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Diabetes Month

Friday, August 31, 2018

Is it possible to have an "everybody-friendly" healthy recipe?


I used to think it was overwhelming and nearly impossible to create a meal that was "everybody-friendly" and healthy. There are so many food preferences, food allergies, and food needs that our friends and family have that it can be pretty daunting to imagine a meal that will meet all these needs.

This summer we had friends come visit who are vegans. I needed to come up with several days of meals that would meet their food needs and also appeal to the others eating with us. Is it possible to feed vegan meals to non-vegan eaters? Can a meal be designed that adults and children all find tasty? So many questions…

After a few days of feeling intimidated I took the challenge by the “horns” and decided to have fun exploring how I could be successful in making "everybody-friendly" meals. What I found is that by focusing on fresh foods I could make meals that would appeal to everyone and make the most of the freshest ingredients available at the grocery store. As examples, one night we had veggie burgers made from scratch, then I made pasta with a fresh tomato sauce and on another night we had tacos made with tofu. Who doesn’t like burgers, pasta and tacos, right?

The proof in my success was whether everyone was willing to eat these meals. They did! Not only did they compliment the chef, they also cleared their plates! So the answer to the questions is “Yes”, it is possible to make "everybody-friendly" healthy meals with a little forethought and attention to meals that have common appeal.

The tofu tacos were probably the biggest risk I took. I used a recipe from Cooking Light Diet to make them. I thought I would share that recipe with you here.

Here is the recipe for the “everybody-friendly” entrĂ©e:

Supercrunch Tofu Tacos


From Cooking Light Diet

Ingredients


  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut peeled daikon radish
  • 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onions


Instructions


  1. Cut tofu lengthwise into 2 (1-inch-thick) slices.
  2. Cut each slice lengthwise into 4 (1-inch-thick) strips.
  3. Place tofu on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels.
  4. Cover tofu with additional paper towels; top with a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan.
  5. Let stand 15 minutes.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Sprinkle tofu with salt and pepper.
  8. Add canola oil to pan, and swirl to coat.
  9. Add tofu to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, turning to brown all sides.
  10. Remove tofu from pan, and drain on paper towels.
  11. Add cashews to pan; cook 30 seconds or until nuts are just beginning to brown.
  12. Remove nuts with a slotted spoon, and coarsely chop.
  13. Cut tofu strips crosswise into 1-inch cubes.
  14. Combine 1/4 cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
  15. Remove from heat; add carrots and radish.
  16. Let stand 15 minutes; drain.
  17. Combine mayonnaise, Sriracha, and 1 teaspoon vinegar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  18. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, heat tortillas over medium-high heat directly on the eye of a burner for about 15 seconds on each side or until lightly charred.
  19. Arrange about 1/4 cup carrot mixture in center of each tortilla; top with 4 tofu pieces, about 1/2 teaspoon cashews, about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise mixture, and 1 1/2 teaspoons green onions.


Makes 4 servings     Serving size: 2 tacos     Calories: 397
Carbs 45.7g     Fiber 6.6g     Protein 13.0g     Sodium 516.0mg     Fat 18.6g

In order to make it a meal I added ½ cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) and served it up on Livliga! It makes an attractive plate of food and created a satisfying meal.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!

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