Tag Archives: tofu

Fried Shirataki Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

11 Jun

I mentioned in an earlier post that I went to the Asian supermarket and got myself some Shirataki noodles. Well, I’ve finally found the time to try them out. These are pretty good! Here is what I had yesterday.

Fried Shirataki Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

(makes 4 servings)

2 X 200gr packets shirataki noodles

2 cloves garlic, minced

150 gr chinese cabbage, chopped

1 carrot, grated

200 gr tofu, cubed

150 gr bean sprouts

1 small onion, sliced

1-2 stalks green onions, cut into 5cm/2 in lengths

1 egg, beaten

Drain the shirataki noodles, put into a bowl and sprinkle with about 1 tsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp sesame oil.

Make a thin omelette from the egg and julienne it.

Fry the tofu till nicely browned and drain on a paper towel.

Heat some oil in a wok. Add onions and stir fry till translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for a short while. Next comes the chinese cabbage. Stir fry till half done, then add the grated carrots and bean sprouts. Cook for about 2 min. Then add the tofu, shirataki noodles and green onions. Season the whole dish with soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. Stir in half the julienned egg and use the rest to garnish the dish upon serving.

Fried Shirataki Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

Of course you can vary the vegetables and instead of tofu, you could use sliced beef, chicken, pork or seafood.

Nutrition Facts: Calories – 122 kcal; Fat – 7.4 gr; Cholesterol – 53.1 mg; Total carbohydrates – 12.0 gr; Protein – 12.8 gr

Print this recipe: Fried Shirataki Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables

Soy good!

10 May

In my earlier post today (scroll down), I talked about buying tofu at the Asian supermarket. So this post will feature a tofu recipe – not with the tofu I bought there but with some I bought at my local organic supermarket. There is a company called Taifun, located in Freiburg im Breisgau in the Black Forest which makes tofu – not only plain tofu but tofu in all its variations. Since trying their products, I have become a fan. I love tofu now. I didn’t like it when I was a kid but I love it now.

Tofu is rich in Omega-3 fat and calcium.  It has been extolled as a source of inexpensive and high-quality protein, with anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering properties. Of course, there may be some people who are allergic to tofu, just as there are people who are allergic to a host of other things, but if you have no problems with it, tofu is low in carbs and can be used widely in a low carb diet.

There are some concerns that too much tofu may lead to brain aging and finally to Alzheimer’s but this study has been disputed. Tofu is commonly eaten all over Asia in much larger quantities than in the West. If these concerns are true, all the old people in Asia would be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease by now and I am sure this relationship would have been discovered a long, long time ago. Well, I’m not going to throw tofu out of my diet.

Today’s lunch was an Almond-Sesame Tofu and Vegetable Stir-fry pictured above. I’ve used beansprouts, pak choi and red cubanelle peppers but you could just about use any typical stir-fry vegetable. This is the tofu I used in the recipe – almond-sesame tofu (3.3 gr carbs per 100gr). It is my favourite of all the tofu from this company. Put it in anything and you’ll have a great dish!

Almond Sesame Tofu from Taifun

Almond-Sesame Tofu and Vegetable Stir-Fry (serves 2)

200gr Almond Sesame Tofu or other flavoured tofu, cut into cubes about 2cm by 1cm (1 in by 1/2 in)

4 cups bean sprouts, picked over

1 red cubanelle pepper, cut into strips

200gr pak choi, cut into big pieces

1 tomato, cut into eight pieces

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stalk green onion, cut into 6cm (2 in) lengths

1 tsp sesame oil

soy sauce to taste

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the tofu and fry gently till brown. Remove to drain on a paper kitchen towel.

Add the garlic to wok and fry till fragrant. Add all the veggies and green onions EXCEPT the bean sprouts and stir-fry for a few minutes till the peppers and pak choi stems are cooked. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. You only want them cooked to the point where they still retain a bit of their crunch.

At this point, put back the tofu. Toss and then sprinkle with sesame oil and soy sauce to taste. For a nice touch, sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds.

Approx. nutrition facts since veggies are estimated (without toasted sesame seeds) – per serving 296.8 kcal; Fat 13.7 g; Cholesterol 0.0 mg; Sodium 982.5 mg; Carbohydrates 18.2 g ; Protein 29.3 g

Print this recipe: Almond Sesame Tofu and Vegetable Stir-fry

This is more than the 12gr allowed under the Bernstein diet but I’ll save elsewhere to compensate.

What can I eat? – A visit to the Asian supermarket

10 May

When I first read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution and made my decision to go on a low carb diet, my eyes almost popped out when I read the list of things I couldn’t eat anymore. The first few days were difficult, more so for breakfast than for the other meals. I was eating eggs, ham and cheese in all forms – but come on, eggs are eggs no matter how you cook them – scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, omelette with ham and cheese, fried eggs with ham and cheese, baked eggs with ham and cheese, poached eggs with ham and cheese  😦

After the first week, I started scouring the internet for recipes – had some successes and failures. Then, I started to substitute ingredients in my favourite breakfast recipes with low carb items. Now I can say that I have enough different breakfast items to provide some variety.

Lunch and dinner are actually not so difficult – just leave out the carb items. However, there are still some things which I do enjoy eating like noodles and would be sad to give up. I came across a Japanese product called shirataki noodles – touted as the ‘miracle noodle’ – on many low carb forums.

Last week, I went in search of shirataki noodles . I decided to pay a visit to one of the big Asian supermarkets on Rosenheimerstrasse here in Munich to see if I would strike lucky and I did.

Shirataki Noodles

I had found on-line shops selling the noodles and looking at the accompanying photos, had imagined a big packet of noodles – just like the sizes you see on your supermarket shelves. Imagine my surprise when I was confronted with a tiny packet. The packet only measures 15cm X 10 cm (5 1/2 in X 4 in)!  200gr of noodles in this little packet. The quantity looks enough for only 1 person!

These noodles are used in sukiyaki hot pots. I do love sukiyaki – especially on a cold winter day. After reading more about this noodle in my Japanese cookbook, I had expected the labelling on the packet to read ‘Produced in Japan‘  but it said ‘Produced in China‘. Do I need to be concerned?

For the time being, the noodles will sit in my pantry till I have time to experiment.

update 4 Mar 2011: just a note to say that after eating a meal with shirataki noodles, my tummy feels kind of bloated and uncomfortable. I think the noodles don’t digest too well. However, I still eat them.

While at the supermarket, I spent a little time looking at some of the other products. So what else can I buy which is low carb?

Well, I found several things.

For one, tofu and tofu products. Just look at the labels to make sure none of the other ingredients added have sugar or are not low carb. Two tofu items I bought are Silken Tofu and Fried Bean Curd Balls.

Silken Tofu

Fried Bean Curd Balls

Then I found some Nori. Nori is not only used as a wrapping for sushi rolls. The Japanese and Koreans also eat these as snacks.

Nori Snack Packs


Then I bought some agar-agar. Agar-agar is gelatin made from red algae. Agar-agar is used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Asia and I’ve just discovered that it can be used as a thickener in soups and in ice-cream as well.


And lastly, I bought some chinese vegetables – pak choi and bean sprouts. There are lots of lovely Chinese vegetables to add variety to your diet.

On my next visit, I will plan more time so that I can look for interesting low carb items.

Still learning…

26 Apr

Embarking on a new WOE means of course, experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that Viana’s Veggie Gyros has no place in my diet. I was attracted to the yummy looking photo of this product in the supermarket and decided to give it a try – afterall, the main ingredient listed was tofu which I know to be good for my BG. Furthermore, the nutrition labelling said 100gr contained 5.6gr of carbs which is well within my daily allowed limit.

Veggie Gyros

The taste of the gyros in itself wasn’t too bad.  I actually enjoyed it. The problem was my BG. After the meal, it were ok but later, my BG kept rising. This happened on both occasions I ate the gyros. So obviously, the carbs are changing to glucose quite slowly. One hour after eating the gyros, you don’t see the full effects of the meal. Only much later. It seemed that this meal threw everything off track for the entire day. My conclusion – stay away from it, for me at least. After all, the real gyros with meat tastes a lot better. I had some ‘real’ gyros last week with salad – in fact it was almost a double portion – and I had a BG of under 100!

So much for that … let’s move on to lunch. Today’s lunch was Mediterranean Oven Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese. I have been making this for quite some time and now do it according to ‘feel’ . It is really easy to put together and tastes great. I vary the ingredients according to what is in the fridge.

Mediterranean Oven Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese (serves 2)

Just cut up some ‘mediterranean’ vegetables – whatever you think would go into a dish titled ‘mediterranean’. For me, I can imagine cherry tomatoes, zucchini, aubergines, mushrooms, green beans, red or green bell peppers and carrots.  I also throw in half an onion – half because Dr B says they are sweet if you eat too much. Now, your question will be ‘how much veggies per person?’. Well, just look at the amount of cut veggies and see if you think two people can finish them! It doesn’t matter about the proportions of each. Cut your selected veggies and onion into bite-sized pieces and place in a mixing bowl.

Cut up a piece of halloumi into cubes and add this to the veggies – in my supermarket, they come in 200gr packets so I just put in the whole thing.

Now toss with about 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp tomato paste, a generous sprinkle of  ‘mediterranean herbs’ eg. oregano, thyme, rosemary and season with salt and pepper (take note that the halloumi is already slightly salty so don’t overdo it). I use 2 Tbsp each olive oil and tomato paste for a large serving each for 2 people. If you like your dish with a kick, sprinkle some chilli flakes or add some harissa.  If you are cooking for more than 2, just take a look at the veggie mix and see if you think there is enough oil and tomato paste to coat the veggies. If not, just add a tablespoon more of each. Pour the coated veggie mix into a baking dish. Here’s what your dish will look like before baking.

Mediterranean Oven Vegetables with Halloumi

Now pop the dish into your oven which has been preheated to 180 degrees C and bake for 45 minutes. Couldn’t be simpler! Dining with people not on a low-carb diet? Serve them pita or some other flatbread to soak up the sauce. Yes, this dish doesn’t come out completely dry. The veggies exude their juices while baking.

A note on Halloumi – I’ve noticed that depending on the brand, some Halloumis will melt quicker than others. I once used one that still had a rubbery, squeaky bite to it after cooking, so experiment. I prefer the ones that melt and look like melted mozzarella when done.

A note on carbs – Since I never use the same veggies, I don’t know the carb count but I think it can’t be that bad! I don’t meticulously go around counting carbs – just eyeball it.

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