Sunday, November 27, 2005

Tofu Marsala

Last night I made Tofu Marsala. The recipe that I used, from Eating Well Magazine, is included below. I used a mushroom stock that I had made earlier in the week instead of vegetable stock. It turned out pretty good. The sauce was very nice and the sun dried tomato paste added an interesting and flavorful depth to the sauce. The texture of the floured and browned tofu was very nice. I served it over fluffy mashed potatoes. One change I would make if I made it again would be to press the tofu first and marinade it in a mixture of marsala, thyme, and stock.

Tofu Cutlets Marsala
Serves: Serves 4


¼ cup plus 2 tsp cornstarch, divided
2 large shallots, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp salt
6 cups sliced cremini or white mushrooms (10 oz.)
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ cup dry Marsala wine
1 14-oz block extra-firm tofu, drained, rinsed and cut crosswise into 8 ½-inch thick slices
1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste (sun dried tomato paste is really good in this)
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Total Prep & Cook Time = 40 minutes


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2. Whisk ¼ cup cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Pat tofu with paper towel to remove excess moisture.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge 4 tofu slices in the flour mixture, add them to the pan and cook until crispy and golden, about 3 minutes per side. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining tofu, adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent scorching.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, shallots and thyme to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots are slightly soft and beginning to brown, 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender and lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Stir in Marsala and simmer until slightly reduced, about 1 minute.

5. Whisk the remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch with broth and tomato paste in a small bowl. Stir into the mushroom mixture, return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and glossy, about 4 minutes.

6. To serve, spoon the hot sauce over the tofu.

Recipe from: Eating Well, October/November 2005 issue

Friday, November 18, 2005

Why are Omega 3 fatty acids important and how to get them?

Omega 3s have been shown to have a protective effect on the heart. The Vegetarian Society has a nice article about Omega 3 benefits:

"All three omega 3 fats have been shown to offer numerous physiological benefits, notably their anti-inflamatory properties and their ability to offer cardioprotective effects especially in people with pre-existing cardiovascular problems".

Most vegetarian and vegan diets are low in Omega 3. There are many vegetarian sources of Omega 3: walnuts, flax seeds, flax seed oil, canola oil, walnut oil, soybeans/soy products, wheat germ, and leafy greens. You don't have to take that fish oil tablet! You can also take a microalgea supplement for Omega 3.

An easy way to get flaxseeds into your diet is to put 3-4 tablespoons of whole flax seeds into a coffee grinder and add them to muffins. Flax Seeds must be ground or they will pass through the body undigested and provide no nutritional value. Wheat germ makes a great muffin topping to add even more Omega 3.