Low Carb Green Goddess Dressing

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I recently heard from a friend who told me that her husband had gastric bypass surgery as a way to deal with both diabetes and kidney disease. Wow! This is a tricky combination because not only does he now need to lower his carb intake, but protein as well. Most successful diets depend on the “Lean and Green” approach meaning increase protein, lots of low-glycemic veggies and no carbs from grains or sugars. According to website Obesity Coveragepatients who have gastric bypass surgery are encouraged to eat small amounts of protein throughout the day. Eggs, skim milk, chicken and protein shakes are recommended in the Gastric Bypass Diet Guide. But, if one also has concerns for the kidneys, proteins need to be decreased a bit.

According to the Nephron Information Center, Americans consume over 100 grams of protein a day which is more than double what our bodies require. Excess protein in the body puts the kidneys to work – overtime! For a person with kidney disease, they still need protein to ensure good health, but a lot less. A 200-pound man only needs a little over 50 grams of protein a day and a 150-pound woman about 40. High Biologic Value foods (HBV) have about 7 grams of protein per ounce. These are the foods that come from animals and are a complete source of the essential amino acids and cause the least waste. A person with kidney disease needs just a couple of grams fewer than recommended, but enough to keep the body functioning. I would suspect that for gastric bypass patients on a low-calorie diet, the body will tap into the protein for energy and malnutrition is a risk. This is all very complicated!

So, what do you eat if you can only have small amounts of food that are low carb and low protein? Well, that got me thinking about my dressings, slathers and dips. Personally, I am happy with lots of low-glycemic veggies if I can top them with full-flavored foods like herbs, garlic and onions. My post gastric bypass friend is probably too sensitive to these intense foods right now, but hopefully eventually, he can enjoy foods with BIG herbal plant-based flavor.

Most of my salad dressings rely on raw honey to create that fabulously luscious combination of fat, salt and sweet that can quickly lead to weight gain if the daily carb load is too high. So, in the spirit of cutting out a bit of the carb from the dressings, I thought I would try using tofu to create a creamy herbal concoction.

The garden is brimming with cilantro and basil, and with the scapes I still have in the fridge, “Green Goddess” was on the docket today. This recipe makes about 1 pint of dressing/dip. I served it on a mixed green salad, but it would make a great dip for carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or roasted potato wedges. It would also be a flavorful sandwich spread.

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces tofu
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 5 garlic scapes or 2 cloves raw garlic
  • 1 Tbs. lemongrass (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • dash of salt

Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

 

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Crustless Tofu Tart

Yesterday I made a batch of Mom’s famous Potato and Sauerkraut Hotdish, and as soon as I did, I couldn’t figure out what to serve with it. This savory tofu tart is an experiment that I hoped would pair well. All in all, these two together may be a bit too much puree for one meal – perhaps the perfect meal for anyone suffering painful dentures!

This Tofu Tart is very flavorful served with Herb Chimichurri and will be great with a side-salad and warm roasted tomatoes with garlic, basil, parmesan and a few crunchy breadcrumbs…

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 20 oz. packages tofu (I used Wildwood Organics Extra Firm)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. tahini
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup soymilk

Directions:

Basically, you will need to puree all ingredients together to make a smooth and creamy batter. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1) Saute the onions until they begin to caramelize.

2) Break up tofu and puree in a food processor. You will probably need to do this in two batches unless you have a gigantic food processor. Add 1/2 of the soymilk to each batch to help it get creamy. Add one tablespoon of tahini to each batch as well.

3) In the last batch of tofu, add the cilantro, nutmeg, salt and pepper, onions and garlic to puree together.

4) Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl along with grated carrots. You may want to taste for salt – I am trying to cut back, but you may prefer a bit more.

5) Spray individual tart pans or a springform pan with spray oil. Use semolina flour to lightly dust the inside of each pan. Fill the pan/s and bake for about one hour.

Spicy Fried Tofu

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Spicy Fried Tofu Recipe

Ingredients:

Extra Firm Tofu cubed- I used Wild Wood Organic Super Firm

Canola oil – enough for about 1/16 inch in pan

2 cloves garlic

1 inch fresh ginger

1 tsp. garlic chile paste

1 tsp. soy sauce

Directions:

Chop garlic and ginger in the food processor. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Toss in garlic and ginger for just enough time to turn fragrant, but not begin to crisp. You need to watch it carefully and stir carefully. I try to keep the garlic and ginger in a tidy pile, so when it is fragrant I can easily scoop it out. Scoop it out and set it aside in a bowl. It will later be mixed with the tofu. Keep your oil at a medium heat and toss in the cubed tofu. Let it brown up for a few minutes then turn to brown the other sides. The frying takes a few minutes and you do need to keep an eye on it. Continue to turn the tofu every few minutes so that each cube is lightly browned. When it is finished scoop the tofu out and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the lightly sauteed garlic and ginger as well as the chile paste and soy sauce. Mix carefully to evenly coat the tofu.