Last week I was talking about the importance of soy foods in the diets of
women, because they comprise the only plant food that mimics human sex
hormones, without all the side effects caused by hormone replacement
therapy. In fact, there is enough in 4 oz. of tofu or 1 t. of miso to equal
one dose of Premarin, a popular estrogen replacement which is also the
number 1 prescription drug sold in North America (as opposed to Germany's
favourite, Ginko, which is an herb).
But what on earth do you do with the stuff, if you've never cooked it
before? And how can you make it palatable?
One soy food is miso, a thick paste which can be used in the place of broth
(1 t. to 1 c. water) for a quick cup of soup, to perk up soups and stews,
and for gravies. It's not that different from beef broth.
If you like egg drop soup, make up a pot of miso and add some garlic,
ginger, and chili to taste. When it comes to the boil, drizzle in some
beaten egg or egg substitute, sprinkle with chopped green onion, and
Or gently heat 1 c. of tahini with 1 t. miso and 1/2 c. water. When hot,
whisk in 1 t. herbs and spices, with onion and garlic to taste and mix
until smooth. This makes a wonderful sandwich spread and can be used in
most recipes calling for liverwurst or pate.
So what to do with tofu?
For cutlets, freeze tofu over night...it will toughen up a little bit so
it's easier to cook.
Mrinate tofu for several hours in vegie broth, soy sauce with ginger and
garlic, or tomato sauce, red wine, and herbs.
It can be breaded with good-tasting yeast and chick-pea flour with herbs (1
c. with 1 T. herbs and spices and 1 t. salt), or sprinkled with sesame
seeds and broiled, then with chopped green onions before serving. Or cubed
and added to stir fry or grated for italian dishes. My kids love it pan
fried with grated cheese on top.
Now get out the blender. You can put your 4 oz. of tofu into it with fruits
and a shot of vanilla for a breakfast smoothie, or for yummy shakes with
cocoa, honey and orange...get creative!
Blend it with yogurt, dijon, and spices for dips and sandwich spreads, in
place of mayonnaise.
Or blend it with apple juice and a bit of fruit for a yogurt-type topping
Then there is TVP (texturized vegetable protein)!
I will sometimes grate tofu and mix it half-and-half with TVP for favourite
old recipes calling for ground beef. My meat loaf , which my kids always
loved, disappears just as quickly as it ever did. How I do it:
Grate or crumble tofu and marinate with veggie broth and steak sauce. To 1
c. TVP add 1 c. boiling water in which you have put a little onion powder,
garlic, or whatever flavouring you enjoy. Mix well and let both sit 15 min.
I squeeze out the TVP unless it's going into a stew, and mix it well with
the tofu. Then I use it just the way ground beef is used in the recipe. Of
course, burgers won't do well this way as you need a binder, like the gel
from soaked flax seeds, or egg white (or egg beaters). But for most
recipes, this works well enough that my guests assume my sloppy joes are
made with meat!
1 lb. tofu and TVP mix
1 packet veggie onion soup mix
1 tin tomato soup
Mix these all together, let it sit 15 minutes, then heat in microwave or in
a closed casserole dish in your oven. Serve over split buns (or cornbread
if you're GF) and enjoy! (Double the recipe if you're feeding five or six,
as this stuff goes quickly, and leftovers can be used as a sauce for baked
potato the next day!).
For baking, soy flour can be used as an egg replacement with many recipes.
For each whole egg called for, use 1/4 c. water and 1 T. soy flour. Soy
flour can also help boost the protein content of baked goods and soups,
etc. It's handy to have around.
But I doubt you'll want to try this particular substitute in the egg drop soup!
Sylvia Genders LeReverend
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