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Tofu - Healthy, Delicious and Not Just for Vegetarians
Tofu: Beautiful, Delicious and Oh So Good for You!
Most people think that tofu is this white blob that is bland tasting, plain and only eaten by vegetarians and vegans.
Actually, when prepared properly, tofu is one of the most nutritious, versatile and yes, flavorful food there is. Not to mention the health benefits that tofu gives.
The wonderful thing about tofu is that it can be created in a variety of textures, consistencies, and flavors. But the coolest thing about tofu is that it exceeds the nutritional value of most meat dishes. Yes, you heard that right folks!
While living in Hawaii, I was introduced to tofu rather quickly. There I learned to cook with tofu practically every day. My mother-in-law was always cooking something with tofu in it.
Most of the time I would cut the tofu into squares and stir fry it with fresh vegetables. With a little flavoring, such as oyster sauce, or low sodium soy sauce, both the tofu and the veggies would compliment each other wonderfully. It was delicious and I knew it was good for me, so I learned to acquire a taste for it.
After I moved back to the mainland, I actually found myself missing tofu in my meals, so I began cooking with it again and decided to see if I could find some recipes that added a little more flavor to the tofu.
Boy! Did I find recipes! I was in tofu heaven!
Even though I love my veggies, I am not a vegetarian nor a vegan. I happen to love my fish and chicken, and occasionally a good rib-eye.
If you are like me and love rich flavorful food, then tofu can be a wonderful and exciting addition to your meals. It will soak up all the flavors of any ingredient you use, not to mention the many different varieties of textures it can make.
Your taste buds will be delighted and thankful for such a rich food.
However, if you are a vegetarian or are thinking about becoming one, tofu is a perfect substitute for chicken, turkey and beef, and sometimes seafood. It’s called mock meat and tofu can be made into any mock meat for dishes that require it.
The Benefits of Tofu
Tofu is extremely nutritious with many health benefits. I try and make it a point to add tofu to at least 2 meals a week. It's very comforting for me to know that such a inexpensive, delicious, and flavorful food can be so beneficial and important in our daily diet.
The following tidbits of tofu are well worth knowing:
- Did you know that if you ate only two grams of tofu daily, it will help your body reduce the cholesterol it absorbs by more than 10% from the “not-so-healthy” things you consume?
- Tofu is also low in cholesterol, calories and fat, not to mention that it is an amazing source of high protein.
- Tofu is rich in B-vitamins and contains a ton of calcium. Calcium helps in the prevention of osteoporosis which is thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density.
- Tofu is rich in isoflavones. Isoflavones reduces risk osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancers.
- Tofu is also amazing for your digestive system as it is easy to digest due to the removal of soybean's fiber during the manufacturing process.
- Tofu helps maintain the level of good HDL cholesterol by lowering the levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
Now with all this wonderful information on our friend, “Tofu”, I would love to share with you this amazing, flavorful, healthy, and luscious recipe for “Italian Tofu Squares”
Italian Tofu Squares
This is one of my favorite recipes for Tofu. *You can lower the cholesterol count by using an egg substitute or 8 egg whites instead of the eggs.
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Preparation and Cooking Time
- 12 ounces tofu, sliced, drained well between paper towels
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
- 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese, divided in half
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano minced
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs, (put two slices of your favorite bread in the blender and finely chop)
- 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon butter
- Sauce (in a blender, puree the following)
- 1 Cup tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a blender container, combine tofu, eggs, cottage cheese, half of the Parmesan cheese, onion flakes, flour, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, and minced parsley. Blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture into an 8-inch square non-stick baking dish.
- Combine bread crumbs with remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle evenly over the top. Dot with butter.
- Bake 35 minutes, until set and lightly browned. Cut into squares to serve. While tofu is baking, pour sauce mixture into a saucepan and heat until bubbly.
- Serve over tofu squares.
- Add a garden fresh salad with lite Italian dressing and a glass of your favorite red wine.
Nutritional Value for Italian Tofu Squares
|Serving size: per serving|
|Calories from Fat||81|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 9 g||14%|
|Saturated fat 4 g||20%|
|Carbohydrates 12 g||4%|
|Sugar 3 g|
|Fiber 5 g||20%|
|Protein 19 g||38%|
|Cholesterol 10 mg||3%|
|* 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.|
About the Author
Lisa has directed and acted in musical theatre for nearly 30 years. Her musical upbringing allowed her to pursue her career in teaching and directing and continues to direct shows today. As the owner of 2 online Home Décor sites, Lisa’s passion for Rustic Living all begins with her love for the home, outdoors, and her many hobbies. Lisa loves to laugh, and she share’s that love through her comedic hubs centered on her MOM. Lisa’s passions include writing, directing, acting, photography, singing, cooking, crafts, gardening, and home improvement, including decorating. Lisa also writes under her penned name, Elizabeth Rayen.