Tag Archives: nutrition

Tofu Sandwich

Today, I want to show you how to make breaded tofu without using eggs. And then… how to make a delicious sandwich with it.

First of all, remember the egg substitution list? well, today we will be using ground flaxseeds for the breaded tofu. So keep that in mind.

Second, for the sandwich,  we are going to learn to make a carrot mayo and a mix of yummy veggies to go with it.

Recipe for: about 2 servings           Serving size: 1 sandwich             Total Cook and prep. time: 1hr.

Ingredients 

Breaded Tofu

  • 1 box of organic firm tofu (I used Nasoya®)
  • original style bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp of grounded or milled flax seeds (I used Stober Farms®)
  • 12 tbsp of water
  • salt and lemon pepper seasoning (I used Badia® a spanish brand)

Carrot Mayo

  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • salt and garlic seasoning

Sandwich filling

  • 1 cup of organic arugula and spinach mix
  • vegan mozzarella sliced cheese (I used GoVeggie®)
  • 1/3 of a cup of green onions
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • imitation bacon bits
  • salt
  • leek seasoning (I used Alicante® seasoning) but you can season it with the herbs you like.
  • Whole grain sandwich bread! (I used my favorite! Silver Hills® Squirrelly Bread)

Directions 

Breaded Tofu

1- Mix the grounded flaxseeds with the water, salt and lemon pepper in a bowl.

2- Wash and drain tofu. Cut it in “cassette” size rectangles (about 1 inch thick)

3- Just like you would bread with eggs, cover the tofu all around with the flaxseed mixture and then pass through the bread crumbs.

4- Cook in the oven until the bread is golden enough and hard enough to not fall apart. You will need to turned them one time. Be careful, it will fall apart more than tofu breaded with eggs, try to not let the bread fall off the tofu.

Carrot Mayo

1- Peel the carrots. Cut them very small. Cook with enough water to cover them.

2- When they’re soft let them cool down and then blend with the olive oil, lemon juice, some salt and garlic seasoning until creamy.

3- Refrigerate.

Sandwich filling

1- Saltee green onions, imitation bacon bits and mushrooms (washed and sliced) with olive oil, salt and leek seasoning.

2- When making the sandwich, use a whole grain sandwich bread and add all the components: carrot mayo, breaded tofu, mushrooms, vegan cheese and fresh arugula and spinach.

All done! Enjoy!

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Our Daily Breakfast: “The Oatmeal”

Every time we want to loose some weight I make oatmeal for breakfast everyday for weeks! I know it sounds delirious, but it works and we love it so much that we have to have it every day! Plus, it is high in fibers, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that help lower the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and even some cancers.

This is a healthy and complete breakfast dish that will help you loose weight and will never leave you hungry because the amount fibers it has will satisfy you for hours. Sounds amazing right!?

By the way, this oatmeal is easy to make and you don’t even have to cook it! I got the idea from a recipe shared by Joan, a wonderful nurse who volunteers as one of the lifestyle coaches at Creation Health in Florida Hospital Flagler, a program my husband and I volunteer coaching in as well.  She showed us how to make an oatmeal that didn’t need to be cooked, could be eaten cold and that is not slimy (a “plus” for me). I changed the recipe a little by trying different fruits and milks until I came up with our absolute favorites! I named them: “Coconut Please”, “The Monkey”, “Berries”, and “Kiwapple”.

What you need to know are 2 basic steps.

STEP 1: Leave the oats and the rest of the ingredients on step 1 (they will vary depending on the oatmeal) soaking overnight in the milk (or juice in the case of the “We’re out of Milk oatmeal”)

STEP 2: In the morning, wash, cut and add the fresh fruits.

Basic Ingredients (so you know what to buy): Old Fashion Oats (whole wheat better), Coconut Milk or Almond Milk, Raisins or dried Cranberries , Shredded Coconut, Vanilla extract, Fruits (blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, mango, etc.)  

1

“COCONUT PLEASE” OATMEAL

MY FAVORITE!

Ingredients (for 2 portions)

For STEP 1

  • ¾ of a cup of Old Fashion Oats
  • About 1 cup of Pure Coconut Milk (I use Silk®)
  • 2 tbsp. of raisins
  • 2 tbsp. of shredded coconut

For STEP 2

  • About ¾ of a cup of blueberries
  • ½ a mango
  • 1 apple (I prefer to peel it because of the texture, but if you get more nutrients by not peeling it)

Just follow the STEP 1 and 2!

2

“BERRIES” OATMEAL

For the “berry” lovers!

Ingredients (for 2 portions)

For STEP 1

  • ¾ of a cup of Old Fashion Oats
  • About 1 cup of Almond Milk (I use Silk®)
  • 2 tbsp. of dried cranberries (to make it more berry!)
  • 2 tbsp. of shredded coconut

For STEP 2

  • About ¾ of a cup of blueberries
  • 5 or 6 strawberries
  • 1 apple

Just follow the STEP 1 and 2!

3

“THE MONKEY” OATMEAL

MY HUBBY’S FAVORITE!

Ingredients (for 2 portions)

For STEP 1

  • ¾ of a cup of Old Fashion Oats
  • About 1 cup of Almond Milk (I use Silk®)
  • 2 tbsp. of raisins
  • 2 tbsp. of shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract

For STEP 2

  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple (again, peeling the apple its totally up to you)
  • 5 or 6 strawberries

Just follow the STEP 1 and STEP 2!

4

 “KIWAPPLE” OATMEAL

For those who forgot to buy milk!

Ingredients (for 2 portions)

For STEP 1

  • ¾ of a cup of Old Fashion Oats
  • ½ cup of 100% Orange Juice (I use Indian River®)
  • About ¼ cup of water
  • 2 tbsp. of raisins
  • The juice of a 8 oz. can of Pineapple Tidbits

For STEP 2

  • 8 oz. of Pineapple Tidbits
  • 1 Kiwi
  • 1 Peach

Just follow the STEP 1 and  2!

You can try your own versions, add cinnamon, use cranberries instead of raisins or use both, mix and match fruits, use Soy milk or other veggie milks, add nuts, coconut cream! Just watch out on how much more calories you add to it! Enjoy!

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Dairy-free Dare: dairy substitutions for vegans

Looking for a way to substitute dairies in your diet? You came to the right place! Keep reading! It is easy and accessible!

cow

Personally, I find that dairies are essential in cooking. Many of my favorite dishes have either cream, milk or cheese. So for me, it is very important to know how to replace them. There are many options of vegetable milks (no animal milk) that are mainly from nuts and cereals. Some are better for cooking, while others are better for drinking and it will all come down to what taste you like the most. My preferences? I love to drink almond milk, cook with coconut milk, substitute cheese with tofu and use cashews as cream. Try it for yourself! Here is a list of ideas for dairy replacements:

Milk Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, Cashew Milk, Coconut Milk, Peanut Milk, Flax Milk. There are some grain milks from oats, rice, rye, quinoa, spelt and einkorn wheat, but they are lower in proteins and higher in carbohydrates compared to cow milk. Common milk replacement brands are: Silk®, Blue Diamond®,

So Delicious Dairy Free®, Living Harvest Tempt®, Pacific Naturals®, Good Karma®, FlaxUSA®, Rice Dream®, Organic Valley®, Kirkland®, 365®, Thai Kitchen®, Goya®…

Cream Soy Cream, Cashew Cream, Coconut Cream.
Butter* Vegetable oils like: coconut oil, canola oil, olive oil, sesame oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, grape oil, sunflower oil or No-trans fats Margarine spreads, for example: Country Crock®, I Cant Believe is Not Butter®, Earth Balance® (NOT Smart Balance)
Buttermilk Homemade Vegan Buttermilk: Soy or Almond milk + 1 tbsp. of white vinegar or lemon juice (MIX)
Yogurt* Look for Vegan yogurt recipes or buy Soy Yogurt like Whole Soy & Co®. Cultured Coconut Milk or Cultured Almond Milk like So Delicious Dairy Free®.
Sour cream* Greek Soy yogurt, Tofutti® Non-Hydrogenated Better than Sour Cream
Homemade Vegan Sour Cream: 16oz of Silken Tofu + 1 tbsp. of Olive oil + 4 tsp. of lemon juice

OR

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or 2 tsp. more of lemon juice instead) + 1 tsp. of brown sugar + 2tsp. of salt.

Blend all together until smooth and creamy and put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to thicken.

Cheese, cream cheese, cottage, ricotta* Silken Tofu for cream cheese and crumble for ricotta or cottage. See also commercial vegan cheeses like: GoVeggie®, Follow Your Heart®, Daiya®, Tofutti® Non-Hydrogenated Better than Cream Cheese
Creamer* Silk® Creamer (vanilla, original or hazelnut)
Ice cream* Soy based, Rice based and Nut based Ice creams like So Delicious Dairy Free®.

REPLACEMENT OPTIONS BY DISH TYPE

Savory dishes (Creams, mashed potatoes, sauces, salad dressings, curry, stroganoff, etc.)

  • Plain Almond Milk
  • Plain Soy Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Cashew Milk
  • Plain Flax Milk
  • Original or plain Hemp Milk

Savory creamy dishes (soups, curry, stroganoff, Alfredo sauce)

  • Unsweetened coconut milk or cream
  • Cashew cream

Cheesecakes

  • Tofu

Sweet dishes (cereal, desserts, smoothies, etc.)

  • Rice Milk (it is naturally sweet!)
  • Almond Milk – any flavor (plain, vanilla, chocolate, etc.)
  • Soy Milk – any flavor (plain, vanilla, cappuccino, chocolate, etc.)
  • Flax Milk (plain or vanilla)
  • Coconut Milk (sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla)
  • Hemp milk (original, vanilla or chocolate)

 Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 3.29.00 PM

Since were talking about vegan replacements, if you are interested, here are some options to substitute meat, broths and sugar:

MEATS* Protein Equivalents: Tofu and soy products or Vegan dairies above, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) or nuts (cashew, almond, peanuts, walnuts) best if combined with a cereal (e.g. Rice and beans, hummus and pita bread, minestrone soup)
To replace the taste*Best brands out there Gardein®, Quorn®, Yves®, Light Life®, 365® (Whole Foods), Vitasoy®, Amys®, Wildwood®, etc.
BROTHS Vegetable broth or water with herbs.
SUGAR* Best: Stevia, Truvia®, Sweetleaf, Agave and Whey Low. Other (not the best but better than plain sugar): Splenda®, Honey and Brown or Cane sugar.

*All the commercial brands listed are suggestions of the best considered options of Vegan products available. Most products are Organic, have No-trans Fats, are GMO free, MSG free and some are Gluten free. It is still recommended to consume moderate amounts of processed foods. Most can be found at Publix and Target, some even at Wal-Mart.

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Basic Cashew Cream and more

Recipe for: about 2 cups of cream
Total Cook and prep. time: over night (or 1hr) + 15-20 minutes.

This is a basic recipe for a cashew cream that can be used to replace dairy cream in  many recipes like lasagnas, soups, stroganoff, deserts, etc. Check out the 2 basic steps:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • ½ – 2 cups of cold water (depending on the consistency of cream desired)

Directions (2 basic steps): 

Step 1: Leave cashews covered with cold water over night or boil them for 1 hour before anything else.

Step 2: The next day or after boiling them, drain the water and place cashews in a blender or food processor with ½ a cup of fresh water and blend until smooth for a very creamy result. Keep adding water if you want a more liquid result.It took me about 5 min. from when I started blending everything until I got to the desired texture. 

NOW STOP. Now you know how to make cashew cream. You can use it like this, even freeze it for later or you can keep adding ingredients to the blender and transform this base cream into a pesto, mushroom sauce, Alfredo sauce or a simple sweet cream.

Next, you will see 2 different options for “step 3” that I believe to be the most important in my vegan kitchen: the famous vegan Alfredo sauce and vegan Chantilly cream. I called them Alfredo’s Cousin Sauce and Cashewlly Cream.

ALFREDO’S COUSIN SAUCE

Pasta with Alfredo’s Cousin Sauce and Kale

Extra ingredients: (cashew cream +)

  • 1 ½ tsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp. of minced garlic or 2 cloves of garlic.
  • ½ tsp. of salt
  • ½ tsp. of pepper
  • ½ cup of coconut milk (if on the base cream you only used ½ cup of water)
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil (optional)

If you want the texture to be more liquid, add more coconut milk.

Step 3: Blend all the ingredients with the base cream and warm up over stove.

Collard greens’ cuscous wrap with tomato sauce & Alfredo’s Cousin Sauce.

This Alfredo sauce goes very well with whole grain pasta and steamed vegetables! You can also use it on casseroles, pizzas, vegetables, enchiladas, lasagnas, in a sandwich or even in tacos. It is amazing!

 CASHEWLLY CREAM

Strawberries topped with Cashewlly Cream

Extra ingredients: (cashew cream +)

  • 3 tbsp. of honey or agave syrup (if you are diabetic use Stevia)
  • ½ tsp. of vanilla extract (if you want, you can use orange extract or coconut extract for another taste profile)

Step 3: Blend all the ingredients with the base cream and put in the refrigerator.

You can use this cream over any dessert. I love it over fresh fruits like strawberries, peaches, mangos, apples or blueberries. Enjoy!!!

Something extra…

 CASHEW MILK

To make Cashew Milk simply add more water to the basic cashew cream. Have in mind that to make cashew milk the ratio of cashews to water is 1 to 4. So, 1 cup of cashews will need 4 cups of water (5 cups of milk) You can add some flavor by adding 1 ½ tsp. of vanilla extract or 1-2 tbsp. of honey or agave, or even some chocolate! Try and see!

If your blender can’t totally break down the cashews you can strain the milk through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Store the milk in a covered container in the refrigerator and it can last 3 to 4 days.

ENJOY!

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“Veganana Bread”

As I promised to some of you, here it’s my banana bread recipe, another vegan (eggless) recipe. Enjoy!!!! 

banana bread no egg

Recipe for: about 12 servings
Serving size: 1 slice
Calories per portion: 281kcal.
Total Cook and prep. time: 1hr. 15 min.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 tbsp of ground flaxseed
  • 6 tbsp of water
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower oil (or canola, or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup of raw almonds (or peanuts, or walnuts)
  • about 1 tbsp of sweetened coconut flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and spray with a non stick vegetable spray the a loaf pan (I used a 8.5inch loaf pan).
  2. In a small container mix the ground flaxseed and water and set aside. You will want to use it when it becomes gelatinous (this is what replaces the eggs).
  3. Chop the almonds, but not too much. Set aside with the raisins.
  4. In a bigger container mix all the dry ingredients except the sugar (all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt)
  5. Mash the bananas with a fork and add them in another container together with the sugar and wet ingredients (sunflower oil, mixture of flaxseeds and water and vanilla extract)
  6. Mix dry and wet ingredients. When mixed add raisins and almonds. (I used my Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer in speed 2)
  7. Put the butter in the loaf pan and sprinkle the top with coconut flakes.
  8. Leave in the oven for exactly 1 hour (check with a toothpick, it should come out clean). Let cool down before cutting and eating.

banana bread 14Nutritional facts: a slice of this banana bread contains enough protein  to cover 6%DV (3g), has 41g of Carbohydrates, a total of 12g of Fats and the majority of them are monounsaturated fats. It also covers 12%DV of Fiber,  3.4%DV of Calcium, 5.5%DV of Iron, 7.5%DV of Vitamin C, 8%DV of Vitamin B6, 7%DV Potassium, 4%DV of Zinc, 1%DV of Magnesium and 8%DV of Phosphorus. It only has 56g of Sodium, it does not have any Cholesterol or Trans-Fats.

References:

1- Eva May Hamilton/Eleanor Whitney. Nutrition Concepts and Controversies. 1980 RDA Edition. West Publishing Co. 50 West Kellogg Boulevard P.O. Box 3526 St. Paul, Minnesota 55165. Appendix H: Table Of Food Composition.

2- Michele Grodner/Sara Long Andersong/Sandra DeYoung. Foundations and Clinical Applications of Nutrition. A Nursing Approach. Mosby-Year Book, Inc. 11830 Westline Industrial Drive St. Loius, MO 63146. Appendix A: Food Composition Table.

3- www.NutritionData.com a data base with information from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and supplemented by restaurants and food manufacturers.

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Carro Cupcakes

A Vegan Carrot Cupcakes with A Not- so- Vegan Frosting

carrot cupcake

Recipe for: 12 cupcakes
Serving Size: 1 cupcake
Calories per Serving: 200Kcal (without frosting)
Nutritional Value:
This cupcake contains about 2.8g of Protein and 2.25g of Fiber. Covers about 35.5% of Vitamin A, 7.5% of Calcium, 6.5% of Iron and it also contains Vitamins E, B12, D, C, and Riboflavin. It contains omega 3 fatty acids, is low in saturated fats and has 0 Trans Fats.*

Approximate cook and prep time: 40 minutes

CARROT CUPCAKES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • ½ tsp. of salt
  • 1 cup of raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. of ground flaxseeds
  • 3 tbsp. of water
  • 1 1/3 cup of shredded or processed carrots
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut
  • more shredded coconut to decorate

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F° and line a cupcake tine with 12 paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together whole-wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Mix ground flaxseeds with water and let it rest until it gets a gelatinous texture.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together raw sugar, coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract, and flaxseeds’ mixture.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to together to combine. I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer in speed 4 for about 2 minutes.
  • Gradually mix in shredded carrots and coconut (leave some to decorate). You want a lot of carrots, but you do not want them to take over and become the majority of the cupcake batter.
  • Use an ice cream scooper to evenly distribute the cupcake batter throughout the line cupcake tin.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. When a toothpick can be inserted into the center of a cupcake and removed with few to no crumbs, they are done. Cool before frosting.

FROSTING

The reason why I called the cupcake a “carrot cupcake with a no-so-vegan frosting” is because I used Dulce de Leche as a frosting (a milk-base caramel). Yes, I made an exception in my diet but you don’t have to. You can make a caramel or look for a vegan frosting that you like. I simply used Dulce de Leche and sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. Enjoy!!!

References:

Source: Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21.

*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

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Tofu for U

Tofu? What is it?  

Tofu comes from the soybean and it was first used in China and Korea. It was introduced to the USA population in 1906 when Sing Hau Lee opened a Tofu shop in San Francisco, California. Tofu can also be called doufu, tahu or tohu. Today, as it also was back then, tofu is not only used for its nutritional value but also as a “natural medicine”. Tofu can help the body get rid of toxins and cleanses the intestines. The Chinese also uses tofu to cure dysentery and jaundice. It also helps lower the risk of heart disease because as it lowers cholesterol and blood pressure!1,2,6.

Why is it good?

Today, because of its texture and protein value, tofu is used to produce many meat-replacement foods such as ground veggie meats, hamburgers, hotdogs, cheeses and more. Tofu and soy products in general became the favorite ingredient to most meat-like vegetarian dishes. Tofu is also great substitute to dairy products. Nowadays, there’s tofu cheesecake, ice cream, soymilk, cheese, cream cheese, lasagna, pastas, tofu everything! Tofu is very versatile and useful. In addition, if you are allergic to lactose, soy products are a great option.1,2.

What is its nutritional value?

The nutritional value of tofu can vary depending on the type of tofu and its brand, but here are some general facts: in 4oz (112g) of firm tofu there is 114 calories (4oz of cooked chicken breast is about 220kcal; 4oz of filet mignon about 360kcal); 11.7g of protein (about the same as 2oz of meat or 4oz of egg whites); 6.8g of the called “good fats” (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) because they don’t harm our blood vessels (opposite of saturated found in meats); 2.5mg of sodium (compare to cottage cheese that has about 256mg!); 2mg of iron (about the same as an egg or tuna fish) and 57.2mg of calcium (about 4 times more than 4oz of steak or a hamburger!). Also, the soybean is one of the few legumes that have a complete protein; in other words, it has all the essential amino acids our body needs. Also, the percentage that the body utilizes for tissue building (Net Protein Utilization or NPU) is 65% only 2% less than meat.1,2.

How does it lower cholesterol?

Tofu has two substances called Lecithin and Linoleic acid, which that help break down cholesterol and fat deposits in the organs and blood. So we can say that tofu not only has no cholesterol whatsoever but can also help lower cholesterol levels. A study case that shows it, involved a man from Tennessee who had a total cholesterol level of 300 and dropped it to 220 by only adding tofu to his diet. Another case with hospitalized patients showed that in 14 days, their cholesterol levels dropped 20% by eating soy-based foods. Tofu, like any other soy product, contains a phytochemical called isoflavones that also lowers total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in plasma. There are several studies that affirm this. One of them was done in Japan with 115 women who had tofu in their diets and showed a lower incidence of coronary heart disease than women from other countries.1, 5.

Varieties: How can I use them?

There are three types of tofu: silken, soft and firm. Silken and soft tofu have fewer calories than firm but also fewer proteins and calcium. Silken is usually used in creamy sweet desserts such as cheesecakes, sauces, smoothies or soups. Soft is used in fillings for lasagnas, quiches, frittatas, sandwiches or purees. Firm tofu is used for hamburgers, veggie meats and patties, and recipes that need a firmer texture such as egg-like scramble, breaded tofu, stir-fry, etc. My favorite property is the fact that tofu has a very bland flavor and its texture is porous, so it takes on any flavor you add with ease. You can make it taste like chicken, beef or fish and it’s perfect for sweet or spicy dishes.1,2

How to store it?

Tofu can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4 months from the production date printed on the package (if not opened). However, you should always check the container for an expiration date. If at any point you open the package and you were not able to cook it, you can store it by putting it in a covered container with cold water in the refrigerator; but you will need to change the water daily until cooked. Do not do this for more than 10 days. Cooked  tofu (according to the “text books”) can be stored for 24hrs but deep-fried only up to 10 days.It can also be frozen for about 3 months but you need to be aware of the defrosting process. When you freeze the tofu in its container you need to know that the tofu will expand. Now, to defrost the tofu soak the container in warm water for a couple of minutes. After that, open the container and drain the water. Be mindful that the tofu will have a strong ammonia smell; that means its fresh. Place the tofu in a bowl and cover with hot water (do not pour it directly to the tofu), let soak for just 4 minutes. Pour off the hot water and add new warm water. Press tofu several times under water with your hands so all the “milky” ammonia comes out. Do this gently; you do not want the tofu to break apart. Discard that water and repeat until no more “white water” residue comes out. Take tofu out of the water and press one more time. After that, how you cook it is your choice!3,4.

What tofu is the best to buy?

The tofu I like to use is Nasoya because I love the fact that it is certified organic; by the way, did you know it was one of the first commercial tofu in the USA? Also, be conscious of other soy products, there are a lot of Genetically Modified soy out there, read labels and choose organic and GMO free! Now, if you buy it and the container is already expanded like about to burst, do not eat it as this usually indicates that something in the refrigeration process something went wrong.

So, what to remember?

Tofu is a great source of protein, calcium, and it is low in calories and do to the types of fats and phytochemicals that it contains, it reduces the risk of heart disease! It is a very versatile ingredient; it can be used in a lot of dishes and take on a lot of flavors. It’s a great option to substitute meat!

What to do?

Go ahead and make this tasty tofu no-egg frittata or just sauté tofu with veggies and eat it with rice or noodles. Deep-fry it or use it in a lasagna or smoothie. Bake a cheesecake! Be adventurous; try new flavors, research for recipes and enjoy!2

My favorite Tofu 🙂

References: 

1 John Paino/Lisa Messinger. The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine. Avery 1991.  United States of America. Pgs. 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 15, 17, 18, 21, 23.

2 Jack Norris/ Virginia Messina. Vegan for Life. First Da Capo Press Edition 2011. United States of America. Pgs. 19, 44, 121.

3  William Shurtleff/Akiko Aoyagi. The Book of Tofu: Food for Mankind, Volume 1. Autumn Press Inc. MA, USA. Pgs.30, 230.

4 Alimentos: Introduccion Tecnica y Seguridad. 2 Edicion 2003. Buenos Aires Argentina. Pg.34, 269.

5 Yusuke Arai/Shaw Watanabe/Mitsuru Kimira/Kayoko Shimoi/Rika Mochizuki/Naohide Kinae. Dietary Intakes of Flavonols, Flavones and Isoflavones by Japanese Women and the Inverse Correlation between Quercetin Intake and Plasma LDL Cholesterol Concentration. –The Journal of Nutrition: Human Nutrition and Metabolism. Downloaded on August 5, 2013 from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/9/2243.full.pdf+html

6An Pan/Oscar H. Franco/ Jianping Ye/ Wendy Demark-Wahnefried/Xingwang Ye/Zhijie Yu, Huaixing Li/and Xu Lin. Soy Protein Intake Has Sex-Specific Effects on the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged and Elderly Chinese. The Journal of Nutrition: Nutritional Epidemiology. Downloaded on August 5, 2013 from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/12/2413.full.pdf+html

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Tofrittata

Recipe for 4 portions
Portion size: ¼ of the frittata
Calories per portion: 268 kcal
Carbohydrates: 20.5g
Proteins: 18g
Total fats: 12.6g
Saturated fats: 0.75g
Mono saturated fats: 4.8g
Total time: 1 hr.

Yes, I called this frittata a tofrittata because is made with tofu 🙂

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups of diced zucchini

1½ tbsp. olive oil

½ cup diced onion

1 cup diced potato

1 tbsp. garlic, minced

1/3 cup diced tomatoes

1 tbsp. of chopped parsley

1 ½ tbsp. of basil

14 oz. of firm tofu

½ cup water

4 tsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast

1 tsp. prepared mustard 

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. turmeric

1/8 tsp. black pepper

PROCEDURES

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a pan over medium heat, sauté the potatoes in the olive oil for 5 minutes

3

Add the onion, and sauté until translucent.

4

Add the zucchini and garlic and sauté until all are just soft.

5

Add the tomatoes, basil and parsley and sauté until warm, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

6

In a food processor, combine the tofu, water, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, turmeric, and pepper. Process until smooth.

7

In a large bowl, fold the sautéed vegetables into the tofu mixture and spoon the mixture into an oiled quiche or pie pan.

8

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the frittata is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

References:

Michele Grodner/ Sara Long Anderson/ Sandra DeYoung. Foundations and Clinical Applications of Nutrition. A Nursing Aproach. Mosby-Year Book, Inc. 1996. United States of America. Food Composition Table.  Appendix A.

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Zucchini and Bikini

Did you know the zucchini is one of the vegetables with the fewest calories? Or did you know that you could use it in a variety of dishes? Eat healthy and get ready for the summer! The zucchini is a fantastic option!

Article-zucchinis

The zucchini is an herbaceous plant from the cucurbit family, its scientific name is Cucurbita pepo but it is known not only as zucchini but also as Italian squash, summer squash, cousa squash, crockneck squash, bubango, courgette, long squash, among several other names depending on the country and variety.1,2

The zucchini looks almost like a cucumber, it is about 6 to 10 inches long, it can be light green, dark green or yellow and the skin is thin, soft and tender. It has two different flowers that are usually used as a garnish, eaten fried or as an ingredient in a stuffing or soup.3

This vegetable is composed of about 94% water making it one of the lowest-calorie vegetable. A whole medium zucchini has less than 3 calories and one cup (124g) of sliced ​​zucchini has less than 20 calories! That is fewer than the calories in a medium apple!3,4

The zucchini is also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and β-carotene. A medium zucchini covers between 25% to 35% of an adult’s Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin C, about 6% of the RDI of folic acid (B9), about 250mg of potassium and sufficient amount of β-carotene that the body converts to Vitamin A to cover 5% to 10% of the RDI. It also has moderate amounts of B vitamins including thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6), riboflavin (B2) as well as minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. One zucchini has about 2g of fiber.3

In order to get as much nutrients as possible it is important to consume the zucchini (or any vegetable for that matter) with its skin and consider the different cooking methods. Eating it raw is best. Baking, steaming, grilling and sautéing looses fewer nutrients than cooking at higher temperatures such as boiling, frying or cooking for a prolonged time. Also, some of these methods, such as frying or sautéing, add calories to it from the absorption of fat during the process of cooking. The more we chop and cut the more nutrients are lost. The vitamins with the greatest loss during the cooking process are the vitamin C and the B vitamin group.5

One thing you should know is that zucchinis loose a lot of water while cooking, so if you are making a “dry” dish, you can avoid all that water by cutting the zucchinis before cooking, sprinkling them with salt and letting them sit over a napkin for a little bit. Doing that will eliminate some water and also avoid that “bitter” taste that some zucchinis have – just make sure to rinse the salt and cook as normal. Another thing to know is that they “shrink” to about half their size so you might need more quantity than you think. When you buy zucchinis make sure they’re firm. If they bend a little they’re old already. Also, have in mind that you need to store them in the fridge and they last up to 7 days.3,5.

The zucchini, like the cucumber, can be added to salads and sandwiches or you can eat it raw as a snack with a light dressing, guacamole or hummus. You can add the zucchini to stews, soups, lasagnas, pizzas, ratatouille, paella, rice, you can grill it, bake it, bread it, stuff it, use it in a soufflé, quiche, bread, cakes or muffins … Anyways, it is a vegetable that can be used in many different dishes.

Use your imagination and eat healthy! Say yes to the zucchini and get ready for summer! I leave you with two recipes inspired by my mother-in-law 🙂 Zucchini and Bikini! My slogan this month!

References:

1 Online. June 6, 2013. from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/zucchini?s=t

2 Online. Junio 10, 2013.Linné, Carl von, Species Plantarum, vol. 2, p.1010, 1753. http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/359031#page/452/mode/1up

3 Food that Harm Foods that Heal. The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. Pleasantville, New York/Montreal. Fifth printing, May 1998. Pg.380

4 Michele Grodner, EdD CHE/Sara Long Anderson, PhD, RD/Sandra DeYoung, PhD, RN. Foundations and Clinical Applications of Nutrition. A Nursing Approach. 1996. Mosby-Year Book, Inc. 11830 Westline Industrial Drive. St. Louis, MO 63146. Appendix A Food Composition Table. Pg.  A-54

5 Roxana Medin/Silvina Medin. Alimentos: Introduccion Tecnica y Seguridad. 2da Edicion. Abril 2003. Ediciones Turisticad de Mario Banchik. Belgrano 3027, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pg. 17, 18, 24, 32, 235, 246.

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