Low Carb Friends

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-   -   tofu (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/vegetarian/748816-tofu.html)

sen2two 12-11-2011 07:46 PM

I have been reading everything I can for the last hour on tofu. I would like to start to lower my meat consumption by at least half while still staying under 25 carbs a day. And eventually remove all red meat from my diet for good.

One of my major staples is my home made chili which only has 3.5 carbs per 11oz serving. I would like to substitute the 24oz of beef i use in my recipe for 12oz lean ground turkey and 12oz tofu. After all the reading I have done, I have decided to use super firm sprouted tofu as it seem to be the lowest in carbs.

If anyone has any tips, tricks, or helpful hints on how to cook or prepare tofu..I'm all ears, or eyes. Or if there is a better choice of tofu or another veggie product to substitute for beef.

TaDa! 12-12-2011 05:10 AM

Hi Sen2two! I never recommend tofu as a meat substitute to someone just starting with meat replacement / vegetarianism. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely looooooove tofu - adore the stuff, but I have been eating it and preparing it for over 30 years. Tofu really is a food in its own right and for someone to like it, it really needs to be prepared as a tofu and not so much as a meat substitute.

All that said, I can recommend one of two things that will be perfect in your chili. For most people starting out with this stuff, I would recommend just buying a pre-made meat substitute - it is the easiest thing to do and will give you instant success. My preference for this at the moment is a package of Morningstar "crumbles." You find them in the frozen case in a 12 oz bag right near the veggieburgers:


The preparation is the same as the beef, but you'll need to add a little olive oil to sautee it as there is no natural fat (I would do each separately though before placing in the chili mixture).

Alternately, a person can make their own meat substitute that looks like the morningstar crumbles using a dried vegetable protein called tvp .. but then you are essentially cooking two different things. It was used a lot as a meat extender in the 70s and when people say that fast food burgers are part soy, this is what they are talking about .. you get the same effect though with the crumbles product.

My kids, who both ate meat up until a year, and two years, ago respectively (I allowed them to make their own choices) both prefer the meat substitutes over the tofu in things like stirfries, lol! where I would choose tofu hands-down, lol!! My suggestion for you would be to get used to some of the processed items made to work as meat substitutes before getting into some of the other less processed products like: tofu, tempeh, tvp that require different cooking methods and are really like eating new foods altogether .. as I think you will have better success at your mission to cut the red meat consumption with a pre-made product.

p.s. it works great in any recipe I have tried that calls for ground beef.

hth some! Happy to help with any other ideas, just ask!



TaDa! 12-12-2011 06:06 AM

.. all that said, the entire package of crumbles (= 6 servings) has 12 net carbs, or about 2 net carbs per serving. Honestly though I do not think tofu will work well in a chili .. my own opinion on that one, lol! You might google chili and tofu to find actual recipes that use it for chili and see how it is prepared. I do not recommend just adding it as is ..

Vegetarian lowcarb, must by its nature by higher carb than meateating lowcarb (even when we are not talking red meat). The New Atkins For A New You book (the only one that addresses vegetarianism) starts vegetarians out at 30 net carbs for this reason -- in OWL rather than induction.

Let us know how you get on and whether you find a solution that works!



Nigel 12-12-2011 11:12 AM

Yep, what TaDa! said.
There are also boca crumbles and quorn crumbles if you can't find the morningstar farms ones. There is also TVP which you can reconstitute in beef stock and it works pretty well also.

nikki 12-12-2011 11:36 AM

Ditto: I use Morningstar Crumbles in a lot of things: lasagna, spaghetti sauce, tacos, chili. They are the BOMB!

I bought some TVP last week but I haven't used it yet. It is supposed to be pretty much the same thing, I'll just have to flavor/season it myself. (I won't use beef broth because I'm a vegetarian, but I can use veg broth or even mushroom bouillon and I'm sure it will be delish.)

sen2two 12-14-2011 08:25 AM

Thanks for all the info and tips!

veggies4health 01-02-2012 03:17 PM

I know this thread is a few weeks old, but try using tvp chunks in your chili.

They are dry chunks, which you reconstitute with boiling water that you've flavored. For a "beefy" flavor, I flavor the water with Kitchen Bouquet, vegan worcestershire, some nutritional yeast, and some soya or low sodium soy sauce. My omnivore dh and dd PREFER these tvp chunks to real meat!!!!! I put it in Beefless Stew and chili, primarily, but they work in any "beef" recipe.

To make them more "chick'n", soak in water with nutritional yeast, veggie bouillon powder, and add in "chicken" type spices - such as sage and allspice, or poultry seasoning.

I get mine at my local natural foods store.

putthekettleon 01-06-2012 12:55 PM

Pauline - great advice - I just put some crumbled tofu in a soup I was making...and it was disgusting. I'm throwing the whole pot out.

I think I'm going to have to learn to press tofu to make it firmer. I read some people freeze it then thaw it to give it a more meal-like consistency.

...so I threw out the soup and toasted some flax bread (recipe all over this website), melted on some jalapeno jack cheese, and ate it with avocado and some grape tomatoes. Yum. Much better than soup!

TaDa! 01-06-2012 02:19 PM

I like tvp too .. good to know meateaters you know like it too veggies4health. My dh eats all our veg proteins and foods and has for 20 years so I don't think of him as a good test subject for meateaters in general, lol!

Kettle, I also use extra firm tofu and I always press it - but I always make it the same way, either stirfried or baked marinated. I do have a highcarb recipe I need to make lc that I think might use a softer tofu .. can't remember it's been so long since I made it, lol! It is a spinach pie.

To press the tofu, place on a small plate, put a plate on top of the tofu and then a heavy object on that - leave it in the fridge until a good amount of water comes out - at least an hour. hth!

Nigel 01-07-2012 09:10 AM

Here are some Tofu recipes I found that sounded good to me.

Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu

1 pkg extra firm tofu
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup soy sauce (teriyaki or marinade of your choice)
Drain tofu and dry with paper towel. Marinade tofu for 10-15 mins. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place tofu on the sheet. Bake for 30 mins on each side.
This is a very simple recipe. Tofu can be cut in slices or cubed. Keep refrigerated and use in soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps or just eat plain.

Stir-fried tofu with vegetables

Vegetable Stir-Fry

1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu
1 pkg of vegetable stir fry
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
Drain tofu and cut in cubes. Saute vegetables in oiled pan with tofu. Add teriyaki and soy sauce. Cook until tender.

Scrambled tofu

Scrambled Tofu

1 pkg firm or regular tofu
2 garlic cloves finely choped
1/2 cup green onions finely chopped
1/2 green pepper diced
Crumble tofu with fork. In a pan, add olive oil and garlic and cook on low heat for one minute. Add tofu, green onions, green peppers and salt. Raise heat and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Excellent substitute for scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Dairy-free smoothies

Healthy and Delicious Smoothies

1 pack of silken tofu
1 cup soy milk
1 cup orange or pineapple juice
1/2 banana
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
Blend all ingredients in a blender and serve.

Sherril 02-10-2012 07:48 PM

I've been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for over 20 years and still can't stand the taste/texture of tofu. I've tried it every which way possible too. When I first became a veggie, I wasn't low carbing but tried all the meat analogs available at the time. They were all disgusting. Meat subs have come a very long way in the last 20 years. Now I eat fake chicken pork, and beef all the time. It's usually what I get most of my protein from besides eggs and cheese. Try tofu and if you don't like it, there are so many other veggie proteins available that you can do without it.

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