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Freaky Foods for Halloween

Have you ever wondered why the pumpkin is the only fruit allowed to be scary come
Halloween time? What about apple sliced with almond fangs or Dragon Fruit that
look like brains? Eyeballs made from Rambutan or fingers from a Buddha Hand?


From painted banana ghosts and monster head watermelons to oranges sliced like
jack-o’-lanterns, it seems our fruit just might be better dressed than us this
Halloween! And fruit isn’t the only edible getting in the spirit. We are seeing
hot dogs wrapped like mummies and cookies shaped like ghouls. What fun it can
be to get festive with food!



Even tofu is joining the party this year. With its boundless versatility, tofu can
be shaped, fried, baked and molded into just about anything! How about a vegan
“pumpkin pie” with fresh fruit eyes and fangs? Or fried tofu “fingers” and
gluten-free spaghetti with tomatoes and tofu worms? The possibilities for
getting creative with tofu are simply endless!


Holiday are a great time to play with your food. Whether you are throwing a Halloween
party or just preparing for hungry trick or treaters, there’s always an excuse
to try something new in the kitchen. And with an abundance of seasonal produce
in local markets, you will have the perfect color palette for fall! How will
you get festive with your food this holiday season? Please share your Freaky
Food pics, ideas and videos with us on Facebook and social media. We look
forward to seeing your creepy creations!


Happy haunting,


Morinu!

5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Tofu Now


5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Tofu Now




 As you know, we love tofu! We are familiar with its nutrient packed, beauty building, weight loss magic and anti-aging qualities. If you are on the fence, check out these 5 fun facts about our favorite ingredient!


1. Tofu is a healthy plant-based source of protein.


It contains all eight essential
amino acids, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B1. Tofu offers the benefits
of eating animal based proteins without the animal fat, cholesterol and carbon
footprint that comes with eating meat.


2. Tofu is proven to lower levels of bad cholesterol.


It moderates LDL cholesterol and
blood fats in the system. If eaten regular Tofu can improve and help regulate
cardiovascular health.


3. Tofu fights the signs of aging.


It’s packed with isoflavones (a special kind of
anti-aging antioxidant) that helps create collagen and elastin in skin.
Studies done all over the world
continue to show that tofu and other soybean products help to decrease the
appearance of wrinkles and keep skin smooth and elastic.


4. Tofu can help with your weight loss plan.


Tofu is low in calories, so you can
eat more and still cut back. The pure protein of tofu will help you feel
satiated faster and ultimately eat less. If your diet is mainly vegetables, you
are more likely to splurge later.


5. Tofu is delicious and versatile.


What other ingredient can be scrambled with
eggs, baked in cookies and roasted with vegetables? Tofu is like a culinary
canvas waiting for your brush stroke of flavor. So, get out there and make it
your own!



Happy eating!

Go Local this Month!

September is a great month for eating with the seasons.
Markets are rich with fall squash, apples, fresh blackberries and early winter
greens. Our baskets overflow with dark oranges, reds, deep greens and blues.
These colors make a seamless journey from farm to table in September, and we
love the results.  We find endless
inspiration in the kitchen from the abundance of September’s produce. It’s a
wonderful time to experiment with new ingredients and techniques in the
kitchen.




 



As the days grow shorter and fall nights meet us with a
chill, we are delighted to find warmth and comfort at the dinner table. Hearty
roasted vegetables and soups make gatherings easy and delicious this time of
year. Tasty leftovers are often enjoyed at lunch and sometimes even with
breakfast!



 



Tofu is the perfect accompaniment to every dish we create!
Whether it’s slow roasted with squash and endive or crisped with walnuts and
tossed in a salad, there’s always a special place at the table for it.



 



If you are looking for inspiration this season, look to your
local farmers’ markets. Their selection and quality is sure to be the best out
there and you can feel good in supporting your local growers. Use the Morinaga
recipes not as rules, but as a guide. While our recipes are time-tested and well
loved, we encourage you to make them your own. Use ingredients that are fresh
to you, and put your own stamp on the dish!



 



Whatever it is you create, we would love to be a
part of it. Share your inspirations and creations with us on Facebook and
Twitter.  We look forward to seeing it
all! Happy September and happy cooking!


Back to School!

The summer seems to be speeding by in a flash! August is here and it's time for back to school. Somewhere in between choosing classes, picking study groups and planning the perfect back to school outfit, is the important job of creating the school time boxed lunch. In this modern-day health conscious world, where do we begin?


When it comes to creating a positive routine with your kids, healthy eating is up there with strong studying after school and brushing your teeth before bed. Studies show that children with healthy, consistent diets stay focused throughout the day and score better grades. Keeping your child well fed at school is a job that extends far beyond the lunch table and the cafeteria lines these days.


It’s always a good idea to provide mid-morning and daytime snacks in addition to the standard balanced lunch. We recommend trail mix, sliced fruits and veggies, tofu and lots of water. Try swapping zip-locks and brown bags for glass or metal Tupperware and reusable lunchboxes this year. If you need to keep things cold, you can wrap an ice pack in a tea towel to absorb condensation. Try veggie spring rolls for a fresh and healthy boxed lunch treat. It beats the old peanut butter and jelly sandwich!


Sending your kids off to school with healthy and balanced choices should be a joy all year long. With a bit of planning ahead and collaboration with your children, you can utilize leftovers and bulk food products to create delicious and healthful options that won’t break the bank. One great thing you can do with your kids is to make Tofu House Chocolate Chip Cookies. Try this simple recipe and have a fun delicious project to do with your children. Let us know how bake night goes! We always love to hear from you. Happy cooking!



Tofu House Chocolate Chip Cookies




Beauty Secrets with Tofu

Did you know that tofu can make you more beautiful? That’s right! All of those B vitamins, isoflavones and antioxidants in tofu will do more than just keep you healthy and strong on the inside. Tofu has been a secret anti-aging weapon in Asia for centuries, and now the secret is out all over the world.


If you want to have stronger and healthier looking hair, then you should try introducing tofu into your diet. By adding healthy plant-based proteins you allow your body to create more keratin – that special protein that makes up your head of hair. Calcium and B vitamins in tofu are known to soothe nerves and fight stress, which can be a huge factor in hair loss for men and women.


Eating a small amount of tofu each week can improve elasticity in skin, tighten facial muscles, smooth pores, and give skin a polished and healthy looking glow. Just like hair, skin needs protein to regenerate, and a healthy plant-based protein such as tofu works well in creating a smooth and healthy looking complexion.


If you like what you see, but still want more, you can use silken tofu to create your own hair and skin mask. Simply mix with a bit of organic yogurt, fresh honey or avocado for a delicious anti-aging facial mask. Saponins in tofu act as a natural exfoliant, removing dead skin-cells, while plant-proteins renew and regenerate skin. This mask will moisturize, even skin tone and promote elasticity in the face. Now go out there and beautify!

2014’s Trendiest Cocktail: The Green Drink


2014 is the year of the green drink. Everywhere you turn folks are buying, selling, making and drinking something green. From chlorella (aka algae) based powder to heirloom kale and collard greens, it would seem that “super-foods” are more popular than ever and that green is most definitely still the new black. What is it about the green drink that’s got folks going crazy? Is it the allure of drinking something seemingly unbearable and surprisingly palatable in the name of health? Maybe in this fast-pace world it’s an easy way to get one’s daily allowance? Or maybe it’s just plain trend! Whatever the cause, we don’t mind a bit! Like we always say, the greener, the better!


If you feel lost in a sea of green, fear not! Getting going on a green regimen is simpler than you might think. You don’t need tons of cash and you don’t even need to splurge on a juicer. Your plain old blender (with the help of a sharp knife) should do just fine. All you need is a variety of leafy greens such as kale or collards, fresh herbs like parsley and mint and some crunchy seasonal veggies like cucumber and celery. (Um, YUM!) Throw in some liquid of your choice such as water, grapefruit juice or even pineapple juice, fruit to taste and blend away. A fresh squeeze of lemon should help to balance the flavors and mellow any sweetness as well.


Beefing up your morning shake with pure tofu will add a rich flavor and a smooth texture, not to mention hours of energy and focus. Don’t believe us? See for yourself! Add a bit of silken tofu to your morning routine, and let us know how it changes your day! We’d love to hear from you! Cheers!

Green Tea: A Healthy Way to Stay Cool this Month

If you enjoy green tea while it’s hot, you will absolutely love it when cold! July feels like the hottest month of the year with record heat waves, soaring electricity bills and long hot workdays that seem to never end. While we love the sweet summer BBQs of July, the working days can drag on forever in the heat leaving us drained and exhausted by day’s end. If you have been looking for a healthy and refreshing alternative to get you through the day, look no more. If you want to pack some extra protein in your green drink, throw in 3oz of silken tofu, and get ready to have an awesome day! Green tea will be your one stop shop!



Whether you drink a true green tea or a toasted one, the traditional Japanese Matcha or the Korean variation mixed with barley and brown rice, you are doing something good for your body every time you sip. Studies show that regular green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing heart disease as well as certain types of cancer. It is also a proven weight loss tool! Much like tofu, green tea is rich in flavonoids – those healthful phytochemicals that bring our bodies so many benefits. While flavonoids are present in most plant products, they are prevalent in green tea, and hold anti-oxidative and ant carcinogenic functions. Are you thirsty yet?



If you remember the old adage, If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, then you might start brewing a cup right this second. Green tea consumption dates back 4,000 years! It has been used as a beverage as well as a medicine across Asia for centuries. Green tea was and still is believed to assist with so many health issues from regulating blood sugar and body temperature to promoting digestion. If there ever were a magic bullet, green tea just might be it. And the best part is, you can enjoy it hot and cold! If you are looking for a way to stay alert, stay healthy and stay cool this summer, try pouring that green tea over ice or making a cold brew in the fridge. We promise that it will revitalize and refresh through this hot summer and fall months! Next time we enjoy a cold glass of green-tea we will toast to you and your health! Bottoms up!

Baking with Tofu

When people come across our site, they are amazed by what we can do without dairy and eggs. We make beautiful cakes, pies, puddings, cookies and more all with our secret ingredient – the Baking Blend! Our baking blend is a time-tested mixture that will work as a substitute for eggs, buttermilk, yoghurt, oil, mayonnaise and more.


The Baking Blend is simply:
1 (12.3oz) package Morinaga Silken Extra Firm Tofu

1 cup water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar



Blend well. Refrigerate in a covered container. Keeps for one week. (1 cup baking blend is equal to 1 cup of liquid ingredients.)


The Baking Blend is our go-to for standard baking recipes such as cookies and cakes. For savory baked dishes like quiche, tarts or lasagna, we use mashed Morinaga Extra Firm Tofu. When you mash the extra firm variety it takes on a consistency similar to scrambled eggs or fresh ricotta cheese.


Whether you are making a quiche and scones for a breakfast party or key-lime pie for a summer BBQ, don’t let your dairy or gluten allergies get in the way of your enjoyment. With Morinaga’s Tips & Tricks you can stay healthy and enjoy all the flavors of summer! Happy eating!

Cooking with Tofu all Summer Long

The summer season is a great time for cooking and eating. The days are long and beautiful, school is out and the markets are full of delicious, seasonal produce. With the freshest ingredients, there is no limit to what you can create from fresh salads, to grilled veggies and desserts speckled with summer berries. Morinaga Silken Tofu makes the perfect addition to any summer meal. Whether you are grilling it with colorful zucchini and bell peppers or using it as a thickener for salad dressings, there are endless ways to sneak in the extra proteins and vitamins that tofu has to offer. Here’s a list of creative ways to incorporate Silken Tofu into your kitchen repertoire this summer.


GRILL IT: If you leave Silken Tofu in the freezer overnight, it will be ready for the grill by dinnertime! Marinate with your favorite mixture and throw it on the grill for salads, sliders or to accompany grilled veggies.


DRESS IT: Or dress with it! Did you know that Morinaga Silken Tofu is a great thickener and dairy substitute for salad dressings? Use it in place of dairy for those blue cheese and ranch variations or use it as a thickener for vinaigrette and citrus-based dressings.


BAKE IT: Not just like a casserole! Silken Tofu can be baked in pies and used as a dairy substitute for just about any baking recipe. Create fruit pies and parfaits with the sweetest summer fruits!


FRY IT: From fried tofu poppers to tofu fries to fried tofu sandwiches, fried tofu is a healthy and festive party trick that is sure to empty plates and many a summer BBQ!


DIP IT: Remember chips and dip? Now you can create beautiful spreads of veggies, chips and dips without worrying about added dairy. Check our site for a variety of tofu dip recipes from hummus to garlicky spinach & artichoke!

Eating with the Seasons this May

May is a great time to get healthy. The last chills of winter have finally melted, and spring brings with it a flood of blooming flowers, fresh produce and sunshine. Nice weather and longer days create space for outdoor activity, and fresh fruits and veggies make eating better a no-brainer. Nothing fosters creativity in the kitchen quite like fresh and local produce. If you haven’t explored your local farmer’s markets, now is the time! Go, explore and see what you can find!


There is an enormous range of produce available this month, from artichokes and broccoli to cauliflower and cucumber. We are still seeing endive and the first fava beans of the season are making their way to local stands. Strawberries are getting sweeter as the weather warms up, and stone fruit such as apricots and plums line tables wrapped in burlap. It is a great month to be out shopping, in cooking and out and about eating.


Eating well is a great way to get off to a healthy start this spring. If you are planning to exercise or get in shape this summer, what better way to start than at the kitchen table? An abundance of fresh fruits and veggies make work in the kitchen a labor of love more than anything else this May, and we look forward to being there with you every step along the way. From breakfast tofu stir-fries to fresh fruit tofu puddings and midnight tofu ice cream shakes, we have something to add to every meal.


We look forward to taking this journey with you and seeing what you create. Share your ideas and recipes on our Facebook page and show us what you’re made of! Nothing inspires us more than seeing all the creative ways you work with tofu in the kitchen. Happy cooking and happy spring!

National Soy Foods Month!

We would like to celebrate National Soy Food Month by educating our community a bit more about the many uses of the soybean product from cultivation to harvest and how this high protein plant can be included into a diverse range of food products.


History: With the introduction of Soy Milk to the United States in the 1980’s, American food manufacturers started to develop soy food products that appealed to the unique tastes of the heartland. Throughout the 1990’s there were several advances in processing which has allowed for foods to be made from components of soybeans such as soy protein concentrates and isolates. The soybean has found its way into more products than we can start to list! Soymilk remains the most frequently consumed soyfood, followed by edamame and veggie burgers. Tofu sits in fourth place.


Production: The USDA report is now estimating total soybean production in 2013 at 3.15 billion bushels. The average U.S. soybean yield for 2013 is now estimated at 41.2 bushels per acre, which down from the August USDA estimate of 42.6 bushels per acre. From 1996 to 2011 soy food products have grown from $1 billion to $5.2 billion in annual sales. The farming methods for soybeans have evolved into new practices in sustainable farming techniques. Soy farmers are now taking a responsible stance on protecting the environment and producing a healthy food source.


Health: There are many healthy benefits associated with soy food products. One of the most popular is the correlation between soy consumption and lowering the risks of heart disease. Soy also helps positively impact and reduce the risks of diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and breast cancer. The other positive effect from the soy food is that it helps to manage weight problems that we currently face in the United States. There is an epidemic of unhealthy food products and eating habits. Introducing soy and replacing harmful foods for health rich soy foods can have an immediate positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.

How to Press Tofu

Pressing is a great technique to know when cooking tofu. Silken tofu in particular has a high water content, making it delicate and easily crumbled. However, pressing helps remove some of the excess water so the tofu is firmer and sturdier, and better suited for stir-frying, grilling, and other applications in which the tofu takes a little abuse.


You may think you need a fancy gadget to press tofu, but actually it can be done easily at home with common household items! All you need is some paper towels and a flat, heavy object.



How to Press Tofu




1) Start with Morinaga Firm, Extra Firm, or Nigari tofu. Remove the tofu from the box and drain the excess water.




2) Wrap the tofu in a paper towel or two.




3) Now place something flat and heavy on top, like a heavy hardcover book, or a cutting board with a jar of peanut butter on top.


3 extra packages of tofu will do it, too!


4) Let the tofu sit under the weight for about 15 minutes. Then remove the tofu from the plate, unwrap, and slice however you like: slices, dices, or even triangles!



Your tofu is now firm and ready for action!

Featured Blogger: Terry Hope Romero

We are thrilled to introduce our new featured blogger, Terry Hope Romero of Vegan Latina! Be sure to check out her recipes featured on our website and Facebook page.


Bio

From VeganLatina.com:

Terry Hope Romero, author and co-author of bestselling vegan cookbooks Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and Viva Vegan!: Authentic Vegan Latina American Recipes has also presented informative and lively cooking demonstration and talks to hungry crowds at food festivals and conferences the world over, ranging from Paris, New York City, Boston, Toronto, and many more. Terry also contributes to VegNews (leading vegan lifestyle magazine) her Hot Urban Eats column. She also holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University.

Terry lives, cooks and eats in NYC.

Recipe: Pan-Fried Tofu

A complaint we sometimes hear about Morinaga Silken Tofu is “It’s so soft! I can’t stir-fry with it, it falls right apart!”

It’s true all Morinaga tofu is silken tofu, which is especially soft and delicate and more likely to crumble than its pressed counterpart. However, don’t think for one minute that silken tofu is off-limits for your stir-fry! All it takes is a little know-how.

One way to make silken tofu suitable for stir-fry is pressing and pan-frying. In addition to deep-frying, silken tofu can be pan-fried in a small amount of oil to create a beautiful golden crust. This crust creates a lovely complementary texture to the soft silken tofu within—and it also makes silken tofu sturdier! Pan-fried silken tofu can be gently tossed in stir-fries and salads without crumbling.

There are countless variations to pan-fried tofu that can include seasonings, spices, or cornstarch for an especially crispy crust, but this basic technique is a surefire place to start:

Pan-Fried Silken Tofu



1) Start with Morinaga Firm, Extra Firm, or Nigari tofu. Remove the tofu from the box and drain the excess water.




2) Wrap the tofu in a paper towel and place something flat and heavy on top. For example, a cutting board with a jar of peanut butter sitting on top. Let the tofu sit under the weight for about 15 minutes.



3 extra packages of tofu will do it, too!


3) After 15 minutes, remove the tofu from the plate, unwrap, and slice into bite-sized pieces. Thin, flat triangles are a good shape because it is only necessary to flip them over once.




4) Heat 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet. Arrange all of the tofu on in the skillet so one of the largest surfaces is face-down in the oil.




5) Cook for 3-5 minutes, using a flat spatula to check the underside of the tofu periodically. When tofu is golden-brown on the bottom, gently flip over and cook on the other side until it is also golden-brown. If you like, keep flipping until every face of each piece of tofu is golden-brown.




6) Drain on a paper towel, then add to anything you like: salad, stir-fry, stew, on its own drizzled in sauce . . . it’s up to you!

Even carnivores can’t resist!

Featured Blogger: Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen

We are very proud to introduce our new featured blogger, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen! Please visit her amazing blog and look out for her recipes featured on our website and Facebook page.



Bio

Jaden Hair is a television chef, food columnist and award-winning food blogger at Steamy Kitchen. She is one of the chef stars on this season’s Recipe Rehab on ABC. You can also watch her cook monthly on Daytime Show, syndicated in 140 markets.


Jaden has been a food columnist for Discovery Health, TLC and for The Tampa Tribune.
Jaden is a cookbook author of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook and the Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites.


Jaden is one of the most influential food people in social media. She has been featured on the Today Show, CBS Early Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Oprah.com, and Parents Magazine. Jaden was recently one of the hottest women in food (blush) and also one of the best food bloggers on Forbes.com as well as The Daily Meal.


Jaden is a mom of two little boys, Andrew and Nathan, who love to eat almost as much as she does! Her husband, Scott, is also part of the Steamy Kitchen team, he’s the web developer that makes the magic on this site happen, otherwise known as the “.com” of business.


And she love, love, LOVES cooking with tofu!!

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