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Tofu - Healthy, Delicious and Not Just for Vegetarians

Updated on August 30, 2013
Created by Elizabeth Rayen using LogoDesignPro
Created by Elizabeth Rayen using LogoDesignPro | Source
Created by Elizabeth Rayen using LogoDesignPro
Created by Elizabeth Rayen using LogoDesignPro | Source

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.

Source

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 & Fresh Garden Salad. Healthy and Delicious!
Italian Tofu Squares & Fresh Garden Salad. Healthy and Delicious! | Source

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.

How would you rate this recipe?

Cast your vote for Italian Tofu Squares

Preparation and Cooking Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Makes 4 servings
Italian Tofu Squares- Blend ingredients until smooth (#2 instructions)
Italian Tofu Squares- Blend ingredients until smooth (#2 instructions) | Source

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. 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.
  3. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square non-stick baking dish.
  4. Combine bread crumbs with remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle evenly over the top. Dot with butter.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve over tofu squares.
  7. Add a garden fresh salad with lite Italian dressing and a glass of your favorite red wine.

Nutritional Value for Italian Tofu Squares

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: per serving
Calories 225
Calories from Fat81
% Daily Value *
Fat 9 g14%
Saturated fat 4 g20%
Carbohydrates 12 g4%
Sugar 3 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 19 g38%
Cholesterol 10 mg3%
* 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.
Elizabeth Rayen
Elizabeth Rayen | Source

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.

Comments:Tofu - Healthy, Delicious, and Not Just for Vegetarians

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    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      ahhh.... understandable Cardisa. Well, I am still looking forward to reading your recipes! 3

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      The cottage cheese is okay but the Parmesan gives me a headache....lol

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

      Thanks Cardisa. I actually have fixed this recipe without the cheese and it still taste really yummy. It' great for those who cannot have cheese at all. :)

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      This is great! I love cheese but can't eat any at the moment but I would live to try this recipe.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Ahhhh thank you Vocal Coach! I am so glad you like it and congratualtions on the drop of blood pressure! Way to Go!!!!!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Fantastic Susan! There are so many ways you can use it and enhance it with herbs and spices! Because tofu is basically a "blank canvas", you can almost add it to anything! Enjoy!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Alert to all who read this terrific hub! I had never tried tofu - not even after living in Hawaii. After reading Lisa's hub, I decided to give it a try. I was skeptical. I am here to tell you that it is fantastic! The extra protein has given me much more energy and I now love the taste and add it to everything (even chocolate.) Tofu keeps me from getting hungry and my blood pressure has dropped.

      Thanks again RL!!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've never tried tofu. But after reading your hub I will. Just the fact that it will help your body reduce the cholesterol it absorbs makes me very interested in trying it.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I am!!!!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Very Cool. That sounds really yummy. I will have to try it that way. I never thought about putting maple syrup on my eggs. Will have to try that also!

      I made a stir-fried rice the other night. Will be writing a hub on it. It's an awesome recipe.

      Thanks for the vote!... Again! I think you are my number one fan! :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hey Lisa~I just want you to know that you have made a "tofu addict" out of me. Like you, I had no idea I would take to it the way I have. I add tofu to everything I cook, including my morning scrambled eggs.

      I also add a few sprinkles of turmeric, cinnamon powder and green onion along with the tofu. Then I add (after the egg mixture is all scrambled) just a little pure maple syrup Oh, it is sooo good.

      So thanks to you and your useful hub on tofu, I'm enjoying all my recipes so much more! Voted up for the 3rd time. :)

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thanks Audrey. I'm weaning my way to becoming vegetarian. Still love my fish and turkey though. It's a really yummy recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

      Lisa

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Great hub--I am vegetarian and so tofu is a way of life--maybe it will make up for all the bad eating I have done in the past!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      My pleasure Vocal Coach. I'm sure you will like it. When fixed that way, it's barely noticeable (Both texture and taste-wise)

      HSB- When I wrote this hub, I was actually planning on adding more tofu into my diet as well. That's what encouraged me to write it. I actually had it 3 times last week.. I'm actually surprised just how much I missed it. I'll be adding some more recipes soon- (Especially the ones with "more flavor".)

      Thank you both for your comments.

      Blessings,

      ~Lisa RC

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      Wow! I am going to have to give tofu a try once again. I need more protein, but do not need all the fat. The way I have had tofu in the past, we have not liked it. But if it were more flavorful, I think we could learn to like it. Especially with all the health benefits that you have mentioned!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh, thank you so much Lisa for such a complete answer. Yes, I do love salmon and will give your recipe a try soon. Sounds delicious. I really appreciate your quick response. Have a great evening! VC

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      The best way to introduce a food that you are not used to eating into your diet is to "Mask" it. I believe you said you were a vegetarian at one time. A lot of vegetarians eat fish. Salmon is the best way to use tofu.

      Put salmon from the can or fresh salmon(ground by butcher)in a mixing bowl. Take 1 cup of Tofu (Cut up into small squares) and place in bowl. Add 1 egg white(optional, but holds the patties together better. Add1/4 cup chopped green onion. Mix together with beater until you have a good mixture. Shape into patties and pan fry with olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Hope this helps! Thanks for your comments and questions VC.

      Blessings,

      ~Lisa RC

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Well...sounds like its time for me to begin introducing tofu into my diet. You have pretty much convinced me that I should have been eating it all long. What's the best way for me to begin (I don't like the taste and texture) so if you could help me I'd be eternally grateful.

      This is an amazing hub...but then all of your hubs are on my "Hall of Fame" list. Voted up and across!

      vocalcoach~

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you for stopping by Redelf. I understand what you mean. Unless you grew up with it, kids are the hardest ones to get to eat it. I appreciate your comments.

      Lisa ~RL

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

      I love tofu, and started using it when I was learning Chinese cookery. My kids won't eat it, but I add it to many stir-fry dishes. Thanks for a yummy looking recipe.

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you missolive. I appreciate your vote and visit to my hub. Here's to tofu!

      Blessings,

      ~Lisa

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      EXCELLENT! What a great hub Rusticliving. Lots of great information here. I used to eat quite a bit of tofu in my college days. I should start adding more to my diet.

      Thank you for sharing!

      voted up!

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      femme.. you are so right about all the different ways to prepare it. I think that's what I love about it.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting on this hub. I loved writing about it! Heck.. I love writing about food ... Period!

      Thanks for the vote up!

      Blessings,

      ~Lisa

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      R.L.,

      I'm a BIG tofu fan!! I'm not vegetarian, but I don't eat meat often, and didn't start using tofu as a substitute, although it's a great alternative.

      I just like the stuff independently because it's so versatile, tastes great and I feel when I eat it regularly.

      The vegetable photo you included looks tantalizing, and I'd love to try this recipe myself. But, another wonderful thing about tofu is, you can prepare it six ways from Sunday and stll not run out of options for cooking it!

      Excellent hub! Voted up!

      femme

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Rachel. I love BBQ Tofu. ok.. now I'm officially craving Tofu. :)

    • Rachel Richmond profile image

      Rachel Richmond 5 years ago from California

      I am making BBQ Tofu next week. It is so yummy. Great hub :)

    • Rusticliving profile image
      Author

      Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

      Cool! It is really yummy. I know you'll love it!

      Thanks cclitgirl!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Yum! I love tofu - and like you, I'm not a vegetarian. I love my veggies, too!! Mmmmm. I'm going to bookmark this so I can make me some tofu!!