Tofu. I used to make fun of it and liken it to bird food. But what is it exactly?
Tofu is a soy based product that vegetarians used to supplement the lack of protein in their diet. It is also a very popular inclusion in Asian cuisines. This item is high in both protein and calcium. Consumed on its own it has a very bland taste, however, it has a great ability to absorb flavors.
I spoke about the high content of protein. But how high is it? As a comparison, here’s how a regular tofu brick (the kind you can purchase at your local supermarket for around $1) stacks up against other high sources of protein:
5 ounce sirloin burgers (8 per box)
Protein: 26 grams per burger (192 grams total)
Protein per dollar spent: 20.8 grams per $1
250 mL egg white containers (2 containers per)
Protein: 7 grams per 1/4 cup (56 grams total)
Protein per dollar spent: 21.0 grams per $1
Regular tofu brick
Protein: 8 grams per 1/5 slice (40 grams total)
Protein per dollar spent: 40.0 grams per $1
As you can see tofu is a relatively cheap source of protein, but the next question is how does it taste?
On its own, very bland!
So while the easiest way to introduce tofu into your diet is to eat it as it is, like brick of cheese, there’s no fun in going about it like this. So here are two different ways for including tofu into your meals and diet.
1. Any salad
I like having big bowls of salad in the evening. Dress it up with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and you got a great quick meal. I used to top off the salad with croutons or raspberries and avocado as well, but I found that tofu makes an incredible inclusion into the dish. It soaks up the remnants of the dressing that seeps to the bottom of the bowl like a little sponge so you get the most out of your meal.
2. Baked tofu slices
You can make protein slices to eat after a workout by slicing the tofu into strips, marinating them in a flavor combo of your choice over night in a plastic bag and baking them on a baking sheet in your oven (use 350 degrees Fahrenheit ) until they become crispy on each side.
There are many more ways of including tofu into your diet, simply Googling it will give you a variety of recipes to try.
Which one is your favorite?
(photo credit: sulamith.sallmann)