Between the finches visiting our bird feeders and the trees starting to blossom, spring is certainly in the air here in northeastern Georgia. We’ve even managed to eat a couple of dinners outside on the deck, though we had to wear light jackets and sweaters. Even though it’s warming up, there’s never a bad time for a hot bowl of chili, especially on Meatless Mondays when you can substitute healthy tofu and beans for ground turkey or beef.
This vegan chili recipe from the folks at House Foods is high in protein and low in fat. With the extra vitamin C from the chili pods and the capsaicin revving up your metabolism, House Foods’ Tofu Chili is packed with both flavor and health benefits. House Foods Premium Tofu is non-GMO verified, made from certified organic soybeans grown in the US, kosher-verified and gluten free.
While great on its own, try serving the tofu chili on brown rice or quinoa.
Recipe by House Foods
- 1 package House Foods Tofu Extra Firm, drained and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (1 large clove)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 16-ounce can kidney beans
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 can low sodium tomato sauce
- dash paprika
- Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender.
- Add vegetable broth, bell pepper, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and kidney beans, stirring to combine.
- Add tomato sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes or until kidney beans and peppers are cooked through.
- Add cubed tofu and cook additional minute or two. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe and photo provided by House Foods and used with permission.
As an Udi’s Gluten Free Community Leader, I know that the Thanksgiving holiday is especially hard for anyone who’s gluten free, has food sensitivities or allergies, or are just trying to eat healthy since everything seems to have wheat flour, cream, sugar, butter and nuts. That’s why we’ll be having a chat at Udi’s Gluten Free Community next week on Wednesday, November 7 at 8 pm EST to discuss the challenges Thanksgiving brings. You can find the chat here. Hope you can join us!
It’s also why I’d like to share a recipe I got from Simply Soy, a wonderful cookbook put together by the Soyfoods Council. It was given to me earlier this year when they invited me to Iowa to learn about soybean production and the benefits of soy in your diet.
Planning a Southern Thanksgiving
I’m making a southern-style Thanksgiving this year as it’s our first year living in Georgia. To me, nothing is more southern than cornbread dressing with the turkey, so I’ll be making Bon Appetit’s Cornbread, Sausage, and Pecan Dressing, but using pine nuts instead of pecans since my daughter’s allergic to nuts.
Unfortunately, most cornbread mixes contain wheat flour or “from scratch recipes” contain milk or eggs. Instead, this recipe from Didi Emmons, author of Entertaining for a Veggie Planet, uses tofu to make a dense, moist bread, and I’ve substituted an all-purpose gluten free baking mix for the flour. You can make it in any size pan, including an 8-inch square or round cake pan. It’s also a great cornbread for vegans as it contains no butter, dairy or eggs.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten free baking mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh or dried rosemary, optional
- 8 ounces firm water-packed tofu, drained
- 5 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or oil a 9×5–inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose gluten free baking mix, baking powder, salt, and rosemary. Mix well.
- In another bowl, squeeze the tofu through your hands until it is the consistency of scrambled eggs. Stir in the oil and 1 cup water. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. (The batter will be very dry.)
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 45 – 50 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then rap the pan sharply to remove the bread, and cool the bread on a rack for at least another 20 minutes before slicing.
- Serving size: 1 slice
Disclosure: As a Udi's Gluten Free Community Leader I'm compensated for my time and efforts on their behalf. In addition, I was invited to an all expenses paid editor’s trip by the Soyfoods Council. All experiences and opinions are my own.
As promised in my Healthier Lemon Pasta post for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, here’s my version of Tofu Sour Cream is based on a recipe from the Vegan Epicurean. I made the following changes to her recipe:
Vinegar: I used NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. I find that NAKANO’s rice vinegars have a milder flavor and are less acidic, which I like. You could have a little fun with this recipe and use some of NAKANO’s flavored vinegars, too, like Roasted Garlic or Red Pepper, for a fun flavor twist.
Tofu: I was confused over the type of tofu the Vegan Epicurean used, since I’m not familiar with Mori Nu lite silken tofu (firm). Is it firm or silken? After doing a little research, I found out that all of Mori Nu’s tofus are silken and come in soft, firm or extra firm. However, other brands’ silken tofus are actually soft tofus, which are good for soups, dips and smoothies.
I ended up using Nasoya’s Silken Tofu, so the consistency of my sour cream was very runny. This was fine for my Healthier Lemon Pasta, but next time I want to make something the consistency of sour cream, I’ll use a firm tofu. I also changed the amount of tofu used since I like using the full tub. Having a few ounces left over of tofu means I have to remember it’s in the refrigerator and use it in a recipe before it goes bad. Usually, I forget and find a science experiment waiting for me in the far reaches of the fridge. Hate that!
Lemon zest and lemon juice: I cut back on both ingredients and still could taste the lemon. That was fine since I was using it in a lemon flavored dish. However, next time I may cut back even further. I love lemon, but it doesn’t go with everything.
- 1 (14-16 ounce) package firm tofu, preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave, stevia or other sugar substitute
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process several minutes, until very creamy and smooth.
- Firms up when chilled. Refrigerate sour cream until it is ready to be used.
- Serving size: varies
Connect with NAKANO
Sign up for Mizkan’s “Splash Recipe Club!” When you join the club you get exclusive recipes, access to special features and more! Each month one new member could win a $150 leading up to a grand prize of $600 in March 2013. You can also connect with NAKANO on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.
When I learned I had a food sensitivity to whey, I gave up milk and yogurt. This meant no more cereal, no more cookies and milk snacks, and no more smoothies. It also meant that foods like quiche, creamy soups, pancakes, and mashed potatoes were off limits since they also contain milk. Major bummer, right?
Luckily, I discovered alternative milks from Silk like Silk Soymilk and Silk Coconutmilk. (They also make Silk Almondmilk, but since my daughter has a nut allergy I try to avoid having nut products in the house.) Currently, unsweetened Silk Organic Soymilk is my non-dairy milk of choice. Here’s why:
Unsweetened. In my opinion, Silk Organic Soymilk doesn’t need to be sweetened since I enjoy the taste straight from the carton. Unsweetened soymilk is also a great non-dairy milk for cooking. I used in mashed potatoes last night and my family – who can drink cow’s milk – didn’t notice the difference. However, you can get Silk Organic Soymilk sweetened (original flavor) or in vanilla, if you like.
Organic. When I consume soy products, I prefer them to be organic whenever possible. Silk non-dairy milks, organic or not, are made from non-GMO products.
Calcium. An eight ounce glass of Silk Organic Soymilk has 30% of the recommended amount of calcium. This is important since I have to avoid dairy products and have to get my calcium from other sources.
7 grams soy protein. After attending a trip to Iowa courtesy of The Soyfoods Council, I’ve become a big believer in soy. While I was on the trip, I attended a lecture by Mark Messina, Ph.D. from the Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health at Loma Linda University. He had reviewed current medical studies and concluded that soy does indeed reduce the risk of heart disease. (In fact, the FDA recommends 25 grams of soy protein per day to gain this affect.) He said that studies demonstrate that soy lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. His review of the medical literature also showed that soy reduces the frequency and severity of hot flashes. You can learn more about soy’s health benefits on The Soyfoods Council’s website.
My day with Silk Organic Soymilk
After attending Dr. Messina’s talk, I decided to make soy milk part of my daily routine. I start the day off with Silk Organic Soymilk in a smoothie or in my cereal. At night, since I have perimenopause symptoms like feeling very warm and having insomnia, I drink a glass of Silk Organic Soymilk as a nightcap. I find that it cools me down and helps me sleep better.
A Silk Taste for Everyone
No matter what your personal non-dairy milk tastes are, Silk has a product for everyone:
- Silk Soymilk – Vanilla, Very Vanilla, Chocolate, Original and DHA Omega-3
- Silk Organic Soymilk – Vanilla, Original and Unsweetened
- Silk Light Soymilk – Chocolate, Vanilla and Original
- Silk Pure Almond Almondmilk – Unsweetened Original, Unsweetened Vanilla, Original, Vanilla and Dark Chocolate
- Silk Pure Coconut Coconutmilk – Original and Vanilla
What’s your favorite way to enjoy Silk non-dairy milks?
Silk® soy, almond and coconut milks are perfect choices for your healthy lifestyle. More than 30 years ago, Silk set out to make the world a healthier place. Not just for people who drink Silk, but for everyone. Don't let the delicious taste fool you, we're serious about our soymilk, almondmilk and coconutmilk. With every cup of Silk, you get calcium, vitamin D and the goodness of soy, almonds or coconut. All of our non-dairy milks are free of lactose, cholesterol, gluten, eggs, casein, MSG and worries. Whether organic or natural, all of our Silk products are made with non-GMO ingredients and verified by the non-GMO project.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Silk via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Silk.
I recently returned from an editors’ trip to Iowa to learn about soy thanks to the folks at The Soyfood Council. While I was there I had the opportunity to sample many versions of edamame dips and hummus. I’ll be sharing some recipes and what I learned about the benefits of soy foods soon here at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet.
Until then, I wanted to share this edamame-based dip recipe from Chef Anthony Stewart, Executive Chef for the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa , a private wellness spa and weight loss health program, complete with exceptional fitness trainers, nutritionists and renowned spa treatments. The center boasts experts from health to nutrition and fitness to spa and wellness like Chef Anthony, who has won five gold medals in top culinary competitions for his masterful use of foodstuffs like fresh seafood and tropical fruit from his native Jamaica.
Edamame & Broccoli Dip
Recipe by Chef Anthony Stewart
Serving size 1/2 cup
- 1 pound shelled and cooked edamame soy beans
- 1 pound over-cooked (softened) broccoli florets
- 3 tablespoons chopped Vidalia onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
- 3 tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a food processor, puree the edamame beans, broccoli, onion, and garlic for 2 minutes.
- Transfer to mixing bowl. Add sour cream, yogurt, basil, and black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add lemon juice to taste.
- Serve with vegetable sticks, such as carrots, celery, and jicama, or with whole-wheat low-sodium chips.
This Mama’s tips
- You can find edamame in the frozen food section or near the fresh sushi at your grocery store.
- Instead of fat-free sour cream, try fat-free Greek yogurt or pureed silken tofu.
- Edamame and broccoli dip would also make a terrific sandwich or tortilla rollup spread. Or have it on gluten free toast for breakfast!
Recipe and photo used with permission.
At your next party, why not forgo the age old question, “Beer or wine?” and ask, “Coconut, almond or soy?” That’s the idea behind the Silkology Facebook page from the folks at Silk soymilk. They’ve worked with award-winning mixologist, Bryan Dayton, to create some fabulous mocktails and cocktails using Silk’s almond, soy and coconut milks.
It could be a lot of fun or setting up a DIY bar at your party, setting out various ingredients, and printing out Bryan’s Silkology recipes(both the mock and the cocktails) for your guests to try. Or recruit a few friends to serve as bar tenders, no previous experience required since the Silkology recipes are very easy to follow! These drinks would make great luau mocktails or cocktails, and should be a hit considering that people are on the lookout for healthy indulgences when they go out or entertain at home.
The Silkology Banana Mint Slush
I liked Bryan’s recipe for Banana Mint Slush since it’s made from things I usually have in my kitchen like bananas and lime, plus mint from the garden. I had it as a morning smoothie – refreshing, delicious and super healthy since Silk soymilk has as much calcium and Vitamin D as regular milk. However, having it as a cocktail (at dinner time, of course!) with a jiggerful of good tequila would be sublime, don’t you think? I’d like to try this with orange zest instead of lime, too. Wonder what it would taste like with basil instead of mint? Hmmm…
I used Silk Organic soymilk, which is unsweetened. The banana made the drink sweet enough for me, but you may want to add a dash of stevia, honey or agave nectar if you’re using any of Silk’s unsweetened soy or coconut milks. Also, because of the added ice, it makes a huge drink. So if you’re serving Banana Mint Slush at a party, invest in some big pint glasses!
Banana Mint Slush
- 1 cup Silk® soymilk, almond milk or coconut milk, any flavor except chocolate
- 1 banana
- 6 mint leaves
- Zest of 1 lime
- 6 ice cubes
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Garnish with mint and lime.
Why I like Silk’s soymilk and coconut milk
I’m a big fan of Silk’s unsweetened soy and coconut milks. (I don’t drink almond milk, because I have a child with a nut allergy. We try not to have nuts in the house.) Silk’s entire beverage portfolio is certified by the
Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program, a system designed to test whether a product has met defined standards for the presence of GMOs through third party verification and rigorous traceability, segregation and testing standards.
Also, Silk Soymilk is made from 100 percent North American-grown soybeans and lets consumers trace the origin of the soybeans used in all Silk products at silksoymilk.com/traceit. In addition, Silk’s educational website, soynutrition.com, also serves as a resource for health care professionals and consumers, providing facts on soy science and soy nutrition. The site works in tandem with and contains content provided by
members of Silk’s Scientific Advisory Board, a panel of industry-leading physicians and nutrition scientists that provide insight and analysis on the latest in soy science research and news, as well as the Silk Nutrition team, an in-house expert panel.
Win a Silkology Prize Package
Silk inspired me to think outside of the glass with their new Silkology-inspired drink recipes. Tell me something new you want to try this summer when entertaining to win a Silkology Prize Package, includes “Silk for a Year” (24 certificates for a free half gallon – a $4.99 value each) and an entertaining drink set (pitcher, stirrer, shaker, tray and glassware)!
Last Sunday’s SOYJOY Brunch at the Estrela Penthouse Room at Le Parker Meridien was the perfect way to end a hectic, but wonderful BlogHer 2010 conference. Not only did I appreciate the beautiful and healthy food after overindulging all week, but the company of my fellow bloggers was a delight as well.
The group was also treated to some of the speaker’s recipes including the faux “chicken” salad (lower right) that was made from whole soybeans. It was delicious and will be appearing in Jackie Newgent’s upcoming cookbook.
After lunch, we listened to three terrific speakers:
- Cynthia Sass, registered dietitian, sports nutrition specialist and author of The Flat Belly Diet who spoke on healthy snacking. You can see her talk on the This Mama Cooks! YouTube channel – part 1, part 2, and part 3.
- Harley Pasternak, celebrity fitness and nutrition expert and author of The Five-Factor World Diet. Harley joined us via Skype. What a cool guy! Not only was he smart and funny, but he gave some great tips like climbing at least five flights of stairs a day is a great way to keep the weight off. I was given a copy of his book at the brunch and can’t wait to read it.
- Jackie Newgent, chef, registered dietitian and author the Big Green Cookbook who gave us cuisine tips for naturally healthful snacking. I loved Jackie’s talk most of all because she cooks like I do. She uses healthy alternatives to high calorie and high fat foods and cooks using foods that pack a big nutritional punch, like whole soy.
I was able to video tape Jackie’s talk as well. All the videos are available on the This Mama Cooks! YouTube channel:
- TIP #1: Favor the sweetness of fruits…every part
- TIP #2: Turn up the volume with seasonal veggies
- TIP #3: Befriend herbs & spices – use more fresh herbs and spices in your cooking
- TIP #4: Pump up the “pleasurable pain” – add more spicy foods while reducing fat
- TIP #5: Drink & eat tea – tea is full of health promoting antioxidants
- TIP #6: Add a healthful dose of whimsy – have fun and play with your food
- TIP #7: Play favorites – make your favorite foods more healthful
- TIP #8: Do dips differently – find ways to make dips more healthy
- TIP #9: Go a little nutty – add nuts to your recipes
- TIP #10: Get real! - aim to keep snacks whole, fresh and minimally-processed whenever possible
Thank you SOYJOY
Again, I want to thank my BlogHer sponsor, SOYJOY, to making my visit to New York possible. It’s wonderful to work with a company whose product I use, enjoy and believe in.
You can learn more about my sponsor, SOYJOY, and my sponsorship at:
Disclosure: As a SOYJOY Brand Ambassador, I was compensated for my time and efforts.
My conference sponsor, SOYJOY has a lot of things going on at the BlogHer 2010 conference this week. If you’re attending BlogHer, I hope you can join us.
New and improved!
SOYJOY still has the same great all-natural, minimally processed ingredients, like ground whole soybeans and real fruit. But now, as a result of a new baking process, it’s moister and fruitier than before. Stop by the expo hall and visit booth #2010 to sample the newest bar flavor, banana!
Free nutrition consulting
Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD, nationally know nutrition expert and co-author of Flat Belly Diet and Jackie Newgent, RD, CDN, author of award winning Big Green Cookbook, will be on hand to provide one-on-one nutrition counseling to attendees of the conference. (I love both their books and can’t wait to meet them.)
Cynthia and Jackie will provide 15 minute one-on-one nutrition counseling sessions from 11:30AM – 2:30PM on Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7 at the SOYJOY Booth #2010. Space will be limited so register for your time slot NOW before they open spots up to the rest of the conference attendees.
To reserve your spot, please email Heather D’Amico at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Giveaways at BlogHer 2010
Each day of the expo, SOYJOY will conduct a random drawing to give away two $100 Amazon gift cards and copies of Cynthia Sass’s Flat Belly Diet and Jackie Newgent’s Big Green Cookbook signed by the authors. Visit the SOYJOY booth (#2010) to participate.
Post conference brunch
On August 8th, SOYJOY will host a panel of nutrition experts including Harley Pasternak, Cynthia Sass, and Jackie Newgent for Sunday brunch and a discussion on healthy eating and the must-have foods, flavors and ingredients for optimal nutrition, and easy strategies for making your daily routine more healthful and balanced and how to share those tips with your readers in a compelling and creative way.
The brunch will take place at 10:30a.m., Sunday, August 8 in the Estrela Penthouse Room at Le Parker Meridien. (The luncheon spots have been filled, but I’ll be tweeting live @amnichols and blogging about it later, too.)
Have a question for SOYJOY?
You can learn more about my SOYJOY BlogHer 10 sponsorship at Going to BlogHer 2010 with my sponsor, SOYJOY.
Disclosure: As a SOYJOY Brand Ambassador, I’ve been compensated for my time and efforts.