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The New Protein Shake

If you are serious about getting fit, then you know how
important it is to consume protein after a big workout. Studies show that those
who do require fewer medical visits, boast stronger immune response as well as
healthier lean muscles! Some people simply enjoy an ice-cold protein shake
after a sweat-building session. If you fall into any of these categories, or if
you are looking to step up your health-game, The New Protein Shake is just what
the doctor ordered.

The truth is you don’t need to get your proteins and
nutrients from a powder. You can get everything you need with the help of
Mother Nature, a little elbow grease, and our favorite plant based protein! And
don’t worry about the soy
, tofu will keep you healthy.

That’s right, silken-tofu has all the protein you
need to stay strong and in shape after a grueling hour at the gym. All you need
to do is pop it in the blender with a few other super foods, and you will be
well on your way! Try silken-tofu with frozen bananas, blueberries, spinach and
ground flax for an anti-oxidant packed elixir. Or, silken-tofu with lemon,
fresh pineapple, mango and home-pressed almond milk for something a little more
tropical. Our favorite is silken-tofu with fresh cacao, cold-press coffee,
peanut butter and banana – it really gets us going in the morning!

The point is that the possibilities for adding fresh fruit
and juice to this super plant based protein are endless! Your body can absorb
vitamins and minerals from real food,
and you can still enjoy the benefits of consuming protein after a workout. The
choice is yours!

Happy blending!


Seasonal Sweets: Fruits

Tis the season for spring-cleaning! And we don’t mean the
closet or the junk drawer. We are talking about clean eating! Summer is right
around the corner, and we will be
swimsuit-ready by June! There’s one tiny problem, and that is our sweet tooth.
If you’ve been following, you know that we have a thing for chocolate and tofu-based desserts.
While the desserts we enjoy are made with healthy, whole ingredients, and free
of chemicals & preservatives, we’d still like to clean it up a bit – just
for a while. So, we’ve decided to cut back on sugar significantly.

On average, Americans consume about 66 pounds of
added sugar per year
. Sugar is hidden in everything from “low-fat” salad
dressings, to conventional “whole-grain” bread and seemingly healthy frozen
foods. Studies show that sugar is hiding in 74% of packaged foods! In fact,
scientists have devoted an entire website to the serious issues surrounding
sugar (sugarscience.org). The
website highlights how too much sugar can overload critical organs and cause
deadly health problems such as heart disease, liver disease, and diabetes. In
other words, sugar plays a major role in metabolic conditions that are killers
in this country.

Fret not dear readers, because we have the antidote for this
problem directly from Mother Nature herself – fresh & seasonal fruit! Yes,
fruit still contains fructose, but
not nearly in the same quantities as candy, soda, and processed foods. Plus,
fruit also provides vitamins, antioxidants and fiber, which actually slows down
the body’s digestion of glucose – a very good thing! Candy & soft drinks
have zilch when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fruit has less sugar
by volume, so you can eat more and take in less of the bad stuff!

April is a fabulous month to sub fresh fruits for sugary
desserts with so many gems in season. Sweet & tangy grapefruit offer a
zingy and vitamin-c packed treat while creamy and vanilla cherimoya is just
plain better than ice cream! The first cherries and strawberries of the season
are here to bring antioxidant packed delight to TV hour and beyond.

We invite you to join us for spring cleaning and cut out
that sugar! If you try out some interesting fruit creations, drop us a line to
let us know, especially if your fruity formulations include our tofu.

Happy hunting!


Ten Ways to Use Miso Paste

Most people are only familiar with
miso as it appears in miso soup. They think of warm broth that accompanies
their meal at Japanese restaurants. It's one of those dishes that many people
have had time and again; making it a less than exciting addition to the table.

Sadly, most folks don’t know the delicious, nutrient-dense
miso soup we think of here in our test kitchens. Unaware of the fact that miso
is full of vitamins, minerals and probiotics. That it’s packed with as much
flavor and nutrition, famous for its “umami” notes, and incredibly versatile in
the kitchen. Miso is known to have immense healing properties and has shown to reduce the risk of cancer
as well as protect against the effects of
. Also, did we mention that it’s dee-licious?

Miso is made from fermented soybeans (not unlike tofu).
Soybeans are mixed with salt and a special kind of bacteria, barley, rice and
other ingredients before being left to ferment. The alchemy of these
ingredients in harmony creates a product that is rich with antioxidants,
vitamins as well as flavor, and we are pretty happy about that!

If you’re thinking, fine
but what do I do with it
? We have a number of unusual ideas. In fact, we
have created a list of 10 just to get you going. But, please, don’t stop there.
Continue to play with your food and discover all the things you can do with

1.) Marinate Your
Yes, we said it. The umami in the steak meets miso-umami for a super
savory dish that will keep you coming back for more! Try this recipe
from Bon Appetit.

2.) Roast your
Food52 has got
it going on
in with root veggies, but don’t stop there! Spinach,
kale, cauliflower, oh my!

3.) Put it in your
How’s that for a conversation starter? Bring in the Japanese
whiskey and check out this
for ideas…

4.) Mix with Silken
Tofu for a succulent Ranch Dip!
Try this recipe
and skip the sour-cream if you’re vegan!

5.) Use it for soup.
Yes real miso soup is just divine,
but it can be added to other soups like this carrot-miso
with sesame! Yummy…

6.) Make Miso Butter.
Your family will thank you for keeping this on
. It can be used on everything from sweet corn to scallops
and pasta. Amen!

7.) Add it to your
DIY Ice Cream.
Yes, we
are going there
and you should too! This complex ingredient
pairs well with sweet strawberries and even caramel!

8.) Put it in your PB
& J.
They did!

9.) Make a miso
We love ours with sesame oil and honey like

10.) Add it to your
Bagna Cauda!
We love this
garlicky version
from Tasting Table.

So experiment with some miso today, and feel free to share
your results with us on Twitter
or Facebook.


The Sweet Side of Tofu

Dear friends, what a delight it is to see spring popping up
all around us here in Southern California. Birds are chirping, bees are buzzing
and plants seem full of bright leaves and blossoms. Spring is without a doubt
the sweetest season of the year! It is the perfect time to shed whatever weight 
you've carried through winter, and give birth to new ideas and friendships. We
can’t think of a better way to celebrate spring than through a fresh and
healthy cake!

The silken-tofu cakes and desserts that we see at work and online
never cease to amaze us. Silken-tofu is one of those magical ingredients that
can do just about anything you ask of it! Seasonal flan? Sure. Rich chocolate
? No problem! How about a decadent Italian Cheesecake? Yes! Silken-tofu
makes a wonderful substitute for eggs, cheese and milk when baking. It also
adds a fabulous depth of flavor and moisture that you just don’t see in
conventional recipes. If you don’t trust us, see for yourself!


We invite you to try our recipe for this beautiful
Italian Cheesecake. It can be done totally vegan if you choose. Feel free to
make it your own by adding chocolate chips for a rich element or fresh
strawberries for something brighter. You can even add fresh lemon juice for a
sweet lemon version!

Happy Baking!


Tofu and Flavor

Ask ten people how tofu tastes and you will receive ten different answers. Is it nutty? Creamy? Just like chicken? The answer is all of the above. Tofu, which comes in many forms, can have a variety of flavors. It is a widely accepted belief that tofu will adopt the flavor of whatever it is being cooked with. Brown sugar, mushrooms, jalapenos, you name it! The flavor YOU want can be infused with the tofu during the cooking process. Just think of the possibilities! Spicy tofu, salty tofu, mu-shoo tofu, chocolate tofu!

Tofu is like a magic carpet of flavor delivery. It is a sponge of delicious tastes and smells for the senses. With its unique texture, tofu is great when mixed with veggies, nuts and even meats in anything from soups and salads to stir-frys and noodles. It is the perfect addition to any dish.

Marinate and roast, sizzle and sauté or drizzle and bake with your favorite ingredients. Try a ginger soy glaze or a meaty mushroom marinade for tofu steaks. Toss with spicy peppers and fresh greens for a crispy salad topping or slow bake with a sticky sweet reduction for a finger-licking appetizer. The room for creativity is never ending when working with tofu. That’s one of the reasons we love it so much!

Check our blog for ideas and inspirations, and make the recipes your own! Use fresh local ingredients, and share your ideas on our website and blog. We look forward to seeing what you create! Happy cooking! 


Tofu & Weight Loss – Eating Smarter

There is a common misconception that in order to lose
weight, one must eat less.  At Morinaga,
we disagree! It’s not about how much you eat, but what you are eating that
makes the difference. Are you eating processed foods? Refined sugars? GMOs?
These are the types of foods we would encourage our readers to steer clear

The concept of eating smarter is one that goes hand in hand
with tofu production. Recently, some people have been unsure of soy,
but the facts remain that it is a solid, plant based protein that is low in fat
and free of cholesterol.  When you add
tofu to your diet, you are fueling your body with strong protein, isoflavones
as well as loads of vitamins and minerals. A large portion of what you need to
feel good and be productive during the day. 
The other little secret about plant-based protein is that it will make
you feel fuller longer causing you to not reach for those Reese’s Pieces and
Doritos in the middle of the day.

Because you can’t live on tofu alone, you need other ways to
smarten up your eating habits. The first and simplest way will be to shop
local. By cruising your local farmers market, you will find tons of fruits,
vegetables and fish at great prices. When you know your farmer, you can be sure
your produce is organic and you can feel good about spending your money with
them. We suggest you stock up on loads of leafy greens, colorful veggies and
seasonal fruits. Play with them in new ways each week, and let your ingredients
guide you. When you have a well-planned kitchen, you are less likely to order
that pizza or junk food.

And what about you? What are your tips and tricks for eating
smarter and healthier? January is the month to create habits, so let’s hear it!
Share your tips and tricks for smart and healthy eating here.

The Long Life Diet

As the New Year begins, we have got time and health on
our minds. Goals from last year may have slipped through, and time seems to be
flying by for us all. How can we step out of this pace, find some footing and
enjoy food that matches that lifestyle? Is it a Nordic based diet? Is it
based on the slow food movement? Or is it as simple as buying organic, buying
local and keeping fit? What about laughing? Relaxing? We say -- it’s a little
bit of all of the above.

The first step to accomplishing The Long Life Diet is to relax and enjoy. If you find yourself
caught in traffic or a work disaster, try smiling instead of panicking. Dinner
for the kids on a cold winter’s night? Be present and turn it into a moving
meditation. You are there to enjoy don’t forget!

And what about snacking? Give yourself an arsenal of superfoods to carry with you to the office, on a hike or wherever you find
yourself. Maybe it’s roasted almonds with rich hazelnuts, goji berries and dark
chocolate chips or dried seaweed. Maybe it’s a simple as a fresh orange
persimmon right off the tree. Snacking will keep you feeling better and more
focused all day long. It works like a charm when it comes to not sweating the
small stuff.

Allow for indulgences. Yes, we said it. You want that
cheeseburger for dinner? Go for it! Chocolate cake on date night? Why not?
Giving yourself permission to indulge every once in a while will keep you from
going crazy. It should also bring you some joy now and then. Isn’t that what
this is all about?

So go out there, shop local, laugh and have some double
chocolate cake every once in a while. The secret to the long-life diet is to
not take anything too seriously! 

Happy travels!


Seasonal Sweets: Candy Coating the Cold Winter Months

Happy New Year folks! We do hope that January is treating
you well with all of its cold weather and winter vegetables! It’s a funny time
of year with the holidays behind us, and a new year on the horizon, you might
think that spring would be sprouting at any moment. Unfortunately, January
still marks the dead of winter. Dark nights, icy weather and cold feet in socks
are all tell tale signs of winter. It’s not all bad though.
Winter brings with it a variety of fruits and vegetables that can be used in a
number of creative ways this season. Most importantly – Sweets!

Don’t limit your sweet inspiration to only fruits. Some
winter squash can be as sweet as candy. Chestnuts can be made into a delicious
brittle or just fried with sugar caramel for a tasty treat. Red currants,
persimmons and dates will add a seasonal spice and butterscotch bite to any
dish this fall. Not to mention winter citrus!

Now what to do with these unconventional market finds? Be
creative! Add a sweet element like candied nuts, pears or dates to your winter
greens salad or try a pumpkin and squash tart with salted caramel. Juice heavy
winter greens with bright citrus for homemade popsicles that are as healthy as
they are delicious. With produce this fresh and diverse, the possibilities are endless!

How will you get creative and stay warm this winter? We
would love to hear your ideas and see your creations. As always, we encourage
you to think seasonably and work outside the box. We look forward to seeing
what you create!



Quince, An Unlikely Fruit for your Holiday Table

Do you know a fruit that is as old as the Bible, looks like
a pear and can’t be eaten raw? Meet the mysterious quince. A distant cousin of
apples and pears, the Cydonia Oblonga is the only fruit of its kind. Dating
back to ancient Roman times, the quince appears in myths, poems as well as in
one of the first written cookbooks Apicius. Among ancient Greeks, this aromatic
fruit was an offering for the bride on her wedding day. Its floral notes were
meant to perfume her lips before a kiss!

These days the quince is still widely available though not
identifiable by most. Its golden skin and hard center sit unnoticed by most or
overseen by passersby leaving its unique flavor only for a select few in “the
know.” But what to do with this new found fruit you ask? The possibilities are
just about endless!

This pectin heavy fruit is perfect for,
roasting, baking and stewing. You can use it for jams, pies, and puddings, or
with savories like lamb, chicken, and beef. Its perfumed sweetness makes a
great addition to cocktails, refreshing elixirs and warm winter ciders. If you
are getting hungry, you should be. Quince is a unique and unusual way to
elevate just about any dish! Search blogs, books and the web for photos and
inspirations, before setting off and making quince your own. We promise it will
be the talk of your holiday party. Don’t forget to keep us in the loop! Happy


Best Wishes for a Delicious Holiday Season

December is a marvelous month for home cooking. The cold
weather, the short days and the endless holiday parties call for one hot meal
after another. While hearty winter vegetables make for gorgeous soups and stir
-fries, bitter winter greens meet pomegranates and persimmons for festive
salads. Silken tofu has a special place at the winter table in just about
everything we do. From seasonal sides and mains to winter pies and puddings, we
can’t seem to get enough of that nutrient packed protein!


It’s incredible just how versatile our favorite ingredient
is. If you are looking to add texture and depth to any dish, silken tofu is the
thing! Dazzle guests with any one of our creamy crudité dips before dinner or amaze them with our guiltless Easy Chocolate Dessert. If you’re looking for something else, try our
endless collection of carefully tested recipes. They are sure to inspire and delight the most seasoned home cook.

Speaking of inspiration, don’t forget to share your recipes,
pics and thoughts on our Facebook page. You are the inspiration when it comes
to creativity in the kitchen, and we love to see what you have cooking! As you
approach your holiday table, don’t forget to stay local, stay fresh and keep it
seasonal. You never know what kind of imagination is hiding behind that next
trip to the market. 

Happy cooking!


Making the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

     Thanksgiving is a time to create memories. It’s a time to come
together, give thanks and most importantly, eat good food! What is a holiday
celebration without a great meal or two? And what’s a good meal without some
finger licking leftovers? From hearty winter sides to savory roast birds, we've
got five great ideas for making the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

1. Stock: Simmer
turkey bones and bits with fresh carrot, onion and celery for a glistening
stock to enhance soups & sauces. Freeze in an ice cube trays for easy
access flavor bombs!

2.  Soup:
Roasted veggies, sides, even dressed salad greens make delicious soup.
Blend with turkey or veggie stock and thicken with silken tofu for a luxurious
winter treat. This can be frozen for up to 3 months.

3. Cakes:
Whiz leftover turkey, stuffing, and root vegetables in a processor with silken
tofu or egg as glue. Mold into cakes and cook in oil for a holiday inspired
appetizer. Leftover cranberry sauce makes the perfect garnish!

4. Sandwiches:
We aren't talking about your mama’s turkey sandwich here. Add bacon and blue cheese for a decadent lunch or cranberries and butter lettuce for a fresh variation.
What about pate and pickles on French bread for a thanksgiving inspired Banh Mi?

5. Pies:
Fill small ramekins with turkey, gravy and peas, top with mashed potatoes and
bake for mini shepherd’s pies. Or use flaky pie-crust to create savory hand
pies on the go. Enjoy with that cranberry sauce!


Warm Wishes for a Crisp Fall

Chilly mornings, dark nights and changing leaves all signify
the true beginning of autumn. Our late summer BBQs and picnics feel like
distant memories as we gather round the table for a heartier meal. Shorter days
and colder weather seem to call for a different kind of eating – one that will
warm our souls and fill our bellies for the winter ahead. At Morinu, we welcome
this shift in seasons along with any changes it may bring.

As we gear up for a new season, we are astonished by the
variety and seasonality of the produce available. Sweet Delicata squash, crisp
fuyu persimmons and explosive pomegranates bring the color and spice of the
season. A reminder that things should taste as they are. It is always a treat
try new and interesting things with the local produce available.

Eating seasonably and sustainably is healthy for our bodies,
our economy and our planet. As we transition into the biggest eating season of
the year, we urge you to shop and eat responsibly. Supporting local farmers
will aid small businesses, cut down on CO2 emissions and sustain the campaign
against GMOs. The best way to take a stand against GMO production in the US is
with your dollar.

Fresh & local crops are sure to inspire you in the
kitchen, keep you feeling healthy and impress your friends. It can be a bit
more work, but well worth the effort. Stay fresh, stay healthy and eat well
this season! Happy cooking! 


Bringing Veggies Back!

Bringing Veggies Back!

Did you know that most Americans eat only 1.1 servings of fruit
per day? According to the CDC, our veggie intake is lacking as well. With junk-food spilling over most grocery shelves, it’s no surprise that people reach
for Cheetos and Doritos before grabbing the carrots and apples. How can a plain
old carrot stand up to an MSG and chemical packed potato chip anyway? We would
like to believe that it can and it will!

With the season’s finest, fresh seasonings and a little TLC
instead of MSG, you can help us bring veggies back in a big way this Fall.
Sneak a pack of fresh celery and almond butter into your work bag, dehydrate
that kale with lemon and chili for crunchy chips and bury your carrots in fresh
coffee beans before baking and drizzling with a fresh yogurt sauce. Still
feeling uninspired? Try experimenting with fresh soups, veggie purees and cold
press fruit syrups. Between the creativity, the delicious flavor and the fresh
feeling of health, we promise it will satisfy you.

Please help us spread the word by tagging your ideas, photos
and inspiration with #veggiesback and work with us to bring veggies back into
our home, our work and our schools. Excitement is contagious, so remember to
pass it on! 

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,


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!

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