Tofu with Peanut Sauce

The first time I tried Thai food, I fell in love. Since then I have created a few recipes to emulate the dishes I have come to love.

Ingredients

2 (14–16-ounce) blocks of extra-firm tofu, cut into ½–1-inch cubes and baked*
4 tablespoons liquid aminos or soy sauce (for baking)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (for baking)

For the peanut sauce:
3 cups water
½ cup natural unsalted peanut butter
2–3 tablespoons liquid aminos or soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½–2 tablespoons maple syrup or other unrefined sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
½ teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
3–4 cups chopped leafy greens (you can use other vegetables if desired: chopped broccoli, sliced mushrooms, chopped green beans, etc.)

*To bake tofu:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tofu cubes onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle tofu with 2 tablespoons liquid aminos or soy sauce and 2 tablespoons olive oil (for each block). Toss cubes to coat, then spread evenly onto a cookie sheet (single layer). Put into preheated oven, middle rack, and cook for 10–15 minutes or until bottoms of tofu cubes are browned. Then toss cubes and continue to cook until the sides brown (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from oven, drain tofu on paper towels, and set aside.

While the tofu is cooking:
Add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender. Blend well. Pour sauce into a medium-size pot. Cook on medium–high heat for about 10–15 minutes, until sauce cooks down a little. Add greens and cook vegetables until almost tender.  Add tofu cubes and continue to cook until veggies are tender, sauce thickens, and tofu absorbs the flavors of the sauce (10–15 minutes). Serve warm or hot with a side dish of rice or noodles. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Health Benefits of Peanuts

  1. Rich in Energy: Peanuts contain vitamins, minerals, nutrients and anti-oxidants and thus are rich energy sources.
  2. Cholesterol: It lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body. Peanuts contain mono-unsaturated fatty acids especially oleic acid that prevents coronary diseases.
  3. Growth: Peanuts are rich in proteins. The amino acids present in them are good for proper growth and development of body.
  4. Fights Stomach Cancer: Poly-phenolic anti-oxidants are present in the peanuts in high concentrations. P-Coumaric acid has the ability to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by reducing the productions of carcinogenic nitrous-amines.
  5. Fights against Heart Diseases, Nerves Diseases, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Infections: A poly-phenolic anti-oxidant, Resveratrol present in peanuts prevents heart diseases, cancers, nervous diseases and viral or fungal infections efficiently.
  6. Reduces the Chances of Stroke: The anti-oxidant, Resveratrol in peanuts prevents heart strokes by increasing the production of nitric oxide.
  7. Anti-oxidants: Peanuts contain anti-oxidants in high concentrations. These reduce the damage done by free radicals produced in the body.
  8. Protects Skin: Vitamin E in peanuts helps in maintaining the integrity of cells of mucous membrane and the skin. This protects them from free radicals which cause great damage.
  9. Vitamins: Peanuts contain B complex, vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, pantothenic acid etc.
  10. Minerals: Potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium and zinc are some of the minerals present in peanuts. These play an important role in many different body functions.
  11. Gall Stones: Just an ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter each week can save you from gall stones or gallbladder diseases with 25% reduced risk. This amazing health benefit of peanuts keeps all the diseases at bay.
  12. Low Risk of Weight Gain: Women who eat peanuts or peanut butter at least twice a week are less likely to be susceptible to obesity than those who don’t. If you eat peanut butter every morning with bread slices, you have less chances of gaining weight.
  13. Colon Cancer: Peanuts can reduce colon cancer especially in women. Eating at least 2 spoons of peanut butter twice a week can reduce the risk of colon cancer in women by up to 58% and in men by up to 27%. This is one of the best benefits of peanuts for women.
  14. Helps in Fertility: If taken before and during early pregnancy, the folic acid lowers the risk of baby being born with serious neural tube defects reduced by up to 70%.
  15. Regulates Blood Sugar: Manganese in peanuts helps in calcium absorption, fats and carbohydrates metabolism and sugar level regulation in blood.
  16. Fights Depression: Low Serotonin levels leads to depression. Tryptophan in peanuts increases the release of this chemical and thus helps you fight depression.

Tofu Nutrition

Soy, which tofu is made from, is considered to be a complete food since it contains all eight essential amino acids. Of course, tofu is packed with protein, which is why vegetarians use it as a meat substitute. In fact, according to World’s Healthiest Foods, one 4-ounce block of tofu is filled with 9.16 grams of protein, which is more than 18 percent of the Daily Value. Here are some of tofu’s other nutrients:

  • Iron, copper and manganese: This nutrient trifecta helps to absorb one another in the body, and tofu is a great source for all three. Four ounces of tofu provides about a third of the Daily Value of iron and manganese, and about 11 percent of the Daily Value of copper.
  • Calcium: Calcium sulfate is used as a coagulant in tofu, which is essentially made from soy milk. Four ounces of tofu contains about 10 percent of the Daily Value.
  • Omega 3: Fish is the most common source of these fatty acids, but for those who are allergic to fish or just don’t prefer it, tofu is a great replacement source for Omega 3.Four ounces of tofu contains more than 14 percent of the Daily Value.
  • Selenium: Certain types of fish and nuts are good sources of selenium, but so is tofu; four ounces of it contains more than 14 percent of the Daily Value.

Disease Protector

So what do all of these nutrients do for you? Here are some of the ways that tofu can benefit your health:

  • Iron and copper are essential for hemoglobin synthesis, which produces energy. Copper and manganese are responsible for an enzyme that destroys free radicals, and copper itself can help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Calcium is, of course, the vitamin that keeps your bones strong. It can help reduce the bone loss in those with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids are good for your heart and can help prevent blood clots. They also can prevent cholesterol from clogging your arteries.
  • Selenium is a powerful protector against free radicals. It works with iodine to help regulate the thyroid and has been shown to repair DNA, making it a cancer-fighter as well.

Soy also contains compounds called isoflavones that have many beneficial properties as well.

  • Isoflavones can mimic estrogen and are beneficial to women during menopause. The isoflavones can reduce some of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.
  • Isoflavones have also been associated with lowering the risk of breast and prostate cancer.Lower levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol, and higher levels of HDL, the good cholesterol, have been attributed to isoflavones.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s