Health

5 tofu recipes and benefits for healthy and vegan diet

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Prepare these 5 tofu dishes at home, and get wholesome and nutritious benefits. Nosh on these dishes suggested by a nutritionist.

Girls, are you planning to go vegan or craving some delicious dishes but are calorie conscious? Try experimenting with tofu, which is made by curdling and solidifying soy milk. While we have a plethora of ways to play with paneer recipes, when it comes to the lower calorie food tofu, we may not always have recipes handy. But we are here to help!

Tofu is a healthy and delicious ingredient for preparing great vegetarian and vegan dishes. It is also considered as a meat substitute because of its taste and high protein content. Tofu aslo has a full amino acid profile, making it a great muscle building food. The plethora of benefits that tofu holds, makes it a versatile ingredient while cooking.

Nutritionist Avni Kaul, Dietitian and Wellness Coach tells HealthShots, spoke to HealthShots about why you must include tofu to your food, and how too cook some easy recipes at home.

Benefits of tofu:

1. Skin Health

Isoflavonoids from tofu help in preventing pigmentations that are caused by the deposition of melanine under the skin. They also relieve inflammation.

2. Heart Disease

Tofu helps in keeping the cholesterol level in the range, it lowers the level of LDL. It also reduces the risk of other cardiovascular diseases such as blood pressure, atherosclerosis.

3. Cancer

Many studies show that tofu may help in preventing breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer as they have antioxidant properties.

4. Osteoporosis

Isoflavones from tofu reduce the chances of bone loss and help in maintaining bone density.

5. Menopause

The inclusion of tofu in the daily diet of women of menopausal age may help in relieving menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.

Here are 5 easy, super delicious and wholesome recipes of tofu:

1. Chilly Garlic Tofu

Ingredients:

Tofu-50 gms
Peanut oil/coconut or vegetable oil)
1 Tablespoon Salt to taste.
Fresh cracked Black Peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
Smashed garlic cloves – 2
Broccoli- 1/4 Cup
Chili garlic sauce- 1/2 tbsp
Honey 1 tbsp
Soy sauce- 3/4 tsp
Toasted sesame seeds-1 Tbsp

Method:

1. Heat oil on a tawa on medium heat.
2. Add salt, pepper and smashed garlic. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until the gorlic is fragrant.
3. Soute tofu until golden brown over medium heat for about 5 minutes each side.
4. At the same time, fill a medium pot with Inch of water, and set on the stove. Place a steam basket inside and layer up the broccoli. Cover with a lid and bring it to a boil.
5. Mix the chili sauce, honey and soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
6. Cut the seaweed strips and check when the tofu is done. With Tongs, move garlic from the tawa, transfer the broccoli to the skillet and give it a good stir to coat.
7. Add the toasted sesame seeds, and stir for one minute over medium heat.

Your finger-licking chilly-garlic tofu is ready !

2. Asian Stir Fried Tofu Salad

Ingredients:

1 tbsp sesame oil
2 spring onions
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 cup Tofu, medium pieces
½ cup mushroom roughly chopped
½ cup broccoli, boiled
1 cup capsicum, chopped
1 tbsp soya sauce
¼ tsp vinegar
½ tsp jaggery
2-3 basil leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
1 tsp roasted flax seeds

Method:

1. Take a wok and add oil, vegetables and tofu to it.
2. Stir fry it for 2-3 minutes until tender crisp.
3. To this add soya sauce, vinegar, jaggery and red chilli. Mix well.
4. Add basil leaves, salt and pepper and seeds to it.
5. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.

3. Tripura Style Sauteed Tofu and Green Beans

Ingredients:

1 Cup french beans chopped to 1 inch and parboiled
Half medium onion, chopped
1 Large garlic cloves, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
50 gm tofu, cubed
1 tsp olive oil/vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. On a frying pan, stir fry the tofu with few drops of oil for about q minute on each side and keep it aside.
2. On the same pan, saute onions, garlic, cloves and chillies till the raw smell goes away.
3. Add the parboiled green beans with tofu and saute for few minutes. And add salt and pepper as per your taste.

4. Shawarma-Spiced Tofu Pita Wraps

Ingredients:

* Red onion -1/2 small, thinly sliced
* Seasoned rice vinegar- 1 tbsp. • Block firm or extra-firm tofu 50gms drained
* Extra-virgin olive oil- 1 tbsp.
* Ground coriander- 1 tsp.
* Smoked Spanish paprika-1tsp
* Crushed red pepper flakes- 1/4 tsp.
* Ground cinnamon-½ tsp.
* Salt to taste
* Whole-milk Greek yogurt- 1/4 cup
* Garlic clove- 1 small finely grated
* Pitas- 2 warmed
* Persian or mini cucumber-1, thinly sliced lengthwise
* Mint leaves (for serving)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss onion and vinegar in a small bowl to coat set aside

2. Squeeze tofu over a medium bowl, gently at first, then more firmly to expel as much water as possible (like squeezing out a big sponge). Don’t worry if it starts to crack apart. When no wore liquid comes out, tear tofu into 1″ pieces. Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss with oil, then add coriander, paprika, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Toss well to coat. Roast tofu, turning once or twice, until crispy around the edges and well browned, 20-25 minutes (the tofu will get crispier as it cools. so don’t be tempted to take it too far and dry it out in the oven).

3. Stir yogurt and garlic in a small bowl; season with salt. Assemble by dividing yogurt among pitas, followed by tofu, cucumbers, drained pickled onion, and a handful of mint.

5. Quesadilla

Ingredients:

50gms (Lightly pressed) Block firm tofu
¼ tbsp Oil
50 gms Mushroom
Spinach – 1/4 cup
Cloves of garlic – 2 minced
Onions – 1/4 cup Chopped
Salt to taste
Grounded black pepper to taste
Sundried tomato – 1/4 cup,halved and diced
Almond milk – 1/4 cup
Nutritional yeast – 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric for colour – a pinch
Dried green onion chives – 1 tbsp
Baking powder – 1/8 tsp
Black Salt to taste

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven at 375°F/190°C. Press your tofu and set aside. Simultaneously grease a muffin container and set it aside too. In a pan at medium heat, add oil and vegetables.
2. Keep stirring it well so that all of it gets covered with the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let it cool. In a food processor add tofu, almond milk and dry ingredients. Blend it till it’s smooth and has no lump formation.
3. Now add a scoop of the mixture into 2 greased muffin cups. Try to fill an even amount of toppings into each cup. Top the cups with the remaining halved tomatoes and chives.
4. Bake for 30 minutes until muffins are ready. Test it with a toothpick to check if it is cooked. Remove it from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature.
5. Then, loosen the side edges with help of a knife and remove onto a wire rack. Let it cool completely to prevent sogginess.
6. Serve it warm or cold with pesto chutney, green chutney.

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