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Tofu-rific

March 6, 2012

Dear Yogis

The Inspirational Part.

The proverbial ‘themes’ of this world didn’t teach us much of use, did they? Love is supposed to conquer all and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. And if it can’t do that, well, then things should at least add up: if this, then that. But life’s just not like that. If “this”, then sometimes another “this” or a few “thats”. Or you have to choose a “that” which leads to another “this”, which may collide with someone else’s “this or that”, leaving you with a double dose of “thats”, which is really just confusing. And what’s more, if you listen to them, (and believe them), everything is wrong, you can’t trust a soul, you have to protect yourself and never ever give yourself wholeheartedly to a man, (or a woman). You’ll only get hurt.

Wait a minute. This is my life instruction? This is what you’re giving me? Who are you people? What if I don’t subscribe? Well, ‘they’ say, just you wait. Everybody comes around in the end.

Well BOO HOO is what I say to them. My life did not work out the way I wanted it to at all! My relationships all ended. I got divorced after only a single year of marriage. I can’t have children and I’ve moved a gazillion times in my life which means I have to keep finding and making new friends which is “kinda sorta” difficult as I’m really awkward and shy. Failed life right? No trophy husband, no children, not even a hot career to speak of.

But hang on. This morning when I woke up I was happy, (and no, I’m not on prescription drugs!). All my ex-boyfriends, (and ex-husband,) are close friends of mine. I live alone and, (once again), I’ve moved to a new city and I’m alone a lot of the time. But I was given a gift. Somehow I have managed to love people well, and even though I’m not with them a lot, I know I am loved well in return. Yes I have felt pain. A lot of it actually. But why has pain become our enemy? Pain keeps us real. It keeps us on the surface. It reminds us that there’s a world of hurting people out there and allows us to feel and show compassion for them. Why didn’t I get that lesson? Why didn’t somebody say love always and only until it hurts or you’re wasting space on this planet! Why didn’t somebody teach me to question everything I was taught about religion, fear, food, people, the whole gamut. Why didn’t somebody say trust with your whole heart because in reality you are made up of the same stuff as everyone else. This is a ride. Just a ride. And the veils of maya, (ignorance or unawareness), can come off. Don’t listen to the politicians. Don’t watch so much television. Open your eyes. Look around you. Look at what is really going on. Look inside you. What do you find? Show people who you really are. If you’re up front nobody can use it against you anyway because you said it first.

Failed life? Yes. Certainly by ‘their’ standards. But I don’t care what they think anymore. They’re confused and I know it.

So here’s a lesson: wake up! Open your eyes. Listen. Really listen. To yourself. To your friends. Even to your perceived enemies. What don’t you know? What more can you learn? And hey, that stuff ‘they’ tell you about working all the time and having a life that looks a certain way – you know that stuff? – It’s all rubbish. This is your ride. Find your own rules. The only rule that counts for all of us is that you never hurt another being, that you never hurt yourself. Not even a ‘them’. Love them because they’re part of you. Be bigger than you’ve ever been and you’ll find you’re happy. That’s just how it works. It’s really simple. Let go of conclusions and start asking questions again. Your world will never be the same again.

The Food Part.

Terrific or horrific? Tofu, (well, soy), is controversial to say the least! There are no rules but common sense goes a long way. Soy protein has been found to reduce cholesterol levels and as a result can even reduce the risk of heart disease. But there are countless genetically modified products out there with all kinds of consequences for your oestrogen levels. Not good news for women in particular. So consume in moderation and buy organic tofu – and that’s more than mere grub guidance!

I love tofu. It’s versatile and also adds fibre to the diet. So for this month, we’re tofu-treating ourselves the sweet and sour way. Seriously, try out the cheesecake – it’s like the real thing but better!

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Hors d’oeuvre: Morish Morish Miso

 

All these recipes serve 2 people so double up for dinner parties.

Ingredients

  • 600ml water
  • 2 heaped tbsp miso paste
  • 10ml soy sauce
  • 10ml sesame oil
  • 200g silken tofu, cubed
  • 4 nori sheets, shredded
  • ¼ tsp dried kelp powder (optional but adds to flavour and nutrient value)
  • 300g kelp noodles (available from selected health stores)
  • ¼ cup green onion, chopped (optional)

Method

Place the water and miso paste in a pot over low heat and stir until thoroughly mixed. Now add the soy sauce, sesame oil, tofu, kelp powder, kelp noodles and green onion. Allow the ingredients to soak up flavour while stirring. Just before the broth reaches boiling point, remove the pot from the stove and add the nori. Serve and enjoy!

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Main Course: Tofu and Spinach Quiche

 

Ingredients: Pie Crust

  • 500g unbleached flour
  • 250g vegan margarine
  • 30g Life Vegan Parmesan
  • Dried parsley to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 4-6 tbsp water

Ingredients: Filling

  • 300g firm tofu
  • 50g cashews
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 2 bunches of spinach, cut into strips
  • 25g nutritional yeast flakes
  • 30g Life Vegan Cheddareese
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 10ml crushed garlic
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 block veggie stock
  • 1 packet mushrooms, sliced
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of paprika

Method: Pie Crust

Work the margarine and parmesan into the flour until ‘fluffy snowflakes’ form. Now add the parsley, salt and pepper and mix well. Finely, add the water so that dough starts forming. Knead the dough with your fingers into a prepared pan. It should be thin and evenly spread. If you want, you can add phyllo pastry on top of the filling, garnishing it with sesame seeds and fresh parsley.

Method: Filling

Pre-heat the oven to 180˚Celcius. In a pan, sauté the onions in the olive oil and when it starts to brown, add the mushrooms and garlic. Now add the veggie stock, cayenne pepper and paprika, allowing the mixture to simmer for about five minutes. Next add the Cheddareese, nutritional yeast flakes and half the spinach. Allow the spinach starts to welt. In the meantime, blend the tofu, cashews and sunflower seeds in a blender and then mix in with the spinach mixture. Now remove the pot from the stove and add the last of the spinach. Place the filling in your prepared pan and leave to bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

___________________________________________________

Dessert: To Die For Crust-less Tofu Cheese Cake

 

Ingredients

  • 200g firm tofu
  • 100g silken tofu
  • 100ml soy or rice milk cream
  • 50ml coconut oil
  • 10ml vanilla extract
  • 5 heaped tbsp margarine
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • Lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • Lemon juice (½ lemon)

Method

Cream the margarine, sugar and icing sugar with a hand-held beater. Now add the firm tofu, silken tofu, soy or rice milk cream and coconut oil blend well. Next add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and fold in with a wooden spoon. Now place the mixture into moulds and leave in the fridge for 6-8 hours before serving. If you want to make a crust, simply crush a packet of vegan cookies and mix with margarine. Then mould into a pan and place the filling on top. This is a winner!

_____________________________________________

ChantelleChantelle Roelofse teaches yoga in Muizenberg. When she isn’t in an asana or thinking about food, she runs, plays piano and writes. She is interested in the philosophy of yoga and how we can incorporate it in modern living. Chantelle supports ethical living and veganism.chants_za@yahoo.com

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