Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

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