Meat Alternatives: Tofu, Tempeh, & Seitan

Veganisation ? Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan ? the meaty, hearty, versatile staples of any vegan diet. When embarking on a plant-based diet, one of the biggest challenges can be wrapping your head around the ?where?s the beef?? question. But you don?t need meat to have a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal that is worthy of the spotlight. Enter tofu, tempeh, and seitan - the marvelous, versatile, nutritious ingredients that can sub for almost any meaty treat you enjoyed in your former life. In many cases, they?re better and will knock your socks off. And we?re demystifying them and showing you how to work them in to your repertoire. Letting Go of the Fear of Tofu Take Me to Your Tofu Tofu gets a bad rap. In the world of food fights, tofu is the lily-white, slightly trembling kid with thick glasses on the playground who grows up to do great things, like start a billionaire-backed company that will change the way people think about food. It?s such a staple of many vegetarian meals, that some folks think that vegans and vegetarians subsist on tofu alone, which is not true at all, but wouldn?t be the worst thing in the world. Why? Because tofu is the tasty chameleon of the veg world. It?s your little helper whether you?re whipping up a cream pie or a BBQ. Let?s talk tofu, shall we?

What Is Tofu? Veganisation Tofu, Tempeh or Seitan made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu has been a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years. How Do I Pronounce That?: Toe-Foo Types: There are two types of tofu: Silken or soft tofu, and regular or firm tofu. Both types boast a variety of textures (firm, extra firm, etc) and can come in raw, sprouted, and/or organic formulations. Opt for organic and sprouted versions if you wish to avoid genetically modified (GMO) nasties and want to up the nutrient content. Why It Rocks: Nutritionally, tofu is high in protein, low in fat, and naturally cholesterol-free. It also contains healthful phytochemicals, such as isoflavones and soy saponins. For cooking, tofu absorbs whatever flavors and marinades it is exposed to. Silken tofu lends a cream-like quality to foods and adds a soft, spongey deliciousness to soups (think those little white pearls in miso soup), while firm tofu can be used to sub for egg-like consistencies, and create rockin? meat analogues and other dishes requiring a soft, but toothsome texture. Moreover, tofu is inexpensive and can be found practically anywhere. From health food stores, to Asian markets, to your corner store ? tofu is quite possibly the easiest to procure meat substitute. Why It Gets a Bad Rap: Tofu is a processed soy product, and the verdict is still out on unfermented, photo-estrogen rich soy products. You can read some of the research on soy, and namely tofu, here. Also, at first blush, tofu doesn?t look particularly appetizing. But with a little patience and technique, it can quickly and easily be cooked up in to some of the tastiest morsels around. Shop Tofu now online on

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