Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

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