Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Keep the Digestive Fire Going

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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!

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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. . .

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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.