Of all the possible protein sources you could eat, tofu has to be the most versatile, and the healthiest. It is made from soybeans, and is high in protein, low in fat, and also contains good amounts of calcium and some B vitamins.
There are two main types of tofu, regular and silken tofu. Regular tofu comes floating in water in a small tub. It needs to be refrigerated and used within a few days. It is best used crumbled, sliced or diced, and can be marinated to absorb different flavors. It can be baked, fried, or added to soups, stews and curries.
Silken tofu has a creamier texture which blends particularly well, to make quiches, desserts, smoothies etc. It doesn’t hold its shape well, so doesn’t work so well sliced. It often comes vacuum packed and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It keeps for several months.
There are hundreds of different recipes available, and even some whole cookbooks focusing just on tofu. Every style of cuisine can be recreated, so search vegetarian websites or buy a good cookbook, and enjoy the diversity of this nutritional powerhouse.
The following recipes are from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook, by Vegetarians of Washington:
Seven-Layer Fiesta Dip
Mexican Seasoning Mix
Tofu Cutlets with Tapenade Sauce
When New York City’s Elmhurst Dairy opened in 1925, founders Max and Arthur Schwartz hand-bottled milk from 200 cows. They then delivered the bottles, which sat in containers of ice, in a truck throughout the city. Over the next few decades, Elmhurst became one of the biggest dairy companies in New York City.
But now everything has changed. While the family owners are still the same, Elmhurst has become a vegan company, and now only produces dairy-free milks (made from almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and cashews) called Elmhurst Milked.
At the plant, the company has developed its own process of making the nut milks, which it calls “milking.” Cold milling machines extract all of the protein, fat, and micronutrients from the nuts, which means Elmhurst doesn’t need to fortify the milks with additional vitamins.
Plant-based dairy alternatives have grown into a $1.4 billion industry. A recent Nielsen survey found that many people consider those dairy-free products to be healthier, since they often are lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat than cow’s milk. Others buy them because they are lactose-intolerant, have a dairy allergy, or have gone vegan. “It’s about transforming with the times,” CEO Henry Schwartz says. “As awareness and demand for vegan products continues to grow, we’re seeing plant-based options become mainstream.”
Meanwhile, over here on the west coast of the country, we were delighted to feature Haus Mylk at Vegfest this year. They plan to start delivering fresh nut-based milks to homes in the Seattle area in the near future.
Leeks are a member of the lily family, related to the onion, with a slender white bulb, cylindrical stem and broad, flat leaves. They make a tasty addition to any soup or stew, and are particularly famous in Leek and Potato Soup. They contain sugards, dietary fiber and small amounts of protein. There is also some iron and carotene in the green leaves. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
When leeks grow, they often trap soil and grit between their leaves. The best way to clean them is to halve them lengthways, down to the bulb, but not all the way through. You can then fan out and rinse all the leaves, while keeping the leek intact. Leeks can be boiled or steamed, braised in stock, or sliced into rings and stir fried.
Luscious Leek Recipes
David Yeung wants to take a bite out of China’s massive market for pork. As founder of Green Common, a vegetarian grocery store and casual dining chain in Hong Kong, he started bringing plant-based burgers and other meatless products to Asia, and he saw an opportunity. According to Yeung, “One of the most consumed meats in the world is actually overlooked – that is pork”. Pork accounts for nearly 40% of worldwide meat consumption, and in China it’s by far the highest consumed meat. With this in mind, he launched a new product called Omnipork which he hopes will change people’s diets in mainland China. Read more
We’re delighted to have Chef Chat Mingkwan back with us at Vegfest giving cooking demos this year. As a special treat, he shared three of his delicious recipes with us. Come to Vegfest to learn more from Chat about Thai and Vietnamese cooking.
Green Beans with Peanut Dressing
3 cups green beans, trimmed, cut to 1½ inch length
2 cups julienne color bell peppers (your choice of serving fresh or cooked.)
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Parboil the green beans for 1-2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of iced water for 2 minutes more. Drain and blot dry. Keep chilled. Read more
This is the time of year when it’s often cold and dreary outside, and there’s nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup to warm you up. Did you know that making a pot of soup from scratch is actually very simple to do, and it’s oh, so healthy? Try some of our recipes below and get cooking!
This recipe is from nutritionmd.org, where you’ll find a great supply of delicious vegan recipes. It’s reprinted with permission. Makes about 8 1-cup servings.
This sweet and creamy soup has just a hint of spiciness. It can also be made with puréed winter squash, yams, or sweet potatoes in place of the pumpkin. Read more
Kombucha is a rising star in the health-food world. We reached out to GT Dave, founder of GT’s Living Foods, one of the first companies to bring Kombucha to the American market. Here’s what he told us:
What is Kombucha?
Authentic Kombucha is an organic, raw, and naturally effervescent probiotic tea. The tea is fermented with a Kombucha culture, known as a SCOBY (which looks a lot like a giant mushroom). During fermentation, a variety of beneficial enzymes, probiotics, and organic acids are created. By nature, Kombucha is low in calories, 100% vegan, and dairy-free, making it a wonderful and healthy alternative to soda. Read more