Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tofu Tuesday! Thai Black Bean/Tofu "Burger"

I have been waiting to experiment with some tofu recipes and tonight was experiment #1 and it was soooo yummy!  This burger is seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and topped with a spicy peanut sauce.  I just loved the Asian flair!  The texture of the burger wasn't what I expected and needed a little help... it was a bit mushier than I expected, but that is what keeps cooking exciting!  Originally I planned to serve this on a bun, but the texture didn't come out as planned, so I thought it would be better in a wrap.  The burgers didn't take long to make and I had extras so I was able to freeze them for a later time!

A tidbit on tofu... Tofu is a nutrient powerhouse made from soybeans.  It is a good source of protein, iron, and calcium and is lower in calories and fat than meat.  4 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards) provides almost 20% of your daily protein needs.  Tofu takes on the flavors with the ingredients that it is cooked in, making it extremely versatile.  There are three main types of tofu: silken, soft, and firm and they each have their own positive characteristics and culinary uses.  Silken tofu can be used in smoothies, dips, or blended dishes while firm works well for stir-frys and soups.  Experiment with different textures for the perfect dish.

Soy for heart health... The protein in soy and the isoflavones may aid in heart health.  Although there is a bit of controversy on this subject, research has shown time and time again that dietary soy lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and triglycerides levels.  The FDA recommends four servings of soy foods per day (about 25 grams) to help reduce the risk for heart disease.  Try soy milk, tofu, tempeh, edamame, or roasted soynuts to get some of the benefits!

Thai Tofu Burger "wrap"
Serves 6

12 oz firm tofu
2 cups of black beans
3/4 cup of quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp soy sauce, low sodium
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp red pepper flakes

3 whole wheat tortillas, cut in half
sliced cucumbers
sliced red pepper
1/4 cup peanut sauce

Press the tofu between paper towels to reduce the moisture.  Mash the tofu in a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mash until it sticks together.  Form into patties (makes 8 or 9).  Dust with flour and place on a nonstick frying pan.  Cook for 4 minutes per side.  Place in the middle of the tortilla, top with cucumbers, peppers, and peanut sauce.

Nutrition facts: 1/2 tortilla with 1 tofu burger:
 210 calories, 12.5 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 8 g fiber, 120 mg sodium

Serve with a side salad or sauteed veggies for a healthy, light meal that is packed with flavor and yummy goodness!

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