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Old 01-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by shannon in KS View Post
one of the chinese restaurants here dips triangles on tofu in tempura and fries and serves with steamed veggies and a sweet spicy peanut sauce!

I also agree with the suggestions of beans, and TVP, such as boca burgers, nuggets. you may have to visit your grocer's specialty section or a health food store, but vegetarian choices are becoming much more popular, even with people who still eat meat, but like you, would rather decrease their intake.
I agree that today, even the local grocery stores have many options and usually a whole freezer section focussing on meat substitutes. 20 years ago, I had to go to specialty stores to get this stuff.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:55 PM   #12
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TVP affects me like tofu. Your mileage may vary. lol
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:14 PM   #13
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Tofu can never replace meat, regardless how much you lie to yourself. I find tofu makes good lubricant for the rollers on the garage door, and it makes terrible catfish bait without added flavor. Aside from that, it's pretty much a non-food IMO.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:35 PM   #14
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I love tofu. It's great coated in cornstarch, pan fried in a little oil and smothered in sauce. I really like the texture when it's done right. There are other ways to prepare it, but the key is always proper preparation ... and that took me some trial and error.

One of my key sources of protein is beans and lentils, though. Whole grains, nuts and veggie like spinach or broccoli are other good sources. Just about everything you eat has some protein.

Most people eat far more protein than is required, with the excess being burned as energy. I'm a 170 lb male and I should get around 50g of protein per day. I do that, and well beyond, and I don't eat meat, dairy or eggs.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:40 PM   #15
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Back to Tofu, Here are a couple of my favorite tofu recipes:

Indian Fried Tofu:




Almond Tofu Stir Fry:



Ginger Tofu:

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Old 01-21-2009, 11:08 PM   #16
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Those look great. Im sure the frying and intense flavors work with the tofu nicely. I think the above are perfect examples on how to make tofu taste acceptable to those who normally wouldnt eat it.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:21 PM   #17
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I personally loveee tofu! They are made from soybean. They are packed with protein, calcium, iron and they are low in calorie, fat and no cholesterol. I like to stir fry tofu with vegetables. Use firm tofu so they don't break easily (you don't have to fry it). Although tofu does not have much taste itself, but it acts like sponge and tends to soak up the flavor of sauces. I love to cook tofu with chili sauce and minced meat. Or cook tofu with hoisin sauce and vegetables.

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Old 01-22-2009, 01:40 AM   #18
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Another way is to cube it, mix it with some sort of marinade, I usually use a 2-3 tbs ea of soy sauce and sherry and a splash of sesame oil and bake it at 375, turning every 10-15 minutes until the mosture is baked off and the tofu cubes begin to firm. They make great croutons for salad. Use BBQ sauce instead of marinade and you'll get a gooey delicious mess.

Two notes:
  1. There are two types of tofu 'regular', which is packed in water and silken, which is packed on a box. The silken is much different, intended for sauces and such. I also always use extra firm.
  2. Always drain the tofu first. I press it between two saucers, put a can of beans on top and let it set for 15-20 minutes or at lunch when for use at dinner.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #19
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I've been wanting to cut down the amount of meats in my family's meals without losing protein. Is tofu the only answer?
There's a traditional Chinese dish called Ma Po To Fu which can be made either with a mix of (very little) ground pork and tofu or with tofu exclusively. It's very tasty (reminds me to make it myself sometime soon...)

I do use tofu sometimes, especially during Greek Lent when you're supposed to essentially go vegan for 40 days. There are a lot of interesting things that you can do with the stuff. Texture is important - I use extra-firm whenever possible, because I'm kind of picky about it. I make one appetizer that actually doesn't get cooked at all - basically a marinated tofu.

For me, the most important thing when using tofu is to not try to make it into something it's not (like meat.) There are other meat substitutes out there, like seitans and tempeh, but I don't personally care for them. They're trying to pretend to be meat, but they don't taste like the meats they're imitating, which inevitably leads to disappointment. When I'm doing vegetarian, I like a lot of Indian recipes, which aren't trying to disguise themselves as meat. Things like paneer taste good, have protein and cut down on meat.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:44 AM   #20
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Back to Tofu, Here are a couple of my favorite tofu recipes:

Indian Fried Tofu:




Almond Tofu Stir Fry:



Ginger Tofu:

Thank you to all of you for your suggestions and comments! This was very helpful!
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