Monday, December 15, 2008

Meatless Mondays

After weekends of increased eating out, holiday parties, and overall extra indulgences, we begin our week with "meat-less Mondays."  Actually, we probably eat meatless meals at least 3 times per week, but the only night it is a for sure, is on Monday.  For some, this may seem like a hardship, or a real sacrifice, but we love tofu, beans, veggie burgers, as alternative protein sources. 

Tofu is a soybean product made by curdling fresh soymilk.  Glamorous eh?  It is rich in protein, unsaturated fats and a good source of calcium, iron and phytoestrogens.  It can have a firm or silken (soft) texture, which adds to the versatility for cooking.  Tofu has very little flavor on it's own, but that's what makes it so wonderful to use in recipes.  It takes on the flavor of whatever you seasoning or marinade you choose. 

When using firm tofu as a meat substitute, I usually "press" it first, to get all the liquid out. ( How To Press Tofu ) If I'm in a pinch for time, I don't - it's not really necessary, but does help keep a sturdier texture.  Sometimes I will marinate tofu, other times, just add a seasoning blend and grill.  This particular time I made a glaze, a recipe I got off Bella Eats blog.  The glaze was so easy to throw together and was delish with the tofu.  When using a glaze, add in the last couple of minutes while tofu is cooking.  One of the other benefits of cooking with tofu is how fast and easy it is to use.  Tofu is something I can easily fall back on when we get home late, and didn't think to pre-thaw any meat, fish, etc.  This recipe took about 10 minutes start to finish. 

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Glazed Tofu from Bella Eats (and runs)

  • 1/4 cup veggie broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Mix the above ingredients and set aside.  Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat, and a tsp. or so of canola oil.  Add tofu and let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until browned slightly.  Flip it and cook an additional 4-5 minutes before adding the glaze.  Let glaze and tofu cook an additional 1-2 minutes. 

Look for more meat-less main dishes in the coming Mondays...

4 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm so glad you two liked the tofu method, its my favorite way to cook tofu because its so delicious and easy! :) Love the meatless mondays...I think our healthiest meals are always on Mondays to make up for whatever indulgences we had over the weekend! :)

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  2. Mmmmm. That looks delicious. I eat meat-free a lot of the time, but have been eating more meat lately for now apparent reason. I LOVE tofu, especially since it's cost efficient and so easy to doll up.

    BTW, I chose you for an award on my blog because I enjoy stopping by so much. Feel free to stop by and check it out.

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  3. I completely agree with you that going meatless on Monday is a great way to live healthier and cheaper. Meatless Monday is a public health initiative, I just started working for, which encourages Americans to cut meat from their diets once a week (we suggest Mondays, hence the name...) The Meatless Monday mission is to help prevent rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer- the four leading causes of death in the US; all preventable. Had you heard of the campaign or did you come up with your Meatless Monday tradition on your own?

    The website can be a great place to find all kinds of healthy meatless recipes. This week's theme is Soul of Soy and features some great Soy Crepes and Lemon Soymilk Pudding recipes. If you're looking for family friendly, healthy, meatless recipes, you should check out the Meatless Monday Recipe archives, http://www.meatlessmonday.com/recipearchive. They even have a special Quick Sautes and an On the Go sections on their recipe archives, perfect for busy families. Meatless Monday is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, so it can also be an excellent resource for health and wellness articles and tips.

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  4. Joey,
    I had no idea that it was an initiative, just something we came up with ourselves.

    As a registered dietitian, I am all for getting more people to eat a few "meatless" meals per week, and especially enjoy the benefits of soy.

    Thanks for the link to the site, and the great info. and recipes.

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