Ahhhh, tofu. The name conjures mixed emotions when it comes to eating this unusual plant food. Tofu is a curd that is made directly from soybeans and resembles a soft white cheese or a very firm yogurt. Tofu is water-extracted and salt- or acid-coagulated soy protein gel with water, soy lipids, and other constituents trapped in its network. In simple terms, the soybeans are boiled in water, the water is extracted from the bean, a coagulant is added (sometimes lemon juice when making the homemade variety) until curds develop, it's formed, pressed and presto! Tofu. This age old process is quite involved and was originated in China and has been part of Chinese cuisine for over 2,000 years, since the Han dynasty. The name Tofu literally means "fermented bean curd". Tofu does not a distinguishable flavor, and actually quite bland. Tofu is quite the food chameleon, which means it can take on just about any flavor, herb or seasoning added to it. Tofu can be incorporated into sweet as well as savory recipes like this Southwest Tofu Scramble. Many vegans and vegetarians enjoy tofu because it is a wonderful plant-based protein source, offering 10 grams per 1/2 ounce serving. This is a great recipe when preparing breakfast for your vegan and vegetarian guests. Don't forget the Sweet Potato Home Fries >>>Scroll Down for Recipe.
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Regina Thomas Dillard is a certified chef, founder of Inner Sanctum Wellness, Regina Cooks Culinary School and the author of FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love. Available softcover, digital download and Amazon.