Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trying to Befriend Tofu

Let me say straight up that I am not a tofu lover. I've tried making it for dinner a few times, mostly in stir-fries. It's okay, but I don't love it. I feel that my life is complete without tofu, and I don't believe that healthy eating requires tofu. I don't, however, want to give up on it completely because I know lots of other folks who do enjoy it. Also, since we try to eat meatless meals a couple of times per week, I think adding in enjoyable recipes with tofu to my repertoire would expand our possibilities.

Last month I was fortunate to have an intern from a graduate school nutrition program working with me. During a consultation that I supervised her on, she recommended, among other things, to a mother who was concerned about her child's protein intake that she try making smoothies with tofu. Since I had never tried that myself, I asked her to send me a recipe to try. She did, and she also sent a recipe for chocolate mousse with tofu.

I've now made both recipes, and here's my take. I thought the smoothie was okay, but I prefer my smoothies with plain yogurt. My husband tried it too. He is usually extremely open to a variety of foods, but in his words, the smoothie was "disgusting." The chocolate mousse, however, was a hit. Even my picky teenage daughter and her friend liked it. I guess chocolate just makes everything taste better! I think when I make this again I will leave out the lemon and ginger; I don't think they particularly added anything to make it better. I also substituted strawberries for the raspberries because that's what I had on hand.
So give these a try and let me know what you think. And if you have any other tasty tofu recipes for me to try, please let me know! I'm still looking...

Silken Tofu Smoothie
 by Natalia Stasenko

This smoothie tastes very refreshing in the morning and can even be served as a light dessert after dinner.  It is very high in protein and calcium, minerals that are very important for growing bodies.

½ cup silken tofu
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup crushed ice
2 tablespoons water

Blend everything in a blender.

Serves 1

Nutritional information:
Calories:  104(5%)
Protein: 8 g (16%)
Carbohydrates: 16g  (5%)
Fat: 1 g (1%)
Saturated fat: 0g (0%)
Cholesterol: 0mg (0%)
Fiber: 4g (16%)
Calcium: 397mg (40%)
Sodium: 82 mg (3%)

Comments:  Calculations are based on 4 servings per recipe. Percent Daily Values are based on 2000 kcal diet for healthy adults.

Silken tofu chocolate mousse
 by Natalia Stasenko

8oz silken tofu
¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp. of grated fresh ginger or ¼ tsp. of dried ginger
1 cup fresh raspberries

Place the first 7 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
Spoon the mousse into ramekins and decorate with raspberries. Chill before serving.

Serves 4

Nutritional information:
Calories:  92(5%)
Protein: 4g (8%)
Carbohydrates: 18g (6%)
Fat: 1g (1%)
Cholesterol: 0mg (0%)
Saturated fat: 0g (0%)
Fiber: 3g (12%)
Calcium: 211mg (21%)
Sodium: 4mg (2%)

Comments:  Calculations are based on 4 servings per recipe. Percent Daily Values are based on 2000 kcal diet for healthy adults.

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