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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Clean Out the Fridge - Goan Tofu Curry

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By
 
Once a month I clean out the refrigerator, and create a soup or stew out of what I find. Usually it's veggies that I did not get around to cooking for one reason or another. I love Indian food and cook it often. A friend of mine studied and lived in India; she brought back some great recipes and methods for cooking Indian food. This recipe is a modification of two of her recipes. One of my favorites is fish curry from the Goa region of India. Today, I came up with a tofu and vegetable curry. I used cauliflower, yellow squash, onions, garlic, sweet peppers, carrots and jalapeño peppers. This recipe calls for tamarind. You may find tamarind and garam masala spice at an Asian market. The other method is to soak the tamarind pods and strip the fiber strings off the pods. The paste in the jar is much easier to use. Trust me on this bit of advice.
1 package or extra firm Tofu diced
½ a head cauliflower chopped
½ package of tiny cut carrots
½ package of frozen peas
1 medium red onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 green jalapeno pepper chopped
8 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 can coconut milk reduced fat
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Large handful of fresh cilantro chopped fine for garnish
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
2 tablespoons tamarind paste or ¼ cup of juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
2 inch peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons lemon, lime juice or vinegar
12 oz. of free range chicken or veggie stock
1 tablespoon sesame or olive oil
¼ each sweet red, yellow and orange peppers diced
1 medium yellow squash peeled and diced
Or use your veggies of choice.
The key to cooking Indian food to is to know when to add the spices, including salt and black pepper. A very commonly used spice is garam masala which is a combination of Indian spices and can be found in most health food stores. As for diabetics (I am one) the only real fat it the dish is the sesame oil and coconut milk. There are carbohydrates in the veggies but I divided this dish into 8-10 portions so the carbohydrates will be lower per serving.
In a food processor (I use mini processor) put in the jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, lemon, lime juice and grated ginger. I have a little tip about ginger; I keep it in the freezer in an airtight bag, it so much easier to peel and grate. Pulse the mixture until it forms a wet paste. Put mixture into a deep pot, add all the spices at the same time keep stirring so the mixture does not burn or stick. It may take 5 minutes or more for the mixture to dry out and become paste like. Add the tablespoon of oil, it will thin the mixture and smooth it out. At this point add tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, vegetables, tomato paste and cook on medium heat until bubbling. Add coconut milk, stir until smooth, turn down heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the vegetables are done and stew is thick. Add in the tofu, cover and simmer a few more minutes. Serve with rice, top with the chopped cilantro leaves. Enjoy.
Follow along with me on my quest for realistic diabetic cooking at http://www.thediabeticcookbook.net

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe - Who Doesn't Love Lasagna?

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

Lasagna is one of my favorite foods ever! I am a vegetarian and have found a good way of making it. Hopefully you will like the recipe too and try it out some time soon!
Here are the ingredients:
1 pound of fresh spinach
3 medium sweet potatoes
9 oz tofu
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon of basil (chopped)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
1 clove minced garlic
1 jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz shredded nonfat mozzarella
3 tablespoons of wheat germ
Here is how to do it:
1. Lightly steam the spinach and then drain it and leave it aside. Slice and peel the sweet potatoes thinly too.
2. To make the filling of the lasagna, drain the tofu a little but do not squeeze the water out. Then blend the tofu and ricotta together in a food processor until smooth. Once you've done this, add it to a bowl containing the oregano, basil, parsley and garlic and mix it all up well.
3. Put the lasagna together in a 10 by 14 inch backing tray (or a similar size if you don't have this). Start with a thin layer of sauce at the bottom and then cover with a layer of potato slices. You should next spread about half of the ricotta and tofu mix over the potatoes. Now it is best to sprinkle about half of the mozzarella over the current composition. Layer the spinach over the mozzarella evenly and continue to layer the remaining ingredients similarly. Make sure to end with some sauce and use wheat germ right on the top.
4. Bake this for about 50 minutes at 180C and let it cool for about 8 minutes before serving.
To change things up a bit, you could chop up the spinach and add it to the ricotta and tofu mix. This does give the end product a different texture which some people actually prefer.
Hope you give this a go - if you are a lasagna lover I guarantee you'll be impressed. You can also adapt this mixture by adding things like chillies if you like your food spicy.
This style of recipe also works well with the less popular pasta cannelloni. Again the texture and end product is different as it is less pasta heavy. This may appeal to people who prefer more filling to pasta in their dish.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

The clinical importance of the metabolite equol

Posted by Chantel M. research contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Equol [7-hydroxy-3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-chroman] is a nonsteroidal estrogen of the isoflavone class.In the study of The clinical importance of the metabolite equol-a clue to the effectiveness of soy and its isoflavones, posted in PubMed, researchers showed that it is now apparent that there are two distinct subpopulations of people and that "bacterio-typing" individuals for their ability to make equol may hold the clue to the effectiveness of soy protein diets in the treatment or prevention of hormone-dependent conditions. In reviewing the history of equol, its biological properties, factors influencing its formation and clinical data, we propose a new paradigm. The clinical effectiveness of soy protein in cardiovascular, bone and menopausal health may be a function of the ability to biotransform soy isoflavones to the more potent estrogenic isoflavone, equol. The failure to distinguish those subjects who are "equol-producers" from "nonequol producers" in previous clinical studies could plausibly explain the variance in reported data on the health benefits of soy.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Estrogenicity of the isoflavone metabolite equol on reproductive and non-reproductive organs

Posted by Chantel. M studies contributed by  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

In the study to evaluate the equol effects on reproductive and non-reproductive endpoints in mice, posted in PubMed. Ovariectomized age-matched (30-day-old) female C57BL/6 mice were fed phytoestrogen-free diets and given a racemic mixture of equol by daily injections (0, 4, 8, 12, or 20 mg [kg body weight](-1) day(-1)) or in the diet (0, 500, or 1,000 ppm) for 12 days.showed that equol is a weak estrogen with modest effects on endpoints regulated by estrogen receptor alpha when present at serum levels seen in rodents fed soy-based diets, but quantities present in humans may not be sufficient to induce estrogenic effects, although additive effects of equol with other phytoestrogens may occur.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tofu - The Wonder Food

Posted by Chantel M. Article contributed By

If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, one way to do so is to eat less red meat and eat more meat substitutes, like tofu (which means bean-curd). Tofu has been a vegetarian staple for years now, but it is slowly making its way into the mainstream. Even die-hard meat lovers are beginning to view tofu as an alternative or substitute to their regular meat.
Getting to know tofu
But what is it about tofu that makes it such a wonder food? For one thing, it is high in protein, minerals and vitamins but low in calories, sodium and fat. The best thing about it is that it barely has any taste of its own, so it can readily absorb the flavor of whatever sauce you use for it.
Tofu is made from the curds of soybean milk. It is usually available in three different textures - extra firm, firm and silken. The texture of tofu that you should buy depends on how you're going to cook it. Firm varieties are perfect for sautés and fried dishes. You can also use firm tofu for grilling or baking. On the other hand, silken varieties are used in soups and desserts.
The wonders of tofu
The primary health benefit of tofu is from the soybean base. Soybeans are known to be rich in minerals, protein, and a plant component called isoflavones.
Studies show that tofu can lower the incidence of heart disease. It appears that the isoflavones and soy protein in tofu are powerful cholesterol fighters. In fact, regular consumption of tofu can lead to about 30% drop in your cholesterol level.
Not only is it heart healthy, tofu is also beneficial to menopausal women, because the isoflavones in tofu acts as a form of estrogen. It can help maintain the correct hormone levels and halt the loss of estrogen. Regulating the supply of estrogen is important for females, because low levels of estrogen are associated with breast cancer and osteoporosis.
Isoflavones found in tofu also fends off prostate cancer in men. Studies show that it helps slow down the growth of cancer cells in the prostate gland.
Tofu is also a great source of calcium. It can protect against bone loss, bone weakness or even rheumatoid arthritis. A single serving of tofu already provides you with 10 percent of your daily recommended calcium intake.
Serving tofu
Tofu is perfect for those in a diet. It is filling, it is tasty (when cooked well) and it is not fattening.
Find a good cookbook with various tofu recipes. If it is your first time to have tofu, a good option is to fry them in a bit of olive oil, chop them up and mix them with another dish. You'll barely notice that the tofu is there. If, on another hand, you are already a tofu-eater, you may want to try out new recipes for making delicious tofu dishes, such as tofu steak.
The important thing is to gradually introduce more and more tofu into your diet, to be able to reap all the benefits for your health.
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Eating Bean Curd With Other Food

 Posted by Chantel M. Article contributed By

 
Bean curd has a history of over 2000 years. It is as important as tea, china, and silk in Chinese culture. With the increasing intercultural communication and the development of global economy, it has entered the houses of families at home and aboard. Eastern people eat it once or twice a week. And many western people would order spicy tofu when they go to eat Chinese dishes. Nowadays, it serves not only as a dish, but also an important participant of culture. The Economic Outlook magazine has predicted that Chinese tofu will overwhelm electronic products, cars and computers, and become the most potential product.
This food is beneficial to health. Usually, it is made of soybeans, which are rich in protein. It provides people with eight necessary amino acids, some fat, adequate carbohydrates, various vitamins and minerals. According to Chinese medicine, it does well in detoxification and adjusting of body liquid. But bean curd has limitations. It contains little methionine. Therefore, it should be cooked together with other food.
The dish becomes more nutritious when bean curd is cooked with meat and eggs. If we cook it only, the utilization of protein is not satisfactory. But when it meets meat and eggs, the various amino acids can be fully made use of.
Bean curd and kelp also work well. Kelp and bean products are all inexpensive but valuable. They supply nutriments, such as high quality protein, lecithin, oleic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin E, iron and calcium, to people. Meanwhile, bean curd is rich in saponin, which not only prevents the absorption of fat, but also promotes the excretion of iodine as well. Fortunately, kelp provide a large amount of iodine. They successfully complement each other.
Besides, it is good for health if people cook tofu and radish together. Eating too much would lead to indigestion because bean curd contains only plant protein. In contrast, radish, especially turnip, would accelerate the activities of stomach and intestines. It will not cost you too much time to cook these two kinds of food. You just need to boil them and mix them together with some flavoring.
In addition, tofu and fish perfectly match with each other. As we know, bean curd is lacking in methionine but rich in phenylalanine. But fish is just opposite. It is an ideal source of methionine but has little phenylalanine. If people cook them into one dish, the value is doubled. Except for protein, bean curd and fish offer vitamin D and calcium to people. More importantly, the ingestion of vitamin D can speed up the ingestion of calcium and improve the efficiency at the same time. Therefore, such a dish is in particular suitable for the elderly, children and pregnant women.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

The use of flavonoids to promote weight loss

Posted by Chantel M. research contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health  

According to the study of Geriatric obesity: evaluating the evidence for the use of flavonoids to promote weight loss, posted in PubMed, Obesity is a rapidly growing epidemic that now affects approximately 30% of the adult population in the United States. The prevalence of obesity in the geriatric population makes it one of the fastest growing groups due to aging baby boomers. Because of the limited number of available treatments for obese adults, they often turn to supplements and alternative medicine sources to help them lose weight. One such group of supplements contains plant metabolites flavonoids, which includes catechins from tea, quercetin from fruits and vegetables, and isoflavones from soy products. Some flavonoids such as catechins and soy isoflavones can modestly reduce weight. This review examined the clinical evidence for catechins, quercetin, and soy isoflavones for the treatment of obesity and explored the mechanisms of action as related to obesity


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two Simple Ways of Preparing Tofu

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

There are many different kinds of tofu and tofu related products. Although their taste is not very distinctive, their texture varies greatly. Different kinds of tofu can be cooked differently, and combined with different things.
Two of the most common ways to prepare tofu is to stir fry it and to use it in salads. In this article, I will introduce two extremely simple recipes: one in which tofu is lightly fried with spring onions and one in which tofu is combined with spinach in a salad.
Stir fried tofu
Ingredients:
1. Fresh tofu.
2. Spring onion.
3. Cooking wine, light soy sauce and sesame oil.
4. Toasted sesame
5. Salt and oil.
Fresh tofu can be easily found in Chinese supermarkets, and they normally come in two types (but in very similar packages): Chinese north-style tofu or south-style tofu. Southern tofu is slightly softer, otherwise I cannot tell the difference. In this dish I use the Southern tofu.
Preparation:
1. Slice the tofu into 5cm x 0.5cm cubes.
2. Chop one spring onion into small pieces.
Cooking:
1. Pour oil into a flat sauce pan, just enough to cover the base of the pan.
2. Place tofu pieces into the sauce pan, one piece after another.
3. When the surface of the tofu starts showing signs of getting firmer (for example, when it has absorbed oil and little dimples appear), remove the tofu cubes from the sauce pan, place them nicely into a deep plate.
4. In a heated wok, put 2 tablespoon of oil, chopped spring onion, one teaspoon of cooking wine, 1/3 teaspoon of salt, 1 and half tablespoon of light soy sauce.
5. When the sauce heats up, turn off the fire, and pour the sauce over well placed tofu in the plate.
6. Pour in couple of teaspoons of sesame oil, and sprinkle toasted sesame over the tofu.
Tofu and spinach salad
Tofu and spinach is a very traditional combination in the North of China. This salad is extremely easy to prepare.
Ingredients:
1. Tofu and spinach leaves
2. Salt, light soy sauce, old vinegar (if not, rice vinegar), white sugar, and sesame oil.
3. Chilli oil (optional).
Preparation:
1. Chop the tofu into small tubes
2. Mix spinach leaves in. (Do put a few more leaves in, as those leaves 'shrink' once mixed with salt).
3. Put one half of a tea spoon of salt, 2 tea spoons of light soy sauce, 1 tea spoon of 'old vinegar' (if you don't have in hand, use only a couple of drops of rice vinegar), a small pinch of white sugar, 1 table spoon of chilli oil, and pour in some sesame oil.
4. Mix everything together well.
Shibin Zhang writes about Chinese food and Chinese culture. She specialises in the cuisine of North East China and in Islamic Chinese cuisine. On jer website, you can find more information about tofu in Chinese cuisine.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tempeh Versus Tofu - Which Wins the Health Competition?

Posted by Chantel M. Article contributed By By
How Is Tempeh Different from Tofu, and Which Is Healthier?
Once close relatives derived from the soybean plant, Tempeh and Tofu were separated at adolescence, raised and formed for purpose in two different living environments. Yet now, they come together for one epic battle for vegetarian supremacy! Not knowing of their past, their disdain for one another is based on a misunderstanding of how similar and beautiful each is to one the other -- how... complementary... they are of one another. So we may all help to teach others and teach these native sons of soy how to better tolerate one another, we must first understand how Tempeh and Tofu came to be.
OK. Enough of that. Let's get right down to it: a primer on the soybean.
What is Tempeh? Tempeh Defined
Tempeh is to the soybean as spam is to ham, except far less disgusting and much better for you. Tempeh is made through a relatively simple process: the soybean is first made tender through soaking and then it's de-hulled. The beans are partially cooked, and then pressed into a layered cake or patty form. There are other forms of tempeh that can be derived from whole wheat or a mixture of soy and grains, yet the most commonly found variation is soy tempeh.
The protein in tempeh is far more digestible than what you would ingest through animal proteins, due to tempeh's fermentation process. As a result, combining tempeh with other meats or simply using it as a substitute has been known to greatly aid in overall digestive health. Different from tofu, tempeh is a whole soybean product that offers higher amounts of protein and dietary fiber, as well as vitamin content, all due to the fermentation process preserving the whole bean.
What is Tofu? Tofu Defined
Like tempeh, tofu is derived from the soybean, yet after the bean has been processed to the soy milk product. In it's simplest form, tofu is to the soybean as cottage cheese is to dairy milk. It is the curd of soy milk pressed into chunks, slabs or bricks. Of course there are varieties of tofu, ranging from what is known as silken or soft tofu, often used in desserts, to the more common western or dried tofu that is so versatile in cooking everything from traditional Asian cuisine to filling for soups. Full of iron and calcium, as well as being cholesterol free, you can see how it serves as a great addition to any diet, especially the diet of a pregnant or aging individual.
With regards to nutritional value, tofu does one-up tempeh as it offers more protein per carbohydrate, while offering a little more versatility in terms of the dishes and foods with which it can be combined. It is easily marinated and seasoned, can be made with egg, cinnamon, fruits and nuts -- offering a fairly wide variety of flavors. It can also be found in fermented varieties, such as pickled tofu, though this isn't necessarily for everyone. Therefore, in our quest to determine which soy reigns supreme, we're slightly stumped as they both offer great edible options.
A Few of the Best Tempeh Recipes
No. I'm not going to drop a list of ingredients that you must run out to the store and purchase, because tempeh is best used in substitutions of your other favorite or former recipes. For example, the Super Bowl is right around the corner, and regardless of how you feel about football, you'll probably be at a party. How about a little vegetarian chili, prepped with tempeh, organic powders, seasoning and vegetables, served with a tasty St. Peters English Ale -- an organic favorite.
For breakfast, depending on your desire, tempeh is the perfect substitute for bacon or sausage, and is darn tasty on a bagel with egg and cheese, or egg substitute if you prefer. Tempeh is also great after it has been marinated, to create sandwich meat, or flavor for salads. And when it comes right down to it, skillet frying it with a little sea-salt and a peppercorn variety makes it a great snack in and of itself.
A Few of the Best Tofu Recipes
Do you remember the first time you dipped into Miso soup or Pad Thai, and thought, "What is this stuff?" It is so versatile, you can quite literally toss it into any of your favorite recipes. Depending on the type of tofu that is made or purchased, you can use it in anything from soups and salads, to filling a kebab skewer full of other meats and vegetables. If you're truly adventurous and have a little sweet tooth, or are attempting to convince friends and family members that a little soy in life can be a good thing, check out this recipe for Vegan Chocolate Cake.
Matty Byloos writes and manages the Green Blog known as: Easy Ways to Go Green, as well as the Organic Food Blog: Organic Eating Daily

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Dietary phytoestrogens and intestinal bacteria

Posted by Chantel M. research contributed  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health   

The indigenous intestinal microflora are involved in a variety of processes within the human body, and are important for maintaining host health. suggest that Daidzein, an isoflavone phytoestrogen found in soy, is metabolized to equol and O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA) by intestinal bacteria. The specific bacterium/bacteria responsible for equol and O-DMA production in humans have yet to be identified definitively, but in vitro and animal studies have suggested that equol and O-DMA are more biologically active than their precursor daidzein. Interestingly, substantial interindividual differences in daidzein metabolism exist; following soy or daidzein consumption, approximately 30%-50% of the human population produce equol, and approximately 80%-90% produce O-DMA. posted in PubMed,

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chinese Vegetarian Recipes: How to Make Gong Li's Favorite Spinach Tofu in Raise the Red Lantern

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

 
There are many Chinese vegetarian recipes. This one became even more popular after Gong Li's movie Raise the Red Lantern. In the movie, Gong Li plays a 19 years old girl that's force into marrying a much older wealthy man. The man already has 3 wives, so Gong Li is wife number 4. At the dinner table for the first time, she doesn't see anything that she can eat because she is a vegetarian. She tells the servant I do not eat meat, can you make me some spinach tofu. Being the newest and most favorite wife, the servant obeys her request and made the dish just for her. Here's the recipe for spinach tofu Chinese style. It's takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.
This is a fast recipe, so prepare all ingredients before beginning.
1 pound of fresh spinach, wash and dry the spinach thoroughly. Remove any tough stems.
1/2 pound of firm tofu cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
1 tablespoon of rice wine
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt
This dish is best done with a wok. Place wok over medium high heat. When you see it beginning to smoke, add the peanut oil and minced garlic in. Stir for a little while, then add spinach and salt and continue stirring for about 1 minute, until the spinach is wilted.
Then gently add in the tofu and sprinkle with rice wine. Cook for about 1 more minute so the tofu can be heated thoroughly. Serve right away. This Chinese vegetarian recipe is enough for 6.
China has a long history of vegetarianism. Spinach tofu is just one of many Chinese vegetarian recipes [http://www.gongli.info]. Please go to [http://www.gongli.info] for more ideas on quick and easy Chinese vegetarian cooking!

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Metabolize daidzein to equol

Posted by Chantel M. research contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health   
Only approximately one-third to one-half of the population is able to metabolize daidzein to equol. This high variability in equol production is presumably attributable to interindividual differences in the composition of the intestinal microflora, which may play an important role in the mechanisms of action of isoflavones. But, the specific bacterial species in the colon involved in the production of equol are yet to be discovered. Therefore, future researches are aimed at identifying the specific bacterial species and strains that are capable of converting daidzein to equol or increasing equol production, according to the study by College of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, posted in PubMed,


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Friday, October 19, 2012

"equol-producers" from "nonequol producers"

Posted by Chantel M. research contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health   

Equol [7-hydroxy-3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-chroman] is a nonsteroidal estrogen of the isoflavone class. It is exclusively a product of intestinal bacterial metabolism of dietary isoflavones and it possesses estrogenic activity, having affinity for both estrogen receptors, ERalpha and ERbeta. Equol is not produced in all healthy adults in response to dietary challenge with soy or daidzein. Several recent dietary intervention studies examining the health effects of soy isoflavones allude to the potential importance of equol by establishing that maximal clinical responses to soy protein diets are observed in people who are good "equol-producers"but not "nonequol producers" The clinical effectiveness of soy protein in cardiovascular, bone and menopausal health may be a function of the ability to biotransform soy isoflavones to the more potent estrogenic isoflavone, equol. The failure to distinguish those subjects who are "equol-producers" from "nonequol producers" in previous clinical studies could plausibly explain the variance in reported data on the health benefits of soy posted in PubMed,

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Enjoy Delicious and Healthy Snacks With Vegan Tofu Salads

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed  By
The vegan tofu salad is probably as if a gift sent from heaven to all those who are health conscious and vegetarians. It is a good way to enjoy something so good without having to worry about calorie content and the like. The salad is made up of very healthy and nutritious ingredients that you would surely want them to be a part of your every meal and snack.
From its name, the vegan tofu salad is made up mostly of tofu. Tofu or bean curd comes up when soy milk is coagulated. The curds are then pressed together and made into tofu.
Tofu has been reported to have many health benefits so you would definitely want to know how to make your own vegan tofu salad. According to health experts, tofu has high protein content and has very little fat content. The Food and Drug Administration has mentioned that when a person takes in at least 25 grams of soy protein each day and accompanied with a low saturated fat and cholesterol diet, it can greatly reduce risks of having heart diseases.
To make the salad, you can use various recipes. They usually vary when it comes to the ingredients that are placed in but, of course, tofu is always present in the recipe.
One recipe on vegan tofu salad you can use, for example just requires you to mash up its ingredients right away. This would include a tablespoon of brown mustard, specifically one that is spicy, two tablespoons of chopped pickles, a tablespoon diced red onion, some salt, pepper and cumin and two tablespoons of veganaisse. Once you have mixed and you have mashed all the ingredients for your salad, you can place them on top of toasted bread and place a slice or two of tomatoes. Now, you can enjoy a healthy sandwich with your salad!
Another variation to the vegan tofu salad is to mash mayonnaise (as mentioned in the earlier recipe, a veganaisse version may be preferred for vegetarians), sweet relish, stalk celery, lemon juice, onion and garlic powder and mustard. Just the same as the earlier mentioned recipe, all ingredients are mixed together. You can also garnish the vegan tofu salad with paprika, if you wish. You can make it a part of your healthy sandwich snack and you can top it with other vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes, too.
No matter how you want to enjoy your vegan tofu salad, you can always be assured that you stay healthy and fit with your snacks. No meat is included in the recipe for the salad, so you do not have something to stay away from it. Instead, you can enjoy many slices of your sandwich that has the vegan tofu salad so that you can enjoy all the health benefits brought about by its ingredients, especially tofu.
You can also have other variations of the vegan tofu salad - your creativity is the limit!
Joseph Oklert has trained his entire life to be the best barber that he can be. In his off time, Joseph has written a site with reviews of barber chairs for sale, as well as a review of used barber chairs.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Endogenous and exogenous equol are antiestrogenic in reproductive tissues

Posted by Chantel M. research contributed  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health  

In the study to assesse the effects of soy IF, endogenous microbial equol production, and dietary racemic equol in a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial experiment using gnotobiotic apoE-null mice (n = 9-11/group/sex), posted in PubMed, found that After 16 wk of dietary treatment, serum isoflavonoid profiles varied with sex, soy IF amount, and intestinal microbiota status. There were no treatment effects on tissues of male mice. In females, reproductive tissue phenotypes differed by equol-producing ability (i.e., microbiota status) but not dietary equol or IF content. Equol producers had lower uterine weight, vaginal epithelial thickness, total uterine area, endometrial area, and endometrial luminal epithelial height compared with nonproducers (P < 0.05 for all), with an association between microbiota status and estrous cycle (P > chi-square = 0.03). Exogenous equol reduced expression of progesterone receptor (PGR) and the proliferation marker Ki67 (P < 0.0001) in vaginal epithelium and endometrium; for endogenous equol, only PGR was reduced (P < 0.0005). Our findings indicate that equol diminishes estrogen-dependent tissue responses in apoE-null mice.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sauted Family Bean Curd

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By
Family bean curd is Sichuan's famous characteristic dish. Its main ingredient is bean curd.
Bean curd or Tofu began in Xi (West) Han Dynasty, became widely spread in Bei (North) Song Dynasty, and it is one of the Chinese most popular traditional food. It has four main merits: 1. It is fine and of excellent quality. It contains lots of protein, the nutritional value is pretty high, especially it is rich in calcium which is the essential element during a child normal growth. 2. It is moderately priced. Tofu costs less than fish, meat, and fresh vegetables. 3. It does not contain cholesterol. Generally animalistic foods that contain high protein also have high cholesterol, only bean curd contains one without the other. This indicates great advantages and is highly regarded by those who cannot eat much meat due to the high cholesterol in their body. 4. It is available all season long and it is easy to prepare and consume. There are many easy ways to make tofu a delicacy. It was first passed on to Japan, it then spread to the European and American countries. Now the "bean curd fever", " soybean milk fever" is on the rise. Some people predict that the most successful product with the most market potential for the next ten years by no means will be automobile, television and electronic products, it will be China's tofu.
Ingredients:
a). For step 1 - 5:
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cakes of tofu
  • 2 dried mushrooms (soaked)
  • 1 bamboo shoot
  • 50g (2 oz) sweet peas
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • 3 red peppers
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 slice ginger
b). For step 4:
  • 200g (7 oz) pork
  • 1 teaspoon cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
c). For step 6:
  • 1 tablespoon bean paste
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • dash of monosodium glutamate
Method:
  1. Place cloth over sieve and drain bean curd
  2. Cut tofu into 1cm (1/2") pieces.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry half of the cut bean curd until light brown. Add more oil and fry the remaining.
  4. Slice meat, marinate. Also slice mushroom, bamboo shoot, green onion and ginger. Cut red pepper and garlic into half. Parboil sweet peas
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add and fry in this order: green onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper, meat, bamboo shoot, mushroom and sweet peas. Add fried bean curd.
  6. Mix seasoning together, add to pan and mix gently so as not to break tofu. Serve.
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Nutritional information:
Yield: 4 servings
Each serving provides:
Calories: 280
Protein: 23.8 g
More Cooking Recipes

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Monday, October 15, 2012

The effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men

Posted by Chantel M. research contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
In the study to determine whether isoflavones exert estrogen-like effects in men by lowering bioavailable T through evaluation of the effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on T, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), free T, and free androgen index (FAI) in men. posted in PubMed, suggested that No significant effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on T, SHBG, free T, or FAI were detected regardless of statistical model. The results of this meta-analysis suggest that neither soy foods nor isoflavone supplements alter measures of bioavailable T concentrations in men.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Most Powerful Recipe Soup Diet - Chinese Tofu Recipe

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

Most of the people who wants to lose some extra pounds are not aware of the fact, that there are no quick weight loss diets and programs. You did not gain weight overnight, thus you can't expect to lose weight in very short period.
Finding some low carb and fat diet recipes to follow will making the weight loss task much easier. The one in particular that you definitely want to try out is Chinese tofu recipe called: "Milk Tofu (Bean Curd) Soup".
Tofu is an important source of proteins, it contains calcium, iron, B vitamins and naturally occurring phytoestrogens. It has no cholestrol and is low in calories and staurated fat.
The ingredients in this Chinese tofu recipe you need are: 200g/8oz fresh Tofu, 200ml/ 1/3pint semi-skimmed milk, salt, 1tsp sugar, 1 spring onions(finely chopped), a sprinkle of chicken powder could add more flavour to the soup.
Making the soup couldn't be simpler, put tofu in a sauce pan, add the milk and some water, then bring it to boil. Simmer for a few minutes (don't let the milk drying up). Add the seasoning to taste, garnish with spring onions and serve it hot.
If you're really committed to lose some weight, you can use this Chinese tofu recipe for few days. The first day eat as it is. The following days you also can add more ingredients, such as cucumber, tomatoes. It will add more fiber to your diet and also it will increase your metabolism.
By increasing the metabolism you are giving the body a need to have more amount of protein. Metabolism, if increased, would result in taking much fluid thus weight loss would happen gradually. A permanent weight loss may be achieved through increasing metabolism and this process provides different benefits.
Pay attention to what you eat, set realistic weight loss goals and incorporate regular exercises in your daily routine are the three elements that ensure your weight loss success.
Haiyan Lai-Heskin has been a nurse for 17 years. She has been writing Health, Wellness and Fitness articles for many years. Her continuing education has led her in the direction of "Nutrtion And Health Science", a overall wellness approach to a Healthy Lifestyle [http://gorgeoushealthyyou.blogspot.com]. Weight loss is challenging to most people and necessary for some. Add Acai Berry [http://www.try-acai-berry-weight-loss.com] to your weight loss plan and get FREE support systems to YOU to ensure the best possible rate of success.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Exposure of isoflavone is correlated with the testosterone

Post by Chantel. M studies contributed by  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

In the study to evaluate relations between equol-producing phenotype and serum sex hormones among adults in Beijing, 90 male and 90 female adults participated in a cross-sectional study and provided twice 24h urine samples on a regular diet and after 3-d soy isoflavone challenge respectively, posted in PubMed, researchers found that exposure of isoflavone is correlated with the testosterone in healthy men under the usually lifestyle, and may be related to equol phenotype.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Cooking With Tofu - Some Great Culinary Secrets

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed  By

Tofu is often a object of fun. Those who have never eaten it often laugh at it. Even some vegetarians hesitate to try it because they fear that they may be ridiculed or simply do not know how to cook it.
But tofu is a highly nutritious food that can be cooked in variety of delicious ways. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians can enjoy it. What is more it has proven health benefits.
Tofu comes in two forms. There is silken tofu which you will find on the supermarket shelf with oriental foods. Silken tofu can be kept for a long time without refrigeration if the packet is unopened. Once opened it must be stored in the fridge.
You will find regular tofu in the chiller department of you supermarket. It usually comes in a plastic vacuum pack.
Both kinds of tofu come in a white block. It looks something like cheese. Silken tofu is widely used in Japanese cooking but both kinds of tofu can be used in most dishes that call for tofu.
When you taste tofu you will discover that there is no comparison with cheese. It tastes of nothing. That is the secret of cooking tofu. You are adding the flavour. The advantage is that tofu is endlessly adaptable. It takes on the flavour of the herbs, spices and vegetables with which it is cooked.
You can use it in stir fries by cutting it into little cubes. Flavor it with garlic, ginger, sesame oil, chillies or whatever you like to add to your favourite stir fry. If you keep a block of silken tofu in the store cupboard you will always have something make a stir fry in a hurry.
Tofu can also be used for salad dressings and creamy sauces for savoury or sweet dishes. Throw either kind in the food processor with the flavorings you want to use. For a salad dressing choose garlic, lemon juice, honey or herbs. If you make the same dressing thicker it can be used as a spread or dip.
You might like to try it as a filling in baked potato. Roasted vegetables with a tofu dip make a delicious first course or snack meal.
A thick paste of tofu can even be made into a burger and served in a bun. It is an ideal vegetarian option for the barbecue.
For a sweet sauce add some honey, cinnamon perhaps, nutmeg, even chocolate or pureed fruit. You can use the same mixture for a cheesecake recipe if you make it a little stiffer than you would for a sauce. A few chopped nuts sprinkled on top add a variety of texture.
Tofu is a very healthy food. It is low in fat and contains no animal fat at all. It will not raise your cholesterol levels and is reputed to play a part in raising the level of "good" cholesterol.
The isoflavones found in soy-based products such as tofu are thought to play a part in reducing the risk of cancer because they combat free radicals in the body.
Whether you use tofu as part of a vegetarian diet or a non-vegetarian diet it is a food worthy trying.
Abhishek has got some great tips on becoming a Vegetarian Download his FREE 108 Pages Ebook, "The Advantages Of Being A Vegetarian!" from his website http://www.Health-Whiz.com/81/index.htm Only limited Free Copies available.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vegetarian Only - Chili Spiced Tofu Satay

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed  By
Satay is an Indonesian and Malaysian dish consisting of small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer and usually served with spiced sauce. Chicken meat, lamb, and beef are the three common meats used in this exotic food. Other meat, including fish and pork are also used rarely. Vegetarians can also enjoy the taste of satay, but they have to substitute the meat with other ingredients, like tofu.
Tofu is a curd made from mashed soy beans, used chiefly in Asian and vegetarian cookery. Soy beans are rich in protein, have no cholesterol, and the great source of isoflavone. Many researches have proven that tofu could be used as an alternative meal instead of meat as a protein resource, so tofu satay is a suitable choice for vegetarians.
To make tofu satay, you have to prepare these ingredients first:
  1. White tofu, 600 grams, chops into small boxes about 2x2 cm.
  2. Water, 100 cc.
  3. Salt, 1 teaspoon.
  4. Garlic, 3 slices, pounded.
  5. Skewer
  6. Orange leave, 2 leaves, remove the bone, cut into pieces.
  7. Sugar, 1 teaspoon.
  8. Frying oil, 4 tablespoons.
The spices consist of these ingredients:
  1. Onion, 4 pieces.
  2. Garlic, 3 pieces.
  3. Candle nut, 4 pieces.
  4. Red chili, 4 pieces.
  5. Small chili, 2 pieces.
  6. Pepper, a quarter teaspoon.

  1. Dissolve the salt and garlic into the water. Immerse tofu boxes in it for 15 minutes.
  2. Pierce the tofu boxes into skewer. Grill until they are half-cooked.
  3. Fry the spices and orange leaves with oil. Add salt and sugar. Stir well.
  4. Pour it into tofu. Grilled until they are cooked. Put them in a dish.
  5. Add water (50 cc), salt (a quarter teaspoon), and sugar (a quarter teaspoon) into the remainder of the spices. Cook until it is done.
  6. Pour it into the satay in the dish. It is ready to be served.
In order to get the best result, do not grill satay too long. Grill them until they just change to a darker color. To avoid the skewer from being burnt, simply immerse the skewer into the water for 30 minutes before usage. Tofu satay is best served with tomato and onion slices spread over it.
Some ingredients needed to make tofu satay are ready to be purchased in [http://www.bestbuy-ever.com]

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How Diabetics Can Enjoy Sandwiches - Mozzarella-Bologna and Fool Me Tofu Egg Salad Sandwiches Recipe

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

Diabetics, too, need or simple want to grab a sandwich from time to time. It is possible to eat healthy sandwiches by using whole-grain breads with the meat and cheese that offer protein. These Mozzarella/Bologna Sandwiches use whole-wheat English muffins as bread and feature bologna, cheese, and lettuce. The Tofu "Egg" Salad Sandwiches are a great alternative for those who love egg salad but are trying to eat less eggs.
MOZZARELLA/BOLOGNA GRILLED SANDWICHES
4 whole-wheat English muffins
2 tsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise
4 tsp pickle relish, drained
1/2 lb sliced bologna
1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 lettuce leaves, washed and dried well
Split English muffins. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter or margarine. Put English muffin lower halves in skillet, split side down. Cook until golden. Remove to plate and repeat process with the upper halves. Mix mayonnaise and pickle relish together in a small bowl. On lower halves of muffins, arrange bologna and cheese slices on the cut sides. Cut to fit. Spread mayonnaise mixture over cheese and bologna. Top with the top halves of the muffins. Return sandwiches to skillet and brown over medium heat. Serve on a lettuce leaf.
FOOLED ME TOFU EGG SALAD SANDWICHES
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp dill pickle relish
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp salt, optional
dash of fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pkg (12.3-oz) silken firm tofu, cubed
8 slices whole-wheat bread
4 lettuce leaves
In a small bowl, combine the celery, green onions, mayonnaise, pickle relishes, Dijon mustard, turmeric, salt (if using), and black and cayenne peppers. Gently stir in the tofu. Spread mixture over four slices of bread. Top each with a lettuce leaf and add the remaining bread slices.
Enjoy!
For more of Linda's recipes and diabetic information go to http://diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com.
You can find more quick and easy recipes on my blog at http://grandmasquickfixrecipes.blogspot.com.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Some Tips on Easy Tofu Recipes You Can Practice at Home

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By
 
There are lots of easy tofu recipes existing for you to practice so that you can no longer say that cooking tofu is hard. Many cooks have elaborate meals with tofu as the core ingredient and many of those are recipes that are as delightful as other recipes. Tofu is the best choice for those who want to cook dish in fifteen minutes or even less.
Time-Efficient Tips
You have to be aware of a few easy ways regarding cooking these recipes. Many of easy tofu recipes can be completed in a matter of minutes only if you know how to execute them. Surely, you can make these recipes every day if you know what tofu forms can be substituted for what ingredients in the recipes.
One tip in making lasagna in version of recipe is by blending the pureed silken tofu with cheese. Another quick tip is to mix tofu with fineluy chopped vegetables, bread crumbs, as well as seasonings. Shape the mixture into a patty for your very own veggie burgers. You can also make an easy "meat" dish with tofu. Just marinate tofu "cutlets" in your favorite marinade and cook it as you would meat. Easy tofu recipes are just the way to spice up some of the meals that you generally cook at home.
Getting The Hang Of It
It can be hard for you to get used to a new ingredient like tofu. Yet, you do not have to be terrified of including tofu into your diet. Obviously, because you have a lot of easy tofu recipes which let you to do so. You can whip up recipes after you switch to handling the different tofu types and making substitutions with it.
Don't make yourself in doubt, see more on easy tofu recipe [http://tofucookingmaster.com/easy-tofu-recipe/easy-tofu-recipes-quicker-and-healthier/].
For more articles and tips about cooking tofu, get other articles by Dianne Christy. You are welcome to visit her website on Tofu Cooking Master [http://tofucookingmaster.com/] for more useful information.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Make Yu Bu Cho Bap (Tofu Wrapped Rice Balls)

 Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By
Yu Bu Cho Bap is a Korean form of rolls. The inside of the roll is rice mixed with seeds and other flakes for flavor. The outside of the yu bu cho bap is fried tofu. This dish is very popular in Korea because of its ease in preparation as well as in its ease of transportation. This is how you make Yu Bu Cho Bap.
Here is the list of ingredients. You are going to need simply rice and a package of yu bu cho bap wrapper. The package of yu bu cho bap can be found in all korean markets.
The next thing you need to do is to prepare the rice. Just prepare it like you have always done because there is no specific way that you have to do rice, unlike sushi.
Once the rice is done cooking, spoon it into a large bowl and let it sit and cool down for a while so that it's easier to handle the rice.
Once the rice has cooled down, open your package of yu bu cho bap wrapper. Although this is not usually done, I usually add the liquid that is in the package so that the rice is a bit sweeter and has more flavor. Inside the package should be a pack of flakes (sorry, but I'm not sure what these flakes are). Add those flakes to the rice and mix it well.
Once you have done that, get the rice and make medium size balls (or smaller, depending on the size of the package). Then open the yu bu cho bap wrapper, and add the rice ball in. Push the rice down once it's in so that it doesn't overflow.
Now you can simply relax and eat. Teach your friends and family how to make this delicious dish today.
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tofu Vegetable Stir Fry

Posted by Chantel M.,  Recipe contributed By
The tofu, vegetable stir-fry is one of my staple dinners. The great thing about this meal is its versatility. For instance, today I had broccoli, carrots, black and maitake mushrooms. At other times, I've used bok choy, bell peppers, and onions. Or, spinach, sweet potatoes and snow peas. Really, whatever you have at hand will be delicious, so get creative!
The next layer of flexibility comes with the tofu. Tofu is a fabulous replacement for meat in many dishes, and a great source of lean protein. As a bonus, it can be cooked a million different ways: baked, fried, braised, sautéed, you name it. The diverse ways of preparing tofu provide an entirely varied textural and taste experience. For this stir-fry, I pan fried my tofu, which gives it a beautiful, crispy exterior, leaving it soft and smooth inside. Each particular method will allow the tofu to absorb the flavorings in different ways and give you a wider variety of options in your cooking.
One of the most common fears about converting to a plant based diet is a dramatic decrease in variety. The prevailing misconception is that we eat the same thing all the time. Well, hopefully, if you've been following my blog for even a short time, you can see that's not true. According to Jonathan Safran Foer, Americans eat less than one quarter of one percent of all edible foods. Still think an omnivorous diet is varied? In reality, transitioning to a vegan diet forced me to step outside my comfort zone and embrace dozens of foods I had never tried before. For example, in my former life, stir fry would have been served on white or brown rice. Now I play with tons of different grains like bulgur, cracked wheat berries, millet, quinoa, cornmeal, and those are just the grains I eat for breakfast! I now feel more playful toward my food, engaging in a creative experimentation with a wider range of ingredients, instead of substituting a different meat to achieve so-called variety. So, just because a stir-fry always contains tofu, veggies, and whole grains doesn't mean it will ever taste remotely the same. The possibilities for your meal when you factor in sauce, tofu preparation, and possible vegetables, as well as choice of grains, become truly unlimited.
Colleen Boucher is the creator and writer of the blog Dinner Peace (http://dinnerpeace.blogspot.com). She is an evolving vegan eater, and recipe creator, health advocate, and wellness specialist. Dinner Peace is a blog for current vegans, vegetarians, and anyone interested in occasionally trying to go meatless, lose weight, or just get healthy.
Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can be intimidating, and Dinner Peace was founded to combat that apprehension with numerous examples of delicious, plant based, healthful, compassionate, cruelty-free and animal-free dishes, ranging from breakfast to lunch to snacks, dinners, and desserts. The vegan lifestyle is also an effective tool for weight loss, or just to achieve your optimum level of health. If you are looking to make a positive change in your life, or just get a sense of the reality of a vegan diet, check out Dinner Peace!

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vegetarian Healthy Meals

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By
 
There is a misconception that vegetarian healthy meals are expensive and difficult to prepare. I beg to differ. I say, it takes less effort, energy and cost. It takes less effort because a vegetarian meal is composed of fresh vegetables and high-protein beans and legumes. Vegetables need not be cooked for hours. In fact the quicker you can cook the more beneficial it is. Most vegetables can be blanched or steamed in minutes while animal flesh needs to be cooked very well especially when you're feeding them to your little kiddos.
Salmonella laden meat anyone? Bacteria fest? I'm not trying to scare you, I'm just saying these are worries you need not bother with when you're preparing vegetarian meals. I'm not saying that there is a zero possibility of parasite in vegetables but the probability is not as high as with meat. (Now now, don't bash me. Let's save this argument for later discussion. Get back to me and we'll wrestle with this topic some other time.) Beans and legumes take time to be cooked. True. But... you can always cook them in big batches and store them in the freezer for future use. Tofu burgers can be done over the weekends for the week's consumption. I make a batch enough for tofu burgers, tofu balls and tofu patties that can be grilled, baked or cooked in tiny weenie bit of olive oil on a non-stick pan. These are quick meals for hungry active kids whose hungry appetite must be attended to ASAP before the window of opportunity closes in on you. Whole wheat bread, tofu patties with some crispy lettuce and fresh succulent tomatoes, a slab of cheese and into the grill it goes. Once the cheese melts, the lettuce and tomatoes gets forgotten in the gooey cheese. Place it on a plate and slice them into small triangles or cut them with a cookie shaped cutter. If you're kids don't clamor over them, well at least there's you who can benefit from this scrumptious meal you've prepared. Seven to eight minutes tops and if you do this few days a week, you'll be making this in minutes just like the guys at the burger joint.
That's one of the perks of being a vegetarian. Instant frozen food in the supermarket is not always accessible to everybody so mothers like me make them (instant frozen food) without the killer preservatives and hidden GMOs. And I get to choose what I put in: Whole wheat flour or besan flour? Grated carrots or grated beets? Mashed tofu or soy grits? So you see a bad thing can sometimes be a good thing. I get make my own instant vegetarian healthy meals. I know my kid is eating healthy because I know what exactly he's eating. Do you?
With home cooked vegetarian healthy meals I know he won't have to suffer food poisoning due to undercooked seafood, poultry and meat. Sick child with food poisoning. Effort, energy, cost and heartache. Need I say more?
I have been a vegetarian almost my entire life and have raised two kids with abundance of vegetarian healthy meals. I am delighted to share my experience of vegetarian and vegan cooking with the world.
For more vegetarian meal ideas visit http://www.highprotein-vegetarian.com/

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Soya in Chinese Cuisine: Milk, Beans, and Bean Curd

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed  By
Soya is a key ingredient in Chinese cuisine and it has been so for thousands of years.
If you think that soya intake in China is limited to soya beans, soya milk and tofu, you are mistaken. Actually, there are hundreds of different kinds of soya-made food products that are part of the daily diet in China.
In this article, I will focus on soya milk, soya beans and bean curd. Tofu deserves special attention on its own and therefore has been discussed in a different article.
Soya Beans
Let us start with the original form in which soya presents itself in nature: soya beans. I have been looking for soya beans in UK supermarkets and shops for a while, but haven't been very successful so far. Fortunately, soya beans are sold in most Chinese supermarkets in the UK. The beans are sold dried and hard, so if you decide to cook them, you need to soak them in water at least overnight to get them softer and ready for cooking.
A popular way of cooking them is to stir fry them. I like to do it with little tofu pieces and carrots; or light frying them in oil, until they become crispy. They can then can be taken as snacks or side dish.
Soya Milk
In China, soya milk is slightly thicker than what is customary in Western countries, and it is never mixed with anything else. Nowadays, soya milk can be made at home by using a soya milk maker. If you remember to soak the beans the evening before, the next morning you can make pure soya milk in 10 minutes.
Once, I found a type of soya milk maker sold in the US which did not require you to soak the beans in advance, which is very convenient since I always forget.
Soya milk is an essential component of Chinese breakfast.
Dried Bean Curd
Two types of dried bean curd can be commonly found in Chinese supermarkets. The first one comes in the shape of a stick; the second one comes in a sheet.
They both need to be soaked in water first. You can soak it in warm water (never too hot) for a couple of hours, then make it into salad.
Vegetarian Chicken (Suji)
This is the literal translation from the Chinese name, so don't get confused with the ones sold in Vegetarian sections of supermarkets. It is another form of tofu or bean curd, which is not at all intended as a substitute for chicken.
It is typical from the Northern provinces of China and it is normally prepared in salad or stir fried.
Seasonings
There are many seasonings made from soy, like soy sauce, soy paste, soy oil. Most of them are essential in Chinese daily life and can be found in every kitchen in North China.
Shibin Zhang writes about Chinese food and Chinese culture. She specialises in the cuisine of North East China and in Islamic Chinese cuisine. On her website you can find more information about soya in Chinese cuisine

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Learning How To Cook Tofu

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By
When it comes to preparing healthy and delicious meals that will satisfy, it's difficult to know where to begin. The truth is - we all lead busy lives that can frequently teeter on chaotic. Between a busy career, non-stop schedules, and ever-increasing activities, we often don't know where to fit the making of meals. It often seems so much easier to just grab something on the run - even if that something is far from healthy. And for those who are vegetarians, finding healthy meal alternatives can be even more difficult. Luckily, learning how to cook tofu will put your meals back in your control.
Tofu is a spongy cake made from bean curd and is traditionally cubed to be used in a variety of dishes. Tofu is extremely nutritious as it is rich in many essential vitamins. Also, because tofu is a protein dense food, it is often used as a meat substitute in a variety of vegetarian cuisines. Discovering how to cook tofu will open up a whole new world of different foods.
Tofu tends to be quite bland on its own; but because of its porous consistency, it absorbs the flavors of the food around it. Subsequently, tofu can be delicious in a variety of sauces and marinades. Many people, when first learning how to cook tofu simply substitute it for meat in any recipe that would traditionally call for chicken, red meat, or fish. But there are also recipes specifically geared towards the use of tofu as the main ingredient. As a matter of fact, there are cookbooks and online search engines dedicated exclusively to how to cook tofu.
Because of tofu's versatility, it is commonly used in a variety of cultural cuisines. The Japanese in particular, frequently include tofu as a part of their diet.
Low-fat, low-calorie, and nutritious, tofu can change the face of any recipe, allowing you to enjoy a satisfying, delicious meal without sacrificing good health. Learn how to cook tofu in a way that works for you and your family; you will be more than pleasantly surprised.
For easy to understand, in depth information about tofu visit our ezGuide 2 Tofu.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to Cook Crispy Tofu

Posted by Chantel M. Recipe contributed By

Tofu is a healthy source of protein that is essential to a healthy lower cholesterol diet. However, as most people know tofu is a lumpy, moist substance. When its raw it tastes and feels like you are biting into goo.
Don't get me wrong. Tofu also tastes great but, you have to learn how to cook it properly. Learning how to cook crispy tofu is not that challenging but, it is rewarding. In fact today for lunch I cooked up a stir fry with green peppers, onions, a spicy sauce, and crispy tofu.
One of the tricks to creating a crispy tofu is to get rid of the water. By slicing it into small pieces you can then lay them flat on a paper towel and press gently from the top with another paper towel. These will absorb the moisture from the food. Now once it is cooked it will have a crisper texture.
Another method to remove the water that I have started to use to get rid of water is by cooking in the oven. I usually will turn the oven up to about 200 to 250 degrees or so and lay all the sliced sections of tofu on a pan. Remember that when slicing it is important to make the pieces as thin as you possibly can. I put them in the oven while I am prepping the vegetables or any other parts of the meal. I then pull the tofu out of the oven and begin the next stage of cooking it.
Some people will choose to put bread crumbs on their meal. I don't usually do that but before I finish cooking the tofu I do place flour on it. This helps absorb a little more water and its great for when you start frying.
The last stage to cooking the crispy tofu is to fry it. I always use olive oil because I love the taste and it is healthy. However, I still only use a few tablespoons. I put the heat on high and place as many pieces as i can fit on the stove. As they start to golden on the bottom I will flip them, just like you would if you were cooking a pancake. I make sure I flip them and let them cook evenly on both sides. This is the step where you realize how important it is to have sliced each piece thin. The tofu doesn't cook evenly all the time so, if you have a thick piece then you will end up with a soft inside.
After you cook each piece, simply mix with the sauce and veggies, then serve.
Want to see the full procedure?
Check out http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-cook-crispy-tofu and read through to find everything you need for the perfect meal

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