By learning you will teach. By teaching you will learn. ~ Latin Proverb
I'd like to go over the subject of soy and what forms of soy are good for you and which ones to avoid. There was a time when I avoided soy almost completely because I thought soy was bad. That is not the case and I was missing out on the very beneficial qualities that some soy products like tofu, tempeh, miso, tamari, soy sauce, whole soybeans and natto offer. These are the soy products that are good and can be eaten fairly freely. Tempeh, miso, natto and tamari are fermented soy. Fermenting soy creates good bacteria and health promoting probiotics to keep us well. It also reduces the estrogen content in soy foods. The soy to avoid is highly processed soy, especially soy isolate protein. Soy isolate protein has been linked to, some serious, and some not so serious, health issues. If possible please avoid soy milk, soy cheeses, soy powders (like soy baby formula and soy protein powders), soybean oil (often labeled as vegetable oil), packaged products that include soy ingredients, etc. Look for alternatives and stick with fermented soy products or buy tofu, whole soybeans and soy sauce as they are beneficial. And buying organic or at least non-GMO soy products is important as well. They do not cost much more and is well worth the few extra cents especially because soy can be very inexpensive...at least tofu is. So enjoy your crispy pan fried tofu or tofu scrambles, and use soft tofu in smoothies, cheeses, sauces and dressings....but do use it in moderation and not at every meal. Make your miso soup or use miso in dressings and enjoy the added benefits of vitamin B12, a good source for vegans, plus it's ability to aid the digestive tract.
Below are three articles that you can read at your leisure. They will explain much better than I can. I always recommend for you to do your own research. Everything is out there just waiting to be found and I want to pass along the information that I find in hopes that we can all create good healthy habits for ourselves and the world around us.
Soy Information Sources:
The Soy Controversy from the Huffington Post
The Evidence Against Soy from Dr. Mercola
Soy Alert from The Weston A. Price Foundation
So now let's enjoy this wonderful and flavorful tofu dish. I saw this recipe from the NY Times and thought it needed to be put into the recipe collection. I didn't go too far from the original recipe and only changed a few things while adding a little red pepper flakes because I love spiciness. Feel free to omit this if your not a fan of spice. This meal can be ready in about 30 minutes or so making it a good go to recipe when you need something quick.
Spicy Stir-Fried Cabbage, Tofu and Red Pepper
- 12 ounces firm or extra firm organic tofu, cut into slices a little bit more than 1/4 inch
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups shredded cabbage or about 1/2 cabbage (red, green or both)
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 3 green onions, sliced (reserve one green onion for garnish)
- pinch or two red pepper flakes
- himalayn salt & cracked pepper to taste
- sesame seeds as garnish
- quinoa, basmati or jasmine rice for serving
Start your quinoa or rice and set aside.
Cut the tofu into dominoes (mine are double domino size) and press between paper towels or dish cloth (there won't be too much water so this will go quick). In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the stock, 1 tablespoon tamari and rice wine vinegar.
Heat a large wok or large skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and swirl to coat, add tofu and stir-fry until golden, about 3 minutes, 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Add remaining tablespoon tamari/soy sauce, toss together for a few seconds and transfer to a plate.
Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add the garlic and ginger to the wok/skillet and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add red pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until it begins to soften. Add cabbage, stir-fry for 1 minute, add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, stir-fry another 1 to 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Return the tofu to the vegetable mixture, stir in stock/tamari mixture and stir-fry for another minute, until it has just about evaporated. Remove from heat and serve with quinoa or rice of choice. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serves 4.