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The Sweet Side of Tofu

Dear friends, what a delight it is to see spring popping up
all around us here in Southern California. Birds are chirping, bees are buzzing
and plants seem full of bright leaves and blossoms. Spring is without a doubt
the sweetest season of the year! It is the perfect time to shed whatever weight 
you've carried through winter, and give birth to new ideas and friendships. We
can’t think of a better way to celebrate spring than through a fresh and
healthy cake!

The silken-tofu cakes and desserts that we see at work and online
never cease to amaze us. Silken-tofu is one of those magical ingredients that
can do just about anything you ask of it! Seasonal flan? Sure. Rich chocolate
? No problem! How about a decadent Italian Cheesecake? Yes! Silken-tofu
makes a wonderful substitute for eggs, cheese and milk when baking. It also
adds a fabulous depth of flavor and moisture that you just don’t see in
conventional recipes. If you don’t trust us, see for yourself!


We invite you to try our recipe for this beautiful
Italian Cheesecake. It can be done totally vegan if you choose. Feel free to
make it your own by adding chocolate chips for a rich element or fresh
strawberries for something brighter. You can even add fresh lemon juice for a
sweet lemon version!

Happy Baking!


Tofu and Flavor

Ask ten people how tofu tastes and you will receive ten different answers. Is it nutty? Creamy? Just like chicken? The answer is all of the above. Tofu, which comes in many forms, can have a variety of flavors. It is a widely accepted belief that tofu will adopt the flavor of whatever it is being cooked with. Brown sugar, mushrooms, jalapenos, you name it! The flavor YOU want can be infused with the tofu during the cooking process. Just think of the possibilities! Spicy tofu, salty tofu, mu-shoo tofu, chocolate tofu!

Tofu is like a magic carpet of flavor delivery. It is a sponge of delicious tastes and smells for the senses. With its unique texture, tofu is great when mixed with veggies, nuts and even meats in anything from soups and salads to stir-frys and noodles. It is the perfect addition to any dish.

Marinate and roast, sizzle and sauté or drizzle and bake with your favorite ingredients. Try a ginger soy glaze or a meaty mushroom marinade for tofu steaks. Toss with spicy peppers and fresh greens for a crispy salad topping or slow bake with a sticky sweet reduction for a finger-licking appetizer. The room for creativity is never ending when working with tofu. That’s one of the reasons we love it so much!

Check our blog for ideas and inspirations, and make the recipes your own! Use fresh local ingredients, and share your ideas on our website and blog. We look forward to seeing what you create! Happy cooking! 


Tofu & Weight Loss – Eating Smarter

There is a common misconception that in order to lose
weight, one must eat less.  At Morinaga,
we disagree! It’s not about how much you eat, but what you are eating that
makes the difference. Are you eating processed foods? Refined sugars? GMOs?
These are the types of foods we would encourage our readers to steer clear

The concept of eating smarter is one that goes hand in hand
with tofu production. Recently, some people have been unsure of soy,
but the facts remain that it is a solid, plant based protein that is low in fat
and free of cholesterol.  When you add
tofu to your diet, you are fueling your body with strong protein, isoflavones
as well as loads of vitamins and minerals. A large portion of what you need to
feel good and be productive during the day. 
The other little secret about plant-based protein is that it will make
you feel fuller longer causing you to not reach for those Reese’s Pieces and
Doritos in the middle of the day.

Because you can’t live on tofu alone, you need other ways to
smarten up your eating habits. The first and simplest way will be to shop
local. By cruising your local farmers market, you will find tons of fruits,
vegetables and fish at great prices. When you know your farmer, you can be sure
your produce is organic and you can feel good about spending your money with
them. We suggest you stock up on loads of leafy greens, colorful veggies and
seasonal fruits. Play with them in new ways each week, and let your ingredients
guide you. When you have a well-planned kitchen, you are less likely to order
that pizza or junk food.

And what about you? What are your tips and tricks for eating
smarter and healthier? January is the month to create habits, so let’s hear it!
Share your tips and tricks for smart and healthy eating here.

The Long Life Diet

As the New Year begins, we have got time and health on
our minds. Goals from last year may have slipped through, and time seems to be
flying by for us all. How can we step out of this pace, find some footing and
enjoy food that matches that lifestyle? Is it a Nordic based diet? Is it
based on the slow food movement? Or is it as simple as buying organic, buying
local and keeping fit? What about laughing? Relaxing? We say -- it’s a little
bit of all of the above.

The first step to accomplishing The Long Life Diet is to relax and enjoy. If you find yourself
caught in traffic or a work disaster, try smiling instead of panicking. Dinner
for the kids on a cold winter’s night? Be present and turn it into a moving
meditation. You are there to enjoy don’t forget!

And what about snacking? Give yourself an arsenal of superfoods to carry with you to the office, on a hike or wherever you find
yourself. Maybe it’s roasted almonds with rich hazelnuts, goji berries and dark
chocolate chips or dried seaweed. Maybe it’s a simple as a fresh orange
persimmon right off the tree. Snacking will keep you feeling better and more
focused all day long. It works like a charm when it comes to not sweating the
small stuff.

Allow for indulgences. Yes, we said it. You want that
cheeseburger for dinner? Go for it! Chocolate cake on date night? Why not?
Giving yourself permission to indulge every once in a while will keep you from
going crazy. It should also bring you some joy now and then. Isn’t that what
this is all about?

So go out there, shop local, laugh and have some double
chocolate cake every once in a while. The secret to the long-life diet is to
not take anything too seriously! 

Happy travels!


Seasonal Sweets: Candy Coating the Cold Winter Months

Happy New Year folks! We do hope that January is treating
you well with all of its cold weather and winter vegetables! It’s a funny time
of year with the holidays behind us, and a new year on the horizon, you might
think that spring would be sprouting at any moment. Unfortunately, January
still marks the dead of winter. Dark nights, icy weather and cold feet in socks
are all tell tale signs of winter. It’s not all bad though.
Winter brings with it a variety of fruits and vegetables that can be used in a
number of creative ways this season. Most importantly – Sweets!

Don’t limit your sweet inspiration to only fruits. Some
winter squash can be as sweet as candy. Chestnuts can be made into a delicious
brittle or just fried with sugar caramel for a tasty treat. Red currants,
persimmons and dates will add a seasonal spice and butterscotch bite to any
dish this fall. Not to mention winter citrus!

Now what to do with these unconventional market finds? Be
creative! Add a sweet element like candied nuts, pears or dates to your winter
greens salad or try a pumpkin and squash tart with salted caramel. Juice heavy
winter greens with bright citrus for homemade popsicles that are as healthy as
they are delicious. With produce this fresh and diverse, the possibilities are endless!

How will you get creative and stay warm this winter? We
would love to hear your ideas and see your creations. As always, we encourage
you to think seasonably and work outside the box. We look forward to seeing
what you create!



Quince, An Unlikely Fruit for your Holiday Table

Do you know a fruit that is as old as the Bible, looks like
a pear and can’t be eaten raw? Meet the mysterious quince. A distant cousin of
apples and pears, the Cydonia Oblonga is the only fruit of its kind. Dating
back to ancient Roman times, the quince appears in myths, poems as well as in
one of the first written cookbooks Apicius. Among ancient Greeks, this aromatic
fruit was an offering for the bride on her wedding day. Its floral notes were
meant to perfume her lips before a kiss!

These days the quince is still widely available though not
identifiable by most. Its golden skin and hard center sit unnoticed by most or
overseen by passersby leaving its unique flavor only for a select few in “the
know.” But what to do with this new found fruit you ask? The possibilities are
just about endless!

This pectin heavy fruit is perfect for,
roasting, baking and stewing. You can use it for jams, pies, and puddings, or
with savories like lamb, chicken, and beef. Its perfumed sweetness makes a
great addition to cocktails, refreshing elixirs and warm winter ciders. If you
are getting hungry, you should be. Quince is a unique and unusual way to
elevate just about any dish! Search blogs, books and the web for photos and
inspirations, before setting off and making quince your own. We promise it will
be the talk of your holiday party. Don’t forget to keep us in the loop! Happy


Best Wishes for a Delicious Holiday Season

December is a marvelous month for home cooking. The cold
weather, the short days and the endless holiday parties call for one hot meal
after another. While hearty winter vegetables make for gorgeous soups and stir
-fries, bitter winter greens meet pomegranates and persimmons for festive
salads. Silken tofu has a special place at the winter table in just about
everything we do. From seasonal sides and mains to winter pies and puddings, we
can’t seem to get enough of that nutrient packed protein!


It’s incredible just how versatile our favorite ingredient
is. If you are looking to add texture and depth to any dish, silken tofu is the
thing! Dazzle guests with any one of our creamy crudité dips before dinner or amaze them with our guiltless Easy Chocolate Dessert. If you’re looking for something else, try our
endless collection of carefully tested recipes. They are sure to inspire and delight the most seasoned home cook.

Speaking of inspiration, don’t forget to share your recipes,
pics and thoughts on our Facebook page. You are the inspiration when it comes
to creativity in the kitchen, and we love to see what you have cooking! As you
approach your holiday table, don’t forget to stay local, stay fresh and keep it
seasonal. You never know what kind of imagination is hiding behind that next
trip to the market. 

Happy cooking!


Making the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

     Thanksgiving is a time to create memories. It’s a time to come
together, give thanks and most importantly, eat good food! What is a holiday
celebration without a great meal or two? And what’s a good meal without some
finger licking leftovers? From hearty winter sides to savory roast birds, we've
got five great ideas for making the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

1. Stock: Simmer
turkey bones and bits with fresh carrot, onion and celery for a glistening
stock to enhance soups & sauces. Freeze in an ice cube trays for easy
access flavor bombs!

2.  Soup:
Roasted veggies, sides, even dressed salad greens make delicious soup.
Blend with turkey or veggie stock and thicken with silken tofu for a luxurious
winter treat. This can be frozen for up to 3 months.

3. Cakes:
Whiz leftover turkey, stuffing, and root vegetables in a processor with silken
tofu or egg as glue. Mold into cakes and cook in oil for a holiday inspired
appetizer. Leftover cranberry sauce makes the perfect garnish!

4. Sandwiches:
We aren't talking about your mama’s turkey sandwich here. Add bacon and blue cheese for a decadent lunch or cranberries and butter lettuce for a fresh variation.
What about pate and pickles on French bread for a thanksgiving inspired Banh Mi?

5. Pies:
Fill small ramekins with turkey, gravy and peas, top with mashed potatoes and
bake for mini shepherd’s pies. Or use flaky pie-crust to create savory hand
pies on the go. Enjoy with that cranberry sauce!


Warm Wishes for a Crisp Fall

Chilly mornings, dark nights and changing leaves all signify
the true beginning of autumn. Our late summer BBQs and picnics feel like
distant memories as we gather round the table for a heartier meal. Shorter days
and colder weather seem to call for a different kind of eating – one that will
warm our souls and fill our bellies for the winter ahead. At Morinu, we welcome
this shift in seasons along with any changes it may bring.

As we gear up for a new season, we are astonished by the
variety and seasonality of the produce available. Sweet Delicata squash, crisp
fuyu persimmons and explosive pomegranates bring the color and spice of the
season. A reminder that things should taste as they are. It is always a treat
try new and interesting things with the local produce available.

Eating seasonably and sustainably is healthy for our bodies,
our economy and our planet. As we transition into the biggest eating season of
the year, we urge you to shop and eat responsibly. Supporting local farmers
will aid small businesses, cut down on CO2 emissions and sustain the campaign
against GMOs. The best way to take a stand against GMO production in the US is
with your dollar.

Fresh & local crops are sure to inspire you in the
kitchen, keep you feeling healthy and impress your friends. It can be a bit
more work, but well worth the effort. Stay fresh, stay healthy and eat well
this season! Happy cooking! 


Bringing Veggies Back!

Bringing Veggies Back!

Did you know that most Americans eat only 1.1 servings of fruit
per day? According to the CDC, our veggie intake is lacking as well. With junk-food spilling over most grocery shelves, it’s no surprise that people reach
for Cheetos and Doritos before grabbing the carrots and apples. How can a plain
old carrot stand up to an MSG and chemical packed potato chip anyway? We would
like to believe that it can and it will!

With the season’s finest, fresh seasonings and a little TLC
instead of MSG, you can help us bring veggies back in a big way this Fall.
Sneak a pack of fresh celery and almond butter into your work bag, dehydrate
that kale with lemon and chili for crunchy chips and bury your carrots in fresh
coffee beans before baking and drizzling with a fresh yogurt sauce. Still
feeling uninspired? Try experimenting with fresh soups, veggie purees and cold
press fruit syrups. Between the creativity, the delicious flavor and the fresh
feeling of health, we promise it will satisfy you.

Please help us spread the word by tagging your ideas, photos
and inspiration with #veggiesback and work with us to bring veggies back into
our home, our work and our schools. Excitement is contagious, so remember to
pass it on! 

Freaky Foods for Halloween

Have you ever wondered why the pumpkin is the only fruit allowed to be scary come
Halloween time? What about apple sliced with almond fangs or Dragon Fruit that
look like brains? Eyeballs made from Rambutan or fingers from a Buddha Hand?

From painted banana ghosts and monster head watermelons to oranges sliced like
jack-o’-lanterns, it seems our fruit just might be better dressed than us this
Halloween! And fruit isn’t the only edible getting in the spirit. We are seeing
hot dogs wrapped like mummies and cookies shaped like ghouls. What fun it can
be to get festive with food!

Even tofu is joining the party this year. With its boundless versatility, tofu can
be shaped, fried, baked and molded into just about anything! How about a vegan
“pumpkin pie” with fresh fruit eyes and fangs? Or fried tofu “fingers” and
gluten-free spaghetti with tomatoes and tofu worms? The possibilities for
getting creative with tofu are simply endless!

Holiday are a great time to play with your food. Whether you are throwing a Halloween
party or just preparing for hungry trick or treaters, there’s always an excuse
to try something new in the kitchen. And with an abundance of seasonal produce
in local markets, you will have the perfect color palette for fall! How will
you get festive with your food this holiday season? Please share your Freaky
Food pics, ideas and videos with us on Facebook and social media. We look
forward to seeing your creepy creations!

Happy haunting,


5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Tofu Now

5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Tofu Now

 As you know, we love tofu! We are familiar with its nutrient packed, beauty building, weight loss magic and anti-aging qualities. If you are on the fence, check out these 5 fun facts about our favorite ingredient!

1. Tofu is a healthy plant-based source of protein.

It contains all eight essential
amino acids, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B1. Tofu offers the benefits
of eating animal based proteins without the animal fat, cholesterol and carbon
footprint that comes with eating meat.

2. Tofu is proven to lower levels of bad cholesterol.

It moderates LDL cholesterol and
blood fats in the system. If eaten regular Tofu can improve and help regulate
cardiovascular health.

3. Tofu fights the signs of aging.

It’s packed with isoflavones (a special kind of
anti-aging antioxidant) that helps create collagen and elastin in skin.
Studies done all over the world
continue to show that tofu and other soybean products help to decrease the
appearance of wrinkles and keep skin smooth and elastic.

4. Tofu can help with your weight loss plan.

Tofu is low in calories, so you can
eat more and still cut back. The pure protein of tofu will help you feel
satiated faster and ultimately eat less. If your diet is mainly vegetables, you
are more likely to splurge later.

5. Tofu is delicious and versatile.

What other ingredient can be scrambled with
eggs, baked in cookies and roasted with vegetables? Tofu is like a culinary
canvas waiting for your brush stroke of flavor. So, get out there and make it
your own!

Happy eating!

Go Local this Month!

September is a great month for eating with the seasons.
Markets are rich with fall squash, apples, fresh blackberries and early winter
greens. Our baskets overflow with dark oranges, reds, deep greens and blues.
These colors make a seamless journey from farm to table in September, and we
love the results.  We find endless
inspiration in the kitchen from the abundance of September’s produce. It’s a
wonderful time to experiment with new ingredients and techniques in the


As the days grow shorter and fall nights meet us with a
chill, we are delighted to find warmth and comfort at the dinner table. Hearty
roasted vegetables and soups make gatherings easy and delicious this time of
year. Tasty leftovers are often enjoyed at lunch and sometimes even with


Tofu is the perfect accompaniment to every dish we create!
Whether it’s slow roasted with squash and endive or crisped with walnuts and
tossed in a salad, there’s always a special place at the table for it.


If you are looking for inspiration this season, look to your
local farmers’ markets. Their selection and quality is sure to be the best out
there and you can feel good in supporting your local growers. Use the Morinaga
recipes not as rules, but as a guide. While our recipes are time-tested and well
loved, we encourage you to make them your own. Use ingredients that are fresh
to you, and put your own stamp on the dish!


Whatever it is you create, we would love to be a
part of it. Share your inspirations and creations with us on Facebook and
Twitter.  We look forward to seeing it
all! Happy September and happy cooking!

Back to School!

The summer seems to be speeding by in a flash! August is here and it's time for back to school. Somewhere in between choosing classes, picking study groups and planning the perfect back to school outfit, is the important job of creating the school time boxed lunch. In this modern-day health conscious world, where do we begin?

When it comes to creating a positive routine with your kids, healthy eating is up there with strong studying after school and brushing your teeth before bed. Studies show that children with healthy, consistent diets stay focused throughout the day and score better grades. Keeping your child well fed at school is a job that extends far beyond the lunch table and the cafeteria lines these days.

It’s always a good idea to provide mid-morning and daytime snacks in addition to the standard balanced lunch. We recommend trail mix, sliced fruits and veggies, tofu and lots of water. Try swapping zip-locks and brown bags for glass or metal Tupperware and reusable lunchboxes this year. If you need to keep things cold, you can wrap an ice pack in a tea towel to absorb condensation. Try veggie spring rolls for a fresh and healthy boxed lunch treat. It beats the old peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Sending your kids off to school with healthy and balanced choices should be a joy all year long. With a bit of planning ahead and collaboration with your children, you can utilize leftovers and bulk food products to create delicious and healthful options that won’t break the bank. One great thing you can do with your kids is to make Tofu House Chocolate Chip Cookies. Try this simple recipe and have a fun delicious project to do with your children. Let us know how bake night goes! We always love to hear from you. Happy cooking!

Tofu House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Beauty Secrets with Tofu

Did you know that tofu can make you more beautiful? That’s right! All of those B vitamins, isoflavones and antioxidants in tofu will do more than just keep you healthy and strong on the inside. Tofu has been a secret anti-aging weapon in Asia for centuries, and now the secret is out all over the world.

If you want to have stronger and healthier looking hair, then you should try introducing tofu into your diet. By adding healthy plant-based proteins you allow your body to create more keratin – that special protein that makes up your head of hair. Calcium and B vitamins in tofu are known to soothe nerves and fight stress, which can be a huge factor in hair loss for men and women.

Eating a small amount of tofu each week can improve elasticity in skin, tighten facial muscles, smooth pores, and give skin a polished and healthy looking glow. Just like hair, skin needs protein to regenerate, and a healthy plant-based protein such as tofu works well in creating a smooth and healthy looking complexion.

If you like what you see, but still want more, you can use silken tofu to create your own hair and skin mask. Simply mix with a bit of organic yogurt, fresh honey or avocado for a delicious anti-aging facial mask. Saponins in tofu act as a natural exfoliant, removing dead skin-cells, while plant-proteins renew and regenerate skin. This mask will moisturize, even skin tone and promote elasticity in the face. Now go out there and beautify!

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