My poor friend, Tofu, isn’t always well-liked.
It is a shame because tofu, which is made from coagulating soy milk, actually brings a hoax of benefits. To name a few benefits, tofu:
- is versatile
- is very cost effective
- is a complete protein
- contains calcium
- contains anti-inflammatory components
- is a wonderful alternative to meat and dairy
The negativity I hear about tofu usually stems from the fact that 1) people don’t always enjoy the taste and 2) there is a fear that soy/ tofu is linked to negative health implications.
Soy contains estrogen-mimicking compounds known as isoflavones (also known as phytoestrogens) which look structurally similar to the hormone estrogen. Due to the fact that soy is structurally similar to estrogen, people believe that soy is impacting the hormone levels in the human body and thus should be avoided.
There is no strong evidence that I have come across to show this to be the case. When we take a look at the highest quality evidence available on the impact of moderate soy consumption on human health outcomes, we see largely positive or ( at worst) neutral effects.
For Men: There is no high quality evidence to suggest that soy consumption will have a tangible effect on your testosterone or estrogen levels. In other words, tofu will NOT make you more feminine in any way, shape or form.
For Women: There is not a strong body of evidence to suggest that soy consumption in women increases breast cancer risk. In fact, there is some limited but inconclusive evidence that it may actually protect against breast and other cancer. More research will be needed.
Take Home Message: You can enjoy tofu without risk. I will show you how with my favorite recipes for every meal!
Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Wraps
A savoury and filling alternative to your egg breakfast sandwich.
- Two cups of extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Break up the tofu. Place the tofu in a medium bowl and use a potato masher to smash it into small curds.
- Cook the tofu. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook until it has released some of its liquid, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Season the tofu. Add the spices. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tofu is completely yellow and piping hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with home fries, on a breakfast sandwich, or in a tortilla.
Sweet Potato Tofu Veggie Burger
A veggie burger guaranteed to please your omnivore friends!
- 1 sweet potato, baked, peeled, and mashed
- 1/2 cup of extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon almond buter
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ cup panko (to roll the patties in before baking)
- Slider or regular hamburger buns
- Whatever fixings you like on your burger: I had avocado, red onion & spinach
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Place the mashed sweet potato in a bowl and crumble in the tofu with your hands. Mash together with a fork until the tofu falls apart even more.
- Mix in the almond butter, maple syrup, garlic, rosemary and paprika.
- Form into patties. Put the panko on a plate and coat the outside of each patty with the crumbs.
- Place patties on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are brown and crisp. Broil a the end for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve on buns with whatever fixings you like. Or serve without a bun over a mixed greens salad
Teriyaki Tofu Stir Fry
An easy one-pot weekend meal!
- 2 cups of firm tofu
- 1 zucchini , diced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp avocado oil
- 4 cups quinoa , cooked (or brown rice) Sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 5 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 tbsp ginger , freshly grated
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup water
- To Prepare the Tofu:
- Cut the block of tofu in half. Place each half in 2 clean paper towels one at a time and gently press/squeeze to remove excess stored liquid (without breaking up the tofu).
- Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and pan fry on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan with 1 tsp avocado oil.
- Mix and turn frequently until the tofu is lightly golden brown on most sides (be sure not to burn the tofu). If you find that the tofu is sticking to the pan, add a little more oil. To Prepare the Dish:
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1 tsp cooking oil on medium-high heat. Add in the diced veggies and saute until cooked through, but still slightly crispy.
- Add in the pan-fried tofu.
- Add in the sauce. Turn the heat down to medium and let it cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coat the tofu and veggies.
- Turn off the heat and serve over cooked quinoa. Add green onions.