Sunday, January 15, 2023

Tofu Tips to Make It Taste Amazing

 
Recipes and Ideas to Make Tofu Taste Amazing
Tofu Scramble with Avocado, Peas, Potato, Tomato 



This blog shows you how easy it is to assemble a delicious tofu dish, even if you’ve never made one before.


Look below and discover tofu prep tips and serving ideas, especially for those who want an amazing change-of-pace meal, or are moving toward a more plant-based lifestyle. 


Many people have little  experience handling and preparing tofu, yet it doesn’t have to be that way.


It's economical, healthy, and easy to incorporate tofu into breakfast, lunch, or dinner dishes your family is sure to enjoy.


Water-packed organic tofu is stored in the refrigerated dairy case, produce, or Asian food area of your market or health food store. 


Tofu is also offered for sale in aseptically wrapped packages. This form of tofu doesn't need to be refrigerated, has a long shelf life, and is already drained. 


I advise you to buy organic or non-gmo tofu for top quality. Prices for fresh organic tofu list from $1.99-$2.50 lb. Portion size is 3 oz. per person. How's that for good value?


Tofu is made by heating and coagulating soy. Magnesium or calcium are used to press curdling soy milk into a solid block of bean curd. 



The most popular forms of tofu are firm or extra firm. It is also available in silken, medium firm and frozen.(firmness depends on how much water is removed). 



Unflavored Tofu is gluten free, has only 78 calories in each 3 oz. serving, and is an excellent source of vegetable protein (8.7 g). 



One 3 oz. serving of tofu contains 4 grams of fat, 0.8 grams of fiber, and is cholesterol free.



Most tofu brands use calcium sulfate to make it, and then each portion of tofu can provide a dose of plant-based calcium. 



Tofu contains many important vitamins and minerals including iron, potassium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, and zinc.



Tofu is a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids that your body can't make on its own. 



One 3 oz. serving of tofu does a great job keeping you full for many hours, and may control your urge to overeat.



Tips to Help You Prepare and Serve Tofu


TIP# 1. One of the secrets of insuring tastiness and improving the texture of water packed tofu is to remove all excess water. 


Draining tofu allows a marinade, sauce, or other seasonings to penetrate the tofu better.


My favorite way to drain tofu is:


Place a block of  tofu on a large dinner plate. Cover tofu with another plate and put a weight such as a large can on top of all. 

Refrigerate for at least one half hour and pour off liquid when ready. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel if needed. 




TIP# 2. Plain tofu is easy to handle. Just drain it, cube it, slice it, cut it into strips, or cut it into any shape that appeals to you.



Tofu can be frozen. Here's a link to a post that explains how to prepare tofu that's been frozen.



No matter what kind of tofu you use, sprinkle on spices like chili powder, ethnic themed spices, or smoked paprika to make taste buds sing. 


Packaged tofu is fully cooked and ready to eat, although many recipes call for it to be heated. 


For heightened taste, follow recipe directions to meld the flavors of veggies, grains, and tofu. Heat in a stir-fry pan, instant pot, oven, or broiler.


Eat tofu in a sandwich, salad, wrap, casserole, stew, soup, or in one of your favorite conventional recipes.

Tofu on a Tossed Green Salad
Strips of Broiled Tofu on a Colorful Salad




Nix extra salt, and coat tofu with lots of herbs, spices, and seasonings before baking, grilling, or stir-frying. 







TIP# 3. Heighten tofu's flavor with interesting marinade ingredients. Here's an easy recipe for 



Oven Baked Oil Free Marinated Tofu 



How to Marinate Tofu


Ingredients:


3 or four garlic cloves grated

1 inch knob fresh ginger grated

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar (can sub apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar)

¼ cup fresh lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon mixed seasoning blend of your choice

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

What to Do:

1. In a small mixing bowl, blend or whisk all ingredients listed above to make a marinade. 


2. Place drained extra firm or firm tofu cubes, chunks, or strips( tofu is usually sold in 14 oz. to 1 lb. packages) into a food storage container that has a cover. 


3. Use a pastry brush or spoon to coat pieces of tofu with marinade, cover container, and refrigerate for at least one hour or more. The longer tofu marinates, the tastier it gets, and an overnight bath of marinade is ideal.


4. Preheat oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper on a flat roasting pan and place pieces of tofu on it.


5. Bake tofu for at least 30 minutes until tofu is lightly browned and crunchy (turn over at 15 min.). To add extra oomph quickly sauté the baked tofu in a pan with the extra marinade.

 


Serve baked marinated tofu with your favorite type of potato, cornbread (or other whole grain), and rainbow salad.

Crunchy Baked Marinated Tofu, Russet Potatoes, Cornbread, and Rainbow Salad



 Another way to use marinated tofu is in a stir-fry with colorful veggies and brown rice. 

Marinated Tofu and Veg Stir-fry
Marinated Tofu in Veggie Stir-fry on a Bed of Brown Rice




TIP# 4. Add chopped highly seasoned organic tofu (chili powder, cumin, and fresh cilantro)  or spicy (ginger, garlic, and miso) cubed organic tofu to traditional fare including soups, casseroles, or chili to stretch a recipe and be a frugal homemaker. 

Miso Soup is One Way to Eat More Tofu
Miso Soup with Tofu, Bok Choy, and Soba Noodles



TIP# 5 Blend spicy seasonings including red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and Italian herb blend into 
drained, crumpled firm or extra firm organic tofu (use a potato masher or your hands to crumple it). 



Crumbled Tofu



Seasoned chopped tofu can replace chopped beef, poultry, or cheese in pesto or tomato sauce recipes including lasagna, baked ziti, and stuffed shells. 


Eating flavorful tofu is a fabulous way to save money, yet not sacrifice good taste.


TIP #6 Tofu can be a good choice in sandwiches or wraps. Use your food processor or a fork to blend chopped organic tofu with Sloppy Joe sauce, BBQ sauce, or Sriracha sauce. 


Spread this mix on a bun, pita, or collard wrap and add lettuce, shredded carrot, and minced onion to garnish.



TIP#7 Blend drained organic tofu into drained canned tuna, crab meat, or boiled eggs for your next salad sandwich on a whole grain roll, bread, or on top of a mixed green salad.



TIP#8 Add an excellent source of plant based protein ( a cup of crumbled organic tofu) to a cup of coleslaw, macaroni salad, bean salad, or potato salad for an easy one-dish lunch idea. 



TIP#9 Tofu scramble, a vegan alternative to scrambled eggs, is a snap to make. This high protein dish can be ready in 15 minutes. See 

Nan's Tofu Scramble Recipe

Scrambled Tofu, Sir-fry Veggies, Fries, Whole Grain Toast

 
Ingredients:

1 block of drained firm, extra firm, or thawed frozen tofu

1 pack frozen, thawed stir fry veggies

2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

¼ cup vegetable broth

1-2 teaspoons Turmeric

Fresh ground pepper and garlic powder to taste


What to do:

1. Crumble tofu with your hands or potato masher.

2. Sauté tofu without oil for three minutes. If tofu sticks, use a drop of water to moisten pan.

3. Add a pack of defrosted frozen stir fry vegetables, 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, ¼ cup vegetable broth, 1-2 teaspoons turmeric, freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder to taste.

4. Cook in a pan on stovetop on a medium setting covered for 10 minutes, stirring often. 

This colorful dish becomes hot and delicious almost before you know it.

Note: If you have fresh veggies on hand like string beans, peas, spinach, or zucchini, prep them into small bite size pieces and use them instead of the stir-fry ones.

5. Serve with whole grain toast, potatoes, and a mixed green salad for a high protein cholesterol free meal.


TIP#10 Silken tofu is the best type of tofu to use in creamy salad dressings, dips, desserts (one example is chocolate mousse pie), smoothies, soups, and sauces. 


I'll compose and share a special post that features silken tofu in the future. Would you like that
 


Did you notice how easy it is to season and perk up the flavor of tofu?



This healthful, economical soy food is versatile and easy to incorporate into many different meals. 


Hope my tips and ideas to combine tofu with spices, herbs, sauces, marinades, and veggies inspires you. 


Which ways to enhance tofu's taste tempts you?


Please comment below, then hit publish, when you're through.


I appreciate all comments, but won't be able to publish those with links. Thanks for understanding.


For improved wellness, I encourage you to take the tofu plunge. 


Visit again and again and see how easy it is to make healthier food and lifestyle choices this year and beyond. 

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Sunday, January 1, 2023

Motivation from a Word for the Year

 
Self-empowerment Tips and Ideas at Color 4 Health



Positive self-talk and the empowering words we use to describe our daily lives can improve our mindset, and motivate, change, and inspire us. 


That’s why choosing a word for the year can be such a self-affirming idea.


In a blog I posted early this year, I posed the question Why Choose a Word for the Year? In this post I'll demonstrate how to gain motivation from our word for the year.


Look at the content that follows. It features tips and ideas to help us use our word for 2023 and beyond to stimulate forward momentum and make progress in fulfilling our dreams.


If we choose a word like invigorate or passion, it helps encourage us to make impactful choices, spring into action, and focus on those things we can control. 


Action words help motivate us to accept responsibility for stepping ahead with enthusiasm and vitality.


If we aim to experience more serenity and peace this year being words including contentment, satisfaction, or pleasure might align with us.


I suggest we reflect on the past year, take stock of our accomplishments and challenges, notice our current values and goals, and select a word for the year that resonates for us. 



If we choose a word that reminds us to do the footwork, we'll be better able to practice those habits, attitudes, and behaviors that help us attract the people and experiences we want to cultivate in the new year.


Tips and Ideas to Help 

Us With 

Self-Motivation 


1. Psychologists have found self-motivation is the reason why we do what we do. It is a reason why we go to work, why we are drawn to someone and not someone else, or why we enjoy extreme adventure or prefer reading mysteries in our spare time. 


When we are self-motivated we sense and acknowledge what we really want.


The meaning of self-motivation comes from passion and an underlying desire to achieve something.


Self-motivation can be a driving force in our professional and personal journey. 

Nothing can stand in our way, if we're sure of what we want to do and how we want to do it.

2. Angela Wood (Clinical Social Worker) and Ralph Wood (Health Educator and Professor), authors of How to Motivate Yourself to Change,” recommends looking inward for insights to help us change.


3. Break up large goals into smaller ones. Take tiny steps to make advances.

4. Celebrate even the tiniest  accomplishment. Nothing breeds more success than glimmers of hope.


To illustrate what I mean, I'm sharing my word for the year and one way I'll use it. My word for 2023 is Yes!

Self-empowerment Tips and Ideas at Colors 4 Health


I make a commitment to myself to be still and listen wholeheartedly, when someone requests or invites me to do something. 


I won't respond, until I'm able to fully process what they are asking.



My affirmative one word goal helps me remember to pause long enough not to have a knee jerk reaction and blurt out no or yes but



I will not allow fear of the unknown to trigger me. I refuse to flee or shut down emotionally, rather than consider what is being put on the table.



I intend to change my behavior by letting others express themselves completely. This gives me an opportunity to breathe deeply and listen mindfully



I strive to understand rather than kill the conversation or disrupt the exchange of ideas. 



5. Recognize and appreciate sustaining forward momentum may require hard work, persistence, and self-discipline, yet it is worth it.



For support, we can use motivational quotes that ring true and recite them aloud to help us stay on track. 


"Nothing will work unless you do." ~Maya Angelou



Maya Angelou Motivation Quote at Colors 4 Health
 


6. Through trial and error, I've learned to tackle my most important projects first thing in the day, when my stamina is in high gear. 



Observe which part of the day is most productive for you. Then prioritize your time accordingly.



"The secret of getting ahead is starting. The secret of getting started is breaking your tasks into smaller manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." ~Mark Twain


Mark Train Motivation Quote at Colors 4 Health


 

7. Identify and embrace those colors that help self-motivate. Colors can be a conduit for energy shifts, and serve as a powerful path for healing and personal growth.



Many people find bright yellow and golden yellow invigorate, help their power of concentration, and create a sunny outlook.


Yes and the Color Yellow




The color yellow is naturally associated with the sun and its life giving, sustaining energy. Let this vibrant energy source work by wearing a yellow dress or cap, eating a banana, or displaying a bunch of sunflowers in a pretty vase.  



Use the color blue to help calm, soothe, and settle your mind and spirit.


Blue is the color of the throat chakra and center for the spoken word (sky blue). 

The throat is the passageway by which we express feelings through communication. 


Meditating on a blue image before we express ourselves, helps us speak effectively and honestly.


Pale blue sheets or blue accent pieces in a bedroom encourages sleep. Blue wall coverings, blankets, or pillows makes the room appear cooler and larger than it actually is.


Blue comforts us emotionally at the cellular level, and helps us detach from things that are beyond our control.


Learn more about how to use many colors to boost your mood by reading Awesome Ways to Use Colors for Healing and Wellness.

Using Color Energy for Motivation at Colors 4 Health


8. If you need fresh ideas and/or want to learn new techniques to help you get ahead, do research about your topic, and seek guidance from successful people (mentors). 



Listen to inspiring podcasts, read or listen to memoirs of courageous people, and keep a journal to gain self-confidence and be accountable to yourself. 

Self-empowerment Tips and Ideas at Colors 4 Health




9. Believe in something greater than 
yourself including love, kindness, and goodness. 


When we contemplate the vastness of the universe, it may help us better see things in perspective. 


A gratitude practice, meditation, prayer, time spent in nature, 12 step programs, religious advisors, and therapy can be additional avenues for self-development.



Find and practice as many or few as work for you.



10. Schedule time for relaxation, rest, fun, community, and enjoyment. All work and no play is a sure path to burn-out.



Laugh, dance, sing, play a sport, and spend time with loved ones. Pace yourself and enjoy the journey. ✌


Just know taking steps to change old patterns requires attention, yet is definitely a possibility. 


Choosing a word for the year based on personal aspirations and intentions is a great way to make progress and improve our sense of wellness in the New Year.


This one word can provide the “why” to our goals and help us live more intentionally each day.


This is your year! So live it to its fullest. 💗 



Have you considered selecting a word for the year and what is it? If you care to, please explain why it is meaningful to you.


Which of my ideas helps motivate you?


If you'd be so kind, please comment in the section below, then hit publish.


Put no links in your comment, as they can't be published that way.


Happy, Healthy New Year and


Colors 4 Health Motto

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