Meatless Monday…Week 3…

 

Why Meatless Mondays?…

Lots of reasons but healthwise I know we should eat more plant-based meals not only for our health but for the environment…But there is so much information out there that to read, test and digest it takes a while …I have decided to do it in stages as to me it should be a permanent commitment and I wish to find some tasty dishes which are equal in taste to what I normally cook for my family.

I have stated many times that I will never be fully vegetarian or vegan as I believe in a healthy balanced diet coupled with exercise…but eating more plant-based meals seems to be the way to go…

One thing that has amazed me is the number of new names for eating plans…so many tarians…Please!

  • Pescatarians – people who do not eat meat, but eat fish.
  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarians – eat no meat, including seafood, but do eat dairy products and eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarians – eat dairy products but avoid eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarians – eat eggs but not dairy products

Why can’t we just say we eat a healthy varied diet? No fads and no avoiding of various food groups(unless) of course we have a diagnosed medical condition as to why we can’t eat a specific food item…Just sensible eating with some moderation applied to certain foods …I mean who wants to live on chocolate alone???…

Tofu: 

 

 

Not a product that I particularly like although it is very popular here in Asia and there are many types available…The only one I have tried thus far is the firm tofu and it was ok…

I have learnt that you need to get as much liquid as you can out of the tofu and indeed you can purchase tofu presses…

This is a passage from a post-Tori wrote on my blog about tofu a while ago...

As I mentioned to Carol when she asked if I’d like to do a post for her blog, I’m far from being an expert on tofu.  However, since I have picked up a few things over the years, and there are those who don’t know the first thing about what they’re meant to do with tofu, I thought I’d share a couple of tips to help anyone thinking of trying tofu get started.

So, here are my tips.  Others may have different opinions, but here’s what I have to say about tofu:

  1. Tofu works for sweet and savoury dishes.

Most people use tofu to make savoury dishes.  To be honest, that’s how I usually use it.  However, it can also be used to make sweet dishes.

Some ideas for using it include:

  • As a meat substitute in salads, curries, etc. It especially works well as a chicken substitute.  Just grill or fry it, and add it to your favourite dish.  I especially love it with sweet and sour sauce and boiled rice.
  • In the place of scrambled eggs. Scramble up some tofu, add some tomatoes and hash browns (or slices of fried potato) and you have a tasty breakfast that even a vegan will eat.
  • As a dairy-free or vegan-friendly ‘cream cheese’ substitute. Silken tofu especially can be used in the place of dairy alternatives to make desserts like cheesecake vegan-friendly, or even just to reduce the dairy intake of someone who isn’t vegan.
  1. The type of recipe determines the kind of tofu you need.

Whether you need firm or silken tofu depends on the type of recipe you’re making.  As a rule of thumb, use firm for savoury recipes, and silken for sweet ones.  You can do it the other way around, but using firm for savoury recipes and silken for sweet ones yields the best results.  At least, I think so.

  1. Don’t forget to marinate your tofu.

No matter what recipe you’re using it in, you absolutely must marinate your tofu.  Tofu has no real flavour of its own, so takes on the flavours of whatever it’s marinated in.  This is why it can be used to do both sweet and savoury dishes.  So marinade your tofu for at least a little while before cooking.  If you don’t, you’ll have something tasteless that will be like eating a sponge.  At least, I imagine it would be like eating a sponge; having not eaten any sponges, I’m only guessing as to the taste comparison.

Beyond that, experiment, and remember: just because you don’t like it prepared one way, doesn’t mean you don’t like tofu at all.  If you try it and don’t enjoy it the first time, try it a couple of different ways before you decide you don’t like it.

One final comment: tofu – in case you don’t know – is what’s left after the liquid is drained from soya beans to make soya milk.  If you have an allergy to soy products, you should avoid trying tofu.

Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future.  She has now back to her home town in Wales and is enjoying the snow with her fur babies…

Thank you so much, Tori, I now know a little more about Tofu…My experiments in the kitchen with tofu are sporadic…but my aim is to keep trying I now have a few recipes gifted to me which I will be trying over the course of the next few months as I get to grips with plant-based foods…

I made a recipe from Dolly @ Koolkosherkitchen Did we like it?… I wasn’t sure on the texture but will take Tori’s advice and try another recipe…The sauce was lovely and the sesame seeds added a bit of toastiness and texture it was the tofu, not a feeling I am used to with food a bit spongy but will try again as I have some tofu left.

Tofu and honey bites.

Ingredients:

• 1 block Extra Firm tofu (14 oz)
• 4 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp lemon juice…I used lime Juice
• 1 inch (2.5 cm) ginger, grated
• Sesame seeds to sprinkle

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly mist the pan with oil cube your tofu, press and drain off the liquid…I didn’t realise the first time I did this just how much liquid there was.

Bake the tofu, uncovered for 10 minutes then remove from the oven press and drain the liquid again…yes…so much liquid…

Bake again Uncovered for a further 10 minutes…If there is no more liquid then pour the sauce over the tofu and bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes…

To make the sauce combine the soy, honey, lemon/lime juice and ginger…Then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.

Serve hot and enjoy either as a snack or a main course…

My taste testers said it was ok...They didn’t love it but I do think it is getting used to the texture of tofu…we all put up barriers to certain foods, don’t we?

Thank you once again to Tori for chatting to us about Tofu and to Dolly for the recipe… please pay them a visit and say hello they would love to hear from you…xx

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday…Next week it will be Moong Sprouts Curry…Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx

34 thoughts on “Meatless Monday…Week 3…

  1. Lorin Black

    First off, tofu is NOT the byproduct of making soy-milk but is actually made by curdling the soy-milk, similar to making cheese. The pulp left over from making the milk is called okara, and can be eaten (my family made “burgers” with it growing up), but I suspect if you don’t like tofu okara will be even harder of a sell.

    Freezing firm tofu helps extract even more water than pressing, turning it into a regular flavor sponge. Until you have developed a taste for it, the secret is getting as much flavor in there as possible so you don’t pay as much attention to the texture, so think about sauces that really pack in the flavor and try marinating for several hours before you cook it. The best tofu I’ve eaten was baked in a thick peanut sauce. A smokey BBQ sauce also does wonderful things.

    Coating cubes of tofu in cornstarch and frying it makes for delightfully crispy little nuggets, although maybe isn’t as healthy. You can probably also achieve this in the oven, with a similar level of satisfaction to doing say “fried” chicken in the oven- acceptable, but not quite the same.

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Hi Loren, thank you for the advice on Tofu it was very helpful …as I love peanut sauce I think maybe that would be a good one to try as although tofu is not a favourite of mine I also think it depends on the recipe 🙂

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      1. Jim Borden

        I can’t eat tofu by itself, but mixed in with some veggies, it’s a nice source of nutrients. I don’t know much about quorn, so I look forward to reading what you have to say…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. CarolCooks2 Post author

        My son doesn’t like tofu at all but he said quorn you know the difference in both taste and texture if you wasn’t told and my other son did back that up as he has eaten quorn sausages and was told what they were after he had eaten them so both of them seem to like quorn rather than tofu …we will see when I sample quorn..it all good fun :)x

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  4. OIKOS™-Editorial

    Thank you for another great tips, staying a little bit more away from (red) meat. I think chicken cant harm as much, but there too much antibiotics are used, inside Europe. A good mix of meals it think is best. Michael

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      1. koolkosherkitchen

        I have figured out why my tofu recipe had a “Meh” reaction in your family. First of all, your palates are used to highly spiced foods, which I don’t make because both my husband and I are not allowed to have them. Lately, I have started including an option for hot peppers in my recipes for those who “like it hot.” Secondly, I invented this dish specifically for Sukkot holiday, when we traditionally do not serve anything salty or spice, but everything, is smothered in honey for a sweet year. I am not suggesting you try it again, but in your case, adding jalapeno peppers to a mixture of honey and lemon / lime juice might work for any tofu recipes.

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  5. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    You’re welcome again for the tips on cooking with tofu. Also, thanks for that recipe… I love the sound of it, though as I don’t eat honey I’ll try it with some agave syrup. Anyway, I think it’s fantastic that you keep trying with the tofu. Even if you find it’s not for you, at least you’ll be able to say you gave it a fair trial.

    I made a tofu-based quiche as part of the stuff we had for Christmas Day here, and two out of the three meat-eaters who tried it liked it… One of them enough that he took a second piece home to have the next day. It’s something I find is an exception to the “firm for savory” rule, since it uses silken tofu. It’s not the only savoury recipe that doesn’t follow that rule, as I’ve learned from others recently. The best tofu scramble I’ve had, for example, uses silken tofu mixed with salt (black salt is best if you can get it and want an authentically eggy sort of taste, but to be honest I just use whatever salt I have on hand) as well as pepper and turmeric. Adding a bit of nutritional yeast will give you something resembling an omlet, since it gives it a sort of cheesy flavour. I mention that since the same mixture – everything for the scramble, plus the nutritional yeast – is used in the quiche, with some cheese – vegan cheese in my case, obviously – and whatever veggies you want to add. I also add a bit of garlic usually, but one of the people who was planning to taste it is allergic to garlic, so I used onion granuals for some extra flavour instead.

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  6. Darlene

    I love tofu! I agree it should be consumed in small quantities though. My body craves it when I don´t have it for a couple of weeks. I call myself a pescatarian as I don´t eat meat but I will occasionally eat fish or seafood. I had a lovely piece of salmon for our anniversary. The honey tofu looks good.

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  7. johnrieber

    For some, Tofu doesn’t sit well – and there are also studies suggesting its not good in large amounts for some as well…I am not a huge fan but have gotten more interested in using mushroom as a base for vegetarian meals…and the Quorn products offer some great ideas in that way – and the new Beyond Meat products use pea protein as their main base – just some alternative to lessen the use of Tofu…

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  8. Sharon

    Yep, marinating is crucial and tofu will never be a favourite of mine. I find marinated and thinly sliced for a stir fry as a substitute for the normal protein is ok but switching to tofu after a lifetime of meat is a challenge.

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I agree, Sharon I just feel I should as I am promoting meatless Mondays give it a fair chance…but like you it will never be a favourite and there are so many lovely vegetables inc mushrooms which I would so much rather eat…x

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