Saturday, August 05, 2006

Cooking Light with Healthy Recipes

Cooking tips and great ideas about cooking light with easy recipes.

We all have very little time for putting together healthy meals; even those who are retired and those who are stay-at-home working people. This collection of cooking tips and free recipes is meant to make you feel like you just graduated from cooking school...well, maybe not quite. And don’t forget cooking for a crowd. With a little planning, easy recipes can make it a snap! Well, here goes…

Tip 1. Think of the foods you are passionate about. We all know that “Million-dollar Success Stories” are created by people who are passionate about their work. Passionate...what a word! The same goes in the kitchen. If you like it and want it, you will be successful.

Tip 2. Determine your cooking situation: cooking for 2, cooking for 1, cooking for a crowd, cooking with simple recipes, cooking for kids, cooking gourmet, etc.

Tip 3. Allow yourself the freedom to stock a pantry in your favorite cooking style: Italian, South West, Country Home Cooking, Southern Cooking, etc. When ingredients are on hand, cooking becomes fun. Check your selected recipes for any additional shopping needs.

Tip 4. All cooking styles can be vegetarian and delicious!

Tip 5. Presentation, presentation, presentation! Even if you are cooking for one, treat yourself to a lovely table setting at least two times a week. More fun! Pretty center piece, candles, placemat, pretty table cloth, cloth napkins, etc.

Now for the recipes...simple, healthy recipes for complete meals, all found at Many have reader comments and helpful tips. Modify as needed for your cooking palette. Desserts are included and can be prepared or not.

This 5 course meal can be changed to a 3 or 4 course meal. Use when “company’s coming” or “just because”. The recipes can be printed out and please consider using VegWeb's Grocery List Maker provided at the top of each recipe. It’s an amazing shopping assistant!

Really Good, Fast Lentil Soup submitted by mlharris - Put together ahead and reheat...delicious!
Mandarin Salad - submitted by jessesmum - Bright, light and delicious!
Pasta Mia - submitted by Redd - Low fat!...Whoopee!
Simple Chocolate Mousse - submitted by lax - Delicate, special and easy!

This meal is great for cooking outdoors. Fun, easy recipes! Again, use the Grocery List Maker.

Veggie BBQ - submitted by gorskins - Great variety...something for everyone!
Black Bean Pasta Salad - submitted by Annie - Great! Another make ahead recipe!
Garbanzo Bean Burgers - submitted by KL Marbury - Pan fry or use heavy foil on the grill.
Instead of making the patties, grocery freezer sections have some very good veggie burgers. Select one, grill and brush with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Don’t forget whole wheat buns and condiments.
Monas Chewy Good n Gooey Pecan Brownies - submitted by Mona - Well, you have to live a little. Only have one...if you can!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Video: Tofu Prep 101

Cooking with tofu and finding tofu recipes can be very easy in today's vegetarian market. Internet sites like are just loaded with information and tofu recipes on how to cook tofu. I hope this article is helpful and that you learn new ways for cooking with tofu.

Tofu, or bean curd as it is some times called, is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks. It is a food of Chinese origin. Acid type coagulants are used for silken and softer tofu. Salt coagulants are used to make a more firm tofu and adds calcium.

Commercial tofu comes in aseptic packaging (does not need refrigeration) and has a shelf life of one year. Water packed tofu requires refrigeration. Silken tofu is soft, firm or extra firm. Regular tofu is firm or extra firm. In some cases the soy milk is curdled directly into the packaging and others are allowed to cool, become firm, cut into pieces and in some cases, flavored or further processed.

The process of freezing tofu makes it a meat-like texture to be used in easy tofu recipes. The moisture creates ice crystals which in turn create layered cavities. After thawing the tofu, it is then squeezed or pressed to remove the moisture. This can be done by sandwiching the tofu between two plates and paper towels or dish clothes. Place a weight such as a pan of water, or canned food on top of the plates for about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour off the liquid.

Unused left over tofu can be kept refrigerated for 3 days in a sealed container and covered with water. Change the water daily.

For tofu desserts, sauces and shakes, blend silken, soft or firm tofu until creamy smooth. Mix together with other ingredients according to the recipe. Making tofu cheesecake is one of the many easy dessert tofu recipes.

For stir fried tofu recipes, deep fried tofu, tofu salads and casserole tofu recipes, cube, slice, or crumble regular, firm or extra firm tofu. Use as is or freeze and thaw. Mix together with other ingredients according to the many easy recipes.

If you would like to learn how to make tofu at home, here is a site with directions and photos for making tofu: Homemade Tofu


High in protein - about 10.7% for firm tofu and 3.7% for soft silken tofu.
Low in saturated fat.
Low in calories.
Beneficial amounts of iron.
No cholesterol.
Sometimes high in calcium (depending on the coagulant used in processing).
High in magnesium.

The Recipe Directory at has a Tofu Recipe section with six pages of recipes. Categories: BBQ, Baked, Fried, Burgers/Patties and Miscellaneous. Tofu can also be found in recipes throughout the entire Recipe Directory.