Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sesame Tofu Sez Me

by Francine

photo via
Before I share with you this delicious and easy to prepare tofu recipe, I want you to be as amazed as I was when I took a look at the health benefits of those tiny delicate wonders we call sesame seeds. I already knew they were loaded with vitamin E, but at this point that's kind of a 'no-brainer' because seeds and nuts are known for being loaded with the vitamin. I just didn't realize to what extent sesame seeds are imbued with medicinal (as well as tasty) benefits. 

Check this out: According to, the history of sesame as a medicine goes back 3600 years to Egyptian times where it was listed in the scrolls of the Ebers (one of the oldest medical books in the world) as a favored medicine.  Beautiful women of ancient Babylon are said to have used a mixture of honey and sesame seeds (havla) to prolong youth and beauty. Roman soldiers ate the mixture for strength and energy.

Below is a small sampling of information I found on (please check this link so you can see the whole story), pointing to the amazing health benefits of this delicate and flavorful little seed. In addition to what you see here are recommendations to use it as a massage oil for babies, its effectiveness in helping to prevent atherosclerosis, its efficiency as an anti-depressant, and the  protection it offers against many forms of cancer.

What you are truly is what you eat. If you make it a point to eat a varied diet of nutritious food, you're doing what nature intended. Why else would all that good stuff be here for us? 
  1. Diabetes: A study published in 2011 in the Clinical Journal of Nutrition showed that sesame oil improved the effectiveness of the oral antidiabetic drug glibenclamide in type 2 diabetic patients. Another study published a few years earlier in the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that using sesame seed oil as the sole edible oil lowers blood pressure and glucose in hypertensive diabetics. 
  1. High blood pressure: A study published in 2006 in the Yale Journal of Biological Medicine showed that sesame seed oil has a beneficial effect in hypertensive patients on either diuretics or beta-blockers. Substitution of all dietary oils with sesame oil brought down systolic and dystolic blood pressure to normal.
  1. Gingivitis/Dental Plaque: Ayurvedic medicine, which has been around for thousands of years, indicates a process for oral health which involves swishing sesame seed oil in the mouth for prolonged durations. This is said to prevent teeth decay, halitosis, bleeding gums, dry throat, and that it strengthens the teeth, gums and jaw. Clinical research now confirms that it compares favorably to chemical mouthwash.
OK, now for the recipe:

Sesame Tofu

Cut into 3/4" cubes or 1/4" thick slices:
2 lbs firm tofu

Marinate for 2 hours in a mixture of:
1/3 cup soy sauce (or tamari, and remember you can use the low-sodium variety, and you don't need to use the full 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (fresh is better, if you can get it) (you can add more btw)
1 TB ginger root, grated or 1/4 tsp ginger (more works here as well; spices and herbs are always 'to taste')

Roll in:
1 cup sesame seeds ground in a blender and 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
Brown in oil (canola or coconut). Serve with rice of quinoa. 

Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Creamy Creme de Celery Soup

photo via
by Francine

Bet you don't know how healthy celery is. Well, maybe you do. . .Recently I happened to see it on a list of foods that support healthy blood pressure. That got me curious and I started doing a little digging about what other hidden health benefits celery offers. My mom used to say celery is "nature's tooth brush." I figuredTarzan and Jane ate it for just that reason. When my daughter was little, I used to prepare healthy (and yummy, of course) after school snacks for her --including celery sticks filled with a bit of low-fat cream cheese (Neuchatel) and alfalfa sprouts on top, or just plain alongside carrot sticks, cucumber, whatever other crunchy veggie on hand. . .

Delicious just plain 'naked', in salads, soups, or a variety of other dishes that involve veggies, celery offers us a variety of reasons to eat them (and did I mention the crunchy factor is fun?). Check out some of the many health benefits of this chlorophyll-filled wonder (adapted from an article posted 10/10/12 by Diana Herrington on the care2 site)

* Celery has blood pressure reducing properties. It contains active phthalides, which relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure so the vessels dilate. Phthalides also reduce stress hormones, which can cause blood vessels to constrict.
*Celery is purported to be a negative calorie food, which means it takes the body more calories to digest it than the food itself contains. While this is not strictly accurate, a single stalk of celery still has only a few calories due to being full of cellulose. The addition of celery to your diet will help your weight loss efforts.  
*Celery contains plant hormones that calm and soothe the central nervous system, which will make losing weight an easier thing to do. (Plus, it just feels better to be calm. . . )
*Celery leaves are a source of flavonoid antioxidants zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene, which have antioxidant, cancer-protective, and immune-boosting functions
So while you're crunching away on a stalk of celery, how about making some soup for a chilly day? Come on. Let's go.
Here's what you need to have ready:
2 lbs. celery, coarsely chopped
1 lb. green onions or leeks, coarsely chopped (or a combo)
2 carrots, diced in 1/2" squares
Set aside:
1/4 cup oil (olive) and 3 TB unbleached flour that have been combined in a 4-quart saucepan. Let these bubble together over low heat for about 2 minutes.
Whisk in:
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth (try to use organic, low-sodium)
Reserve 1 cup each of celery and carrots, then add the rest of the chopped vegetables to the thickened broth. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat and put it all through a food mill, or let it cool and blend in a blender until smooth.
While the vegetables are simmering in the thickened broth, saute until tender:
2 TB oil
the reserved celery and carrot pieces
Add the sauteed veggies to the blended broth mixture along with:
1 1/2 cups soft tofu, blended smooth and creamy
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
NOTE: When reheating the soup, try not to let it boil.

Enjoy! And btw--my dog loves bite-size pieces as a snack. In fact, she can't get enough of them. :)

Tofu Cookery, by Louise Hagler

Monday, December 10, 2012

Inspirational Breakfast Taco

a fresh batch of pesto tofu
photo by Francine Schwartz
We'd love to post your favorite tofu recipes. Just post it on Facebook and we'll post it on our blog.

Here's a delicious (and easy) recipe from Jen Gagnon of Colfax, California. Thank you, Jen!:

"My favorite recipe is no recipe, just inspiration. I originally got it from Ike's Quarter Cafe in Nevada City and it is simply...breakfast taco. My favorite combo is your pepper garlic tofu (crumbled), veggie sausage, green olives, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and caramelized onion stuffed into a fried corn tortilla with a balsamic glaze drizzled all over. The possibilities are endless!"

Saturday, December 8, 2012

All Good Almond Salad

by Francine

photo via
Almonds are so nutritious. If you eat them regularly (just a daily handful or so), you're doing your body good. I start my day with a handful of almonds and a cup of piping hot green tea to which I've added half a lemon (skin on) and a tsp. of honey. On these chilly December mornings, I enjoy my tea and almonds while cozied up in bed--with my feline and canine relaxing alongside me. In fact, many a blog post have been compiled just that way. . .

We've got a nice recipe (two actually) here for you today. But let's start with a few of the many benefits of eating almonds:

Almonds help to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL) in your blood. The mono-saturated fat, protein, and potassium (which helps to regulate blood pressure) contained in almonds are good for the heart. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to prevent heart attacks. (Magnesium also regulates the absorption of calcium and is involved in the structural integrity of bones and teeth.) According to, women need about 320 mg of magnesium per day, while men need 420 mg. Almonds are also a source of folic acid, helping to reduce the level of homocystein, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries. Folic acid is very important for pregnant women because it helps to reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborns.

Almonds are beneficial great for the skin. A massage with almond oil is often recommended for new born babies. Almonds improves the movement of food through the colon, thereby helping to prevent colon cancer by preventing constipation. Be sure to drink a fair amount of water (or herbal tea) after eating almonds.

In addition, almonds offer protection against diabetes: They help to reduct the rise in sugar and insulin levels after meals.

Believe it or not, these are only a few of the health benefits of almonds. And let's not forget how delicious they are--raw, toasted--plain or with tamari. NOTE: If you suffer from kidney or gall bladder problems, consult your doctor to learn whether or not almonds are good for you.

Now here's a tasty recipe using almonds:

Combine in a bowl:
1 1/2 lbs. tofu, cut in 1/2" cibes
3 TBs fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. celery salt

Mix in:
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
1/3 cup green onion, minced
3/4 cup almonds, slivered and toasted
1/2 tsp. salt (if you use tamari almonds, you can eliminate the salt)

Blend together with:
1 1/2 cups tofu sour creme dressing (which follows).

When it's all blended, chill and serve to 4-6 delighted people.

Tofu Sour Creme dressing:

(The only way this recipe could be easier is if you opened a jar and poured it out.)

Combine in a blender:

1/2 lb. tofu
1/4 cup oil
1 TB lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. sugar (or 1 tsp. agave)
1/2 tsp salt (or less, or none at all)

Blend unti smooth and creamy. Voila. That's it. Just add it to the salad and you're there!

Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mama Mia, lovely Chia

by Francine

photo via
Hailed as a superfood, and let's not forget those infamous chia pets from several years back, chia seeds are attributed with all kinds of health benefits, and they are so easy to use!

Let's start with the benefits:

Those tiny seeds are loaded with omega-3′s, antioxidants, fiber, calcium, protein and a number of other vitamins and minerals. One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. The seeds are said to help control blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease. Although scientific evidence lags behind in supporting these theories, keep in mind that this is often the case. Numerous studies need to be conducted before conclusive evidence is deemed sufficient to make a scientific/medical claim. But keep in mind that chia, an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, has been grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster.

On, you'll see a quote by well-known TV physician Dr. Oz when he appeared on Oprah, "They [chia seeds] just may be one of the healthiest things around."

And from noted nutrition expert, Dr. Weil, "A healthful and interesting addition to my diet. My prediction? You will begin to see chia being added to more and more commercial products, such as prepared baby foods, nutrition bars, and baked goods."

From an article by WebMD columnist, Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD: "More study is needed before chia can be recommended either for weight loss and heart health," says Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD, chief editor of Natural Standard Research Collaboration. The article also cautions that if you have food allergies (especially to sesame or mustard seeds) or are on high blood pressure medications or blood thinners, you should consult with your physician before adding chia to your diet.

That said, although WebMD seems reluctant to endorse the weight loss claim, they do say "Enjoy chia seeds for their flavor and to boost the fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s in your diet."

Sprinkle on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. The thing is they virtually disappear and have very mild nutty flavor that virtually disappears when blended in with other foods. 

  • Eat raw for that nice "nutty" flavor.
  • Soak in fruit juice (in Mexico, they call this "chia fresca").
  • Add to porridges and puddings (while they cook or sprinkled on afterwards).
  • Include in baked goods--breads, cakes and biscuits.
  • Add to power drinks, be it a base of dairy, almond, or coconut milk. 
  • Sprinkle on your yogourt (or frozen yogourt!)

For more good ways to use chia seeds, check out this great resource:


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nice-O Miso

by Francine 

WARNING right up front: Miso is a salty, cultured bean paste from which soy sauce evolved. So if you have high blood pressure issues or are watching your sodium content for any other reasons, this soup may not be for you. But you should read on, because although salt has gained a terrible reputation over the years in regards to high blood pressure, it may be a case of unfounded blame.

The issue of sodium and its link to high blood pressure is being revisited. According to an article in, it's not the amount of sodium that is important, but rather the balance of it with such minerals as potassium, magnesium, calcium. ". . . research has shown that adding potassium to the diet, which helps relax blood vessels and remove sodium from the blood, can be as effective in lowering blood pressure as reducing sodium intake. Miso soup made with foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, such as wakame, fish stock (bonito), greens, and carrots, has been shown to actually lower high blood pressure, as well as prevent it from occurring in people normal rates."
photo via

It's also ironic, actually that those of us who have high blood pressure are told to avoid foods high in sodium and to load up on potassium, when in fact diuretics, which are often prescribed to help lower high blood pressure, cause the body to lose potassium.

Miso also offers many important anti-aging benefits, btw. From Natural "Miso and other fermented foods and drinks help build up the inner ecosystem and assure the digestive tract is amply supplied with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria help digest, synthesize, and assimilate nutrients so necessary for good health and anti-aging. They also strengthen the immune system, keeping it at the ready to fight infection and cancer."

Miso shouldn't be that difficult to find. If you can't locate it in the Asian section of your local market, you can undoubtedly find it at a health food store or in Asian food markets.


Stir together in a soup pot until limp, but not brown:
1/4 cup oil
a small head of cabbage, shredded
3-4 small onions, diced (scallions will work nicely also; if you use them, slice lengthwise)
4-6 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced

2 qts. hot water
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. black pepper (or add more to taste)

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Cut into 3/4 cubes and add to the soup:
1 lb tofu (plain is best for this soup)

Dissolve together:
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup miso

Stir into the soup. Heat, but be careful not to boil. Serve when tofu is heated through. A twist on this recipe is to add tofu pasta rather than the cubes.

Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blending Tofu

by Francine 

photo via
1950's style blender
So you have this block of tofu and a recipe calls for blending. What do you do? Mash it up with a fork until it's 'blended' and then put it in a blender? Good guess. But that's not the whole deal.

Here's what you do. . .

In your blender, it's a good idea to limit the amount you blend to 1/2 lb. at a time. Of course the variable is what kind of blender you're using as well as the softness of the tofu. Tofu Yu tofu is firm, so it would follow that you shouldn't overwhelm your blender with a big quantity. Otherwise the job just won't get done. And yes, it does absolutely help to mash or crumble the tofu before throwing it in the blender. That way you get a head start and won't have to watch big clumps spinning around.

Now, it's not just a matter of throwing in the tofu and hitting pressing a button. You're going to have to tend to the 'blending' by using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bring all the tofu to where the blades can catch it and keep it circulating. (No--ouch--don't touch the blades with the spatula. Not only is it rather dangerous, but the resulting smell of mangled rubber is rather nasty.)

Now you're probably thinking a food processor is an even better idea than using a blender. Not necessarily. Your results may not be as creamy as what you get with with a blender.

And btw--if your recipe calls for blending the tofu along with other ingredients, we suggest the identical process to above--break up the tofu in a bowl, add the ingredients, but still--do it in batches.

Also btw--when tofu is good, there is hardly a smell to it at all. Tofu Yu always includes a date, which you should pay attention to. That said, if you see the date is a day or two past--just smell the tofu. We play it on the safe side with our dates. It is very possible that if you forgot to use it before the expiration date, it's still perfectly fine. Just let your nose be your guide.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hold the Meat and Make That Tofu!

by Francine

photo via
I think it's much better when tofu stands on its own merit as opposed to supposedly tasting like something else. Let's face it--if it's red meat you're after, you should just eat it. Same thing with poultry, fish, or for that matter--a doughnut. But, if you don't want to eat meat, etc. (because you choose not to or your doctor advised you to refrain) or if it's just a matter of trying something different--tofu offers SO many options. . .

Tofu loaf is a fun one--makes you (me) think of meat loaf, which my mom made so well. The ingredients happen to be very similar--with one notable exception. No meat. 

Here we go:

Tofu Loaf

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix together:

1 1/2 lbs. tofu, mashed
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
2 Tb dijon mustard
1/2 cup parsley, chopped (cilantro works here too)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 med. onion, chopped fine
1/2-1 red pepper, diced
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped fine (if you're a garlic fiend like me, you may want to use more than this)
1 cup whole grain bread crumbs (or even leftover French, challah, or whole grain bread, soaked in water and mashed), rolled oats, or a combo.
1 egg, scrambled

Mix all ingredients together. Pout 1/4 cup oil in a loaf pan, then press the mixture into the pan. Bake for about 1 hour. Let cool 10-15 minutes before trying to remove from pan. Garnish with ketchup and parsley. Also good sliced and fried for sandwiches.

Incidentally, Onions (Allium cepa) belong to the lily family (same family as garlic, leeks, chives, scallions and shallots). There are over 600 species of Allium, distributed all over Europe, North America, Northern Africa and Asia. 
From vegetarian-nutrition: "The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite and to prevent atherosclerosis. In addition, onion extracts are recognized by WHO for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis. . . . Onions, and other Allium species, are highly valued herbs possessing culinary and medicinal value. Some of their beneficial properties are seen after long-term usage. Onion may be a useful herb for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, especially since they diminish the risk of blood clots. Onion also protects against stomach and other cancers, as well as protecting against certain infections. Onion can improve lung function, especially in asthmatics. The more pungent varieties of onion appear to possess the greatest concentration of health-promoting phytochemicals." 

Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler

Friday, November 2, 2012

P-nutty Goodness

by Francine

photo via
Those ready-made pie shells are handy and usually readily available in your local markets. That said, there are a slew of interesting pie crusts you can make on your own. A friend of mine recently made one using spelt, ground up dried fruits, walnuts, and lots of cinnamon! And it was amazingly good. Now whatever your choice of crust, here's a yummy filling. And btw--you could use almond or cashew butter if you prefer. . .

Blend until smooth and creamy (in a blender or Cuisinart):
1 lb. tofu
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt (optional)

Pour all that into a baked pie shell. Decorate with semi-sweet chocolate shavings or curls. You may want to throw in some raspberries as well. Freeze. The when you're ready to serve, thaw for about10 minutes beforehand.

Here's what has to say about the nutrition value of peanut butter:

"On average 1 tbs of peanut butter has about 90 calories, 9 g fat (about 80 percent of which are mono and poly-unsaturated), 4g protein and 1g fiber. The protein in peanut butter helps contribute towards your daily protein needs and it provides energy while helping to keep you feeling full. Peanut butter alone has some fiber, which will also add to the feeling of fullness and help regulate your bowels. But, if you eat peanut butter with a fruit or whole grain bread, such as some suggestions listed below, it can really boost your daily fiber intake.

"Peanut butter is rich in mono and poly-unsaturated fats, which are the "good," cholesterol lowering fats. While these fats have heart-protective benefits, they also are what make peanut butter a high calorie food. So, as with most delicious foods, moderation is key. A general guideline is to try to limit yourself to 2 tbsp, which weighs in at about 180 calories."


Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gotta' Have Pumpkin Cheesecake for Halloween

by Francine

pumpkin art & photo by Zia Schwartz
Pumpkins are especially interesting in the Fall, not only because of the infinite shapes and sizes, but because of all the fun, eery, and creative ways you can carve or decorate them. But there's something else you should know. Besides eye candy and wondrous flavors in pies, soups, etc. (not to mention the cheesecake recipe below), pumpkins also provide us with substantial health benefits. Remember they are a type of squash, so vitamin A is a given. 
Super quick to prepare, this recipe for pumpkin tofu cheesecake sounds like a great vegan treat for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or anytime. We found the recipe on the vegetarian food site, haven't tried it, but would love to hear from you if you do. (Note, you must use silken tofu for this recipe. TofuYu's firm tofu is not appropriate.)

photo via
Now, as you're enjoying your pumpkin dessert and as you stroll around in your neighborhood checking out the various pumpkin 'heads' adorning the porches and entrance ways, keep in mind that Charlie Brown may have been on to something when he referred to "The Great Pumpkin." Enjoy. :)
Pumpkin Benefits:
*A very low calorie vegetable. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but it is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
*Loaded with vitamin A, a powerful natural antioxidant and required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help us protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
*Contains Zea-xanthin, a natural anti-oxidant that has UV ray filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes, thereby helping to protect us from "age-related macular disease" (ARMD). 
*Good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
*Rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
And btw--don't forget the seeds (if you carve out your own pumpkins--for food, decoration, or both) or purchase them in the store. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of health-promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to GABA in the brain. (Tryptophan, found also in turkey and milk, are known to help you sleep!)

Tofu Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 1 12 ounce package silken tofu
  • 1 8 ounce container Tofutti vegan cream cheese
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pre-made pie crust


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.
Pour into pie crust and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Allow cheesecake to cool slightly, then refrigerate. Cheesecake will set more upon chilling.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Spinach-Tofu Nooooodlez!

by Francine

photo via
Can you imagine? Noodles made from tofu? Well why not? Tofu Yu makes a version. Now you can too. Keep mind that spinach is not just tasty and richly GREEN, it is also loaded in nutritional goodness for you. From The World's Healthiest Foods:
"Among the World's Healthiest vegetables, spinach comes out at the top of our ranking list for nutrient richness. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection."

Health Diaries tells us that spinach is beneficial to us in a number of important ways: maintaining healthy blood pressure; slowing down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells; anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure; protecting the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. It's even good for the bones! Check the link for more information.

So now for the recipe. Pretty darn easy. . .

Blend (in a blender or Cuisinart) until smooth and creamy:
1/2 lb. tofu
2 TB oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Pour this into:
1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour

Mix and knead until smooth and soft (10 minutes maybe? depends on your kneading power). Put this through a noodle machine or roll out by hand and cut. Let dry for about 15 minutes. Then you're ready to go. Boil in salted water about 5 minutes. Don't overcook. Fresh pasta is a very different matter from the dry version.



Health Diaries
World's Healthiest Foods
Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Potato Tofu Salad

by Francine

photo via
Potatoes (especially when the skin is still on), are a great source of potassium. One baked potato contains about 25% of your daily requirement of potassium. Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. Pay attention to potassium levels if you are taking blood pressure medication, for some of these drugs deplete our bodies of this natural and essential mineral. Also pay close attention if you exercise a lot, because we lose potassium through our sweat! That's why it's important to hydrate yourself with electrolyte-plenty liquids. - fs

Have ready:
6 medium potatoes, cooked and peeled (about 6 cups cooked and cubed)

In large mixing bowl, add:
1 cup tofu, crumbled (use a fork or truth is--easiest way to do this is with your hand)
the cooked, cubed potatoes
1 cup celery, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup red or green pepper, chopped fine
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. salt (in lo-salt or no-salt diets, extra lemon juice and lemon works well to pick up the other flavors without the salt; you can also look into an actual salt substitute made from kelp. very tasty and satisfying)

Blend until smooth and creamy: (most easily done using a blender)
1 up tofu
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 TB apple cider vinegar
1/2 TB lemon juice (more if you like)
couple cloves of garlic
black pepper to taste
dill to taste (fresh is always best, but dried dill is just fine too)
1 TB mustard of your choice

Add dressing to the salad and mix gently. Chill and serve. 

Tofu Cookery, by Louise Hagler
U.S. National Library of Medicine

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bisque it up a bit!

(with zucchini and TOFU!)

by Francine

photo via

Early fall and not too soon to be thinking about (and making) soup. The flexibility and chameleon qualities of tofu play a major role in this recipe. Smooth and creamy, this zucchini bisque serves as a wonderful and healthy comfort food. Not to mention when you tell your friends and family that the 'creaming' agent is tofu, they'll hardly believe it. 

Don't underestimate the power of zucchini, btw. It aids in digestion, helps prevent constipation (which in turn helps prevent carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon),  and zucchini helps maintain low blood sugar. It also helps lower cholesterol, provides an ample amount of magnesium, which is a mineral proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. And magnesium also helps to lower blood pressure

1/4 C oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 lb. zucchini, sliced
salt to taste

Add to the sauteed veggies, cover, and simmer 20 minutes:
ground pepper to taste (I like a lot)
2 1/2 cups chicken or veggie stock
1/2 tsp. nutmeg 

Blend in a blender (or Cuisinart) until smooth and creamy:
1/2 lb. tofu (or just a little bit more)
2 TB oil (preferably olive)

Stir blended tofu mixture into sauteed veggies. Heat, but avoid boiling. You can top with a delightful concoction that mimics bacon bits (yes, we know--bad stuff, but the tofu version isn't bad at all and you don't need to use that much of it, if you're concerned about the sodium content):

Mix together in a skillet:
1/2 lb. tofu, crumbled
1/4 tamari (use the low-sodium kind and the reality is you can use less than 1/4 cup)
a clove or two of garlic, crushed
TB sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 TB oil (preferably olive)
2 TB water

Simply cook all this slowly (stirring often) until the moisture is gone and the tofu is brown and crunchy. Be careful not to burn. It's very easy to do. Be sure to use relatively low heat.

Tofu Cookery, by Louise Hagler

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Greek (tofu) salad

by Francine

photo via

Simple,  tasty, and nutritious, this salad is sure to please. One of the reasons we love it is because of the dominant ingredient--tomatoes. Choose your favorite--any variety (mix them up!), but if Heirloom tomatoes are available, be sure to include some of those in the mix. The silken texture and juiciness works so well with olive oil and vinegar. 

The tomato is a nutritious fruit commonly used as a vegetable. It comes to us from the ancient Mayans. The vegetable has incredible phyto-chemical properties with more health-benefiting properties than those found in apples. Tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. The fruit is often recommend  in cholesterol-controlling and weight-reduction programs. Antioxidants present in tomatoes help protect against cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors.

Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control a healthy heart rate and blood pressure. Also, keep in mind that some blood-pressure medications actually have a tendency to decrease the potassium in our bodies. So maintaining healthy levels of potassium in our bodies through the foods we eat is especially important if you're taking one those drugs. (Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about this.)

Mix together: 

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar (or Balsamic)
salt to taste
juice of one lemon
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano 

Pour the dressing over:
1 lb, tofu, cut in 3/4" cubes

Marinate for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally

Wash, core, and cut into wedges:
3 fresh tomatoes

Wash and slice thin:
3 cucumbers

Add these to the marinated tofu along with:
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 cup Greek or black olives

Toss and serve on a bed of lettuce.


Nutrition and You


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Super healthy, super-food quinoa salad

by Francine

photo via

You already know tofu is healthy for you in a variety of ways. Now put it in the company of quinoa, kale, avocado, and pomegranate seeds (super foods) and you've created a tasty, easy-to-fix salad that you can make ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator several days! By the way--there are a number of super foods and the lists vary, but you can bet that no one will dispute the benefits of eating the four included in this recipe (kale, quinoa, avocado, and pomegranate seeds).
This recipe was originally posted on Glue and Glitter by Becky Striepe and linked to from We added the tofu to the recipe. -fs


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pkg. tofu
  • 2 packed cups kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup additional olive oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook the quinoa in the water or vegetable or chicken broth. (2 cups liquid to one cup quinoa. Rinse quinoa thoroughly through a sieve, then add to liquid. Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.) Once cooked, transfer to the large bowl that you’ll be serving your salad in.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Coat the kale well, and set it aside to wilt for at least 10 minutes.
  3. When the quinoa has cooled, transfer the kale mixture, pomegranate seeds, avocado, onion, and additional olive oil to the bowl with the quinoa, and toss well.