As an NPC Bikini Competitor, or anyone working towards improving their physique, it is important to find healthy foods that are high in protein, while still maintaining a balanced diet and not getting too bored with repetitive meal options. For people following a vegan diet, finding protein can feel confusing. Fortunately, tofu is a great source of protein and is quite healthy!
We give you 5 reasons for a veggie-powered diet that will show you how healthy tofu is.
Tofu has all 9 essential amino acids (the 9 that our bodies don’t produce and that have to come from outside sources), and therefore is a great alternative for those who don’t eat animal products. There are several brands and textures of protein to choose from, as well as some that are lower in fat than others. This is a staple in my diet, especially when preparing for a fitness competition.
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While it is important to check the nutrition labels, as there are so many brands, textures and pre-cooked options to choose from, tofu can be low in fat. As a fitness competitor that maintains a high carbohydrate- moderate protein- low fat diet, this works perfect for maintaining the balance of nutrition that I need.
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Because tofu is simply made out of soybeans, it is relatively bland on its own. The benefit of this is that you can marinade it in any sauce or spice you want (such as barbeque, hot sauce, Asian sauces, sesame oil, soy sauce, chili spice mixes, etc.) and it will soak up the flavor.
Tofu can be baked, pan fried, deep fried, pressed, crumbled, or even eaten from the package (even though it doesn’t taste so great that way). It is one of the most versatile protein sources available. It can be breaded, used as pizza stick crust, made like scrambled eggs, cooked in a panini press for a sandwich, grilled on a sis kabob, and the list goes on. While you may technically be eating tofu each way you make it, the endless options will never leave you feeling bored with your meals.
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My personal favorite reason to eat tofu is that in addition to the health benefits and fun flavor options, it is completely guilt and cruelty free. This makes it a favorite among vegans, knowing there is such a great protein source available that doesn’t involve eating animals.
This is a single serving recipe, and has a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. It is a lighter, fresher alternative than eating out or eating deep-fried restaurant-style tofu.
- ¼ package of firm or extra firm tofu (about 100 grams)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1-3 tsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- 150 grams basmati rice (cooked weight)
Preparing the veggie power:
- Prepare rice per package instructions and set aside.
- Heat oil and soy sauce in pan on low-medium heat.
- Pat tofu dry or press (wrap in paper towels and place heavy object on top of it to press out extra moisture).
- Cut into ½ inch cubes.
- Place tofu into pan with the soy sauce and oil, turning a few times as needed, until evenly browned.
- Add garlic and crushed red pepper to taste.
- Once tofu has browned, place on a bed of basmati rice and garnish with cilantro.
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