Backyard BBQ bbq

Labor Day Weekend Healthy Snacks!

Saturday, August 31, 2013 Sophie Magdalena

Can you believe it's Labor Day weekend already? It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year, toasting friends with champagne and making those resolutions to get in shape.  Here we are a day away from hitting September and I only have 4 months left to get in shape!  Ha... but that's a story for another time.... 

What are your Labor Day plans?  Many of you are prepping to go back to school.  Those of you with children are probably thrilled that the kids can be shipped off for at least 6 hours a day.  Well, maybe not thrilled, but perhaps a tiny little part of you, deep down inside is a little pleased.  It's okay, I won't tell.  

Labor Day is often associated with a big end of Summer soiree.  One last 'hoorah,' before the cold weather starts to roll in.  How ironic is it that there is a day to celebrate all of our hard work by doing nothing at all?!  But I suppose we are all deserving of at least one day a year to just unwind, throw back a few beers or cocktails and enjoy the company of friends and family.  

So, in the spirit of Labor Day festivities, I figured I'd share with you a few tasty appetizer ideas for those of you attending or hosting any of those end of Summer BBQ's.  And given the 4 months left to get in shape, what better way to kill two birds with one stone than to share some healthy recipes with you from House Foods.  

House Foods America is a Japanese Company that established itself in the United States in the early 1980's who's vision has always been promoting healthy eating among Americans by way of tofu!  I am certain I was Asian in another life because I absolutely love tofu.  But I'm no fool; I realize many people don't care for it! Trust me... you just don't understand it!!  

Being a bit of a 'foodie'.... a 'food snob' if you will, one of the things I've learned over the years in my exploration of the culinary world, you can make almost anything taste amazing when paired with the right ingredients.  The healthy and nutritional benefits of tofu are just an added bonus!  

Take a look at the recipes, give them a try and let me know which one was your favorite!  And if I steer you wrong, I'll personally show up at you door and make you dinner, on me!  That's how certain I am you will love these tasty treats!  

Created by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos, stars of Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin

Tuscan Tofu, White Bean, & Garlic Dip w/Vegetables

1/2 package (7 oz) House Foods Tofu Medium
1/4  cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving 
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable sticks of your choice (zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, etc.)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add garlic and rosemary and sauté until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and remove from heat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.  Add white beans, tofu, and the olive oil rosemary mixture, and puree until smooth.

Pour into a serving bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve with sliced vegetables for dipping.

Serves 6

Created by House Foods America

Tofu & Walnut Lettuce Cups

½ package (7 oz) House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Firm, drained well
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoon Miso (red or awase)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon Sake
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon corn starch mixed with ¼ cup cold water

Lettuce, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro

In frying pan, heat olive oil, garlic, and Tofu over moderately high heat, breaking up the Tofu into small pieces with a wooden spoon (can also be cubed beforehand according to preference). Cook until Tofu and garlic gets well toasted.

Add all the sauce ingredients and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the water and cornstarch mixture in, stirring until mixture thickens. Mix  walnuts in.
Serve them on lettuce cups, topped with shredded carrots and chopped cilantro.

Note: Original recipe created by Mutsumi Gonzales

Created by House Foods America

Tofu Mango Black Bean Salsa 

1 package (10 oz.) House Tofu Super Firm Grilled, drained and diced
1 large mango, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine mango, red onion, black beans, cilantro and jalapeno in a medium bowl.

Add Tofu, and squeeze lime juice over the mixture.

Mix well, add salt and pepper. 

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled.

Serves 4-6

For more information regarding House Foods, please visit there website HERE.  

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