Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vegetable Salad (a la moule)

photo via
This delightful recipe, like so many others I've posted, is from Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler.

But before we get into that, did you see the recent results of a study done testing the benefits of the Mediterranean diet? Take a look at the piece published on ABC News.

Researchers stopped the study before the projected finish because the results were so dazzling--in a good way! A diet rich in seafood, olive oil, veggies, fruits, nuts, and beans. . . along with wine support a healthy heart. (Keep in mind tofu is derived from beans), so although most people don't think of tofu in Mediterranean terms, that's not to say you can't create some Mediterranean-inspired dishes using tofu.

Here's what you'll need to have on hand for this unique vegetable salad:

First, soak for 3 minutes in a small saucepan:
3 cups water
3 cubes vegetable bouillon (or just use 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth)
.2 oz agar agar flakes (regular gelatin can be substituted if you are not opposed to using it)

After soaking, simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour into a mixing bowl with:
1 cup celery, chopped fine
3 TB onion, minced
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 lb. tofu, blended
1/4 cup sweet relish
3 TB pimentos, chopped
14 tsp. black pepper

After mixing all ingredients thoroughly together, pour into the mold or individual serving dishes. Chill until firm (4-6 hours or overnight). Remove from mold and serve.

Now you can get very creative with the center of the mold--make it pretty. Cherry tomatoes perhaps or a melange of colorful veggies. Festive, delicious, and very healthy, this dish is definitely a conversation piece.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Coriander, Curry, and Yogurt-Crusted Tofu

by Francine

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My mom first gave me yogurt when I was a little girl. She put sugar in it, so how couldn't I like it? In French the word is pronounced yah-ooort (pronounced with that very French gutteral sound for the "r"). I love that sound, even now. When I was a kid I was quite the mimic and used to act out my mother's French friends talking--with what seemed to me to be a rather peculiar way of speaking. In retrospect I understand that it was simply so animated compared to the way most Americans speak English. In any cases--it was words like "yogurt" that I particularly liked, because of the seeming exagerration in pronunciation. Anyway, I suppose I'm digressing at this point, so let's get back to yogurt (also spelled "yogourt"). 

The care2 website published an informative little piece recently which is a good reminder of why yogurt is so healthy for us:

  • "If you are taking antibiotics, yogurt will help you replenish the friendly bacteria that is killed by the drugs’ actions.
  • Regular intake of yogurt keeps yeast infections away.
  • Served as delicious dips and smoothies, yogurt is an excellent protein-rich for young children.
  • It is easy to digest and promotes the bioavailability of key nutrients.
  • The proteins, vitamins and other vital nutrients in yogurt make it a powerful immunity-boosting food.
  • Yogurt is helpful in settling the stomach after a bout of diarrhea or constipation. It also reduces bloating and gas.
  • Yogurt is a time-tested beauty aid. That is because the lactic acid in it lightens blemishes and hydrates skin beautifully. Mix yogurt with olive oil and a little turmeric powder, and apply on skin. Wash off with warm water after a few minutes, and watch the fresh, dewy glow on your face!"

Yogurt is commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking. I often use it as a substitute for sour cream (in salad dressings or baked potato, for instance.) All kinds of yogurt these days--from Greek to flavored to non-fat, etc. To each his or her own, of course. But I highly recommend sticking to organic, because of where dairy is on the food chain. You're getting quite a bit of pesticide saturation in non-organic dairy products because of where dairy is on the food chain. Definitely worth the extra price for organic. 

So here's an interesting Middle-Eastern inspired recipe using our dear old favorite--that would be tofu, and yogurt. 

3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon whole coriander seed, crushed
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
4 pieces tofu, fillets, about 6 ounces each
chopped mint (to garnish)

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, garlic and cumin. In a separate bowl combine the coriander seeds, curry, salt and pepper.
In a very large nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, dip the tofu into the yogurt mixture to lightly coat each side, then sprinkle each side with the curry mixture, dividing the seasoning evenly among all the tofu.
Immediately place tofu in the hot pan and cook until just done, about 2½ minutes on each side. Serve with a light sprinkling of chopped mint.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Tofanana Bread

by Francine

photo via
'Yes, we have no tofannas,' (lyrics from a ridiculously old, classic, amusing and charmingly ridiculous song by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn) but we sure got bananas and we sure got tofu. When I spotted this recipe, I got interested. I love banana bread and the texture of tofu seems like an obvious blend in this concoction--although I had never thought of it on my own.

We all know bananas are loaded with potassium (although not as loaded as an equal portion of potatoes--remember?). Nevertheless, bananas are indeed loaded with the good stuff. And there's more good nutrition news as well. Think vitamin C (one banana provides you with 15% of your daily requirement), B6 (what the body uses to grow new cells)--just one banana gives you 35% of your daily requirement. Also think manganese, necessary for bone health, along with fiber, some iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus (more on this below)as well as vitamins A and E, folate (also known as folic acid or B12, plays an important part in the production of red blood cells), carotene (antioxidant) and choline (integral to brain and liver health and also in the reduction of inflammation). Now here's a total surprise--bananas even contain amino acids (used in every cell of our bodies to build the proteins we need to survive), albeit trace amounts. And also keep in mind that bananas are incredibly easy to digest (ripe ones, that is). That's why they are one of the very first solid foods we give to our babies.

Now, getting back to phosphorus--this is a biggie, and if you don't eat meat or dairy, primary sources of phosphorus, you'll be especially interested in bananas. Check this out from Medline Plus:

"The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth. It plays an important role in the body's utilization of carbohydrates and fats and in the synthesis of protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. It is also crucial for the production of ATP, a molecule the body uses to story energy.

"Phosphorus works with the B vitamins. It also assists in the contraction of muscles, in the functioning of kidneys, in maintaining the regularity of the heartbeat, and in nerve conduction."

OK, now that I've got your attention, let's move on to the recipe.

Preheat your over to 350 degrees.

Blend in a blender until smooth and creamy:
3/4 cup tofu

Pour into a mixing bowl and beat in:
1 cup sugar (or 1/2-3/4 cup agave)
1/4 cup oil (canola,recommended)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed

Mix together in another bowl:
2 cups unbleached white flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Beat everything together, then fold in:
3/4 cup walnut pieces

Pour into an oiled loaf pan. Bake for about an hour, and voila!


Medline Plus
Tofu Cookery, by Louise Hagler

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tofu for the Dressing

by Francine

photo via
Like those creamy dressings? Well here's a twist on that. Substitute the mayo or the cream or the egg or all of that for. . . You guessed it--tofu.

So easy, economical and it's not only good for salads--but sandwiches too! And if you're like me--it's always fun when someone tastes it and says, "Umm, this is so good. What's in it?" And you say (with a   poker face, "Oh, just some tofu and lemon and stuff. . . "

"WHAT? You're kidding!"

By this time, you're smiling and your friend is too.

So here we go. Again, so easy.

Combine in a blender or cuisinart:
1/2 lb. soft tofu
1/4 cup oil (organic olive or sesame)
1 TB (or more) lemon juice
1 TB sugar (totally optional, not to mention this could be agave--in which case it should be no more than 1/2 TB)
1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard (Dijon, honey, etc.--just make it something you love)
1 tsp. vinegar (apple cider, white or red wine, or rice vinegar work nicely with this recipe)
1/2 tsp salt (optional--and remember you can use a 'salt' substitute derived from seaweed)

Blend until smooth and creamy, and there you have it. BTW--this is delicious on cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, olives. Maybe a little pita on the side. It makes a killer sandwich --think chicken or veggies, or tempeh or tofu!

A word or two about the yellow stuff--the mustard. It's not just good-tasting, it's actually good for you. People have known about this for thousands of years. High in antioxidants, mustard seeds also have anti-fungal properties, and have even been found to prevent migraines. What else? Interesting you should ask. Think calcium, magnesium, and here's the one that surprised me--potassium! Remember--it's potassium for healthy blood pressure, calcium and magnesium for healthy bones. Antioxidants speak for themselves. And the idea of lessening the occurrence of migraines, we're all for that!

And check this out from, "Mustard can be used in preparations of hot compresses to help reduce the impact of strains and sprains in the body, or they can be used in poultices and plasters which can be massaged onto the chest to encourage the decongesting of blocked sinuses and lungs."

So don't be shy when you serve this salad dressing. And remember the most important part: Enjoy!

Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler