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1 14oz Silken Tofu
¾ cup chocolate chip morsels
½ cup Suzanne’s Ricemellow Crème

Remove tofu from container and discard liquid. Rinse tofu under cold water. Place tofu in between 2 paper towels and gently press to soak up any liquid. Place tofu in a blender and puree until smooth, scrapping down sides with spatula (approx 1 minute).

Melt chocolate chip morsels on paper plate in microwave (approx 60 seconds until soft).  Add ricemellow and melted chocolate to blender and blend until combined, scrapping down sides with spatula (approx 2 minutes).

Pour into 6 dessert cups and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before eating. Add shaved chocolate to top for garnish. This is a healthy dessert recipe. Tofu supplies calcium and is low in calories.

This dessert is still highly delicious without the ricemellow creme.

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2 cups fresh strawberries
3 TBL lemon juice
1 12 or 14 oz package soft silken tofu (I use House Foods brand)
2 cups Silk Vanilla (Very Vanilla is my favorite)
3 TBL Agave Nectar (I like light over amber) (use maple syrup if preferred)
1/2 cup crushed ice

Put all ingredients in blender. Blend and puree for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Garnish with fresh mint or a strawberry.

Optional: add in 1 TBL ground flax seed.
Makes 4 servings

1 14 oz package extra-firm tofu
2 TBL extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 TBL balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp sea salt, divided 
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 TBL plus 1 tsp all-purpose flour
2 cups light- to medium-bodies red wine, such as Beaujolais Nouveau, Merlot or Pinot Noir
2 tsp earth balance

Drain, rinse and pat tofu dry, then cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes. Heat 1 TBL oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer the tofu to a shallow dish big enough to fit in one layer. Sprinkle with vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and gently toss to combine.

Heat the remaining 1 TBL oil in the pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, garlic and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook while stirring until they release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir to coat.

Add wine, the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper to the pan and cook, stirring, until the wine has reduced slightly and the sauce has thickened, 4 to 6 minutes more. Return the tofu to the pan, add earth balance and stir until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Serve over pasta or rice.

4 servings (1 cup each)

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1 lb dried penne pasta
2 TBL olive oil
8 oz package fresh mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
1 package Tofurky Italian Sausage (use 3 of the 4 sausages, diced into bite-size pieces)
1/2 cup pasta water (from penne you cook)
1 cup Silk Soy Creamer
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup SoyaKaas grated parmesan (soy parmy) in can
1 cup Daiya mozzarella cheese (divide into two 1/2 cups)

In large pot, cook penne pasta until done to your liking. Reserve 1/2 cup of this pasta water once pasta is done cooking. While pasta is cooking, in a skillet heat olive oil on high heat and add mushrooms and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add in diced sausage and saute for another 4 minutes on high heat. The pasta should be done at this point. Drain pasta in colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Add 1/2 cup of pasta water, Silk creamer, salt and pepper to taste to the mushroom sausage mixture. Boil over high heat to thicken, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Turn on broiler.

Place pasta in 3 quart baking dish and pour mushroom sausage mixture on top. Sprinkle SoyaKaas parmesan and 1/2 cup only of Daiya mozzarella evenly over the top. Turn pasta cheese mixture in baking dish to gently combine. Lightly salt top of mixture. Finish off by sprinkling remaining 1/2 cup of Daiya mozzarella on top. Broil until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown in some areas, about 5 minutes.

Serves 6

Each sausage contains 29 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar

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1 1/2 packages Silken soft tofu (21 oz), rinsed and gently patted dry between paper towels
2 1/2 TBL lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar (you can use maple syrup, same amount, instead)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 TBL vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup chocolate chip morsels (you can used diced fruit instead, strawberries work well)
1 Arrowhead Mills Graham Cracker Crust 9″ ready to use

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor or blender, add in tofu, lemon juice, sugar, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest. Blend until combined and smooth.

Stir in chocolate chip morsels (or fruit). Place crust on cookie sheet to catch any spills and pour tofu mixture into crust. Bake for 35 minutes. The top of the pie should spring back at a light touch to the center. Remove from oven, cool, and refrigerate overnight before slicing. The pie filling firms up as it cools in the refrigerator. Garnish as you like with soy or rice whip topping, lemon zest, chocolate chip morsels, or coconut.

Serves 8

Note: if you use 2 tofu packages, 14 oz each, you will have a little extra filling. Pour extra filling in individual ramekins, leaving a little room to rise, and bake with the pie for the same amount of time. This recipe delivers a light cheesecake consistency.

Soy is rich in protein, iron and isoflavones, which can protect against cancers, like prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women, as well as lung cancer. Whole, unrefined soy foods are heart healthy and should be consumed daily with 1-2 servings coming from a cup of soymilk, a half cup of tofu, tempeh, edamame, or roasted soy nuts. Tofu is a great exchange for meat, so if you are not 100% vegan, try replacing meat in your dishes with tofu.

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1 14oz Silken Tofu (I like to use House Foods brand)
¾ cup chocolate chip morsels (I like to use Whole Foods 365 Vegan)
½ cup Suzanne’s Ricemellow Crème
1 Graham Cracker Crust ready-to-use (by Arrowhead Mills, dairy and honey free)

Remove tofu from container and discard liquid. Rinse and place tofu in between 2 paper towels and gently press to soak up any liquid. Place tofu in a blender and puree until smooth, scrapping down sides with spatula (approx 1 minute).

Melt chocolate chip morsels on paper plate in microwave (approx 60 seconds until soft).  Add ricemellow and melted chocolate to blender and blend until combined, scrapping down sides with spatula (approx 2 minutes).

Pour into Arrowhead Mills crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before eating. Add shaved chocolate to top for garnish. This is a healthy dessert recipe. Tofu supplies calcium, protein, and is low in calories and fat.

                     

There are many pros and cons to consuming soy. This post should help to clear things up a bit.

First, just like any produce, soybeans can be sprayed with pesticides and genetically engineered. With everything you buy, you need to be aware of how it is grown and processed.

The basic thing to note here is that whole foods are healthiest for you and you should include a variety of foods in your daily diet, including products made from whole soybeans.

When you shop for soy products, like tofu and soy drinks, it is best to only purchase ones that are NON-GMO. Products that are not genetically modified will list this on the package or container.

Think about it, the Asian culture has incorporated soy products in their every day diet for centuries and have low rates of cancer and heart disease, compared to the Western diet which is heavy animal consumption loaded with fat, cholesterol and calories. Tofu, NON-GMO and gluten-free, is extremely low in calories and carbohydrates, contain no sugar, and is a great source of protein.

While I was reading up on soy products, I came across this blurb on Dr. Weil’s website:

The following is from Andrew Weil, M.D.

“Soy for Hot Flashes

Hot flashes associated with menopause can be miserable, but in most cases, fortunately, they do go away on their own, usually within six months to a year. With the popularity of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the wane, whole soy foods may be worth a look. Soy foods contain plant estrogens, and Japanese women whose diets contain soy experience fewer hot flashes. Soy is also rich in protein, iron and compounds called isoflavones, which seem to protect against hormone-driven cancers such as breast cancer. Although the precise role of soy in reducing hot flashes continues to be investigated (other elements of the Japanese diet and lifestyle may play a part), adding soy to your diet may help. Dr. Weil recommends one to two daily servings of soy in relatively whole and unrefined forms such as one cup of soy milk; a half cup of tofu, tempeh or green soybeans (edamame); or roasted soy nuts. You can also easily swap meat for tofu in dishes – baked tofu works well as a meat replacement in fajitas, stir-fries and casseroles.”

“Excess consumption of soy can be a problem when you’re taking thyroid replacement medication. Be sure to tell your physician how much soy you’re eating so your dosage can be adjusted, if necessary. Eating soy foods at the same time that you take thyroid hormone can interfere with its absorption so, to be safe, don’t eat soy within three hours of taking your medication. You are unlikely to run into a problem with moderate soy consumption – one serving a day of whole soy products, such as one cup of soy milk or one half cup of tofu, soy protein (tempeh), or crispy soy nuts.

Phytates (and phytic acid) are antioxidant compounds found in whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. The chief concern about phytates is that they can bind to certain dietary minerals including iron, zinc, manganese and, to a lesser extent calcium, and slow their absorption. However, the presence of phytates in foods really isn’t the worry that some individuals believe it to be. (I’ve been asked in the past about the phytates in soy and whether they hinder mineral absorption. There is no scientific data suggesting that eating whole soy foods leads to mineral deficiencies in humans).

Phytates in your everyday meals should not be an issue for you as long as you’re eating a balanced diet. Most of us consume enough minerals in common foods to more than make up for the small amounts of these micronutrients that might be tied up by phytates. The only individuals who might need to be careful are vegetarians who consume a lot of wheat bran, which is a concentrated source of these substances. Phytate-associated deficiencies of iron and zinc do occur in some third-world countries where people mostly eat grains.

Phytates themselves have some health benefits, including anti-inflammatory effects. In laboratory research, phytates have helped normalize cell growth and stopped the proliferation of cancer cells. They also may help prevent cardiovascular disease and lower a food’s glycemic load.

I’ve seen many articles warning that soy foods in general, including soy milk, aren’t healthy and contain hidden substances that are dangerous. Critics of soy allege that it is bad for the thyroid, can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and mineral deficiencies.

None of these sensational claims has ever been proven.

Remember, for centuries Asians have been eating lots of soy foods, and the supposed terrible consequences of soy consumption haven’t materialized among them. In fact some traditional soy-rich Asian diets are associated with lower risks of breast and prostate cancer than western diets.

Based on the weight of available evidence, I remain convinced that soy is safe and nutritious when eaten in relatively whole and unrefined forms in reasonable amounts. I recommend one to two daily servings, which can include a cup of soy milk, a half cup of tofu, tempeh or green soybeans (edamame) or roasted soy nuts. Soy milk provides all the benefits of cow’s milk, without the butterfat, which is unhealthy, the milk protein (casein), which can increase mucus production and irritate the immune system in some people, and milk sugar (lactose), which can cause digestive distress if you lack the enzyme that breaks it down.

Soy milk is made by soaking dried beans in water, grinding them, heating them in water, pressing them, and straining the milk. Soy milk makers for home use are widely available, and people who use them say fresh, homemade soy milk is much better tasting than packaged products. And it will have no additives.

One cup of soy milk contains four to 10 grams of soy protein, and 20 to 40 mg of isoflavones, plant chemicals that may act like estrogen but probably account for soy’s protective effect against hormonally driven cancers (especially when soy is part of the diet from early childhood). While soy milk is high in calcium, it doesn’t have as much as cow’s milk so it is important to look for a brand that is fortified with calcium.

I recommend certain precautions when buying soy milk. Since many soy crops are heavily treated with pesticides, always buy organic soy products. I also recommend avoiding brands of soy milk that contain the thickening agent carrageenan, a seaweed derivative, which I believe may be harmful, especially to the intestinal tract. If you are watching your weight, look for low-fat products.”

And this is according to Dr. Weil. It very well may be the meat and dairy industry making negative claims against soy. Who knows!  Remember, there are no substantial studies proven to discount soy products, which have been around for centuries and heavily consumed by the Asian community, among others. You can visit the link below:

http://communications.drweil.com/read/archive?id=7694&e=thefreeganvegan%40gmail%2ecom&x=e7c62f5c