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Tofu Scramble-A Recipe for Any Meal!

By Kelsie White

Tofu Scramble-A Recipe for Any Meal!

Nutrition Bites | Week 7

Welcome back to Nutrition Bites! This week, we are going to focus on one of my all-time favorite recipes to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! This recipe is my own take on Tofu Scramble. We are also going to do a little bit of myth-busting on the topic of soy, as well as talk about the health benefits of soy and nutritional yeast.

Tofu Scramble

Ingredients:

  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1 bell pepper or 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon chicken-style seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Press tofu to remove excess water.
  2. Sauté veggies in a pan with olive oil and soy sauce. Cook for 10 minutes until veggies are soft.
  3. Crumble tofu with hands and add to the pan with the rest of the seasonings. Cook for 2 minutes or until hot.
  4. Enjoy!
Myth Busting: Should You Avoid Soy? 

The answer is quite the opposite. Soy can be a great addition to a healthy diet. The only individuals who should avoid soy altogether are those that are allergic or simply don’t enjoy the taste. Otherwise, there can be a place for soy in every diet. Through the years, there have been claims that have been made against the consumption of soy. For example, some claim that soy causes cancer. In reality, soy is actually associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancers including breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancers. There have also been claims made that those with hypothyroidism should avoid soy, or that it might actually induce or cause hypothyroidism. Instead, the focus of soy and thyroid health should be on consistency of intake, rather than avoidance. If you take thyroid medication, maintaining consistent intake of soy is what is more important, rather than avoiding it all together. For more soy myth busting, check out this article from Today’s Dietitian.

All About Soy

Now that we have cleared the air, let’s talk about all the amazing qualities of soy in the diet. Soy is one of the few vegan options for a complete protein. What does this mean? Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. The human body is able to make some of these amino acids, but not all of them, making some of them essential. This means that we must consume them in our diet in order to supply our body with them. Complete proteins are those that contain all of the essential amino acids that the human body cannot make on its own. Animal products including meat and dairy are complete proteins, but the good news is that there are a few vegan sources including soy, quinoa, and pistachios.

Soy is also a source of iron, omega-3s and fiber, as well as phytochemicals called isoflavones. Phytochemicals are compounds found only in plants that serve as a form of protection. When we eat these plants with phytochemicals, they seem to continue on those protective qualities for us as the consumer. There are several ways to get these benefits of soy, through the consumption of soybeans, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and miso.

Health Benefits of Soy

As mentioned before, soy can and should be a part of a healthy diet. Some of the health benefits of soy that have been studied the most are potentially decreasing the risk of breast cancer, recurring breast cancer as well as other cancers such as ovarian and prostate cancer. Additionally, it may help to improve heart health, especially if used to replace animal products, and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. For more information on the health benefits of soy, check out this article from Harvard.

Nutritional Yeast

Lastly, because this recipe calls for nutritional yeast, I want to spend a little time talking about what it is, as well as some of the benefits to including it in your diet. Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast product that can be used as a seasoning. It is packed with B vitamins, and it also a source of protein, fiber, and minerals such as zinc and selenium. There are lots of ways to use nutritional yeast. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use as a topping for popcorn. Check out our recipe on YouTube!
  • Use as a seasoning on roasted veggies
  • Use in sauces for a “cheesy” flavor. Here is a “No-Cheese Sauce” recipe from Forks Over Knives.
  • Use as a thickener
Weekly Challenge 

Now that you have learned a little more about soy, my hope is that you find new ways to incorporate it into your diet. This week, I want to challenge you to try making a tofu scramble for breakfast twice this week. Try switching up the veggies and seasonings to give yourself variety. Alternatively, you could also try swapping your current milk of choice for unsweetened soy milk.

 

 

 

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