Is soy healthy or not?
There has been confusion regarding the health benefits of soy in recent years; however, according to the most comprehensive studies of late, scientists have concluded that, in fact, soy based foods are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. All natural soy products such as miso, tempeh, tofu and edamame (soy bean) are linked to consistently decreasing the risk of disease.
The problems and confusion were a result of poorly conducted studies that in some cases used animals rather than people and other studies that used soy compounds and supplements rather than real food. Actual natural soy products were not used in some of these studies but highly processed soy protein and it is the results of these studies that showed soy based products to be detrimental to good health.
High profile studies have concluded that eating soy foods is safe but taking supplements manufactured with soy protein isolates is not safe. Accordingly the American Cancer Society has stated that the health benefits of natural soy products outweigh the risks and further, that risks may be limited to a small group of people suffering from a specific type of cancer.
I believe the biggest problem in the American diet is all the processing we do to make our lives easier. These grab and go foods may be making life easier and meals quicker to prepare but they are also causing us to be overweight, sick and unhealthy. This is the problem I am attempting to address with my blog and provide you with easy, great tasting recipes using real food.
Tofu is one of the quickest easiest foods you can cook
Tofu is real food.
I wholeheartedly agree that it does not look all that appealing fresh out of the carton. My first impression of tofu was not a good one and I was not at all surprised to find that right out of the carton it tastes just as bland as it looks. Until it doesn’t.
The awesome thing about tofu is that it conforms to whatever sauce, soup or stir fry you create around it. The bland nature of tofu is its greatest asset which allows it to take on the flavor of anything it is prepared with. And tell me, what other food can you broil, bake, fry, scramble and make into a smoothie?
Thankfully I did not let that first impression keep me from giving that creamy white block of soy curd another try. I now believe tofu is one of the most amazing food items in the grocery store. Just behind the egg, as far as versatility. Maybe.
I’m still on the fence on that.
Not only is tofu amazing but like the egg, it is also exceptionally nutritious! It’s packed with protein and also a great source of calcium and iron among other nutrients. Real unadulterated tofu is great for weight loss due to its naturally low ratio of calories to protein. Its low in carbs and has virtually no cholesterol. Tofu can be prepared in any number of ways but just the plain boiled whole soybeans themselves are a super nutritious and delicious snack!
Tofu is equally satisfying served hot or cold. We love it baked, broiled and fried. I use it in soups, stir fry, and salad. Truly, what else out there can you mix into a burger AND ice cream? !
Its typically sold in 3 different consistencies which are generally not used interchangeably but can be in a pinch. The soft silken variety is used in soups, especially miso soup, shakes, ice cream and the more delicate concoctions. Medium firm is often compressed of additional water and broiled, baked or used in stir fry. Extra firm may be compressed of water and crumbled into burgers, scrambled or used in braised dishes.
All tofu and soy products are naturally vegan and gluten free. Made from the curd of soybeans, it resembles cheese in many ways although fresh tofu should never smell the least bit sour. You may detect a slight nuttiness when the carton is first opened but honestly, I don’t usually smell anything.
Chilled tofu is especially refreshing in the summer, but I would not be surprised in the least, if it takes a few attempts before you truly appreciate it this way
It did for me.
Follow the advice of the most up- to-date scientific research and eat all food in it’s closest -to -nature context. This is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. Then give fresh tofu a try in any shape or form.
I used medium firm tofu in today’s recipe where it was first pan fried then I drizzled dressing over the crispy curd. This tofu dish is one of our family favorites. Try it with the light Japanese style dressing or your favorite sweet chili sauce(bottled if you must)and be sure to send me a comment and tell me your favorite way to eat to soy.
Pan Fried Tofu Squares
- July 5, 2020
- 30 min
- Print this
- 6 T Canola oil for frying, divided
- 1 carton medium/firm tofu
- 4 T cornstarch
- 4 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1T Menmi or soup base for noodles
- 3-4 T water
- Step 1
- Drain water from tofu carton and carefully remove the tofu keeping it in block form. Place onto plate or cutting board lined with paper towel, top with more towel to absorb water and place books on top. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. May need to exchange towels.
- Step 2
- Slice tofu into equal portions about between 10-20
- Step 3
- Put cornstarch on a plate and dredge each block of tofu in starch to cover completely.
- Step 4
- Mix together Menmi(soup base) and water to make light dressing then set aside
- Step 5
- Heat 3-4 T oil in large frying pan to very hot. Add about half the tofu squares, depending on sized of your pan. Do not overcrowd.
- Step 6
- Cook one side for 2- 3 minutes until browned and carefully turn with spatula and/or spoon to brown other side. for 2 minutes
- Step 7
- Remove cooked tofu to a plate (Suggestion: line a plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil) add more oil if needed to cook the remaining pieces.
- Step 8
- Top with green onion and sauce or a bottled sweet chili sauce to your taste
Ingredients you may need:
Any soup base for noodles will work with this recipe I buy the concentrated sauce and mix with water