Pressing Tofu

Hello, my tofu-loving veg-heads!

First off, I bet none of you reading loves tofu as much as my 18 month old daughter. She seriously goes crazy for it!! …right out of the package! …and this is how I used to go crazy for it too, until I started pressing it!

Truth be told, I got my tofu press (pictured above) as a gift an embarrassingly long time ago, and it had been living in my cupboard until recently. I feel silly that a devoted vegan such as myself has just gotten on the Tofu Express, lol! Get it? 😉

So, why should you press tofu? Well, tofu is packed with water, and then it’s packed in water. So much water will naturally dilute any flavor, and this, my friends, guaranteed, is why many people say they “hate” tofu, or that the flavor is bland or boring. When you press the water out, you allow much more room for FLAVOR!! Many tofu recipes you will find instruct you to drain the tofu, cut it into cubes or slices and then cook it, and they are missing the one crucial step of SEASONING it! You don’t find recipes for beef or chicken without some seasoning instructions, so you have to show the same kind of love to tofu!!

You can marinade it the same way you would anything else, with your favorite herbs, spices and liquid seasonings such as tamari, teriyaki, or your fave veggie broth.

You can press your tofu by using a tofu press (like the one you see pictured) or you can use the “book & plate” method. Take a plate and line it with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place the tofu block on the paper towels and put another layer on top of the tofu. Put another plate or a cutting board on top of the paper towels and then weigh it down with heavy books or anything else heavy that would do. You’d want to press it for at least 30 minutes, if not overnight.

If you do cook with tofu regularly though, it may be worth it to invest in the tofu press. 😉

How many of you already press your tofu? What’s your favorite way to cook it? Share below, if you feel inclined! Definitely share some yummy recipes, if you have them!

Happy pressing!

 

 

 

Simple & Comforting Brown Rice Porridge

I usually make a big ol’ batch of brown rice weekly. I typically use it for lunches and dinners, but here is a yummy (and super quick) brown rice breakfast recipe that is great for the cooler mornings of fall and winter. It’s got cinnamon, which is naturally warming and spicy, and I also add almond butter to kick up the protein content, but you can use whatever nut butter you choose. Tahini would also be lovely in this recipe! 

Brown Rice Porridge

  • 2 cups pre-cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter (or tahini)
  • Teensy pinch of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine almond milk, sweetener, almond butter and dates. Bring to a low boil, and then simmer on low for about 5 minutes to soften the dates.

Add the brown rice, cinnamon and sea salt and cook for about 5 minutes until your rice is soft.

Enjoy immediately.

A little preparation can go a long way! Having pre-cooked brown rice is so helpful; especially if you lead a busy life and/or have kids! Brown rice is so versatile, as you can see!

Need more ideas for tasty and simple recipes and advice on how to incorporate them into your life? Contact me! I always offer a complimentary 30 minute consult where we can chat about your personal health related goals!

 

 

Macadamia Fig Smoothie

FigShake

Fig season!!! Isn’t it the BEST???

I just picked up some organic figs from Whole Foods the other day, and woke up this morning and thought, “I need to make a fig-centric smoothie”. I typically use a chocolate flavored plant-based protein powder, and I didn’t want a “chocolate/fig” thing goin’ on, but I definitely wanted protein, so that’s why I thought macadamia nuts would be a good pair!

Figs are naturally high in fiber and potassium. They are also helpful for fertility as they contain a lot of iron, which are important for healthy eggs and ovulation.

I also sweetened this with yacon syrup, and if you don’t know much about yacon syrup, let me tell you about how wonderful it is!

Yacon syrup is extremely low GI, and safe for diabetics AND for candida! It won’t feed bad bacteria. Also, it contains fructooligosaccharides, which are PRE-biotics (food that feed GOOD bacteria). It has the consistency kind of like a thinner molasses, I suppose, and it’s rich in flavor, as it comes from a tuber native to South America.

Behold–the Macadamia Fig Smoothie!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 4 fresh figs
  • 2 tbsp. macadamia nuts
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tsp. yacon syrup

Blend away and enjoy!

Tell me…what is your favorite way to enjoy figs?

For more delicious recipes or personalized nutrition plans, contact me! I’m happy to be of service to you! xo-Dori

Plant-Based Protein Sources

eatmoreplants

The majority of people I come across and work with do not always understand where they can find alternative sources of complete plant protein and some will argue that a plant-based diet is lacking and one cannot survive without eating animal flesh. Hogwash!

Also, in my humble opinion, I think we are truly a bit “protein obsessed” in this country! On average, we only need about 20-30% of our calories to come from protein and our bodies can really only absorb about 20 grams of protein per sitting, so consuming globs of whey powders of pounds or grilled chicken breasts won’t do us any good since the body does not maintain a store of excess amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Once your daily protein needs are met, your body has two options for dealing with any excess protein. Option 1: If your calorie intake is low that day, your cells may convert it into fuel. Option 2: If you’ve had plenty to eat that day (i.e. met your caloric intake), your body will convert the extra protein to fatty acids (a.k.a. FAT).

Many argue that plants are not a source of “complete” protein. The term “complete protein” refers the building blocks of protein: amino acids.  There are 20 different amino acids that form a protein molecule, and there are nine that the body cannot make on its own. These nine are called essential amino acids and since the body does not produce them, we need to get them from food sources. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in mostly equal parts.

So, animals products such as meat and eggs are naturally complete proteins, and plant sources such as beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are not. But I’ve got news for you; we don’t need every single essential amino acid in every bite of food in every meal we eat; we only need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day. So, if you are consuming a diet rich in nutrient dense plant-based foods, and grazing all day, your body in its infinite wisdom, is smart enough to do its own combining and you’ll get what you need! So don’t worry too much about that and get your butt to the farmer’s market!

As you browse the list to follow, you can see there are plenty of healthy, nutrient dense, plant-based protein choices listed (that are not just soy-based—with the exception of organic tempeh, which I like on occasion!). A lot of these things can be thrown into smoothies, which I believe is the tastiest way to consume things like blue-green algae, for instance.

Most supplements can be found at your favorite health food store, or online.

POWER PACKING VEGGIE PROTEIN SOURCES

  • Green-leafy veggies (spinach, kale, bok choy, collards, green cabbage, arugula)
  • Good quality plant-based protein powder (my fave is Sun Warrior)
  • Goji berries
  • Mulberries
  • E3 Live (amazing blue-green algae product-this can be extremely powerful for mental clarity!!)
  • Blue-green algae such as chlorella and spirulina
  • Hemp (raw hemp seeds and hemp protein)
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Fresh olives
  • Grass powders (wheatgrass, barley grass, etc. I like Amazing Grass’s products)
  • Maca powder
  • Brewer’s yeast (not recommended for people with candida)
  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Raw almonds
  • Sprouted grains
  • Sprouted wild rice
  • Sprouts of all types
  • Nut butters
  • Beans (garbanzo, kidney, black, adzuki, etc.)
  • Lentils
  • Organic, non-GMO tempeh

As you can see, there are plenty of foods to choose from! If you need more specific help incorporating them into your diet, contact me! I can help you come up with some very tasty ways to start consuming more plant-based protein, and I promise, you won’t even miss that burger!