Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Totally Tofu

By Kristen Thorpe

I remember my sister once remarking that she expected I would be serving Tofurkey for Thanksgiving one year. For some reason the healthier I tried to eat the more remarks she would make. At the time I laughed because I couldnt imagine not having Turkey as the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving feast. But that was a few years ago and in the time since I have come to eat less and less meat, and now Tofurkey for Thanksgiving doesnt seem to far-fetched to me now.

Over time I have to come to enjoy a healthier diet. And thats not dieting, but a diet that has more fresh fruits and veggies, and more whole grains. And the more I do the less I seem to crave fatty things, especially red meat. It can happen that way for many people where your needs and tastes just gradually change.

Now I cant say Ill never have another cheeseburger ever again or go without chicken cutlets the rests of my life. I just find myself finding more ways to build my meals without requiring meat as the main dish. So I suppose I am more of a near vegetarian, someone who generally eats a veggie diet but who hasnt given meat up completely.

One of the best substitutes for meat in a dish is tofu. Now I dont believe in eating tofu constantly because that seems to me to add up to a lot of soy in your diet, especially since we already drink soy milk, and sometimes eat soy yogurts. Thats just my personal opinion about eating things in moderation.

Not all vegetarians come to love that taste and texture of tofu. Theyll often substitute bean dishes and other food items to make up the protein in their diet. If you have never tasted tofu its certainly worth a try, it packs a good amount of low-fat protein that is very satisfying. Plus it absorbs flavors and spices very nicely making it a versatile food as well.

If you havent tried it, Tofurkey is a great tofu foodie. I found a great selection at my health food store in town and bought a package of sausages to try. I made a pepper and sausage dish that mimicked the meat sausage and pepper dish so well it might have even fooled my dad, who loved his sausage & pepper sub sandwiches.

If youre evaluating your diet and your health but have not tried tofu yet maybe its something worth checking out. You can start small, with something at your local supermarket or salad bar, like roasted sesame tofu over Asian noodles. Its a great way to get a sample taste at a small price.

You can visit your local grocer or health food store to see what selection of tofu and Tofurkey they may carry. Buy a small package of the tofu turkey and make yourself a delicious grilled sandwich with some tomato and cheese on whole grain bread. Youll be surprised how good the sandwich tastes.

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