Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Motivator: Heart Health

Did you know that February is Heart Health Month? I didn't either until I read the topics for the latest Etsy Bloggers blog carnival. And then I thought, "What the heck am I going to write about heart health?" I could share my favorite Valentine's tradition from my childhood, but I really wasn't ever all that fond of the holiday, so that seemed doomed to be a short and rather boring post.

So, heart health. Well, I do my best, in general, to stay healthy. I eat plenty of vegetables, I've taken up yoga, I drink a lot tea... But what do I do specifically for my heart? Well. Nothing, really.

But something I do do is cook. And eating right is one of the major things you can do to keep your heart healthy. So I thought I'd share my favorite heart-healthy recipe. Just as soon as I figured out which of my favorite recipes were, in fact, heart-healthy.

Well, according to Web MD, tofu is one of the top 25 heart-healthy foods. Aha! Tofu! I love tofu. I'm sure a lot of you are wrinkling your noses right now. I can sympathize. The stuff doesn't look pleasant. It doesn't smell great. And on it's own, it doesn't taste very good either. But you can work magic with tofu.

A simple marinade turns it from a bland, flavorless lump of soy goo into a delicious chunk of awesomeness that's just as good and just as satisfying as meat but far better for you. I've only just begun to experiment, but thus far, my favorite recipe is Pan-Fried Tofu with Caramelized Sauce from The Complete Book of Japanese Cooking.

Now, to keep things heart-healthy, you would probably want to use a low-sodium soy sauce (I'm pretty sure those are available.... Also, it takes some time to prepare because you have drain your tofu for 30 minutes, let your marinade sit for 15 minutes, and then marinade the tofu for another 15 minutes. But once that's done, it's fairly quick and quite easy to cook. And all of the ingredients are easy to find, even if you aren't a big fan of Asian cooking and don't already have the stuff lying around.

So why not give it a shot? And if you do, be sure to let me know how it turns out!


  1. It would be great to have someone that knew what they were doing use tofu in a recipe. I have tried it and thought it was horrible! We are willing to try many things to be healthier but this is one that has deluded us--it even seems scary to buy it!

    Great article.

  2. ok, yum....gonna have to try this one. i haven't had tofu in a while...I do remember the first time i tried it though...I couldn't believe everyone was does just taste like whatever you are cooking with it :)

  3. I remember eating tofu burgers in college, but I stopped eating them when I started eating meat. I guess I was much healthier when I was younger... Have to ponder that awhile... {:-D

  4. NICO - It CAN be truly awful. The first time I tried it, it was on a salad bar just cut up in little cubes with nothing at all added to it. It was a good long while after that before I had the nerve to try it again. So I totally understand. =P But if you can gather the courage, you should give the recipe a shot. It really is quite easy and very tasty. The tofu just soaks up the marinade like a sponge, so it actually tastes like something.

    TiLT - Let me know how you like it! :D It's amazing isn't it? I'd like to try it with some other marinades and see what it does...

    Storybeader - We're both meatatarians (=P), but we eat tofu/soy/veggie burgers every once in a while anyway. They're one of our favorite quick lunches. Have you ever tried rice burgers? Same idea, they're just made with rice instead of soy. And they're delicious! LOL. I know I was... When I was little, vegetables were one of my favorite snacks. I ate SO many carrots... Which did nothing for my eyes, by the way. But now I'm rambling... =P

  5. Now that sounds like something I'll have to try. Of course, I'll have to disguise it for dh!

  6. Patti - LOL. Let me know how that goes. =P

  7. I've never tried to cook with tofy before, I do enjoy it when its prepare by someone who knows what they are doing!

  8. Thanks for participating in the Blog Carnival. I don't think I am going to try tofu, but I would definitely consider going out to Web MD and taking a look at the other 24 heart-healthy foods!