Make Delicious Vegan Waffles With Tofu Instead of Eggs

As controversial as sneaking healthy ingredients into junky kid-foods may be (I’ve been known to throw stones myself), parents need to do what they need to do. And, in at least this one case, doing the unthinkable in the name of health led to a totally genius result.

The unthinkable? Emptying an entire package of tofu into the waffle batter.

Source: Genius Crispy, Fluffy (Vegan) Waffles with a Very Strange Secret Ingredient

Sugar in a vegan recipe?!  I could just waffle on and on… 😉

I don’t get why haters are so quick to point out that things don’t taste identical to their non-vegan/etc counterpart.  Besides the ideological aspect, the health aspect is valid.  And lots of recipes we use today came from people experimenting on existing recipes.  Though, I do wonder if chasing foods deemed no longer acceptable leads to the semi-vegetarianism that’s been reported in the past

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Make Almost Any Boring Protein Into a Delicious Meal by “Piccata-ing” it

A whole bunch of us grew up eating chicken piccata at Italian-American restaurants with our parents, or at least I did, preceded by an entire serving of fried calamari, and breadsticks too. I’d eat every last little swipe of sauce, excited at how it made the back of my tongue water, at how smooth it felt, at how it draped itself over long strips of pasta. It’s a thrilling sauce. Even more thrilling is the fact that you can use it on any protein that goes well with lemon and wine. (Even tofu and chickpeas!)

Source: How to Piccata Anything

This would work with a number of standard chicken dishes, just apply the sauce to whatever other meat you’re eating, even hot dogs and hamburgers.

Make Savory, Tasty “Fish Sauce” Without the Fish

When I dine at Vietnamese and Thai restaurants and request that they leave out the fish sauce, ubiquitous in South Asian cuisine, the dishes sometimes taste as if they are lacking something. That “something” is fish sauce, South Asia’s “secret ingredient” that adds oomph to dishes, injecting that special flavor that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Here is my vegan version that can be universally added to Asian-style dishes, lending them that extra “something.” And the secret ingredients in my fish sauce? Wakame, a seaweed, and the liquid from those jars of fermented tofu, a somewhat stinky Chinese condiment made by pre-serving tofu in wine, vinegar, and other ingredients for months (don’t be put off by the description!). Give it a try and then use it in everything from green papaya salad to Thai-style curries.

Source: Vegan Fish Sauce

I think chemically the trick of fish sauce and anchovies and all that is the combo of glutamate (umami) + nucleotides like GMP and IMP (umami boosters).  Glutamate is decaying protein – Nucleotides are decaying RNA/DNA or thereabouts.  Yes, we love the taste of rotting things. And the best part is that we can get it from all sorts of places.  The “fishy” taste there is provided by the seaweed.

6 Healthy Ways to Get More Protein

The required daily amount of protein varies by age, gender, and level of physical activity. In general, adult women who fit in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as jogging or biking) five times weekly should consume 5 to 5.5 ounces of protein per day. Women who work out more should increase their protein intake accordingly. Each of the following options offers a meatless alternative for one ounce of protein.

Source: 6 Healthy Ways to Get More Protein

If you’re interested in protein consumption information, this article is a good read.

Almonds can be costly; sunflower seeds are marginally cheaper.  The primary ingredient of hummus is chickpeas/garbanzo beans (how much vitamin k?)…  Don’t get me wrong – I like hummus.  Hummus, like avocado, is very nutritious but high in calories.  Peanut butter isn’t an option if you’re allergic, but no mention about other nut butters

This Video Explains What Can (and Can’t) Affect Your Metabolism

The only strictly genetic component to an “increased” metabolism is the amount of “Uncoupling Protein” you have on the inner cell membrane of your mitochondria. The more of this protein you have, the less efficient your body is at turning calories into energy so to speak. The calories are just turned into heat energy. This requires more calories to support body function.

A high concentration of these mitochondria with a high levels of UCP are located within what’s called brown fat. This brown fat is strictly used to generate and maintain body heat. The amount of brown fat that you have decreases with age, contributing to 90 y/o men wearing cardigans in the summer and a slower “metabolism.”

Also, the “eat smaller meals more frequently” is actually a fallacy. Much like “always eat breakfast,” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Healthy people hear it’s healthy, attach themselves to the habit, and it becomes consequentially associated with health.

Freeze Tofu for a Firmer, Chewier Texture

One easy step will remedy most of your tofu-related tribulations: As soon as you get home from the grocery store, drain your tofu and stick it in the freezer. (You can slice the tofu before freezing if you want it to thaw faster.) Freezing changes the texture of tofu drastically and almost magically: When ice crystals form, they create small holes in the tofu, making it far spongier, firmer, and chewier than it was before. No amount of draining, patting dry, or pressing tofu can minimize sogginess as much as freezing does.

Source: You’re Doing It Wrong: Tofu

This doesn’t quite work with the creamy Japanese style tofu in the shelf-stable packaging; it has to be the water packaged, coarser tofu. once you’ve thawed out frozen tofu, you can squeeze more water out of it without losing its structure. you can take coarsely chopped pieces of this transformed tofu and pulse it in a food processor for a great “crumble” similar to the texture of cooked ground meat, and in this state it absorbs flavor like a sponge.

I’ve seen recipes that recommend this method for kabobs. I used it in a stir fry recipe, and you can pretty much use it in any tofu meal in which you’re going for a drier, firmer texture.

Make Your Own Plant-Based Meal Replacement Powder to Save Money

I have a love/hate relationship with protein powder. I love that it helps make my daily smoothie more filling and meal-like. I love that it’s a quick and easy way to get a nice dose of the recovery-helping macronutrient after a hard workout.

But I hate the price. And I, more often than not, hate the ingredient list. There are definitely more natural protein powders out there, but the price is just so restrictively high! And the rare times I found a natural protein powder that wasn’t exorbitantly expensive, it was exorbitantly gritty, earthy, and generally not delicious.

Source: Homemade Plant Protein Powder

This is not “protein powder” – it is ground up legumes. It’s got more carbs in it than it does protein. Also eating raw lentils and raw rice is extremely problematical for a lot of people. They can actually interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.  Phytic acids can definitely be a concern for some folks (particularly raw vegan folks).

I would recommend to soak the rice and lentils first for few hours, drain the water and heat it in deep pan without adding anything until rice starts popping. Don’t forget to stir it continuously during heating to have uniform heat distribution. This should solve issue of rawness.

Otherwise, buy whey protein in bulk from vendors like Bulk Supplements or Powder City.  Generic protein powders with no brand name – they don’t cost as much, but they’re of the exact same quality (if not higher). They all come with Certificates of Analysis.

Speaking to those of us on blood thinners, based on previous information I highly recommend cooking the lentils vs raw.  There is vitamin K in lentils, just noticeably less if they’re cooked.  There’s vitamin K in brown rice as well, but a trivial amount.  There’s no vitamin K in steel cut oats.  Provided you cook the lentils and are OK the phytic acid, you should be OK.

I got a coffee/spice grinder years ago, for grinding sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds that I use in breakfast.  I read a lot of reviews were available, and my assessment was that they were cheaper and replaceable.  Almost all reported failure at some point, so I just picked the best I could at a place with a great return policy.  So far, so good.

Use Slow Roasted Shallots to Make Creamier Salad Dressings

Let’s get one thing straight: A salad is really only as good as its dressing. Sure, it’s important to use farm-fresh, in-season produce. And yes, careful and creative preparation is not to be ignored. But hey: Without a good vinaigrette, you’re just eating forkfuls of dry spinach, and there’s nothing sexy about that. Some of our favorite salad dressings are rich and creamy, and well, not exactly healthy (although there is certainly a time and a place for blue cheese). That’s where these alterna-emulsifiers come in. When you’re looking to get a little creative, try these lighter, brighter ways to turn your dressing into the main event.

Source: What Sorcery Is This?! 7 Creamy, Rich Salad Dressings That Are Actually Healthy

I know what the headline says, but the avocado option would be my “go to”.  Way more healthy choice.  I have information about making your own nut “milk” and butter.

If you’re already grilling outside, throw a handful of unpeeled shallots on the grill along side whatever else is cooking.   Turn the shallots until the skins are blackened and the insides are soft, then let them cool. Scoop out the soft insides…  You’ll get a sweet smoky flavor that’s good in dressings, sauces, etc.

Use Silken Tofu to Make Creamier, Healthier Salad Dressing

Whether you’re totally meat-free or just go vegetarian a day or two a week, there’s a lot to love about tofu. It’s a perfect blank canvas, and we’re not referring just to its beige color. Whether you use creamy, silken tofu for salad dressings and desserts (it’s very blend-able) or firm and extra-firm varieties for stir-fries, sautés, and grilled dishes, we’ve got 31 awesome flavor combinations to doctor up your tofu.

Source: How to Eat Tofu Everyday and Not Get Bored

Marinade: Rules for Use and Re-Use

When you cook meat or fish, you should never reuse “raw” marinade. With tofu, though, the marinade doesn’t have the same health risks. Re-add the marinade to your tofu dish at the end of cooking for more of the recipe’s flavor.

  • You should not store a marinade that’s been used for raw meat.  If you use a raw-meat marinade in a sauce, you should cook it (and anything that touches it) immediately, and thoroughly.
  • If you are cooking the marinade in the sauce, it is no longer “raw” – this can be reused.

On a related note, see this article for tips about grilling/broiling tofu.