Shedding Tofu Fears

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Chilled tofu, topped with green onions, ginger and dried bonito shavings.

“My life is like tofu – its what gets added that makes it interesting.”

Angela Johnson

While certainly common as bread among Asians, tofu is akin to “eww” among many of us Americans.  To many, it may have the texture of slightly melting jello and dreadfully bland; but truthfully, it’s pretty darn good for you and perhaps a fine change up in your weight loss efforts… especially when you add zing to it.

While data varies slightly by source, my tofu carton’s label indicated it had 60 calories for a “1 inch slice”, or roughly 85 grams.  It also has 6 grams of protein.  I had “2 inches” for my meal tonight.

Served by itself, it is not fattening.  It only becomes fattening if you prepare it with other foods such as pork or beef or fry it up.  In my photograph above, the tofu is simply topped with:

  1. Green onions (You can have all the green vegetables, yes?),
  2. Grated ginger for zing (I hope it’s allowed!), and,
  3. Dried shaved bonito for texture and added flavor (“katsuobushi”).

Certain healthy weight loss literature indicates that soy sauce is OK in small quantities but I sprinkled mine with “Bragg’s Liquid Amino” which is allowed.  It is close in flavor to soy sauce – like Volkswagen is to Porsche.  🙂  As such and being an Asian boy at heart, I mixed mine at about a 3:1 ratio to be on the safe side.

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Bragg’s Liquid Amino and a 10 calorie packet of dried shaved bonito, available at any Asian supermarket or online. If you eat sushi, you can eat this!

It is satisfying and it does “fill you up”, as they say.

Because it’s low in calories, I did add an organic Appleton chicken/turkey sausage (120 calories) as a compliment to complete my meal – grilled without oil, of course.  My uneducated guess is that this fulfilling meal was about 400 calories, give or take… and without fuss.

So if you’re looking for a break in your meal routine, give this a whirl.  Why drive a Volkswagen when you can drive a Porsche?

(Asian hint for peeling your ginger – use the edge of your spoon to scrape it off.)

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14 thoughts on “Shedding Tofu Fears”

  1. I’ve started that 6 mini-meal plan for weight loss and tofu of course is mentioned in some of the meal ideas. I’ve never tried it, but this gives me an idea – thanks, Koji.

  2. We went through a tofu ‘phase’. If I sliced it thin and cooked it in oil, soy sauce and onion. I could eat it, but I didn’t enjoy it. Still, that was some years back. Maybe it’s worth a new look? We really need to clean up our diet too.

      1. Well, it’s been a tough year for us healthwise, and we need to make some radical changes. So tofu has been on my mind. Maybe I just need to get more creative. I just don’t see the benefit of tofu versus chicken or fish.

  3. I’ve always liked tofu! We like to dice it and add it our miso soup. I really like your easy recipe idea. And your top photo of the tofu is a very nice, magazine quality photo of tofu (which, because it’s all white, is not that easy to photograph and it is definitely not easy to make it look as delicious as you’ve made it look!). I’ll be giving your recipe a try as I always have bonito flakes and fresh ginger on hand. :))

    1. Jeannie! How are you doing?? You should be wrapped with Fall Colors by now? Thanks for stopping by! About a year ago, I had wanted to send you some decent zaru soba noodles but didn’t know where to send them! 😉 And you’re very kind about my pictures, Ms. Getty Images!

  4. Oh …that photo makes your dish look just yummy! I like tofu a lot and it’s such a great way to add a good nutritional boost to almost any other dish. I put it in soups a lot. It just takes on the taste of the broth. Fry it up? Oh yes please! Delicious!

  5. By the way (this has nothing to do with this post) I fully intended to do a Celebration of Service Friday post about that brave soldier at the Oregon school shooting incident but it turned into the “Sheepdog” post. Sometimes my writing goes off on a little different path than I expect but it was certainly inspired by Chris Mintz.

  6. Well I have to start by saying that I just recently appreciated tofu again! For many years I believed lies – like a fat free diet was ideal (80’s mentality!) and then I stopped enjoying tofu in the early 2000’s because I believed the propaganda about soy being bad for a woman’s thyroid (which I have come to see is likely because a person has pre existing thyroid issues and maybe the soy aggravates it – or even heals and maybe leads to a herx effect in some – because I know with some herbs they found it brought out hep in some folks) anyhow – I sometimes think there is some agenda to dismiss all soy products and in the last couple of years I have noticed my body LOVES soy – and I alternate my protein between whey isolate and a vanilla soy (mmm) and sometimes chocolate hemp from trader joes and regarding to

    1. Anyhow – regarding the tofu – I started using trader joes organic sprouted tofu – and then I add meats sometimes (like u did your sausage) but I also use tons of good fats and not only satisfying – but amazing and u know how I said I had that leftover 80s thinking about fat free – well for years I robbed myself of good fats (and fat does not make us fat – but trans fat scars the liver and then other things –
      Like metabolism syndrome or candidiasis – leads to health issues and weight gain) anyhow – all that to say I have come to appreciate tofu again –
      thanks for the tip on ginger – I wish I used it more – the only time I do is for winter healing tea – with ginger honey and herbs – but would love to cook with it more-
      Lastly – never heard of braggs liquid amino and want to learn more – I associate their name with ACV…
      Can u tell I enjoyed this post ?

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