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Tasty Tofu (No, that is NOT a typo of "nasty").

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:44pm
I can already hear my omnivore readers dry heaving.

"Tasty tofu? Aren't those two words antonyms?"

As a vegetarian, I have heard tofu being slandered, cursed, teased, and shunned to the "I'd rather go hungry than eat (insert food here)" bin.

It's a shame, really. When tofu is prepared well (seasoned and paired with complementary flavors), it is a true pleasure to the palate.

Unfortunately, many people are exposed to it in its steamed, practically tasteless version in Asian soups and platters. If that was my first impression of tofu, I would also ditch it faster than a hygienically-challenged blind date who lives in their parent's basement.

I use the word "shame" purposefully. After all, tofu is a nutrition powerhouse: high in protein, a very good source of potassium and calcium, low in sodium, and a contributor of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

Just when I thought tofu was the white-headed stepchild, I stumbled across a line of tofu products by More Than Tofu that warmed my soy-loving heart.

These blocks of tofu are already seasoned and available in a wide variety of flavors, from spinach-jalapeno to peanut-ginger and even Indian Masala.

I immediately looked at the nutrition label, fearing the extra flavors would drown a healthy food in excessive sugar and sodium.

I was pleasantly surprised!

One two-ounce serving provides 80 calories, an inoffensive 160 milligrams of sodium, less than one gram of sugar, a commendable nine grams of protein, a measly half a gram of saturated fat, and eight percent of our daily calcium needs!

Considering that a standard meal would comprise of two servings, this makes for quite a healthy, low-calorie component!

Best way to prepare it? Heat up a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over a medium-high flame. Prior to placing the tofu in the pan, cut it into very tiny pieces.

Sautee the tofu for approximately five to seven minutes, until it acquires a golden brown color.

Serve it alongside a cup of whole wheat couscous, brown rice, or quinoa. You'll never look at tofu the same way again.
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