Recently, my husband and I were dining at Gingerootz, one of our favorite local restaurants. Each time we go, we pretend to scrutinize the menu, when in reality, we know exactly what we will be ordering before we even leave the house. Me…Japanese Golden Tofu, him…Pad Thai with Fried Tofu. Me…Nori salad, him…Hot and Sour soup. Me…a glass of red wine, him…a glass of white. Add a veggie roll to be shared, and we are both happy campers.
As were waiting for our meals, I once again questioned tofu as his choice of protein. I do this every time. I mean, if he’s going to eat animal protein, a restaurant would be the time and place, right? (You know, since I don’t buy or cook it.) After assuring me yet again, that he really does like tofu, he asked me what tofu really was.
Uh…yeah. No clue…other than it’s made from soy. And it looks like this:
Thank goodness for modern technology, as I was able to whip out my iphone and start doing a little research. Truth be told, I was really curious.
Turns out, tofu (or bean curd) is kind of like cheese! All you do is curdle soy milk, and then press the curds into blocks. Who knew? Certainly not I. Obviously.
This may explain why tofu is also my plant protein of choice. While I had never been a fan of meat, I did love cheese. You can refresh your memory here, if you so choose.
Unfortunately, tofu (soy) has been a topic of great debate…more precisely, the benefits and risks of soy have been topics of great debate. And this is a debate I’ve paid particularly close attention to, as both my mom, and one of my sisters, are breast cancer survivors. After her diagnosis, my sister was told by her doctor to stay away from soy.
Thankfully, a lot has changed in the past 10 years.
While early studies suggested possible increased tumor growth in rats with a high intake of soy, additional research revealed that rats metabolize soy completely different from humans, making the earlier studies invalid.
Recent studies have shown the consumption of tofu consumption is associated with lower risk of several specific age and lifestyle-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and age related brain diseases.
As with all food, it’s better to consume soy that has undergone minimal processing. And stay away from GMO’s!
Notice I haven’t even mentioned the benefits to the environment…that is worthy of a whole new post! Stay tuned! For now, just know that by choosing to go meatless on occasion reaps great benefits to our earth!
So… ready to give tofu a try?! I’ve rounded up a few ideas for you!
So, how about it?
Have you ever tried tofu? If not, what’s holding you back? If so, what’s your favorite recipe?
Can’t wait to hear from you!