Food Of The Month: Tofu

Tofu is a harmless bean curd made from soybeans, so why are so many people afraid of it? Maybe because they have tasted a dish made using the wrong kind of tofu, and/or it was not properly seasoned or cooked. When used in the correct way, tofu can be very tasty and can be used to create all kinds of different dishes. The key to cooking with tofu is that it has no real flavor on its own, so it will take on whatever tastes you add to it when creating a dish. Always make sure you add salt, or a salty ingredient, and make sure to cook the tofu. The cooking process will enhance the flavor and make the tofu easier to digest.

Five-thousand year old texts describe the soybean as one of the most important crops in China. And for good reason — high in protein, iron and B vitamins, soybeans can also help support detoxification, improve circulation, and have many anti-cancer properties. It is a food that has been eaten for thousand of years and has been proven through time to be a healthy food for the human species to consume.

There is a lot of information out there claiming that soy food is bad for us to consume. But do not get confused; the bad stuff is refined and processed, such as soy flour, soy flakes and soy isolates (TSP textured soy protein). I do not use these products in my cooking. And when purchasing tofu and other soybean products, always buy organic. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the soybean crops have been genetically engineered.

Using the correct type of tofu is also important to create the correct texture for your dishes. I use the fresh, firm, tofu packed in water, found in the refrigerator section, for almost all my recipes. If you can find a local producer of tofu, that is best; the fresher the tofu the better the texture and taste. This Tofu Quiche recipe is full of flavor, colorful, and sure to surprise some people who claim to be afraid of tofu.

Tofu Quiche

Crust:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
pinch sea salt
1 1/2 cups oat flour

Tofu Filling:
1 lb. firm fresh tofu
1 T. tamari
1 T. fresh grated turmeric (or 1/4 tsp. dried turmeric)
1 T. sea salt
1 tsp. basil
1/4 cup water
1/2 onion (diced)
1 carrot (diced small)
1/2 zucchini (diced small)
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup peas

To make crust, mix together the water, olive oil and sea salt. Add the oat flour and mix together until you get a firm dough that sticks together. Form it into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Meanwhile, sauté each of the vegetables, one at a time, in a little olive oil and sea salt, until soft. Put vegetables into a large bowl. Place the tofu, tamari, turmeric, sea salt, basil, and water in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the tofu mixture with the vegetables. Roll out the crust dough in-between two pieces of plastic wrap. Put into an oiled pie dish. Bake crust for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Put filling into crust and continue to bake for 45 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Val Wilson

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About the writer: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.

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