VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE TOFU TERIYAKI WITH RICE NOODLES FOR THE TOFOO COMPANY! (ChF, GF, NF, V+)

VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE TOFU TERIYAKI WITH RICE NOODLES FOR THE TOFOO COMPANY! (ChF, GF, NF, V+)

When I tell people that I eat a predominantly plant-based lifestyle, the first question I'm always asked is: 'Where do you get your protein from?' Though all plant-based foods contain protein - even fruit - legumes are vegan protein powerhouses! Soya beans are legumes and hence full of protein. They are also the key ingredient in TOFOO's naked tofu, which I used in today's recipe.

I'm really proud to be partnering with TOFOO as it's the kind of tofu brand you want in your life. That's cuz TOFOO is...

- made with 100% organic soya beans!
- GM, gluten, wheat, yeast and dairy free!
- delicious and tastes so authentic as it is made to a traditional Japanese recipe!
- cholesterol free!
- low in calories, carbohydrates and saturated fats!
- made in the UK! (so you can say byebye to those nasty airmiles)

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I'm well aware that tofu in general has had a bit of bad press lately. Unfairly so I believe. Though I don't know for sure why it's gone out of fashion, I'm guessing that it's partly to do with the fact that all kinds of tofu - from bad quality brands to those made with care - have been put in one basket. That's not helpful and gives a completed distorted view of how tofu works in the body.

So what benefits can tofu have on the body?
We know that cultures that consume high levels of tofu and other soya products (think China, Japan, etc.) have a very low breast cancer rate and tofu seems to have something to do with that. That's because soya contains isoflavones which are phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are similar but less potent than the female hormone oestrogen and dock onto oestrogen receptor sites in the body. This is good news as hormone-led cancers like breast cancer often result from over stimulation of oestrogen receptor sites. Phytoestrogens can avoid this from happening.

Are all soya products healthy?
NO! is the short answer. The long answer goes something like this: When thinking about eating soya based foods veer towards the least processed products such as whole soya beans, edamame, tempeh and tofu an avoid soya based junk food like soya sausaged, soya dessert etc..

Next really focus on buying GMO-free and organic products. This is not optional and in my view a MUST when it comes to consuming soya foods. Some other points to think about are choosing fermented soya foods over those that aren't fermented. That's cuz fermented foods are easier to digest and contain some beneficial bacteria.

Finally enquiring about the source of the product that you've purchased is so important. In the case of TOFOO, I was very reassured that it's made in the UK to high standards by a bunch of people who are SUPER passionate about the food they make!

Is soya for everyone?
Every body is different and if you're in any doubt about eating soya or any soya based foods, consult a nutritional therapist or your GP.

Where to go for some solid, research based info?
This podcast asks all the right questions.
This short little video explained how much tofu is benefitial and how much is too much?
This one here explains briefly, clearly and helpfully why soya can prevent breast cancer in a much more elequant way than I've done.
And this video here explains why soya can improve breast cancer survival.

And finally, where to get some TOFOO ;)!
TOFOO is currently available to buy in Tesco and Ocado and comes in 4 schermazing flavours - naked (which I used here), smoked (which I've tried and is super yummy), Oriental Spiced and Indian Spiced.

I hope this post was helpful and you enjoyed today's recipe. Feel free to hit me with some questions in the comment section below and I'll do my utmost to answer in the best way I can.

Thanks everyone for popping by. I'm so grateful. See you next week :)

P.S. This is a sponsored post, but as you know from this blog entry here, I'd not do it if I did not feel 100% comfy promoting the product ;)
P.P.S. Sharing is caring. Hence a re-pin on pintrest, a follow on instagram or a retweet on twitter would be super appreciated ;)

Recipe below...

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VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE TOFU TERIYAKI WITH RICE NOODLES FOR THE TOFOO COMPANY! (ChF, GF, NF, V+)

Preparation time: 20 minutes + 1 hour marinading time
Baking time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients for the tofu marinade:
1/4 cup tamari sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
juice of 1 orange
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic

General ingredients:
2 x 280g package of organic, firm NAKED TOFOO
1 cucumber
1/2 courgette (optional)
4 spring onions
400g broccoli or broccolini/tenderstem + a pinch of salt
200g of rice noodles (I used these)
handful of sesame seeds (black and/or white)
juice of 1 lime (optional)

Ingredients for the teriyaki sauce:
3tbs tamari sauce
2tbs water
1 tbs mirin OR sake
1/2tbs + 1 tsp brown sugar
1/8 cup of sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger

1/2tbs water
1 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch (not corn flour)

For instruction, please scroll down...

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Instructions:
Start by making the marinade for the TOFOO by combining all the ingredients for the marinade; then mix well and set aside.

Take your firm, NAKED TOFOO and discard the water it came in. Place the TOFOO on a kitchen towel to soak up any residual moisture and then gently place another kitchen towel on top, press lightly and carefully absorbing more moisture. Next, cut your TOFOO into equal sized cubes, place in a container, pour over the marinade making sure each it of TOFOO cubes has the opportunity to absorb some of the marinade. Cover the container with the TOFOO inside and place in the fridge for about an hour, so that the TOFOO can absorb as much flavour as possible.

Whilst the TOFOO is in the fridge, make your teriyaki sauce, by combining the tamari sauce, water, sake/mirin, sugar, garlic and ginger. Stir briefly. In a separate little bowl mix together the arrowroot powder and water until just combined. Place al the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir regularly, so the sauce reduces and becomes thicker. About 5-10 minutes maximum. Once the sauce is done, transfer to a little bowl and set aside.

Next take the cucumber, wash it and, with a vegetable peeler (I used this one), create little cucumber ribbons; I always leave the skin on, but do not use the core of the cucumber as it's just too watery. Once done, set aside.
Then take the courgette (if using) cut into ribbons or zoodles and set aside.
Wash your spring onions, discard the white stalky bits, chop up finely and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 200F/400F and cover a baking tray with non-stick paper/grease-proof paper. By this stage your TOFOO should be nicely marinaded and ready to be baked in the oven. Hence place your TOFOO on the prepared baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes or until the outside is nice and crisp and the inside still soft.

About 10 minutes before the TOFOO is due to come out of the oven prepare the broccoli/broccolini by giving them a good wash, chopping off the stalky bits and boiling them in hot water for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is still crisp, but warm and just cooked. Discard the hot water, splash the broccoli with cold water to stop it from cooking further and set aside.
At the same time, heat a pot full of water, bringing the water to the boil. Once boiled, turn off the heat and place your rice noodles inside the boiling water for about 3 minutes (or follow instructions on the package). Discard the water immediately when done and pour some cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking further!

Remove the TOFOO from the oven, place ontop of the noodles and veggies, pouring some of the teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds and spring onions on top as shown on the images above. Feel free to add a dash of lime and enjoy!

Tip 1: You can use soya sauce instead of tamari sauce here, but remember many soya sauces on the market are not gluten-free.
Tip 2: Do you live in a country where TOFOO is not available? You are welcome to use any unflavoured medium firm to firm tofu instead. But remember to choose an organic one.
Tip 3: I loved combining the crush and superfood goodness and the crispness of the courgette and cucumber with the warm noodles and TOFOO, but fresh spinach, thinly sliced radishes and edamame would have worked really well here too.
Tip 4: if you have a steamer, do consider steaming the broccoli to retain even more nutrients.
Tip 5: Timing on both the broccoli and noodles is crucial. There's nothing worse then overcooked broccoli and noodles ;).
Tip 6: Arrow root is a thickener. You can use corn starch instead if you prefer.