Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Friday, March 15, 2013

'shrooms and Tofu

by Francine

photo via
Mushrooms are endowed with an assortment of health benefits - from being a boost to your immune system, to helping to prevent breast and other cancers; they assist in weight loss, fighting tumors, and they are anti-inflammatory, a source of B12 (difficult to get when you're a vegetarian). .  .There's a reason these exotic, rather cosmic edibles are associated with 'magic.' Magic indeed. And we get to eat them! And they're so declicious. Did you know there's a lobster mushroom that actually tastes like that? And oyster mushrooms. . . well, you can guess the rest.

Check out the great nutrient reference from, which tells us - among other things - that mushrooms seem to have some kind of 'smart' aspect about them, where if white blood cell is required, mushrooms push that, and when it's not, crimini mushrooms seem to have a sensor to leave the white blood cells alone. "Magic" anyone?

Here's a ridiculously easy recipe for tofu and mushrooms. It can be adapted so easily to taste. It's inexpensive, easy to prepare, and is sure to make your tummy feel swell.

What you need:

a block of tofu (plain or not), sliced or cubed
enough mushrooms to please yourself and whoever else you're cooking for
black pepper
some red onion
a few cloves of garlic
a bit of the following:
  (any other herb or spice you love)
coconut or canola oil


Slice the onion thinly. Same thing with the garlic. Saute both with a bit of oil until they become a bit transparent and soft. Add the mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms start to soften and add the tofu. Continue to saute until tofu starts to brown and everything is well mixed. Add the herbs, pepper, and continue to mix until everything is steaming and flavors are well blended.

Variation: add green or red pepper and/or cherry tomatoes, halved

Pour mixture over brown rice, quinoa, or pasta. You'll have yourself a tasty, inexpensive, and very yummy treat.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ooooh--carrot cake!

by Francine

photo via
Ok, so carrot cake is one of my mostest favorite things. Since the very first time I tasted a piece from a bakery on Castro St. many years ago. The cream cheese icing knocked me out. In fact, a piece of that cake and a cup of coffee was a treat I looked forward to at least once a week. A ritual of sorts--often enjoyed solo, but sometimes with a very special friend.

Now even then I knew the cream cheese was perhaps not the healthiest thing in the world. But what does it matter when you're having fun, right? Just like a kiss that can never be exactly as it was that first time when it knocked your socks off, I'm not sure I ever matched that particular carrot cake--in spite of all the ones I've consumed (with delight) since that one.

So speaking of delight, imagine mine when I came across this little gem from our dear friend, Louise Hagler, in her book, Tofu Cookery. No cream cheese in the "Creamy Glaze Topping." Just cream cheese.

The walnuts in this recipe are loaded with goodness (taste-wise and health-wise). A symbol of intellectuality since ancient times (maybe because the two halves of a walnut together look amazingly like a brain!), this tasty nut is teeming with Omega. And by now you know that is a very good thing. Take a look at this from

"Regular intake of walnuts in the diet helps to lower total as well as LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increases HDL or "good cholesterol" levels in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile."

Ok, now that you know how good walnuts are and you already know how delicious and nutritious raisins are (think iron), let's delve into Louise's recipe:

Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together dry ingredients:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (Louise recommends unbleached white, but I always use whole wheat--organic, please)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Mix well in a separate bowl:
1/2 lbs. tofu, blended until smooth
1 lb. carrots, grated (4 1/2 - 5 cups) (incidentally carrots are one of the veggies that really should be organic)
3/4 cup oil (canola is fine)
2 cups light brown sugar (or 2/3 this amount of Agave)
1 TB vanilla
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate

Add dry ingredients to the wet ones. Stir until all dry parts are moistened. 

Fold in:
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup raisins

Oil and flour the pan. Bake for 45 minutes. When cool, top with Creamy Glaze Topping (recipe directly below)

Creamy Glaze Topping
Blend in a blender until smooth and creamy:
1/2 lb. tofu
1 TB oil
1 TB lemon juice
3 TB honey 
1/4 tsp salt