partner. Give each other hugs (just like with your animal pals). Do this especially after completing a stressful task, like a long, hard day at the office, or figuring out your taxes. Daily affection is just plain good for us!

5) Listen to other people's stories. The idea here is that when you listen to someone else talk about their blood pressure issues and how they deal with them, your blood pressure tends to lower. It may have something to do with what is essentially a calming effect from knowing that other people have the same problem and that they too are finding ways to deal with it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tofu Scramble--Mix it Up!

photo from
You can't really make a mistake when it comes to how to make a tofu scramble--unless you do the basic kitchen no-nos like overcook, undercook, or just add flavors that you don't even like! So think eggs and then think 'tofu instead.' In other words, go for what you like and throw it in! Now remember tofu doesn't really need to be cooked. It just needs to be heated (for a scramble). But that said, the longer it is contact with other foods and flavors, the more it will pick those up.

So try this one (serves 3 or 4):

What You'll Need:
1 lb. tofu
several handfuls of spinach (equivalent of a bunch)
1 onion, peeled and diced (or sliced)
2 tomatoes (diced or sliced)
garlic (to taste), minced
salt and pepper to taste
oregano or herbes de Provence
olive oil
pita bread

What You'll Do:
Put the tofu in a bowl and mash it up with a fork. Put it aside.
In a skillet, heat up the oil and then throw in the garlic and onion. Once they start to get golden brown, add the tofu, herbs, and finally the tofu. Toss in the skillet until the tofu is warm and has picked up the colors and aromas of its skillet companions.

Heat up the pita bread. Slice in the middle and fill each pocket with your tofu scramble. Add your own touches. Maybe some olives? Eggplant? The possibilities are just about limitless. . .


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Natural Companions--Children and Soy

We want to do our best for our children and often this is just as difficult as it is to do for ourselves amidst all the conflicting information.  "A growing child needs meat." "Humans don't need meat at all." "Tofu doesn't have the nutrients kids need." Etc., etc. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) performed several years ago looked at the most common soy foods that children and adolescents eat--namely soy burgers, soy-based energy bars, and soy milk. In an article published in, Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, LDN reports that in 2011 ". . . 37% of Americans reported that they consume soy foods or soy beverages at least once per month in comparison to approximately 32% in 2006." He goes on to assume that if the adults are eating these amounts, it's very likely that they are serving their children soy products as well.

image from
So let's take a look at some of the other points Dr. Mangels makes in his article devoted to issues related to children and soy. Apparently the phytic acid and protein in soy can inhibit zinc and iron in children. Now at first glance that seems like a good case for skipping the soy and giving your child just meat, which happens to be an excellent provider of zinc and iron. But that's not actually the case. "Iron bioavailability from soy may be higher than expected, however, the majority of iron in soy is in the form of ferritin which appears to be highly bioavailable."And over time 'partial' substitution of soy for meat did not appear to compromise iron absorption at all. And don't forget that although meat is truly high in protein, iron, etc., it is also high in fat--and not the good kind like the one found in nuts, avocados, olive oil, etc.

Soy protein has repeatedly been shown to be a major benefit when it comes to fighting dangerous cholesterol levels--not just in adults, but in children as well--promoting healthy levels of HDL (where we want to see the numbers high), LDL (where we want to see the numbers low), and triglyceride levels (where low figures are also what we're after). Many adults are under the impression is a concern only in later years, but is not the case, particularly in families where cholesterol issues are genetic.

Here's a statistic to take note of: "Soy intake during childhood and adolescence is associated with as much as a 60% lower risk of breast cancer later in life."In fact, Mangels goes on to say that this positive effect of eating soy as children appears to be even stronger than eating it as an adult, but that studies still need to confirm this.

Soy products are allowed in the National School Lunch Program and the USDA has approved the substitution of soy-based beverages that meet specified nutrient level.

Read more: Soy Can Supply Key Nutrients to Children and Adolescents

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Green (Vegan) Shephard's Pie for St. Patrick's Day!

photo from Care2

Here's another interesting recipe from Care2. Not only is it green, but it's that certain type of comfort food so wonderful on a cold and/or rainy day. Thank you Becky Streipe, who posted recipe!


  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 2T oil (preferably olive)
  • 1/3c soy milk
  • 1t white pepper
  • 1 block tofu, cubed
  • 8oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1c faux chicken broth (ed. note: vegetables will do just fine as well)
  • 1c peas and carrot
  • 1/4c nutritional yeast

Cook the potatoes either in the oven or the microwave, then mash them up with the soy milk, margarine, and pepper. Don’t fret if things are a bit dry. You’ll be adding some broth in just a few minutes!

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and saute the tofu and mushrooms for a couple of minutes, then add the broth, peas, and carrots. Simmer until the mushrooms soften.

Now would be a good time to preheat your oven to 400.

Scoop out about half of the liquid from the pan and add it to your potatoes. Mash them up a bit more, then spread half of the potato mixture evenly on the bottom of an oiled 8X8″ baking dish.

Add the veggies and the rest of the liquid from the pan, then spread the remaining potatoes over the top of the veggies. Sprinkle your nutritional yeast on top, then bake for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes brown.

via care2, where it was posted by Becky Streipe

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eating Organically When Money Is Tight

sampling good food in the sunshine
With the economy the way it is and so many of us living on a budget that is tighter than it once was, many people say they can't eat organically because it's too expensive. Think again. Even places like Whole Foods, cynically nicknamed  "Whole Paycheck" by some, have incredible weekly specials. And if you compare to other markets item by item, you may be pleasantly surprised. You just need to pay attention to what is in season, what's on sale, etc. and eat accordingly. Same thing is true of other markets, btw--Trader Joe's, for example--lots of great organic produce and packaged items at prices that match or beat non-organic options. And of course Farmers Markets are known for their good prices and often the last hour of the market is the best time to buy--when the growers would rather sell their produce at reduced rates than have to load it all back on their trucks.

And there are other things you can do. Pay more attention to meal planning. Be aware of how much meat or fish or tofu, for example,  you actually need to get your nutritional requirement for the day. Americans have a tendency to eat more than necessary (read "too much"). Not only is this fattening, but costly as well. Choose wisely when you plan your menu. Do you really need to buy a package of pre-cut vegetables, for instance? Can't you take the few extra moments and cut them yourself?

Growing your own isn't a bad idea either. It's fun watching things grow. Not to mention, you know exactly what went into the growing. And there's a unique satisfaction in being able to open the door to your yard, balcony, or patio and pick that tomato or zucchini right off the vine, take it inside and create something with it.

Here is more on the subject from care2.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Black Sesame Otsu

photo from
(Ed. note: Yesterday, our illustrious office manager, who cooks, sews, knits, and puruses a lively assortment of other interesting and creative endeavors, pointed me to a fabulous recipe on one of her favorite blogs. We chose to include this recipe on the Tofu Yu blog, not because it is made with tofu (which it isn't), but because it goes so well with tofu. The  recipe comes to us from  Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson, as posted on her blog, 101 Cookbooks, a delightful collection of delicious and wholesome recipes that Heidi began compiling in 2003. Some come from her numerous cookbooks, others are from friends, or created by herself.)

1 teaspoon pine nuts
1 teaspoon sunflower seeds
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g black sesame seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons mirin
Scant 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fine-grain sea salt
12 ounces / 340 g soba noodles
12 ounces / 340 g extra-firm tofu
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced

Toast the pine nuts and sunflower seeds in a large skillet over medium heat until golden, shaking the pan regularly. Add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast for a minute or so. It's hard to tell when they are toasted; look closely and use your nose. Remove from the heat as soon as you smell a hint of toasted sesame; if you let them go much beyond that, you'll start smelling burned sesame - not good. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush the mixture; the texture should be like black sand. Alternatively, you can use a food processor. Stir in the sugar, shoyu, mirin, sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Taste and adjust if needed.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, add the soba, and cook according to the package instructions until tender. Drain, reserving some of the noodle cooking water, and rinse under cold running water.

While the noodles are cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut into matchstick shapes. Season the tofu with a pinch of salt, toss with a small amount of oil, and cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, tossing every couple minutes, until the pieces are browned on all sides.

Reserve a heaping tablespoon of the sesame paste, then thin the rest with 1/3 cup / 80 ml of the hot noodle water. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, half of the green onions, and the black sesame paste. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve topped with a tiny dollop of the reserved sesame paste and the remaining green onions.

Serves 4.
(Ed. note: This would be delicious served beside or beneath some simple sauteed tofu--be it Tofu Yu garlic/pepper, one of our smoked varieties, or the plain firm. Whatever you choose, you've just made yourself a healthy, tasty, and delicious meal.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gluten-Free. Who, Me?

"Gluten-free" seems to be the new fix-it for everything from tummy aches to weight loss. Amazing how quickly and easily many people will get on a bandwagon, believing the latest cure-all. Even if they don't have the ailment something is supposed to cure!! The reality is that although there are more diagnosed cases of celiac disease than ever before, that doesn't mean someone who doesn't suffer from the disease is going to somehow enhance their life by going gluten-free. In fact, it can be quite the contrary.

One of the problems is that food made without gluten needs to compensate for the lack of it. Often that means added sugar and fat--to do something gluten does so well, which is to bind food together and make it more palatable. And there is the nutritive value of grains that is sacrificed, including wheat, barley, and rye. Protein being only one of the benefits of eating whole grains.

photo from care2
According to an article posted by Rodale in, an Archives of Internal Medicine study conducted in 2003 suggests that celiac disease affects one in 133 Americans. For comparison sake, consider that one in three Americans suffer from high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. (And btw--how many of those people lower their salt intake, practice stress-reducing exercises, exercise, etc.?)

If you do suffer from celiac disease, this is serious business and you should indeed adopt a gluten-free diet, but this is not a diagnosis you can or should try to determine on your own. You need a physician to make the call.

Remember, the motto should be 'consumer beware'--NOT 'consumer believe'. You could be doing yourself more harm than good if you don't know what you're doing. . .

Read more in this interesting article By Karen Ansel, R.D., Women’s Health on care2

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creamed Spinach (Tofu-style)

photo by Rachel S,
This great recipe comes to us from It's creamy, delicious, and if you're serving it to anyone who is a bit skeptical about tofu, try telling them after they eat it not before. ;-)


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) package firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup milk or soy milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • garlic powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook until soft and translucent, but not brown. Add spinach; cook, stirring frequently, until wilted.
  2. Place tofu, milk, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a blender, and puree until smooth.
  3. Stir pureed tofu into spinach. Cook until warmed through. Adjust seasonings, if desired, and serve.   
Recipe Submitted By: Libby
via allrecipes

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love After Valentine's Day

photo from
It's the day after Valentine's Day, which may seem a day late to bring up the subject of love. Far from it. Love is not a one-day thing. Not to mention in less than a year, it will be Valentine's Day again. ;-)

Love is felt in different ways. Sometimes it grows gradually, almost imperceptibly. Sometimes it seems to appear suddenly, like the first hint of green emerging from a garden we planted in the Spring.  We love our parents, our friends, our animal companions, a place, a town, a memory. Romantic love is in a category by itself, but it encompasses elements of all these other loves. But romantic love has qualities all its own.

According to Deepak Chopra, romantic love has four phases: attraction, infatuation, courtship, and intimacy. They don't necessarily manifest themselves the same way for everyone. But Chopra tells us that when love has gone beyond friendship and towards passionate attachment, these elements come into play, in that order, and more important--all love is based on a search for the spirit.

read more at care2

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


*CONTEST!*  for SF Bay Area Tofu Yu tofu-lovers! 


Send us your favorite recipe using any of our tofu products. 


The WINNER receives
10 Tofu Yu packaged items (of your choice), which will be waiting for you at our facility in Berkeley. 


AND--your tofu recipe will be featured on our blog. 


Deadline for submissions is 2/28/11

**Send your recipes to:

Baked Tofu

photo from Food Buzz
(adapted from Healthy Tipping Point)

This is an easy recipe that is quite adaptable to your own favorite flavors--more chili powder for instance? Maybe some cayenne for extra spice? Although the recipe suggests spraying the cookie sheet, you can also put a bit of oil on it instead (olive). Wonderful served with asparagus, broccoli, or an assortment of your favorite vegetables. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (the hot version is awfully good. . . )
    1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Press excess liquid from tofu. Wrap several paper towels around tofu, and place tofu in between two plates.  Let stand for 15 minutes. (Ed. note: This is a step that you can omit if you're using Tofu Yu tofu!)
    3. Cut tofu in 1 inch by 1 inch pieces.
    4. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, mix EVOO, honey, chili powder, paprika and black pepper.
    5. Microwave marinade for 35 seconds and stir thoroughly.
    6. Spray cooking sheet.
    7. Coat each piece of tofu in marinade and place on cooking sheet.
    8. Cook at 375 for 30 minutes, turning once.
    via Food Buzz

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Tofu Nut Balls

    photo from
    (recipe below taken from The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest, a book of vegetarian recipes by Mollie Katzen)

    Almonds help raise the good cholesterol (HDLs) and lower the bad (LDLs). They are a good source of fiber, vitamin E (an antioxidant which helps keep your skin, heart and circulation, nerves, muscles and red blood cells healthy), as well as many of the important B vitamins, so important to cell metabolism. So if that doesn't give you enough reasons to eat them, try this: Almonds are also gluten-free, full of protein, and taste wonderful. 

    This is a recipe the kids will love making and eating! So roll up your shirt sleeves, round up the crew, and get ready to have some fun.
    1. 1/2 cup brown rice – uncooked
    2. 1 cup water
    3. dash of soy sauce (you can leave this out).
    4. 1/2 pound firm organic tofu – mashed up
    5. 1/2 cup ground almonds
    6. 1/2 cup fine whole wheat bread crumbs
    To make:
    1. Mix rice and water in saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, cook until mushy. (Mushier than rice should usually be.)
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    3. Put soy sauce, 3/4 of the cooked rice, and 1/2 of the tofu in a blender and blend into a thick paste.
    4. Mix the paste in a large bowl with every single ingredient you have left.
    5. Form little balls with your hands (about 36) and bake for 30 minutes.
    You can eat them plain, with ketchup, on top of veggies. . .You name it! But we want to know! Email  us at and tell us how you ate them!

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Preventing Colon Cancer

    photo from
    Apparently, colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and this has largely to do with diet. By avoiding certain foods and making sure you have plenty of others, you're treating your body with the respect it deserves. One of the big no-nos is nitrates--found in processed luncheon meats, bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausage. And of course the saturated fats.

    Another 'ounce of prevention' is eating more vegetables. Some studies show that heavying up on vegetables can cut your risk of getting colon cancer by one half. Put THAT thought into your vegetable soup when you create your next homemade veggie soup. With all the winter veggies available, you can make a fantastic combo that you can keep adding to for variation--all week long! BTW-by adding beans, you're adding protein and essential B vitamins and iron. Not to mention, they are ridiculously low in fat. Which is exactly what you want!

    Here's another colon cancer risk slasher: magnesium. According to a study cited in Care2, researchers have found that by adding magnesium to your diet, you cut the risk by 41%. And you don't need to go running to the supplement section of your favorite health food store. Just pick up some raw almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, figs, alfalfa sprouts, and dark leafy greens (think collard greens, kale, chard. . . you get the idea).

    And there's a magical spice that is popular in curry dishes that turns things yellow. Have you guessed what it is? Turmeric, of course. It contains a compound called curcumin, which scientists at the University of Chicago found destroys H. pylori, a harmful bacteria that is linked to ulcers and colon cancer.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Tofu Parmigiani

    (recipe thanks to Jill B. Mittelstadt, published on

    Ed. Note: This tasty alternative to the eggplant version is easy to make and a wonderful main or side dish to grace your table on a cold winter's night. . .  That's not to say the eggplant version isn't as good btw. This is just an alternative. You might even consider using part tofu and part eggplant. Why not? Half the fun of making food is dreaming it up and experimenting. The other half is EATING it!


    • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
    • 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
    • salt to taste
    • ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 (12 ounce) package firm tofu
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese


    1. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt, and black pepper.
    2. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, and place in bowl of cold water. One at a time, press tofu slices into crumb mixture, turning to coat all sides.
    3. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook tofu slices until crisp on one side. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, turn, and brown on the other side.
    4. Combine tomato sauce, basil, garlic, and remaining oregano. Place a thin layer of sauce in an 8 inch square baking pan. Arrange tofu slices in the pan. Spoon remaining sauce over tofu. Top with shredded mozzarella and remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 20 minutes.

    Amount Per Serving  Calories: 357 | Total Fat: 21.5g | Cholesterol: 24mg

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Summer Rolls (Vietnamese-style) In Winter

    photo from
    This savory recipe is from the May 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine. It's suggested as a "great addition to your summer repertoire," but we feel it's good anytime. Wonderful as a main dish, appetizer, or snack. Healthy too. And kids love them because they fall into the category of "fun food." Not to mention, they are fun to construct and beautiful on any dish. . .

    Serves 4 (8 rolls)
    Takes about 45 minutes to make.

    2 oz. dried bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles)
    1 small carrot, cut into thin matchsticks (about 3/4 cup)
    1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut
       into thin matchsticks (about 3/4 cup)
    1 small fresh jalapeno, cut into thin matchsticks
    1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
    1/4 tsp. sugar
    1 Tbs. plus 3/4 tsp. fresh lime juice, divided
    16 rice-paper rounds (also called galettes de riz ('rice cakes' in French);
       about 8 inches in diameter) plus additional in case some tear
    4 romaine leaves, each torn into 4 pieces
    10 oz. packaged baked tofu, cut into 3-by-1/3 inch sticks
    1 cup fresh bean sprouts
    1/2 cup each of torn basil, mint, and cilantro leaves
       (1 1/2 cups total)
    1/3 cup hoisin sauce
    2 Tbs. chunky peanut butter
    2 Tbs. water

    Soak noodles in a medium bowl of boiing hot water for 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile--blanch carrot in boiling water until softened, about 45 seconds.
    Rinse under cold water to stop cooking, then transfer to a small bowl along with cucumber, jalapeno, vinegar, sugar, 1 Tbs. lime juice, and 1/4 tsp salt.
    Let stand 5 minutes.
    Reserve 2 Tbs. liquid and drain pickled vegetables.

    Drain noodles and rinse under cold water, then drain and pat dry.
    Toss noodles with remaining 3/4 tsp. lime juice and snip with kitchen shears 5 or 6 times.

    Fill a shallow pan or pie plate with warm water.
    Soak 2 rice-paper rounds until they begin to soften, about 30 seconds, then let excess drip off and stack soaked rounds on a work surface so that they overlap by all but 1 inch on either side.

    Put 2 pieces of romaine on bottom third round.
    Top with one eighth of noodles (about 2 Tbs.), tofu (4 sticks), bean sprouts (about 2 Tbs.), herbs (3 Tbs.), and pickled vegetables (3 Tbs.).

    Roll up tightly around filling, folding in sides. Make 7 more rolls in same manner.

    Stir in hoisin sauce, peanut butter, water, and reserved 2 Tbs. pickling liquid.

    Serve rolls with dipping sauce.

    Note: Rolls and sauce can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, rolls covered with damp paper towels and then plastic wrap.

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Soya Guards Against Cancer

    photo from
    Two new studies reveal some of the benefits of eating soy products--preventing breast cancer and stopping the spread of prostate cancer, two of the most dangerous cancers in our midst. Both sets of findings were presented at a conference of the American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia. They come after a study in China, where large amounts of soya products are eaten, found women with the highest consumption had a 32 per cent lower risk of breast cancer recurrence.

    BTW--interesting piece of information re: edamame, which originated in China.  It is the only vegetable to contain all nine amino acids, making it a complete source of protein. It is also high in fiber, folic acid, vitamin C and helps lower cholesterol. Not bad for a little bean, eh?

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    Asian Grilled Tofu

    Who needs meat? Whether you do or not, tofu is part of any healthy diet, including a diabetes-friendly one. Take a look at this one from The American Diabetes Association website. (Recipe was originally published in Diabetes Forecast Magazine.)

    Servings 5; Serving size: 2 pieces
    Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 2 hours to drain tofu and 2 hours to marinate tofu
    Cooking time: 10 minutes
    2 (1 lb) blocks extra-firm lite tofu
    1 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
    3 Tbsp lite soy sauce*
    1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
    1 Tbsp dry sherry
    1 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
    2 tsp sesame oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tbsp grated peeled ginger
    1 tsp grated orange zest
    1/2 tsp arrowroot
    2 tsp water
    20 wooden skewers, soaked for 1 hour in warm water
    1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
    1/4 cup sliced green onions
    *This recipe is a bit over the guidelines for sodium. To keep it in check, use the lowest-sodium soy sauce you can find.
    1. Wrap the blocks of tofu in two layers of paper toweling. Place the tofu on a plate. Place another plate on top and then place a weight on the top plate (a heavy pan will do). Let the tofu press for about 1 to 2 hours, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
    2. Remove the paper toweling from the tofu, and drain all the excess water. Pat the tofu dry. Slice the tofu into e-inch-thick slices, 10 in all.
    3. In a bowl, mix together the broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sherry, Splenda blend, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and orange zest. Whisk well. Arrange the tofu in a shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade over the tofu, and let marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Turn the tofu slices about halfway through the soaking time.
    4. Remove the tofu from the baking dish, and set on a large cutting board. Strain the marinade, and add it to a saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil. Combine the arrowroot and water, and mix well. Add to the strained marinade, and cook until thickened. Set aside. Coat an outdoor grill well with cooking spray; set the temperature to high heat.
    5. Using two skewers per slice of tofu spaced evenly, slide the skewers through the tofu, with only the tips of the skewers extending through one end of the tofu. The other side should have a good length of skewer for holding onto while turning the tofu on the grill.
    6. Put the tofu on the grill, and grill on one side for about 4 minutes, basting with some of the reserved marinade. Turn and grill the tofu for another 4 minutes; continue to baste with the reserved marinade. Remove the tofu to a platter, and drizzle with any remaining sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.
    Nutrition InformationExchange/Choices
    1/2 Fruit
    2 Lean Meat
    Calories: 135
       Calories From Fat: 35
       Total Fat: 4 g
       Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
       Trans Fat: 0 g
    Cholesterol: 0 mg
    Sodium: 625 mg
    Total Carbohydrate: 8 g
       Dietary Fiber: 0 g
       Sugars: 6 g
    Protein: 15 g

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Fresh Veggie Wrap

    A festive platter of veggie wraps!                      copyright Tofu Yu
    Now, you know that Tofu Yu makes a delicious toveggie wrap. And they are as pretty to look at as they are to eat, but sometimes it's fun to make your own. This should keep your creative hands and culinary imagination busy (because there are so many variations possible!). And the ingredients are quite different from those used in the version we make. (Great project to share with your kids. . .)


    Dipping Sauce
    1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
    1 Tbs. lime juice

    3 1/2 oz. dried rice vermicelli
    1/2 green mango, julienned
    1 small cucumber, seeded
    1/2 avocado, julienned
    4 scallions, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup cilantro leaves
    2 Tbs. chopped Vietnamese mint
    1 Tbs. sweet chili sauce, and a little extra
    2 Tbs. lime juice
    20 tofu wraps (6" x 6" squared off works best)

    To make the dipping sauce, mix together the Chili sauce and lime juice.

    Place the vermicelli in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and leave for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain, then cut into short lengths.

    Put the vermicelli, mango, cucumber, avocado, scallions, coriander, mint, sweet chili sauce, and lime juice in a bowl and mix together well.

    Lay out a tofu wrap on a flat surface. Put 1 Tbs. of the filling on the wrap, fold in the sides, and roll up tightly. Repeat with the remaining filling and wraps. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

    Makes 20

    Note: Make sure the veggie rolls are tightly rolled together or they will fall apart while you are eating them. These rolls can be made ahead. Layer the rolls in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    What to do with Tofu Yu pasta?

    Many people ask us what to do with Tofu Yu pasta. The first thing to know is that it is already fully cooked and  ready to eat right out of the package (which many people do, btw). You can also add it to a salad of your choice, mix it in with a tossed green salad, for instance. Or you can create a pasta salad with Tofu Yu pasta as the base. (Some people like to mix other forms of pasta along with Tofu Yu pasta.)

    Now if you want to eat your pasta hot, you can heat it up in one of three ways:

    1) microwave: Depending on the quantity, you probably won't need to microwave it for longer than 30 seconds,
    2) steam: Probably no longer than a minute or two
    3) saute: The best way to do this is to saute your other ingredients first--example would be onions, garlic, etc. Once your saute mixture is ready, toss in your Tofu Yu pasta and heat together a few minutes so the flavors blend and the pasta is sufficiently heated.


    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Italian Lasagna- Vegan-Style!

    photo copyright
    These wonderful recipes are from our friend Angel Flinn at They are from Incredibly Delicious: Recipes for a New Paradigm. A few options to choose from. These are not your 'quick meals' by any means (with the exception of the "Almost Lasagna"). But boy, are they worth the time and effort of preparation. Think slow food and the old-style Italian mama who spent all day in the kitchen making everything from scratch and then started over the next day!

    Gourmet Italian Lasagna
    yields one 9″ x 12″ deep casserole

    5 or more cups Marinara Sauce (see below)
    10 oz. package lasagna noodles

    ‘No-Meat’ Layer
    1-2 cakes tempeh or 1-2 lbs. seitan
    1 tsp. onion powder
    2-3 Tbsp. oil
    tamari, to taste
    1 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
    1 tsp. dried basil
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. sea salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

    Tofu ‘Uncheese’ Layer
    2 cups soft organic tofu, rinsed & drained
    2 cups firm organic tofu, rinsed & drained
    1 tsp. sea salt
    2 tsp. tamari or substitute
    1/4-1/2 tsp. black pepper
    5-6 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    4 tsp. oil

    ‘Cheesy’ Topping
    1 cup soft organic tofu, rinsed & drained
    1 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
    4 Tbsp. oil
    5-6 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
    1/2 tsp. sea salt

    1.  Partially cook the lasagna noodles in boiling water for 6-8 minutes. (Cook in a flat pan, if you have one.) Rinse noodles, separate, flatten out and set aside in cold water.
    2.  In a food processor, grind tempeh or seitan with the “S” shaped blade, into tiny chunks. Pan-fry the ground tempeh/seitan until slightly crisp with 2 Tbsp. oil and tamari. Add remaining spices and yeast. Mix in one cup tomato sauce and cook for 5-10 minutes.
    3.  In a bowl, mash all Tofu ‘Uncheese’ ingredients together. Chill.
    4.  In a food processor, blend the ‘Cheesy’ Topping ingredients. Set aside.
    5.  Spread one cup of tomato sauce over the bottom of an oiled 9″ x 12″ pan. Lay four noodles down and spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce over them. Flatten in the “no-meat” layer and pour another 3/4 cup of sauce over it.
    6.  Place another layer of four noodles, then spread another 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Mash and flatten in the tofu layer and then another noodle layer. Spread one cup of tomato sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with oregano (optional).
    7.  Spread and swirl the ‘Cheesy’ Topping over the top. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 40-50 minutes at 350°. Cool somewhat before slicing. Serve with sauce on top.

    Easy Lasagna Roll–Ups
    yields 12 rolls

    12 lasagna noodles

    3 cups medium-firm organic tofu
    1/3 cup nutritional yeast
    1/4 cup Marinara Sauce (see page 5)
    3 Tbsp. tahini or oil
    1 Tbsp. parsley or dill

    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. dried basil
    1/2 tsp. onion powder
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    salt and pepper, to taste
    3 cups Marinara Sauce (see page 5)
    1.  Partially cook noodles so you can roll them. Rinse with cold water and drain.
    2.  Rinse and drain tofu.
    3.  In a bowl, mash tofu and mix with other filling ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine sauce ingredients.
    4.  Spread a layer of sauce on the bottom of a casserole. Lay out noodles and spread two tablespoons of filling on each. Roll up tightly and place seam side down in casserole. Pour remaining sauce over roll-ups. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
    5.  Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast. Bake for 25–30 minutes.

    Almost Lasagna (Quick & Easy)
    yields one 9″ x 12″ deep casserole

    5 or more cups Marinara Sauce (page 4)
    16 oz. package pasta spirals, shells or macaroni
    sautéed veggies such as onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini (optional)

    ‘Cheesy’ Topping
    1 cup soft organic tofu, rinsed & drained
    1 Tbsp. tamari or substitute
    4 Tbsp. oil
    5-6 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
    1/2 tsp. sea salt
    1.  Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. Rinse, drain, and toss with a little olive oil.
    2.  In a food processor, blend the ‘Cheesy’ Topping ingredients. Set aside.
    3.  Mix three cups of Marinara sauce with pasta and sautéed veggies, and pour this mixture into the pan.
    4.  Spread and swirl the ‘Cheesy’ Topping over the top. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes at 350°. Cool somewhat before serving. Serve with additional sauce.

    Tasty Marinara Sauce
    yields 10 cups

    1–2 Tbsp. olive oil
    6 cloves garlic, diced
    1 onion, diced
    2 bell peppers, diced
    8–16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
    2 (12 oz.) cans tomato paste
    2 1/2 cups water
    1 (16 oz.) can tomato sauce
    1 Tbsp. onion powder
    1 tsp. sea salt
    2 Tbsp. garlic powder
    2 Tbsp. dried oregano
    2 Tbsp. dried basil
    3 Tbsp. unrefined sweetener such as Rapadura
    2 tsp. herb salt such as Herbamare
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1–2 Tbsp. tamari
    2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

    1.  In a large pot, sauté garlic in a little oil and a dash of water.
    2.  While it is simmering, add onion, peppers then sliced mushrooms. (Be sure to tip the stems of the mushrooms and clean them well).
    3.  When all vegetables are soft, add tomato paste, water, tomato sauce and remaining seasonings. Simmer and stir frequently for 30 minutes or longer.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Tofu Yellow and Green

    photo of cashews from
    Part of the pleasure of food is what it looks like. And this is one of the wonders of such things as salads and stir-fry. That infinite mix of ingredients and colors that look so beautiful on your plate. "Too pretty to eat." But of course that makes it taste all the better, and makes the experience all the more delightful--especially when the ambience is beautiful as well. Consider a table set with candles, flowers, beautiful serving ware. It doesn't have to be expensive to be inviting and beautiful. It's no wonder that cooking is considered an art. It's not just the mixture  of ingredients and resulting tastes and aromas, it's the feast for the eyes.

    2 cups coconut cream (don't shake the can)
    1 Tbs. yellow curry paste
    1/2 cup vegetable stock
    1 lb. 2 oz. Japanese squash, peeled and diced
    2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half (you can julienne these, if you prefer)
    12 oz. curry tofu, cubed
    1-2 Tbs. soy sauce
    2 Tbs. lime juice
    1 Tbs. brown sugar (or honey or 2 tsp. agave)
    1/4 cup cilantro leaves
    1/4 cup cashews, toasted
    Steamed jasmine rice, to serve

    Spoon the thick coconut cream from the top of the can into the wok and heat until boiling. Add the curry paste, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring for 5 minutes until the oil begins to separate.

    Add the remaining coconut cream, stock and squash and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for another 8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

    Gently stir in the cubed curry tofu, soy sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and cashews and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

    Serves 4

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Hawaiian Tofu

    photo from
    In the midst of cold and snow, isn't it fun to think of tropical places like Hawaii? You can have a little Hawaii in your kitchen no matter where you live (of course if you live in Hawaii, the idea isn't as exotic).

    12 ozs. firm tofu
    2 Tbs cornstarch, divided
    2 Tbs. safflower oil, divided
    1/4 tsp. salt (can be omitted)
    1/4 tsp. black pepper
    3 shallots
    3 garlic cloves, minced (or more, according to taste)
    1 large red pepper, diced
    1 tsp. ginger, grated
    1/4 tsp. dried thyme
    1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
    1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
    1 cup vegetable stock
    1 Tbs. tamari
    1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced (fresh is best)


    Cut tofu into 1/2 inch strips and place in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. cornstarch and toss gently to coat. Set aside.

    In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbs. oil. When oil is hot, add tofu, salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

    Heat remaining oil in the same skillet. Add shallots, garlic, bell pepper and ginger and cook to soften about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, tomatoes, pineapple juice, and stock, and simmer for 10 minutes.

    Combine remaining cornstarch with tamari and stir into sauce to thicken. Add pineapple and reserved tofu and cook until hot, about 2 minutes.