Here’s an easy way to prepare tofu!
You can use it in just about anything – from stir fries to soup , mix with roasted veggies or to top your salads It’s an easy way to make some for tonight’s meal, tomorrow’s salad and freeze some for future use. The great thing about tofu is that it takes on flavors beautifully.
Start with a a block of firm tofu,
lift a corner of the container and drain off the liquid. Lift out the tofu and press additional liquid out between paper towels (or with a tofu press!)
Gather your ingredients –
ginger, turmeric, India Marsala and garlic powder and low sodium soy sauce. Or you could choose ginger, onion, paprika and garlic — be creative, see what you like. Put some soy sauce and shake your spices into a bowl. Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Press each slice in between paper towels just before you put it in your “marinade”; doing this lets the tofu act like a sponge and soak up the flavors.
Place them in a pyrex dish – or a cookie sheet works – nothing needed on the pan. You can also prepare Portabellas at the same time. Shake more of the same seasoning over the tofu and portabellas .
Put the dish in the oven at 375* for 20 minutes and check to see if done — you can increase or decrease cooking time to your preference
I like it cooked until the tofu edges are turning brown and the moisture is absorbed. Let them cool — serve as a “tofu steak”, or on a whole grain bun with the mushrooms or slice them into a favorite dish. The extra, I like to slice into 1/2 inch strips (or cut further into 1/2 inch cubes) to store in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s lunch salad, or in the freezer. (Freezing actually seems to add a bit more texture!) Use it to create a stir fry, serve in noodles and tomato sauce, add to a soup microwave with mushrooms and serve on whole grain toast; just let your cooking imagination run wild!
Tofu is made from soy beans. So, what about the concern over soy and breast cancer?
A recent study found that soy foods actually lower women’s risk of breast cancer. The study reviewed food intake questionnaires from 70,578 Chinese women, 40-70 years of age, participating in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.
This study’s results are in line with previous research demonstrating that soy foods lower a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. The confusion stems from older studies that studied breast cancer in mice — which is really not a good model for human breast cancer and they used very large amount of isoflavones (aka phytoestrogens) – many times more than what is in soy. Further it turns out that isoflavones may actually block human breast tumor estrogen receptors, thus inhibiting their growth; this may be one of the reasons for the beneficial effects of soy in reducing breast cancer risk.
What about breast cancer survivors? 9000 women participated in 3 studies of eating habits and other lifestyle factors after breast cancer. Two of the studies were from the U.S. and 1 was from China. Women from both the U.S. and China who consumed 10 mg/day or more of soy had a 25% lower risk of breast cancer recurrence. The Mayo Clinic provides a helpful review.
Tofu is nutritionally dense – an excellent source of fiber and dietary protein (including all essential amino acids). Tofu contains linolenic acid an omega-3 fatty acid – key in many systems including circulatory and nervous system. Tofu is also an excellent source of calcium and magnesium. So enjoy tofu’s flexibility as it holds onto flavors in a variety of dishes and adds to your daily nutrients.