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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
hunting!


~Morinu

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!


Morinu



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!


~Mori-Nu

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! 


~Morinu


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,


Morinu!

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
kitchen.




 



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
breakfast!



 



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!

2014’s Trendiest Cocktail: The Green Drink


2014 is the year of the green drink. Everywhere you turn folks are buying, selling, making and drinking something green. From chlorella (aka algae) based powder to heirloom kale and collard greens, it would seem that “super-foods” are more popular than ever and that green is most definitely still the new black. What is it about the green drink that’s got folks going crazy? Is it the allure of drinking something seemingly unbearable and surprisingly palatable in the name of health? Maybe in this fast-pace world it’s an easy way to get one’s daily allowance? Or maybe it’s just plain trend! Whatever the cause, we don’t mind a bit! Like we always say, the greener, the better!


If you feel lost in a sea of green, fear not! Getting going on a green regimen is simpler than you might think. You don’t need tons of cash and you don’t even need to splurge on a juicer. Your plain old blender (with the help of a sharp knife) should do just fine. All you need is a variety of leafy greens such as kale or collards, fresh herbs like parsley and mint and some crunchy seasonal veggies like cucumber and celery. (Um, YUM!) Throw in some liquid of your choice such as water, grapefruit juice or even pineapple juice, fruit to taste and blend away. A fresh squeeze of lemon should help to balance the flavors and mellow any sweetness as well.


Beefing up your morning shake with pure tofu will add a rich flavor and a smooth texture, not to mention hours of energy and focus. Don’t believe us? See for yourself! Add a bit of silken tofu to your morning routine, and let us know how it changes your day! We’d love to hear from you! Cheers!

Green Tea: A Healthy Way to Stay Cool this Month

If you enjoy green tea while it’s hot, you will absolutely love it when cold! July feels like the hottest month of the year with record heat waves, soaring electricity bills and long hot workdays that seem to never end. While we love the sweet summer BBQs of July, the working days can drag on forever in the heat leaving us drained and exhausted by day’s end. If you have been looking for a healthy and refreshing alternative to get you through the day, look no more. If you want to pack some extra protein in your green drink, throw in 3oz of silken tofu, and get ready to have an awesome day! Green tea will be your one stop shop!



Whether you drink a true green tea or a toasted one, the traditional Japanese Matcha or the Korean variation mixed with barley and brown rice, you are doing something good for your body every time you sip. Studies show that regular green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing heart disease as well as certain types of cancer. It is also a proven weight loss tool! Much like tofu, green tea is rich in flavonoids – those healthful phytochemicals that bring our bodies so many benefits. While flavonoids are present in most plant products, they are prevalent in green tea, and hold anti-oxidative and ant carcinogenic functions. Are you thirsty yet?



If you remember the old adage, If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, then you might start brewing a cup right this second. Green tea consumption dates back 4,000 years! It has been used as a beverage as well as a medicine across Asia for centuries. Green tea was and still is believed to assist with so many health issues from regulating blood sugar and body temperature to promoting digestion. If there ever were a magic bullet, green tea just might be it. And the best part is, you can enjoy it hot and cold! If you are looking for a way to stay alert, stay healthy and stay cool this summer, try pouring that green tea over ice or making a cold brew in the fridge. We promise that it will revitalize and refresh through this hot summer and fall months! Next time we enjoy a cold glass of green-tea we will toast to you and your health! Bottoms up!

Baking with Tofu

When people come across our site, they are amazed by what we can do without dairy and eggs. We make beautiful cakes, pies, puddings, cookies and more all with our secret ingredient – the Baking Blend! Our baking blend is a time-tested mixture that will work as a substitute for eggs, buttermilk, yoghurt, oil, mayonnaise and more.


The Baking Blend is simply:
1 (12.3oz) package Morinaga Silken Extra Firm Tofu

1 cup water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar



Blend well. Refrigerate in a covered container. Keeps for one week. (1 cup baking blend is equal to 1 cup of liquid ingredients.)


The Baking Blend is our go-to for standard baking recipes such as cookies and cakes. For savory baked dishes like quiche, tarts or lasagna, we use mashed Morinaga Extra Firm Tofu. When you mash the extra firm variety it takes on a consistency similar to scrambled eggs or fresh ricotta cheese.


Whether you are making a quiche and scones for a breakfast party or key-lime pie for a summer BBQ, don’t let your dairy or gluten allergies get in the way of your enjoyment. With Morinaga’s Tips & Tricks you can stay healthy and enjoy all the flavors of summer! Happy eating!

Cooking with Tofu all Summer Long

The summer season is a great time for cooking and eating. The days are long and beautiful, school is out and the markets are full of delicious, seasonal produce. With the freshest ingredients, there is no limit to what you can create from fresh salads, to grilled veggies and desserts speckled with summer berries. Morinaga Silken Tofu makes the perfect addition to any summer meal. Whether you are grilling it with colorful zucchini and bell peppers or using it as a thickener for salad dressings, there are endless ways to sneak in the extra proteins and vitamins that tofu has to offer. Here’s a list of creative ways to incorporate Silken Tofu into your kitchen repertoire this summer.


GRILL IT: If you leave Silken Tofu in the freezer overnight, it will be ready for the grill by dinnertime! Marinate with your favorite mixture and throw it on the grill for salads, sliders or to accompany grilled veggies.


DRESS IT: Or dress with it! Did you know that Morinaga Silken Tofu is a great thickener and dairy substitute for salad dressings? Use it in place of dairy for those blue cheese and ranch variations or use it as a thickener for vinaigrette and citrus-based dressings.


BAKE IT: Not just like a casserole! Silken Tofu can be baked in pies and used as a dairy substitute for just about any baking recipe. Create fruit pies and parfaits with the sweetest summer fruits!


FRY IT: From fried tofu poppers to tofu fries to fried tofu sandwiches, fried tofu is a healthy and festive party trick that is sure to empty plates and many a summer BBQ!


DIP IT: Remember chips and dip? Now you can create beautiful spreads of veggies, chips and dips without worrying about added dairy. Check our site for a variety of tofu dip recipes from hummus to garlicky spinach & artichoke!

Eating with the Seasons this May

May is a great time to get healthy. The last chills of winter have finally melted, and spring brings with it a flood of blooming flowers, fresh produce and sunshine. Nice weather and longer days create space for outdoor activity, and fresh fruits and veggies make eating better a no-brainer. Nothing fosters creativity in the kitchen quite like fresh and local produce. If you haven’t explored your local farmer’s markets, now is the time! Go, explore and see what you can find!


There is an enormous range of produce available this month, from artichokes and broccoli to cauliflower and cucumber. We are still seeing endive and the first fava beans of the season are making their way to local stands. Strawberries are getting sweeter as the weather warms up, and stone fruit such as apricots and plums line tables wrapped in burlap. It is a great month to be out shopping, in cooking and out and about eating.


Eating well is a great way to get off to a healthy start this spring. If you are planning to exercise or get in shape this summer, what better way to start than at the kitchen table? An abundance of fresh fruits and veggies make work in the kitchen a labor of love more than anything else this May, and we look forward to being there with you every step along the way. From breakfast tofu stir-fries to fresh fruit tofu puddings and midnight tofu ice cream shakes, we have something to add to every meal.


We look forward to taking this journey with you and seeing what you create. Share your ideas and recipes on our Facebook page and show us what you’re made of! Nothing inspires us more than seeing all the creative ways you work with tofu in the kitchen. Happy cooking and happy spring!

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