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Thread: Tofu Surprises and WW

  1. #1
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    Tofu Surprises and WW

    I know what you're thinking...tofu...AUGH! I thought that too until a few years ago, when my husband and I decided to move towards a more plant-based diet. I then began looking for more interesting things to do with tofu and learned how tofu can replace animal products in many ways. Plus, it's cheap! Now that I'm on Weight Watchers, there's a new, added plus...tofu is a zero point food, which means that I can eat all I want of it and I don't even have to track it. I know that there a few other QB people out there that have also started WW recently, so I thought I'd start this thread to share tofu recipes.

    I love making a tofu scramble with lots of veggies and a few other things to enhance the taste, or to make it even more nutritious. I also make a tofu mayonnaise that most people in my family actually prefer to regular mayo. I don't know how many SPs regular mayo has, but my version has a lot less. Another favorite recipe I use all the time is homemade, tofu pasta. There are no eggs in this pasta and it is amazing! I'll share some of these recipes on this thread over the next week, or two and if anyone else is interested in this topic, please share.

    ~ C

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    Can't even find tofu here, unless in to the city for specialty shops, and then expensive.

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    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    I went to a Chinese restaurant and most of the food they brought to our table had tofu in it, I had never eaten it before and it was delicious. This was in China though, most Chinese restaurants are mostly Vietnamese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LenaBeena View Post
    Can't even find tofu here, unless in to the city for specialty shops, and then expensive.
    Wow...I've found tofu to be pretty common wherever I've traveled in this world and it's always very inexpensive. If you are interested in buying tofu, try looking in the produce section of your market for fresh tofu. You might also look for the shelf-safe packaged kind. It's called "silken tofu." It's in a carton and you can find it on the shelf, possibly near the international foods. Ask the store employees where it's located. I know that Safeway and Kroger owned markets carry it.

    ~C

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    Tofu Mayo

    I don't know what the calorie count is for this recipe, but I'm sure it is lower in calories than regular, or even soy mayonnaise that you buy in the store. It only has a small amount of oil in it and the rest is mostly just tofu. I use a food processor for this task, but a blender might work too. Just put all of the following ingredients in and give it a long whirl, until smooth and creamy. I use regular, fresh tofu, but many recipes that I've seen call for silken tofu. Either works fine, just drain and press the regular tofu first and then blend a little longer in the food processor. This recipe makes about a 1/2 pint.

    1/2 block of fresh, firm tofu (about 8 oz in weight,) drained and pressed*, or one carton of silken tofu.
    1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, according to taste
    1/2 teaspoon of black Himalayan salt. (Gives it a nice eggy taste)
    1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    spritz of lemon juice
    1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil. (Canola oil works fine too.)
    dash of turmeric
    2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast (Gives it an earthy, UMAMI , or savory taste.)

    You can play around with these ingredients to get the taste just right. IF it is too thick, just add a tiny amount of water and blend again.

    * You will need to press your fresh tofu to get some of the moisture out before you use it. It's really easy to do. I put mine in a wide, soup bowl and put another, identical soup bowl on top of the tofu. I put a smaller bowl of water on top of all of that and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. They make tofu presses, but I've always been too cheap to buy one. (You're lookin' a a scrappy quilter here, so you know I'm a penny pincher.)

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    I have a friend who's vegetarian and had been using tofu for sometime. Her doctor told her to quit using it. Some of the reason are in this article, one that it's genetically modified. Myself, it's a texture I don't care for so don't use it. Reminds me of suet we feed the birds.

    https://draxe.com/what-is-tofu/

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    After going thru all my cancer treatment I was told to stay away from soy products. My cancer was the hormone bases - so soy products are not for everyone.

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    Quiltingcandy, you are absolutely right. But if a person does not have a medical reason to avoid soy products, they are a great way of getting a small amount of estrogen which can really help with menopausal symptoms.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

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    Moderation in consumption sounds like a balance between "shouldn't eat" and "eat freely".
    I'll follow this for some ideas/recipes that may tempt me to try them.

    Tropit - Do you know what the shelf life (in the fridge) is for the mayo?
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Needles View Post
    I have a friend who's vegetarian and had been using tofu for sometime. Her doctor told her to quit using it. Some of the reason are in this article, one that it's genetically modified. Myself, it's a texture I don't care for so don't use it. Reminds me of suet we feed the birds.

    https://draxe.com/what-is-tofu/
    Most of the tofu available in our area is NOT genetically modified and is organic. However, that may not be the case in other areas. Look for ORGANIC, or NON-GMO on the label. Here are some of the brands that I frequently buy:

    Nasoya Organic Tofu
    Safeway's O Organic Tofu
    Wildwood Organic Tofu
    Hodo-Soy Organic Tofu

    I generally pay about $2/lb., but frequently buy it on sale for about $1 to $1.50/lb. One pound should serve about 4 people.

    Personally, I've never tried eating suet, so I don't know how the texture compares to tofu. I will tell you that tofu can take on a lot of different textures, depending on how it's prepared. In this recipe it is blended so smooth and creamy that you would never guess it wasn't mayonnaise. You might try baked tofu, or tofu crumbles in a different recipe for another kind of texture.

    I'm not a doctor, but I do know that there has been a lot of misinformation about tofu floating around lately. I'm not sure why. People all around the world have been eating tofu for hundreds of years with no ill effects. After all, it's just made from a bean.

    ~ C

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    Thanks GEMRM,

    My mayo lasts a couple of weeks in the fridge.

    As for buying tofu. Regular, fresh tofu can last a pretty long time if kept unopened in the fridge. I don't know exactly how long, possibly a couple of weeks. There is an expiration date on the package, just like on milk. (I'd go look in the fridge, but I just ran out of tofu.) Silken tofu that is packaged in shelf-safe cartons probably has a longer shelf life.

    I'll send over some more recipes this week.

    ~ C
    Last edited by tropit; 01-23-2018 at 04:57 AM.

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    Thank you for sharing! I adore tofu but have never used it in my own kitchen - must change that. Looking forward to more recipes, especially for pasta. If it is low-carb, I will really welcome it as a Type 2 diabetic. ;-)

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    I love tofu

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    I love tofu

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    tofu has no taste, it absorbs whatever flavors it is cooked in. It is so easy to cook with, you just need to learn which type to use and when. The 'hard' brick is best when sliced, dried well, marinated and then used where 'planks' would be used - a piece of meat, chicken strips or cubed in a salad. I use the 'soft' tofu in a chocolate pie (one of my kids is vegan) and it is always the desert requested by his friends. Being soy, it is very good for you and if folks want to try to go a bit more meatless, it is an easy thing to do without feeling 'deprived'.

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    There is a lot of conflicting information about soy products. I tend to look at the fact that so many people in other areas of the world eat lots of soy and actually have less health problems. Granted, if concerned, you should speak to your doctor, but ask them specifically why they feel as they might about soy. Remember - at one time, physicians thought tomatoes were a poison item!! And, massively over-milled Wonder bread was a wonder!

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    I saw a show that Alton Brown did on tofu and it made me interested in trying some. Before seeing the show, tofu's look and texture was a real turn-off. Now, I might try it, so bring on the recipes.

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    OK...as promised, here's another tofu recipe. This is for those of you that like to make your own, fresh pasta. I use a food processor for this recipe, but I suppose that you could also use a kitchenaid mixer...although, I've never tried that. Fresh pasta, done the Italian way, has an egg, or two in it. This recipe replaces the eggs with tofu and a few other seasonings. You can change this up many ways by adding other herbs and spices for taste, or color.

    My basic recipe is a variation of one taken from the Crossroads cookbook, by Tal Ronnen. (Mr. Ronnen also has a very popular, plant-based restaurant in Los Angeles for which this cookbook is named for.)

    Tofu Pasta

    1/2 package of firm tofu (about 7-8 oz,) drained
    3 cups of white flour
    3 Tablespoons of olive oil
    2-3 Tablespoons of water
    1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    1/4 teaspoon Himalayan black salt
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    dash of turmeric
    dash of cayenne

    Place all ingredients in the food processor and blend for about 2 minutes. The dough should come together and form a ball. Open up the processor and feel the dough between your fingers. It should be smooth and elastic. If it is dry and crumbly and hasn't formed a ball, add another tablespoon of water and blend again. If it is too moist and sticky, add a tablespoon of four and blend again. Once you get it to the right consistency, remove the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (I sometimes make a double batch and freeze half of it.)

    After chilling, sprinkle your work surface with four and knead the dough a few times until it becomes pliable and is easy to work with. Run it through our pasta maker, or roll out to make other shapes. That part is up to you.

    Cook in rapidly boiling, salted water for just 2-5 minutes. You may see the pasta float to the top of the pot as it finishes cooking. Voila!

    A few notes...

    -Himalayan black salt really makes the extraordinary flavor of this pasta. It has some sulfur in it that gives it an eggy taste. I found mine online. It's not that expensive and it will last you a long time. You can also use regular salt instead, if you're not into the black salt.

    -Nutritional Yeast also adds a great taste...almost cheesy. Don't add too much though, or it will taste weird. Try half as much and see how you like it.

    -Turmeric and cayenne add some taste, but mostly color. Again, don't add too much...just a tiny bit. Turmeric can taste bitter if you go overboard on it and cayenne can get pretty spicy if you overdo it.

    If you try this, lemme know how you like it.

    ~ C

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    Thank you so very much! Sounds quite easy and I can use my pasta machine for the first time. ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tropit View Post
    ... I don't know how many SPs regular mayo has, but my version has a lot less...
    I did go to WW and calculate out how many points the tofu mayo has...1SP per Tablespoon. At least, that's what I come up with. I think that regular mayo has 3SPs. I'd be curious to see what anyone else comes up with.

    ~C

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    Tofu Salad

    I like this recipe a lot. I put the salad on a couple of pieces of toasted bread, or roll it up in a lavash, or tortilla. My husband always takes it to work for lunch in a sandwich form, piled high, with fresh lettuce, sprouts and tomatoes. I use tofu mayo in this recipe, but you could use regular mayo. Again, the Himalayan black salt really makes this recipe taste yummy, but you could go with plain old salt, if you want. For those of you on WW, tofu is a zero point food, so the total points for a big pile of this is only 2-3 points, depending on your portion and the amount of mayo you put in. You can also add all sorts of other veggies to it for free. A little curry powder makes this a bit more exotic. Pickle relish is good in it too, but it has a point, or two. The variations are endless. This basic recipe will serve about 4.

    1 block of extra firm tofu
    6-8 tablespoons of tofu mayo
    1/2 onion chopped
    2 stalks of celery chopped
    1 carrot chopped
    1 tablespoon of capers, drained
    1 teaspoon Dijion mustard
    1/4 teaspoon Himalayan black salt
    dash of black, or white pepper

    Drain and press the tofu, then cut into 1/2 inch cubes, put into a medium bowl and set aside. In a food processor, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse a couple of times until well blended, then combine with tofu an stir until mixed. You can add additional mayo if it seems too dry.

    *If you're not too worried about extra calories, try adding a handful of toasted cashews...delicious!

    ~ C

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    Tonight, I'm making Tofu Pad Thai! I'm gonna tweak a WW recipe. I'll post my version tomorrow, after I work out the kinks.

    ~ C

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    Here's my version of Tofu Pad Thai.

    1 block (12-14 oz.) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
    3 Tablespoons fish sauce*, or 1 Tablespoon kelp powder*
    2 Tablespoons soy sauce
    1/4 Cup fresh lime juice
    1 Tablespoon sugar
    1 Tablespoon Thai chili and garlic sauce
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 12 oz package "Pad Thai" brown rice noodles
    Hot water
    2-3 Tablespoons canola, or peanut oil
    1 Onion, chopped coarsely
    2 cloves of garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
    1 Red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
    1/2 crown of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
    1 carrot, sliced thinly
    1/4 Cup scallions, chopped medium-fine
    1 Cup mushrooms, chopped coarsely
    2 Cups mung bean sprouts
    1/2 Cup chopped peanuts, plain, unsalted
    1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped
    soy sauce and pepper to taste

    In a medium-size bowl, combine fish sauce*, or kelp powder*, soy sauce, fresh lime juice, sugar, and Thai chili and garlic sauce. Stir with a whisk until blended. Cut the drained tofu into 1/2" cubes and add to the bowl. Lightly toss tofu to coat with the sauce. Set aside to marinate for about 10 minutes, then drain well, reserving the marinade sauce. Heat up 1 Tablespoon of oil in a wok, or skillet until sizzling. Carefully add tofu only, (do not add sauce at this point) to the hot oil and saute over high heat until tofu cubes are lightly browned and have developed a skin. Remove tofu from oil, drain on a towel and set aside.

    Place the rice noodles in a separate bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to soak for at least 10 minutes, until soft and pliable. Drain and set aside.

    In a large wok, or skillet, heat up remaining oil over high heat until it sizzles when a drop of water is added. Add onions and stir fry until soft, add garlic and ginger and cook for another 10 seconds. Stir in the sauce from the tofu marinade, bell pepper, broccoli, carrot, scallions and mushrooms. Cook over high heat until vegetables are just starting to get soft. Add browned tofu cubes and bean sprouts and stir lightly. Add rice noodles and toss. Season to taste. Remove from heat and put in a large serving dish. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro. (Sriracha is always nice on it to if you like things spicy.)

    * Fish sauce is not always to everyone's liking, nor is it always easy to find. However, it does give that authentic taste. If you want fish sauce in your Pad Thai and can't find it in your local store, try ordering it online. I'm sure Amazon would carry it.

    If you are vegan, or vegetarian, you may not want to go with fish sauce. I recently found ground kelp powder in my local food co-op It has a similar, "oceany," taste, which I really like. I've never seen kelp powder anywhere else. If you are interested in it, again, try online, or you could probably grind up a sheet of nori, or kombu for that unique flavor. If you do try this option, please let me know how that works for you.

    ~ C

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    continued...I forgot to include the garlic and chili powder in the directions. Those go into the marinate.

    ~ C

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingcandy View Post
    After going thru all my cancer treatment I was told to stay away from soy products. My cancer was the hormone bases - so soy products are not for everyone.
    They definitely are not. Soy is one of high allergens along with wheat, corn and dairy so be careful with it. I have a lot of food sensitivities and soy and I don't get along at all.
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