Because I was raised on a mostly vegetarian diet, I don’t like red meat or pork, although I do eat some chicken and fish. When I’m cooking, many of our meals consist of vegetables, beans, and grains, but we also eat tons of dairy (and Daylon cooks a lot of meat, too). Since Daylon, Felix, and I are all basically thin (perhaps getting less so as some of us inch further and further into our thirties!), I’ve never really worried about all of the organic (and raw when possible) dairy we consume, such as:
- Buttery muffins and other homemade snacks to keep Felix away from packaged crackers and cookies.
- Fruit cobblers drenched in whole milk for breakfast.
- Mexican foods smothered in sour cream.
- Broccoli sauteed in globs of butter, and brussel sprouts cooked in heavy cream.
- Sprouted whole grain pastas covered with parmesean cheese.
Reconsidering a Vegan Diet
My mom recently gave me a book called Disease-Proof Your Child, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. While I don’t agree with all of Dr. Fuhrman’s dietary suggestions (or, for that matter, his claim that his daughter never had a single runny nose or other virus by the age of 4), he did get me thinking about how much animal fat we consume. One particularly convincing argument in favor of veganism is the China Study, of which many of you are probably familiar.
Is Soy Good or Bad?
One problem I see with vegan diets is that they always seem to be so heavy on processed soy products (we know that soy protein isolates are Bad Stuff). Because of conflicting theories on the health benefits and health risks of soy, I don’t include it in our meals on a daily basis. That said, I think if once a week I can replace a dairy-heavy recipe with a tofu or tempeh one, it will be a net positive for our family. Below is a yummy tofu dish that Felix loves from my mom’s new favorite cookbook. (Note: Most health experts agree that fermented soy–such as tempeh–is best, so we will be sure to provide some good tempeh recipes in the upcoming months.)
Ginger-Lime Glazed Tofu
- 1 pound of fresh, firm tofu (not silken), drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Slice tofu into fillets or cubes as desired. Heat olive oil over medium heat, and sautee ginger for 1 minute.
In a small bowl, whisk together tamari, lime juice, and maple syrup.
Place tofu in a skillet and add tamari mixture. Saute tofu 3-4 minutes per side.
If pan gets dry, deglaze by adding 2 tablespoons water and continue sauteing until both sides of the tofu are browned and firm. For a thicker glazed finish, deglaze pan with a second mixture of oil, ginger, tamari, lime juice, and maple syrup.
Remove from heat and serve.
Tip: A stainless steel or cast iron pan will yield the best results.
I would love to hear readers’ thoughts on veganism, the soy controversy, or why you love dairy!