Healthy Tofu Fries
Lemony Spicy Tofu Fries
Do you love French fries? More than you dare to admit? More than you care to know? If you're hopelessly addicted to french fries but there's a constant nagging at the back of the head about how bad they're for you, consider a healthier alternative. May I suggest tofu fries? Yes, toful fries--just as crispy and loaded with so much flavor, you won't be missing those finger sticks loaded with saturated fats and chemicals--especially if they come from fast-food joints and even restaurants. Consider this: One serving of McDonald's french fries carries 380 calories, 171 fat calories and the total fat constitute 29% of the daily value recommended and a healthy diet should only have about 20 to 35 % of fats (of total calore intake for the day). Just busted your fat allowance with one mere serving of french fries!
Now, let's look at the proposed alternative--low fat (only 5 g of fat in 1/2 cup of firm tofu), seasoned nicely with spices and pan-fried with very little oil. If you think about it, a far more healthier alternative and the good tihng is you can easily make this dish. You can eat it as finger food, toss on top of salad, eat it as a side dish with your meal or consider it your protein source.
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- 1 slab firm tofu, cut into long strips
- 1 tbs oyster sauce
- A sprinkling of red chili flakes
- A sprinkling of brown sugar, to taste (optional)
- salt, to taste
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 green onion, chopped, for garnishng
- Cut one slab of firm tofu into long strips. Make sure they're not too thin as they break easily.
- Coat pan evenly with oil. I use grapeseed oil.
- Warm pan sufficiently before putting strips of tofu in. Pan-fry for about 2 to 3 minutes on one side or until brown.
- Turn strips of tofu over with flat spatula and pan-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- When all the four sides are nice and brown, throw in chopped garlic.
- Lower heat and add oyster sauce, chili flakes, salt and sugar to taste.
- Lastly, add a squeeze of lemon juice and mix thoroughly, making sure the sides of tofu are well-coated with seasonings.
- Dish tofu fries out and garnish with green onion. Serve warm with a side of ketchup, if desired.
Tofu fries, like French fries are best eaten when warm and toasty. Interestingly, research has found that the protein found in soy may provide more satiety (feeling full) than that provided by animal protein. This is wonderful news for people who are watching their calorie intake as staying full longer helps to cut back on eating unnecessarily.
To break the monotony of tofu fries, you can always switch the spices and flavoring used. Use your favorite spices--curry powder, cayenne, rosemary, thyme, basil, terragon--just subsitute.
So, enjoy your tofu fries--guilt-free.
|Serving size: 1/4 cup of firm tofu|
|Calories from Fat||18|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 2 g||3%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 1 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 5 g||10%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
What is Tofu?
Tofu or doufu, it is actually curds made from soybean milk. First, they grind the soya beans, add water, filter the liquid and then boil it. During the process calcium sulfate, a mineral salt is added to cause the protein and fiber in the soy to curdle. You will find different grades of tofu in the supermarket from silken (extremely soft) to soft to firm to extra firm. The choice of tofu depends on what you’re cooking. Soft and silken tofu are usually used in soups, casseroles, steamed with other foods or blended in smoothies or dips. Firm and extra firm tofu retain their form and can withstand some handling and can be stir-fried, pan-fried or used in grilling. And because tofu readily absorbs the flavoring of spices used, it is very versatile and can be as flavorful as you want it to be.
Why eat tofu? For centuries, Asian countries have used tofu in their diet on a regular basis. It is commonly referred to as the “cheese of Asia” since it resembles the physical appearance of cheese. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, it is a rich source of vegetable protein that’s in low in fat and no cholesterol. There are numerous health benefits associated with eating tofu:
- Soy may lower cholesterol due to its amino acid profile (namely 7S globulin) which has the unique ability to remove bad LDL-cholesterol from the blood.
- Alleviate symptoms of menopause as soy products such as tofu contains isoflavones that mimic the effects of estrogen, thus helping to maintain estrogen levels.
- Some research indicates that soy’s isofavones, namely genistein and daidzein may inhibit cancer growth.
- Its rich calcium levels may help improve bone density and reduce risks of fractures.
- Soy also exerts anti-inflammatory capabilities which is helpful in reducing cardiovascular diseases.